Stonehenge has been on my to-visit list since my last trip to England so when my friend and I were visiting London, we decided to take a day trip. Since Stonehenge is almost 2 hours away from London and we don’t know how to drive on the other side of the road, we chose to go with a tour. My friend selected the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Lacock and Bath tour with Premium Tours.
Meeting Point: Victoria Coach Station
We took an Uber to the station and on the way, we passed by Victoria Station and thought that our driver had made a mistake. He didn’t. It turns out Victoria Station and Victoria Coach Station are two different spots so make sure you head to the right one. Luckily, there was a Starbucks at the station so we grabbed pain au chocolat to go.
On our way to Windsor Castle, our tour guide Julie told us all about the former military building and now Queen Elizabeth II’s luxury home. Did you know there was a fire in 1992 and the Queen opened Buckingham Palace to the public to raise money to pay for the restoration work? Anyways, we arrived at the castle before it was even open to be one of the first tour groups inside. We stood in line for about 40 minutes while Julie gave us more fun facts (calling herself an “entertainment monkey”). While we were waiting, my friend and I left to go take pictures with the exterior of the castle.
The castle ticket (included in the tour) came with an audio guide. I usually love audio guides but with only an hour to explore, it was hard to take time to stop and listen.
We first headed to Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. The doll house is quite impressive – the tiny dining plates are made of silver! And even more impressive were the State Apartments – I loved them! You aren’t allowed to take pictures but it’s best to admire the gold ceilings and dangling chandeliers in person. There were intricate details in every room and each room was better than the last.
On our way out, we passed by St. George’s Chapel. Since it was Sunday, it was closed for service but the exterior was beautiful. Meghan (who I love from Suits) is getting married to Harry here! Before we got back to the tour bus, we stopped by EAT. to grab snacks (sandwich and orange juice) for the road because lunch wouldn’t be until 3 in the afternoon.
We didn’t spend enough time here so I felt rushed exploring the castle and didn’t have the opportunity to shop at Windsor Royal Shopping or explore the surrounding streets. It was a good sneak peak and I’ll definitely be back to Windsor on my own.
This was the reason we took the tour and the site I was most excited to see. However, as I approached the standing stones, I felt a bit disappointed. The monument is roped off but you will have no trouble seeing the stones from several feet away. I wish I could see the monument from above to fully appreciate the layout of the site. After taking pictures and making the full loop, we headed back down to the Stonehenge Visitor Center to wait out the cold until our tour bus departed.
Lunch: The George Inn
We headed to the oldest pub in Lacock for a late lunch. Julie took our orders on the bus and when we arrived, the food was ready within minutes. I ordered the Cottage Pie which is beef with mashed potatoes on top. It’s a traditional UK dish and I’m glad I tried it but it’s not a must order.
After lunch, we wandered around the very small and old town of Lacock. It took us about 5 minutes to walk around – it’s that small! People were selling items (like lucky horseshoes and lavender scent bags) on their window sill and if you wanted to purchase the item, you just put the money in their mailbox. This neighborhood must be quite safe because that would never happen in the states.
This was the last stop on our day tour. We were given an hour and a half to explore the city of Bath. Julie recommended that we visit the Roman Baths. However, since we only had an hour and a half, we skipped it because we wanted to explore the rest of the city. Instead, we went to the Bath Abbey. When you walk in, there is a front desk asking for donations but you can walk in without making a donation. The high ceilings and stained glass windows were gorgeous!
Afterwards, we wandered the streets of Bath. We [window] shopped on Milsom, Union, and Stall Streets. Unfortunately, most of the stores closed at 5pm and we were at a loss on what to do for the remaining hour. Julie had recommended checking out the fudge so we went to Fudge Kitchen. After the free sample, I felt obligated to buy a slice of caramel & sea salt but the fudge wasn’t very good. It definitely wasn’t worth the 5 pounds! We then spent the remaining time at a nearby Starbucks before returning to the coach. I thought the timing of Bath was poorly planned. If you are on this tour, I would suggest getting ideas of what to do at Bath here beforehand.
On the way back to London, Julie stopped hosting so we all caught up on sleep. The coach made two final stops and Julie helped us determine which stop was better for us to get home.
The highlight was definitely Julie, our amazing tour guide! We received the right amount of energy and humor from her to keep us entertained throughout the day. The bus was also very comfortable and it was a smooth ride. I also liked that we had a small tour group because we didn’t spend too much time waiting on people to return to the bus before moving on.
The tour went smoothly but I felt that Premium Tours should change up their agenda. I would’ve liked more time in Windsor and less time in Lacock and Bath. It didn’t make sense for us to be in Bath after 5pm (maybe this is only the case on Sundays) when everything was closed. The meal in Lacock didn’t add much to the tour so I would’ve rather skipped the sit-down meal but have an extra hour exploring Windsor in the morning.
Having said that, I understand that it is a lot of traveling and activities to fit into one day, so if you’re someone who doesn’t mind speeding through, this tour is for you. For me, I need more time at each location so this tour for me ended up being a sneak peak of where I would like to go back next time. And you can bet that I will be going back to Windsor and spending half a day there with my audio guide!