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Bath and Stonehenge Daytrip from London via train

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Feb 24th, 2009, 06:52 AM
  #1
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Bath and Stonehenge Daytrip from London via train

I was wanting to take a long daytrip out of London to visit Bath and would very much like to see Stonehenge along the way.
But I don't care much for guided tours so was wanting to skip a tour bus and make my own way.

Is this do-able? I see there are tickets from London Waterloo to Bath Spa via Salisbury. Is it possible to get that ticket, jump off the train in Salisbury...see Salisbury and Stonehenge, then jump back on a later train headed for Bath using that same ticket?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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yk
 
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You won't be able to really see much of Salisbury and/or Bath on one day, if you're also going to Stonehenge.

The only way to get to Stonehenge is to take the Stonehenge tour bus, which departs from Salisbury train station. The first bus departs at 10am, and you won't get back to Salisbury from Stonehenge at least until 12:06pm.
http://www.thestonehengetour.info/times.shtml

If you want to "see Salisbury", that will take the rest of your afternoon. If you skip Salisbury altogether and get on the train to Bath right away, you won't get to Bath until 1:30pm, so you'd have just a few hours in Bath before everything closes between 5-6pm.

Not sure about the train tickets. I *think* you'd need separate tickets for the 2 train legs but I'm not 100% sure.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Thanks!
I'm kind of re-thinking doing that trip now!

I'd consider doing them as two seperate day-trips. But I am only in London for 6 nights, and I am already spending a full afternoon in Bray eating lunch at The Fat Duck.
So I don't want to spend half my time in London on a train.

In your opinion, which is the better day trip: Salisbury/Stonehenge, or Bath?
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Definitely Salisbury/Stonehenge! Stonehenge is a fabulous place to visit... And Salisbury has a pretty town centre/church... Bath is nice too, but not as neat as Stonehenge (more architectural wise for Bath)...
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Try this instead: We booked with Vic's Taxi, and he picked us up from the early train to Salisbury. He drove us around the area (we chose Old Sarum, West Kennet Longbarrow, Salisbury, Avebury, Stonehenge), wherever we wanted to go. We could have chosen Bath, or whatever combination. We applied ahead of time to English Heritage to get the dusk tour at Stonehenge, where you can go in among the stones, and then took the late train back in the evening. With Vic's help, you can do it all, and he's a wealth of local information.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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GreenDragon, are you not able to go in among the stones during the day?

Christellefv, are you saying that Bath is better architecture? But Salisbury is better all-around?
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Feb 24th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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It's hard to choose. I personally prefer Salisbury, which is smaller and has an "older" feel. Bath is more Georgian period and newer, and grander/larger.

For Stonehenge, during the regular visiting hours, you can only view the stones outside of the roped-off area. However, I thought that was good enough for me. Some people thought it was disappointing, while some pay extra for the special tours by English Heritage which visit the site before/after the regular hours and allow one to walk among the stones.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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heeney, I think you need to decide what your priorities are. Bath is a well-preserved Georgian city. Salisbury is a city with history and sites to match going back millennia. Stonehenge is a dramatic and bleak collection of stones miles away on Salisbury Plain. None of these places are comparable with each other. To try and visit all three in a day would do none of them justice. Stonehenge is not easy using public transport so GreenDragon's idea is probably the best, although the itinerary detailed in that post is eye-watering too.

What do you want to see? Your call.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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That day was a long day, but a wonderful one. We went to West Kennet Longbarrow, woodhenge, had lunch at Avebury, hung out with Viking re-enactors on Old Sarum, explored Salisbury cathedral, and then did the dusk Stonehenge thing - which was at 8pm. We got back to London well after 11pm, but we had a great time.
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Feb 24th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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There is another way to go from Salisbury to Stonehenge, although it is not for everyone.

My son and I rented bikes at a shop in Salisbury (we walked from the train to the shop) and biked to Stonehenge on a small backroad, with a stop in Middle Woodford for lunch at the Wheatsheaf Tavern.

We passed an antique car rally going in the opposite direction. I only recognized a few (Morgans, for example) and stopped counting at fifty.

I belieeve the ride took us about an hour in each direction.

It made for a delightful day.
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Feb 25th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Enzian,

Do you remember the cost of the bike rental? That sounds pretty fun.

LauraG
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Feb 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Hi Laura---I'm sorry, I don't remember, except that it wasn't much. Maybe 5 pounds? We had the bikes for half a day, from 1:30 until 5:15.

It was great fun. I'd love to go back and do it again.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 12:10 AM
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Getting to Stonehenge from Salisbury rail station by taxi.
3 or more people in a taxi to Stonehenge wait and return
is cheaper than the Stonehenge tour bus.
Ask any of the taxi drivers outside Salisbury train station.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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The cost of a taxi from Salisbury Train Station to Stonehenge
wait and return is £40 although some will do it for £35.
This is the all in price for 4or7 seater Taxis no more.
Stonehenge tour bus charges £11.50 per head,work it out a great saving going by taxi.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 07:59 AM
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Vicstaxi -

Are large taxis (for six passengers) available at the train station, or would we have to call for them?

Laura
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Mar 14th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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I'd pick Bath over Stonehenge anyday. Ditto Salisbury, much as I like it. There's so much to see in Bath, and it's a beautiful town. But tastes and priorities differ.

It would be nice for you to get out of the city and see a small English town as well as some of the countryside. The English country is beautiful, especially in the spring. But you will see some of that on your Fat Duck trip.

Full stop. Didn't I see something recently about the Fat Duck closing?
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Mar 14th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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It's reopened (although shellfish will be off the menu until they've got to the bottom of it).
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Mar 14th, 2009, 09:55 AM
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lauratg: "Vicstaxi" is a new poster who -- tada - drives a taxi in Salisbury. From other threads in the past - he runs tours out to Stonehenge himself.

Perhaps you should contact his website directly since his posts may get nuked for advertising . . . . . .
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Mar 14th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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There are 6/7 seater taxis at Salisbury train station.
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Mar 14th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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vic - advertising is not allowed on Fodors You are being subtle-ish about it. But since several Fodorites have recommended you in the past - I would think you don't need to bend/break the rules.
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