FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Last updated on 12 July, 2021.
Wherever you may be reading this from, we sincerely hope the problems posed by Covid-19 are starting to ease.
Since the majority of our customers are from overseas, and most who visit the UK this summer will need to quarantine on arrival, it is unlikely we will see many visitors to Cambridge for a while yet. However, since we have many Cambridge-based customers enquiring about tours we are now running tours again!
In response to the Covid-19 crisis we have changed the way we operate. On every tour our greatest concern is for the health, safety and wellbeing of our guests and of our driver-guides so please note the following changes until further notice:
- Passengers will be temperature-checked before boarding the bus.
- We encourage all passengers to wear a face covering while inside the bus.
- Tours will only operate with a minimum of 6 passengers.
Visit England, the official tourism organisation for vistors to England have included us in their 'We're Good To Go' scheme that is designed to kickstart the tourism and hospitality sector. We have agreed to an enhanced cleaning protocol to ensure that public areas of the bus are cleaned regularly throughout a tour and hand sanitiser will be regularly provided.
Why choose a Roots tour?
Roots is a small, independent tour operator. We have been running tours almost every week since 2005 and have had thousands of happy customers. In previous years we have been awarded a Certficate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for the positive reviews we have received from our passengers, but from 2020 the award has been changed and renamed the Travellers' Choice award. It is granted to the top 10% of travel and hospitality businesses worldwide, and we are one of them! We offer the best tours conducted by excellent guides in comfortable vehicles. Your day out is safe in our hands.
How many people will be on the tour?
Almost all Roots' tours are for small groups of no more than 16 people. This allows us to provide our passengers with a friendly, informal and informative tour experience. British city centres can be cramped and crowded so small groups allow us to enjoy all that the destination has to offer. Small groups mean smaller vehicles, too, so we can travel along the scenic backroads that the bigger tourist buses cannot access. In the peak summer months our group sizes may be slightly larger than 16 for our most popular tours but never too many to compromise the nature, quality and informality of the tour.
How do I make a booking?
- Book online - pay for your tour securely with a credit or debit card through WorldPay. After making payment you will receive an email from WorldPay confirming payment was successful AND an e-ticket from Roots with a map of your chosen departure point. If you have not received both emails please check your spam folder before contacting us.
- Ask at your hotel, language school or business - many are agents for our tours who can make a booking on your behalf.
Do I qualify for the student price?
If you are a full-time student, yes. Passengers purchasing student tickets must bring a valid full-time student ID with them on the tour. Passengers may be charged the full adult rate if they cannot produce a valid full-time student ID card on the day.
Do I qualify for the child price?
To qualify for the child price the child must be under 16 years old. Children must be accompanied by a person of 18 years old or over. I'm afraid we cannot accept children under 3 years old on a public tour. We can accept younger children, however, on private tours.
Do you have prices for seniors?
No, sorry. Although we are all students of life throughout our lives, once you have left your college days behind we don't offer any discounts, I'm afraid.
Are tours suited to passengers with mobility issues?
It depends, but generally yes. We offer optional walking tours of all our tour destinations but the tours are never too strenuous nor fast-paced. Please contact us in advance of a tour for our advice.
Do you have group discounts?
Yes, we offer a 10% discount for groups of 6 passengers or more booked together in the same transaction and departing together from the same departure point. Please email us for details. Group discounts are not available on National Holiday weekends or in July or August.
Can I make payment in cash?
Sadly, the Cambridge Tourist Information Centre became a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic and closed its doors permanently in May 2020, so, unlike before, our passengers cannot make payment in person there any longer. However, we work closely with many hotels across the city so please ask at your hotel's reception, they may be able to make a booking on your behalf. Students studying at an English language school in Cambridge may be able to pay in cash through their school's Social Events Organiser. Please ask them for details. You will need to provide your email address at the time of booking so we can send you an e-ticket.
Do I have to print my ticket?
No. You can show your ticket to the tour guide on your mobile phone or other electronic device.
Where can I join a tour?
There are many departure points across the city. We only visit the departure points chosen by passengers at the time of booking. You must depart from the departure point stated on your e-ticket. Please also note that due to unreliable traffic conditions across Cambridge on weekdays, some departure points are not available for midweek tours.
Do you have hotel pick-ups?
On a private tour yes, but on a public tour no. We have a busy passenger collection schedule in the morning of a tour so, unfortunately, we can only collect passengers from our official departure points. The bus cannot wait for latecomers so please don't be late!
What time do tours depart from Cambridge?
Almost all public day tours depart from Parkside Swimming Pool on Gonville Place at 8am. Departure times for all other departure points will vary. Please check the departure time for your chosen departure point - it is written clearly on your e-ticket. We recommend you arrive at your departure point at least five minutes before the scheduled departure time. Due to the collection schedule across the city please note that the bus will leave from each departure point on time.
What should I do if I am late for the tour?
If you are having problems finding the departure point you must call your guide on the mobile number provided on your e-ticket BEFORE your departure time. Due to the passenger collection schedule from different departure points we cannot wait for latecomers, and latecomers do not qualify for refunds. Please do not be late, the bus cannot wait!
Where and at what time do tours return to Cambridge?
On arrival back in Cambridge at the end of a tour we can return you to the same place from where you were collected at the start of the tour, or you can choose to get off the bus at another place. Please ask your guide during the day and we will try our best to accommodate your request. We try to arrive back in Cambridge at the scheduled return time but delays due to heavy traffic or other unforeseen circumstances may impact the actual time of return. Your guide will inform you during the tour of any delays.
Can I change my booking?
We will always try to accommodate changes but we cannot make any guarantees. Please contact us as soon as possible and we will try to help.
Can I cancel my seat and receive a refund?
Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions.
What should I bring?
Most tours are conducted in comfortable minibuses with a maximum of 16 passengers per tour. There is very little room on the bus for luggage so please bring only one piece of hand luggage per person. We conduct walking tours of all our tour destinations so please make sure you are wearing suitable footwear. British weather is famously unpredictable so consider bringing a rain jacket or an umbrella. However, it doesn't rain as much as the reputation will have you believe!
Can children join a public tour?
Yes, but the minimum age is 3 years old. Each child must have their own seat on the bus but please note we do not provide child booster seats. If you would like to bring a pushchair you must contact us in advance - we cannot guarantee there will be enough space for a pushchair if you have not contacted us prior to the tour.
Can children join a private tour?
Yes, children of any age can join a private tour. Each child must have their own seat on the bus but please note we do not provide child booster seats. If you would like to bring a pushchair you must contact us in advance - we cannot guarantee there will be enough space for a pushchair if you have not contacted us prior to the tour.
Can I bring my guide dog or therapy dog?
Please contact us in advance if you are intending to bring your dog. We cannot guarantee that you can travel with your dog if you do not contact us in advance of the tour.
Food & drink / Comfort breaks
Passengers are welcome to bring and consume food and drink on our day tour buses. However, especially on some of the longer journeys, we take rest breaks throughout the day at places where food and drinks can be purchased and comfort breaks taken.
Is your question not answered here?