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Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

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Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Visiting from California and was in London for a family vacation for four for week in July 2014. We booked a tour with Golden Tours for Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath (Pump Rooms). We were not aware that the tour bus would be making a secondary stop to pick up more passengers and the tour bus could not accommodate all of the passengers! It took them forever to resolve their issue of overbooking thus cutting our tour time at our destinations. Poor people that got turn away and poor us!

Our tour guide on the bus does not guide you anywhere except to the entrance of the itinerary. At Windsor Castle, there is security and we only had time to visit the apartments -- walk in and out. We didn't have time to admire much of the apartments and we didn't even have the opportunity to go visit St. Georges Chapel. We were only given 45 minutes. What a disappointment! Our visit to Bath only allowed time to visit the pump room (again self-led) and a quick bite of ice cream. At Stonehenge (self-led), the shuttle with trailer was very slow so take the regular bus instead.

This was a VERY RUSHED tour and I do not recommend it unless you just want to take a 11+ hour bus ride and say you went to these places and not see much -- except Stonehenge.

To top it off, we were not dropped back to the Golden Tours office close to Victoria Station. Due to driver hours, they had to drop us off at a Metro station and we had to find our way back to our hotel. If you're a tourist and don't have Metro tickets, be prepared to pay another approximately 20 pounds (4 one-way tickets) back to Victoria station. What a pain!

Totally inconsiderate!! It was their fault for overbooking and cutting our tour time short then making it worse by dropping us off some where. This is the worse tour I've ever been on. I wish we did. This was the lowest point of our whole vacation.

Redlands, California
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1. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

I'm sorry for the delays but this is a very rushed tour at best. And when you were dropped/dumped in London, its a pity you didn't have Travelcards or a pay as you go card which would have made the rest of your journey much cheaper. But I hope in retrospect you will be able to remember the good parts of the trip.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Well, if you were to look at a map and pinpoint the locations of Windsor, Stonehenge, Bath and of course London it would probably have dawned on you that this would be a long day with 80% of the time spent on a bus/coach.

This is why the great majority of us suggest you avoid these tours. Hope you don't fall for it again, anywhere, not just London.

You could have done Windsor on your own in less than a day, and Bath in a (another) day by train.

And why on earth didn't you don't have travelcards or Oyster cards to hand to get around London by public transport? Rick Steves guidebook aficionado?

East Sussex, United...
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3. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

"This was a VERY RUSHED tour and I do not recommend it unless you just want to take a 11+ hour bus ride and say you went to these places and not see much -- except Stonehenge."

Well, yes. That's obvious isn't it ? The advice given on these boards constantly makes that point. Did you check here first ?

Mike

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Or put another way, would you recommend a one day bus tour to Yosemite from San Francisco?

Tour companies in your home town offer them and thousands of unsuspecting foreign visitors fall for it, just like you did here.

Cardiff, United...
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5. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

The main lesson here is not for people to not take this tour (although not doing that would be a good idea too), but that research and planning before you go somewhere is vital.

If you'd have asked (or read any previous threads) on these boards about such coach tours, you would have known that they can only be rushed affairs with most of the day on a bus (notwithstanding the specific issues you had on this occasion). If you had planned beforehand you certainly would have had somekind of London Transport card (depending on the length of stay, area you were staying in, requirements) which would have enabled you to get back from wherever you were dropped on the underground (not Metro, that's a free newspaper) for either free or considerably less than £20.

Ossett, United...
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6. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

I'm sorry OP has such a disappointing trip, and I hope they enjoyed the rest of London better.

However, it's really helpful that they've posted their experience here ~ TALFers often suggest this kind of tour is not ideal and hearing someone's direct experience is good reinforcement.

London
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7. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Sorry this didn't work out for you. Your experience is one (of many) reason why it is not recommended by this forum, though some claim to have enjoyed these tours.

Bath deserves a day on its own, Windsor a long half day and Stonehenge another half day so one day is never going to be enough. All are easy to do independently.

I suspect you did not research enough prior to your trip especially if you paid single tickets on the tube. Lesson learned the hard way.

London, United...
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8. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Just hope that lots of others read this and take your advice.

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Sorry and what a rip off. I know these sorts of tours are rushed, but the mistakes THEY made( overbooking) made it that much worse. And as for everyone who says you should have had an oyster or travel card, they are wrong to say it without knowing you plans. You would not need a travel card for that day if you were able to walk to and from tour start, as planned, the company a tour mistake made them leave you in the lurch.

And we have not gotten an oyster and haven't needed on ourselves, we have only used three one day travel cards and managed just fine, so the need for the cards/passes does vary by circumstance.

I would be especially angry at being dropped off at a tube station instead of start point!

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Disappointed with Golden Tours- Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Just hope that lots of others read this and take your advice.

=====

As long as the advice is that ALL these types of impractical tours from ALL tour companies are to be avoided. The OP is singling out one, that they happened to take, which may fool others into thinking it's only Golden that sucks but the Premier Tours trip or others will be better, when in reality it will be almost exactly the same.

(Over on Air Travel, this is like saying "Bravofly sucks", which from hundreds of posts they do. But people warned off Bravofly could go and book the likes of eDreams or CheapoAir instead, even though they're just as shonky)