Graham Baxter Sporting Tours

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Anonymous's picture

A while back Anthony Poole posted a recommendation of GBST. I'm thinking of doing one of the tours. Does anyone else have experience--good or bad--with this organization?

I'd also be interested to know avg daily riding and level of riding. I e-mailed the company for this info just yesterday but haven't gotten an answer yet.

Finally, if anyone has other recommendations for a low-cost tour operator, send them on.


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
I may be able to get an alternative operator

A friend of mine in London knows of another operator which, he says, is better than Graham Baxter. I will call him today or over the weekend and find out the details and post another message.

In terms of mileage, Graham Baxter normally gives several options on a given day, which range from nothing to 80 plus miles, and there is nothing to stop you from going on your own agenda on a given day and have them carry your luggage to the next destination, while you ride wherever you want. Or, if you feel like taking a day off, you can just sit on the bus.

In 2001 when I was visiting friends and family in England, I took a Graham Baxter tour from Victoria Station to the start of the Tour de France, watced the prologue and stage one. On the day of stage one, we were taken to a starting point and rode around 65 miles in mostly pouring rain, intercepting the race as it went through a particular village, just about leaving enough time to ride 20 very hilly miles to the finish in Boulogne.

The important thing to remember is that Graham Baxter Tours is cheap - no frills, although their buses are comfortable and air-conditioned and the hotel accommodation is adequate and they carry all your luggage for you and will even pick you up if you get lost, injured or suffer mechanical break down, provided you take their cell phone number with you.

I would recommend you get a tri-band cell phone that you can use in Europe, in case of emergencies, while on the road.

Anonymous's picture
hannah (not verified)

Thanks for all this info. So far, GBST sounds very good to me. Aside from meeting the boys in blue, what would be considered a frill on a TDF trip?


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Not sure what would qualify as a frill

I'm not sure what would qualify as a frill, or even a thrill, other than I've heard that other operators offer more luxurious accommodation.

Personally, I've always enjoyed GBST trips and I've no experience of any other operator. Being an Englishman, I had no difficulty in getting used to the guides' Yorkshire accents and wry senses of humour. But they are practical, down to earth people, which suits me just fine.

I couldn't get hold of my friend in London this weekend, but will try again tomorrow. If he gives me a recommendation, it will at least give you something to compare GBST's with. My friend has been with both operators, and he preferred the other one, whose name I can't remember. But he has nothing against GBST, he just thought the other one was better.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Leisure Pursuits Group

My friend in London e-mailed me with the name of the other company, which is Leisure Pursuits Group. He went with them last April to the Tour of Flanders and had a great time, and was able to ride the whole route - 100 miles on cobblestones.

Anyway, since then, the company has merged with Sports Tours International and the listings look as though they are not as extensive insofar as cycling is concerned. Anyway, the website is:

And the telephone number is (dialling from USA):

011 44 870 350 1106.

It might be worth calling them to find out if they are doing packages for the Tour de France and the other major road races. If not, you are almost certainly best off with Graham Baxter.

Good luck, and I'd be interested to hear how you get on.

Anonymous's picture
tom (not verified)

"Hi Hannah, 3 of my friends and I recently(December) booked ourselves on the Pyrenees to Paris Premium package(wow, too many consecutive ""P's"" there). I had a look at the hotels we were staying at, which are all 4* except Alp D'uez and they are amazing! Alp D'uez is a 3*, but you are sacrificing a bit of comfort for being less than 1/2K from the finish line! You pay a bit more for the Premium over the Standard package, about twice as much, but for an event like this, it's fun to splurge every now and then. I thoroughly researched all tour companies out there prior to deciding to go with GBST, and they definitely seemed the most organized and sound company. I know a number of the packages are already filled, so act quickly.

Good luck, and we'll hopefully see you in France.


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