With the winter months in full swing, let me take you back to the last day of British summer. Not one for guided tours however I couldn’t resist when CityWonders offered me a chance to experience their tours.
Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge all in one day. Yikes! Initially the idea sounded overwhelming nevertheless the opportunity came at a great time as my aim this summer was to explore more of the UK. It’s not always about jetting off to a foreign destination.
The day kicked off with a 6:00am wakeup call in order to catch the 8am departure from Gloucester Road tube station- plenty of energy would be required to get through this day. For easy recognition the tour coordinator, wore a blue branded jacket and sign. Name ticked off, shortly after the mini bus pulled up and kick started our epic tour.
Our intimate group of 14 people led by Robert a knowledgeable chap from Ireland set off on the motorway. First stop Windsor! Robert with his whimsical sense of humour and storytelling skills shared some interesting facts about British history along the scenic route.
“Tours from City Wonders tend to sell out so book in advance”- an advisory statement mentioned on Tripadvisor. Providing insightful and entertaining tours across European cities. A company founded by Simone Gozzi with a passion for giving travelers an incredible, memorable experience in the Eternal City. This simple formula has been expanded to other European cities including Barcelona, Paris, Venice and London. With City Wonders, you can book with confidence, their excellent customer service ensures that you receive your booking confirmation. Immediately after purchase, can cancel within 24 hours and there are no transactional fees.
On arrival we took a short historical walk through the quaint town of Windsor with Robert before he left us to enter the castle gates and wander at our leisure. With queue jump access, we explored the splendor of this palace expertly steered through its rooms by an audio tour. There is an airport like security search to enter the castle gates therefore travelling light is highly recommended to speed up the process.
From palatial corridors into luxurious state apartments decorated with paintings wandering around the Queen’s favourite castle was a delight. The highlight of the tour incuded entering the gothic chapel where Harry and Meghan wed to witnessing the changing of the horseguards.
Settled back in the coach we headed to our next destination, passing through the scenic British countryside and we arrived to a timeless beauty in the Avon Valley. Is it the Georgian architecture or contemporary culture with rich history and heritage that makes Bath a real head turner? Due to traffic we did not have enough time to explore at length. Did I forget to mention that it was the last day of British summer meaning everyone was out making the most of it. No time to visit the thermal baths but we walked around Bath Abbey and browsed through the artisan shops.
Just under an hour drive from Bath we arrived an hour before it’s closing times. When it comes to winning the award for the most mysterious monuments I have seen in my lifetime, Stonehenge ranks in the top 5. Listening to a fascinating audio tour I was in shock and left to draw on my own conclusions about the true origins of how the structures were erected. For what it’s worth once you have seen the stones, that is about it hop back on the shuttle buses provided back to the Visitor Centre. In addition, an exhibition area with replica artefacts, display Neolithic houses and a skeleton of a man who was buried at Stonehenge thousands of years ago.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the day being a tourist in your own home country. For anyone visiting the UK I would recommend joining one of the tours provided by CityWonders. The great balance between group trip and allowing you to wander around at your own leisure will suit any traveller. Secondly, as everything is pre-planned for you all you need to do is turn up and enjoy the experience. The only disappointment was the limited time spent in Bath which to be fair was what attracted me to taking this tour as it is a city on my bucketlist. Perhaps squeezing in three locations in one go may have been too optimistic, keeping in mind you are travelling on road.
The duration of this tour is 12 hours, operating on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays . Cost per adult starts from £77. For more details on this and other tours City Wonders provide visit their website.
I was a press guest to review this service. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post remain mine.