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Oct 6th, 2012, 10:06 AM
  #1
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10 Days from London to Cornwall and Back

Next July four of us (2 couples) plan to fly into London, pick up a rental car at Heathrow and drive to Bath. We have a total of nine nights. Plan to stay 3 nights in Bath but after that am not sure what to do. Our focus will be to visit Cornwall this trip but don't know much about it. Except for what my husband and I have seen on Doc Martin - a series we just love! Ideally we would like to drive ito Cornwall via one route and leave by another one to return to London for our flight back to Toronto, Canada. Does anyone have any suggestions of a nice little inn or interesting B&B in Bath and also what we should do and see in Cornwall? While in Bath, I hope to find a day of golf for the men and my girlfriend and I hope to find a spa to visit for half a day. We like history, beautiful scenery, quaint inns with nice food and wine and just having a good time! Also on our last night we will stay closer to Heathrow. We stayed in Windsor one trip but are hoping to find another spot this time. The Fodor community always has such great suggestions and assistance so am looking forward to hearing from those who know this part of the UK.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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"Next July four of us (2 couples) plan to fly into London, pick up a rental car at Heathrow and drive to Bath."

Just time for one really quick comment right now . . . IMO that is a very bad idea.

Either -- take the express coach from LHR and collect your rental car the next day. Or even the day after that since you don't need a car IN Bath at all.

or

Stay the first night in/near Windsor (only 7 miles from LHR) and drive to Bath the next day.

Driving on jet lag is not fun - nor safe.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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oops - just saw the 'already stayed in Windsor bit'.

So coach to Bath makes most sense. Am dashing out but will come bac kw/ some more ideas--and other will likely chime in
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Oct 6th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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This is THE famous Bath spa - http://www.thermaebathspa.com/

Second janis, you do not want a car in Bath. If you do have one make very sure that you get a hotel which will guarantee you a space.
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Oct 6th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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3 nights in Bath, way too long. You could

In Cornwall, I've stayed in both Bude and Tintagel. Tintagel makes a nice base for travel in the area.

Have you been to Warwick Castle? That area might be a good way back to LHR.

Too many options to name. Winchester, Salisbuty and Romsey (prounanced Rumsey) come to mind.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 01:19 AM
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Bath is gorgeous, we spent a day there in 2010 and wish we could have had longer. Word of warning, driving in central Bath is a bit dicey - a lot of one way streets and parking isn't the best. I would find a good place to stay and leave the car there - or better yet, someone mentioned getting a shuttle to Bath - pick up a rental car there so you won't have the hassle. I would definitely do the Hop on Hop off bus in Bath - some people might say this is expensive but I think it is well worth it and it goes pretty much right around the city.

We were based in Exeter and did day trips to places (including Bath) so not too sure about Cornwall but I would definitely recommend going back to LHR via Stonehenge - it's pretty easy to find - we came across it completely accidently.

I love the South West corner of England, it is full of quaint villages and very friendly people. You could probably stay in one place and just do day trips from the base. It doesn't take very long to get to places. You will really enjoy your time in that region - I am very jealous!
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Oct 7th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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Thank you for all that information. Will rethink the rental car from Heathrow as it may make more sense to take the bus there. Driving on jetlag is not such a problem - I should have mentioned that we are flying into LHR from Barcelona. I will look into those recommendations for staying near LHR and, no, having been to Warwick Castle.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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"I should have mentioned that we are flying into LHR from Barcelona."

Oh -in that case, ignore my post. The drive from LHR is easy if jetlag isn't an issue. That way you can stop and see Avebury, Lacock, whatever interests you. Possibly Stonehenge if you haven't been before.

Just be sure to book a place in Bath that has parking. You won't need the car to see Bath but it will be useful to see other sites in the area.

But if Avebury/Lacock/etc don't interest you (or if you've visited previously) . . . Then yes, take the National Express coach from LHR to Bath.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Unlike Rastaguy, I love Bath. We spent several days there and could go back for more. It's a beautiful town with lots to see both in town and in the environs.

Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall. There's a lot more of Cornwall farther south and east. Maybe read up on Cornwall in a guidebook or online -- so you know what you want to see and do.

As for hotels recs, better to have an itinerary first. And give us a per night budget. You'll be looking for 2 double rooms.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Thank you for your further information. As for hotels, I am hoping we can get rooms for around 100 pounds. I have heard from others that it is not hard to spend 3 days in Bath. Also, one of those days will be taken up with sending the men out to golf and the ladies to a spa. Any spa recommendations? Our tentative itinerary is the 3 nights in Bath and 5 nights in Cornwall (probably two stops for variety) and then a night somewhere on the way back to LHR.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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We enjoyed our stay in Padstow. Perhaps spend half the time on the south coast and half the time on the north coast? Hopefully someone can provide more info on places to stay.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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There are many beautiful places in Cornwall. In Padstow look up the following B and Bs: The Old Cabbage Patch near to the harbour, The Old Custom House has seaviews or Golden Lion (not sure if they still have bedrooms.
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Oct 8th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Yes they do have rooms....

http://www.goldenlionpadstow.co.uk/
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Oct 13th, 2012, 11:15 AM
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Thank you all! Padstow looks so beautiful so that will be our north coast place to stay a couple of nights. stevelyon's accommodation recommendations sound great. I will look into all of them, especially the Golden Lion. Any suggestions as to what is the best south shore stop. My husband and I do want to visit Port Isaac (maybe for lunch) but don't plan to stay there. Cheers!
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Oct 13th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Hi Hilda - just found this, having returned from the Falmouth Oyster festival this lunchtime.

Falmouth in Cornwall [where i live] that is!

Falmouth would in fact be a place that I would strongly advise you choose as one of your bases - loads to do in and around the town, and it makes a very good base for touring the south of cornwall. You could spend a day exploring the beautiful Helford river and the nearby gardens, another day on the Lizard visiting the quaint fishing villages and the lovely coastline, another driving down to Land's end and then up the rugged north coast with it's mining history and towering cliffs.

Link it with Padstow and it's hard to go wrong. and there are some excellent restaurants in both towns.

for accommodation, have a look here: www.visitcornwall.co.uk.

as for your routes into and out of Cornwall, it would make more sense to take the the A303 straight to Cornwall which will bring you right past Stonehenge [you can't miss it, it's those great big stones in a field on your right just past Avebury!] and after that you head west on the A30 til you get here!

on the way back, from Padstow you could head "home" via the A39 and north Devon, which would bring you onto the M 5 near Taunton, and from there it would be an easy run to Bath. [have a look at a map and see what i mean]. sadly, Warwick Castle is nowhere near here and would take you seriously out of your way.

please feel free to come back to me with any queries you may have about Cornwall and ways to get here, and I'll try to answer them.
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Oct 13th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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Thank you, Ann! I had been considering Falmouth as a good southern point! Thanks for the routing advice as well.
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