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London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

CT
Level Contributor
9 posts
6 reviews
London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

I just got back from London and after spending so many hours on this site finding so much helpful advice, I thought I'd repay and write a review about the three different companies. I went on the Canterbury,Leeds,Dover,&River Cruise tour by Golden Tours. I went on the Stonehenge private access, Bath and Lacock tour by Premium Tours. I went on the Brighton,Arundel,& Ashdown tour by Evan Evans Tours. So here is what I had read and was mostly concerned about: I had read many bad reviews about Premium and was worried about being left behind on the tour. I had read Evan Evans was the best (although they cost more). I had also read that Golden was just "okay." Here is what I think: FIRST OF ALL, CALL THE NIGHT BEFORE ON EACH TOUR YOU GO ON TO RECONFIRM AND MAKE SURE THEY REMEMBER TO PICK YOU UP - I forgot to, and thus had a few minor problems. About GOLDEN TOURS: Golden tours was my favorite and the guide was the best of all three tours (although guides in all tours can be very good). Leeds Castle was just ok - probably cause it was lived in up until about 20 years ago, so the interior is modernized and not so "ancient" feeling. There are some bird aviaries in the Leeds castle that are cool. I really liked the bush maze and actually got lost - but there is a worker up in the middle of the maze that watches people and helps them get through. Canterbury was neat, but lunch was just okay - there are so many cute shops and such that I would not do lunch and use that time to shop around! Thames river cruise was neat - they were tickets on a catamaran and it was a nice end to the day. It dropped us off literally across the river bank from the London Eye and a little down from Westminster - so great location to end up at! I was supposed to be picked up from the Millennium Knightsbridge and the concierge was very helpful. I waited until around 8:40 (pickup time was 8:15) and when the concierge called the Golden office, they said the pick-ups were running really late and to just catch a cab - which they later reimbursed me for. For all of the tours I went on, I was about the last hotel to be picked up from and so when this is the case, all of the tours were running at least 10 minutes late. Once I realized this, I relaxed a little and didn’t feel like I would be left so much. About PREMIUM TOURS: Our guide was pretty eccentric, but I never felt like the bus would leave without me. There is not enough time in Bath, so hurry through the Roman baths and see a little of the town. I did the "Jane Austen Museum" and felt like it was kind of a rip-off. It is about 10 USD to sit is a room and hear a little more about Jane Austen for 20 minutes and then to walk around like 3 rooms where there are dresses from the movies. The dresses were cool and the 20 minute talk actually had some things in it that I did not know. So I guess it is worth it , because when else are you going to be in Bath in your life. Just know it is not amazing. The Roman baths were cool and I am so glad I went there! The Premium tour was a private access Stonehenge with Bath and Lacock. The George pub in Lacock was INCREDIBLE and truly the BEST food I had while in London. There is nothing else to do in Lacock, so definitely book the meal option! I had the chicken item and it was incredible! The private access Stonehenge was SOOOO worth it – you get to walk in the stones, sit on them, kiss them, or whatever you want – pretty neat! The only negative thing (if you are like me and love gift shops) is that the gift shops were closed (since it was after hours). But truly, don’t do Stonehenge any other way! I guess if there is a tour group that also includes Avebury (another stone circle) that could be pretty neat to see. ALSO, BRING A METAL COAT HANGER WITH YOU – I forgot and wished I had. The site is a magnetic field, so you are supposed to be able to bend the coat hanger into an L shape, hold it out in front of you, and it will turn on its own. About EVAN EVANS TOURS: This tour company is definitely the most pulled together. You get picked up and taken to their bus depot. Everything is numbered and labeled so you know just where to go. The office was helpful. I did a select tour to Arundel, Brighton, and Ashdown forest. I LOVED IT!!!! ARUNDEL CASTLE WAS MY MOST FAVORITE THING ON MY UK TRIP! Brighton was pretty neat – I did the castle in Brighton and kind of ran through it (which was ok with me because it was unique but not earth-shattering cool). VERY WINDY in Brighton, so don’t wear a skirt like I did! My guide was nice and this tour only had 7 people on it – nice to be in a small group :) So this is my review - I hope this helps people decide and have a great time visiting outside of London!!!

WEST VIRGINIA
8 posts
1 review
1. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

I just read you post and it was very helpful.

