Category Archives: Stonehenge

Britain’s religious buildings prove huge draw for tourists

For the UK population, they are places of worship but for tourists visiting from abroad, our churches are just as much a part of the sightseeing map as Big Ben or Stonehenge

A marriage of history and religion: 55 per cent of Brazilian tourists weave in a visit to a church while in the UK

A marriage of history and religion: 55 per cent of Brazilian tourists weave in a visit to a church while in the UK

As many as 22 per cent of visits by overseas residents to the UK last year included a trip to a church or other religious building.

And Brazilians are beating the biggest path to Britain’s religious buildings, according to a new survey.

Brazilians made the most visits, with 55 per cent of their stays including a tour of a religious building, figures from VisitBritain showed.

 

Australians and Americans made the next most visits to churches or places of worship, followed by Russians and Chinese.

In total, 6.7 million international tourists visited a religious building in the UK last year and those whose trips included visits of this kind spent nearly £5 billion during their stays in the UK.

VisitBritain chief executive Sandie Dawe said: ‘Whether it’s for the glorious architecture, stained glass windows, connections with famous people or just some peace and quiet – religious buildings have become a fundamental part of our tourism offering.

‘Overseas visitors rate Britain fourth out of 50 nations for built heritage. It is one of the major drivers for international visitors and an asset where Britain is truly world class.’

Full article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2245798/Britains-churches-prove-huge-draw-Brazilian-tourists.html

Travel Editor – Best Value Tours
www.BestValueTours.co.uk

Stonehenge and Salisbury Private Custom Guided Day Tours

Stonehenge & Salisbury Private Custom Day Tours

For 1-6 People – See What You Want To See At A Pace You Want To Go

StonehengePhotoStonehenge
London Tours – Private Stonehenge & Salisbury Example Tour
Stonehenge is perhaps the single most popular destination from London on a day tour from London and Salisbury, just 30 minutes drive from Stonehenge, a great combination offering wonderful contrasts.

Both can be combined at a relatively leisurely place. You’ll certainly have a lot more time than any coach tour and be able to see what you want to see at a pace you want to go.
Stonehenge & Salisbury Tour
Both Stonehenge and Salisbury are well under two hours from Central London hotels and are only 30 minutes apart. Both are connected by the Woodford Valley, a very nice drive through small countryside villages.
Salisbury

Salisbury is a medieval city dominated by its magnificent cathedral built in 1220. Inside the cathedral you can see an original Magna Carta signed by King John in 1215. At 404 feet, it is the tallest spire in England, and there are tours to climb up if you wish.

In the nave you can see what is probably the oldest working mechanical clock in the world, dating to 1386. There are no hands and no clock face; rather, it rings a chime of bells every hour. It was originally built to call the bishops to services.

Salisbury Cathedral
The Cathedral and Close are the largest and best preserved Cathedral Close in Britain. The Close, essentially a walled city within the city, is ringed by wonderful period houses.
Some of them have been converted to museums like the Salisbury Museum, which will also supplement your knowledge about Stonehenge.

Through the city walls from the Close is the city centre, a regional shopping centre with character. Tea Rooms, a large cobbled market and alleyways are a far cry from the Malls you may be used too.

By English standards Salisbury is a new city, its only about 800 years old!. Before that Salisbury was up on the hill above Salisbury at a place called Old Sarum. Originally a classic Iron Age hill fort its earthwork battlements are still impressive. The Romans came and went before the Norman’s came in the 11th Century and built a classic castle complete with moat within the old Iron Age hill fort. They also built the original Salisbury Cathedral here.

The clergy moved the Cathedral down into the valley to found modern day Salisbury, but there is still much of interest up at Old Sarum. A visit is well worthwhile.

Salisbury What To Expect

Stonehenge is on top of Salisbury Plain in a very remote location. Henges, built well before the Pyramids and before the wheel was invented are peculiar to the British Isles. Stonehenge is the most famous and one of the best preserved and has several unique features.

Stonehenge certainly can be a mystical place. Most people take around 45 minutes to visit the monument, an audio guide is included in admission. Our driver/guide though will help you get the most of your visit with further insights and guiding, maximising the Stonehenge experience.

How Many People Can Travel On The Tours?

We have two sizes of car that can accommodate up to 3 passengers and up to 6 passengers in comfort. If you have more than six people then we can provide the same tours in luxury touring buses of all sizes depending on your group size.
Tours on the buses are not performed by Harry Norman but a leading London specialist operator for groups large and small.

How Much Do Tours Cost?

Tours are priced on a total cost for the vehicle, not per person.
The exact cost depends on the size of vehicle and the duration of the tour. The cost of the tour is not inclusive of any admissions to attractions that you want to visit.
You can get a feel for the cost with current prices for our example tours

Guided Tours can depart from London, Bath, Oxford, Southampton or Salisbury

Salisbury Guided Tours

Private Guided Tours from Salisbury

Travel Editor – Best Value Tours UK

Picturesque places to visit in Britain

10 most beautiful places in Britain

Britain is renowned for being a naturally beautiful country, with its rolling hills, dramatic coastlines and towering mountain ranges. Whether you want to explore a nature trail, gaze out at breath-taking views, or simply spend the day relaxing in the presence of natural beauty, here are 10 of the most picturesque spots Britain has to offer.

The Lake District

Situated in the North West of England, the picturesque Lake District is the physical manifestation of Britain’s famous nineteenth century Romantic Movement, having inspired some of the most renowned poems of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Blake. The landscapes that make up this area are full of enormous crystal clear lakes, including Windermere, which is the largest natural body of water in England. Bordering these vast bodies of water are dense green forests that take stillness and serenity to levels you never before thought possible.

Stonehenge

The mystery of Stonehenge is one that may never be solved, despite the best efforts of historians all over the world. This enigmatic landmark is thousands of years old, and consists of a circle of around 30 standing stones. Although undeniably breath-taking during the day, the best time to visit Stonehenge is at sunrise or sunset. During this time the site takes on a whole new persona, with dramatic shadows forming as the low sunlight meets with the jutting monoliths.

Isle of Skye

The inner and outer Hebrides are a series of islands off Scotland’s east coast, the largest of which is the Isle of Skye. Walkers will be in their element on this picturesque island, with a huge array of routes and paths to pick from. Whether you choose the island’s sweeping coastline, the dramatic Cuillin mountain range further inland, or the rolling highlands dotted with ancient castles, Skye is sure to impress.

White Cliffs of Dover

For thousands of years the imposing sight of the White Cliffs of Dover looming out of the Atlantic has greeted invaders and visitors alike as they arrive at Britain’s south coast. These striking white chalk cliffs are flecked with jet-black veins of flint, creating one of Britain’s most distinctive natural landmarks. Take a walk along the cliffs and you’ll be met with stunning views all the way to France on clear days, as whispering winds caress the coast around you.

The Brecon Beacons

Taking their name from the burning red sandstone peaks that surround the area, The Brecon Beacons are arguably the pinnacle of Wales’ abundance of beautiful scenery. The surrounding national park is full of fascinating natural landscapes, as well as a variety of wildlife including wild mountain ponies and sheep. The Brecon Beacons Railway is the ultimate way to see the park, passing through the mountains and past the reservoir on an authentic steam locomotive.

Ingleton Waterfalls

Starting along the banks of the River Twiss on the boundary between North Yorkshire and Lancashire, the Ingleton Waterfall trail follows a series of cascading waterfalls set against intertwined woodland, before joining the River Doe. Along the way you’ll also see the famous money tree of Swilla Glen. This huge fallen tree is embedded from top to bottom with decades-old coins, which were hammered into the tree over time by people making wishes.

Glen Coe

Often referred to as the ‘Glen of weeping’, Glen Coe is not quite as depressing as its grim moniker would suggest. Quite the opposite in fact. This U-shaped valley in the Scottish Highlands offers picture-perfect scenery that almost seems too good to be true. Divided by the winding form of the River Coe, the glen is filled with towering mountain ranges, glorious expanses of greenery, and imposing waterfalls. Rolling fog frequently seeps its way into the valley, making for impressively dramatic vistas as you climb the glen’s lofty peaks.