I am going to London in about a week and plan to do the Warwick/Oxford/Stratford/Christ Church tour with one of the companies. The cost for Golden is about 20% less than Premium. Do you think Golden is probably the best option based on your experience?

Thanks

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London, Windsor
Level Contributor
8,029 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

Thank you - it is always helpful when visitors let others know of their experiences, and especially since you tried three of them out!

CT
Level Contributor
9 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

Sorry DBASRA I did not get to you before you left - I would do Premium if it was cheaper, since most of the companies go to the exact same locations (I think the place for the optional lunch is about the only difference). Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip and glad my review could help someone :)

walnut grove, ca
Level Contributor
24 posts
79 reviews
4. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

Thanks for writing such a great critique. We are booked for 2 Evans and Evans tours for July 18 and 19. We are doing the Discovering London the first day and Stonehenge and Bath the second day. I thought they seemed a little pricey but I if I am going on a tour I want someone that is "most pulled together". You helped erase some of my doubts. Thanks again and I am glad you had a good visit. I am really looking forward to seeing some of the sites that I have read about all of my life so in some ways, this really is a trip of a lifetime. Happy travels.

walnut grove, ca
Level Contributor
24 posts
79 reviews
5. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

Thanks for writing such a great critique. We are booked for 2 Evans and Evans tours for July 18 and 19. We are doing the Discovering London the first day and Stonehenge and Bath the second day. I thought they seemed a little pricey but I if I am going on a tour I want someone that is "most pulled together". You helped erase some of my doubts. Thanks again and I am glad you had a good visit. I am really looking forward to seeing some of the sites that I have read about all of my life so in some ways, this really is a trip of a lifetime. Happy travels.

walnut grove, ca
Level Contributor
24 posts
79 reviews
6. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

We just returned from London where we took two Evan and Evans tours. We did the Discovering London tour the first day and Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor the second day.

First let me say the company is very well organized but be sure to confirm pickup the day before. I did it the first day but I didn't the second day as I figured once was enough and we ended up having to take a cab to the Victoria Coach station to pick up our tour. They offered and did pick up the cost of the cab.

One word of caution, these tours move pretty fast. I walk with a cane and just chose to sit it out in a few places. There is a lot of walking, which is to be expected. But our driver Liam and our two different tour guides Trudy and Roz were thoughtful and considerate.

As I do have mobility issues our driver put us in the front seat the first day and insisted we look for him the second day as he was driving one of the buses on the Stonehenge tour. The second day he looked out for us and called us over. He was an excellent driver and so informative himself about the area when we chatted off the bus. We was a doll.

Both of our tour guides were very well educated and informed. Very professional but so much fun. Trudy was a crack up. Some French tourists on the bus just would not shut up and I thought it was going to be the second battle of Waterloo, but she must have talked to them off the bus because they finally shut up so we could all hear.

When we went to Buckingham Palace they had special permission to pull the bus up into the landscaper's entrance and all we had to do is walk 50 feet to get a front row seat to the changing of the guard.

There was so much to see on these tours and there is no way we would have been able to see what we saw in the short time frame we had without spending a fortune in cab fares and entrance fees.

I would heartily recommend them to any visitors without at least two weeks to see the area around London.

CA
Level Contributor
71 posts
234 reviews
7. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

We just got back from London, took 2 Evan & Evan's tours. First day Discovering london, second day Windsor/Stonehenge/Bath.

Evan Evan's pick us up from Royal National hotel, since its such a big hotel, they picked up like 26 people. We have been to London before, but didnt get chance to see Buckingham guard changing, so I really want to see that this trip. But found out they only do that on even days in April, tour guide told us we will see horseguard parade instead. Then this pretty lady wanted to go to bathroom, the guide announced thats "priority", so he took her to bathroom, the rest 49 of us didnt get to see any guards. I was very disappointed and mad! Thats the main reason I came back to London! filed the complaint with Evans today, will see what happens.

The Windsor/Stonehenge/Bath tour was great! the guide was good, the countryside scenery is beautiful. In Bath there were one couple did not come back to bus on time, we left without them. I asked the guide, he said they do that almost daily, its such a big group and they have to cover so many places, they cannot wait at each place. I praised their practice, I am the stupid one always waited for those irresponsible people everywhere, just not fair. I will definitely book more tours with Evans in the future.

8. Re: London tours - comparing Evan Evans, Premium, and Golden

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