The Peak District

Picture an image of a stereotypically idyllic British countryside and it’s likely you won’t be far off the Peak District. Equal parts rugged and resplendent, this national park designated area in central England draws visitors from all over the world, and for good reason. Split into the limestone-filled White Peak and the imposing Dark Peak areas, the Peak District offers variety and distinction like no other region of Britain, and makes for the perfect relaxing day out.

Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens in south-east London are a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of life in the capital. Explore these enormous (121 hectares in fact) gardens, and you’ll be awash in a wave of floral beauty, with dazzlingly colourful displays on offer wherever you turn. The gardens have been gradually expanded since they opened in 1759, and now contain a Japanese garden, a huge greenhouse, and even a palace.

Pembrokeshire Coast

A large section of Wales’ south-west coast is made up of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, which is a lengthy expanse of coastal paths, coves, cliffs, and white sandy beaches. Considering its popularity, the area is impressively clean and undisturbed, so there will be nothing to ruin the calming atmosphere as you wander the trails. Dotted along the coast are quaint seaside villages, where you’ll be able to stop for a well-earned lunch break as your explore Pembrokeshire.

Full article: http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/blogs/visit-britain-in/picturesque-places-visit-britain-070023978.html

Needless to say we offer tours to all the above detinations

Travel Editor: www.BestValueTours.co.uk

Foreign landmarks tower above the UK’s in minds of British

IT WAS promoted as an opportunity to appreciate the splendour of your own country while saving a pound or two. Yet the “stay-cation” has failed to make a lasting impression on the British public, according to a new poll which found that holidaymakers are better at recognising foreign landmarks than one in their own country.

The Eiffel Tower. Picture: Getty

The Eiffel Tower. Picture: Getty

Despite having some of the most iconic buildings and scenery in the world, such as Edinburgh Castle and the white cliffs of Dover, British landmarks faired poorly in a new survey that sought to discover the most recognisable tourist icons among British holidaymakers.

While not a single person out of the 1,714 British holidaymakers polled by sunshine.co.uk, an online travel agent, failed to recognise the Eiffel Tower, only 77 per cent recognised Stonehenge, it is claimed.

To add insult to injury, places such as the Sydney Opera House and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge were more recognisable than Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

Only Big Ben in London and Stonehenge made it into the top ten of the most recognised landmarks in the world. While 98 per cent recognised the Pyramids, 96 per cent identified the Statue of Liberty in New York and 95 per cent recognised the Great Wall of China. Big Ben had a “score” of 93 per cent but Trafalgar Square and the London Eye failed to make it into the top ten of most-recognised landmarks.

The Great Wall of China came fourth with 95 per cent of those polled recognising it, while the Taj Mahal came in sixth with 84 per cent.

The top ten most recognised landmarks for UK holidaymakers was completed by Stonehenge in seventh place, the Sydney Opera House in eighth place, the Colosseum in Rome in ninth place and San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge in tenth place.

Yesterday, Chris Clarkson, the co-founder of Sunshine.co.uk said: “I actually can’t quite believe that more UK-based landmarks didn’t feature in the top ten here. To see that more people recognised the Golden Gate Bridge above the likes of the London Eye and Trafalgar Square is a bit of an eye opener.”

However, Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said it aimed to make people more familiar with Scotland’s landmarks as well as the more out-of-the-way places in the country.

He said: “One of the main aims of our ongoing marketing campaign, Surprise Yourself, is to encourage more Scots to get out and about and explore what’s on their very doorstep.

“From iconic landmarks, such as Edinburgh Castle or Loch Ness, to hidden gems that you won’t find in the guidebooks, VisitScotland is working hard alongside Scotland’s tourism industry to promote every area of our stunning country and make sure Scots staycationers have every reason to stay close to home for their autumnal break.

“No matter how well you think you know Scotland, the beauty of it is there’s always something new to discover.”

TOP TEN

1. Eiffel Tower – 100%

2. Pyramids – 98%

3. Statue of Liberty – 96%

4. Great Wall of China – 95%

5. Big Ben – 93%

6. Taj Mahal – 84%

7. Stonehenge – 77%

8. Sydney Opera House – 71%

9. Colosseum, Rome – 69%

10. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco – 65%

By ANGUS HOWARTH  – http://www.scotsman.com
Published on Monday 8 October 2012 00:00

Best Value Tours – www.SightseeingTours.co.uk