Bath or Stratford?

Old Feb 8th, 2011, 08:39 PM
  #1  
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Bath or Stratford?

I have a choice of staying in either city. I would enjoy both so I am thinking about a day trip to one and staying in the other. Any thoughts? Any suggestions for central accomodations?
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Old Feb 8th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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Bath, no contest. It's bigger and has more of interest.
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 12:32 AM
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I didn't enjoy Bath as much as Stratford.....probably had to do with the fact it rained for the 4 days in Bath!

Both have a lot to offer and you will enjoy them regardless of which one you choose.
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 01:15 AM
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The thing about Stratford Upon Avon (you do mean SUA and not Stratford in East London) is that it's fanous because someone famous was born there, not that Great Events or Things happened there.

Bath has been around since Roman times and has had significant events happening over that time
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 01:32 AM
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"you will enjoy them regardless of which one you choose."

Utterly untrue.

The poster MIGHT enjoy staying in either equally. But only if he or she has no discrimination. Personally I can't imagine staying in Stratford a moment longer than is necessary to see the play I've come to watch. Others might be Shakespeare fans, and get more out of seeing every single spot, known or invented, where he did something than they'd ever get out of anything in or around Bath. That's their choice - but it's impossible to imagine anyone could be equally happy spending any extended period of time in both.

Bath has far more to see, a seriously interesting history, both as a Roman provincial town and a national cultural centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, some of Europe's most stunning domestic architecture, better hotels, better restaurants, a far more walkable town centre, infintely more beautiful walking country around and better train and bus connections to everywhere, including pretty outlying villages. But it doesn't really even have an adequate theatre, never mind Stratford's globally outstanding one, and it's not given birth to one of the world's half-dozen greatest artists.

Public transport between the two, BTW, is dreadful, and a daytrip is almost impossible except if you hire a car (www.transportdirect.info).
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 03:25 AM
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All good thoughts...and what about accomodations. I won't have a car so I would like to stay centrally in Bath...as Bath it will be!
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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I've stayed at the Hilton in Bath recently and it is ideally situated for the town centre. Good hotel, nice breakfast and it's easy to walk around the town from there, no transport apart from feet needed!
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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Well, we really liked the Queensberry Hotel, a group of old houses, also in town near the Circus. But you really need to give us your budget per night.

Glad you picked Bath. I'm with flanneruk on this one (can't believe it!). Stratford is too touristy and a lot fake.
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 12:35 PM
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Hi well my budget is a mess with it being August - Shall we say $150 American (althou I am Canadian)?
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Old Feb 9th, 2011, 01:35 PM
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lots of "I"'s in your posts so I'm assuming you are looking for a single room instead of a double/twin.

If so you $150/£95-ish is quite generous.

This is probably the best located place in the city http://www.threeabbeygreen.com/

They don't list single rooms but have double/twins from £90 and a double is often a better option because singles can be very small. I'd at least contact them because the location is superb.

This one is quite good and only from £69 ($110) single http://www.thebathhouse.org/

or this one isn't as posh but is nice and only about £50 ($80) single http://www.abbeyrise.co.uk/
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Old Feb 10th, 2011, 08:05 AM
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Let me defend Stratford as I live here! It is perfectly possible for a day trip (from London?) although Public transport between Bath & Stratford is zilch except via Birmingham/or Oxford.
Stratford is a very pleasant little town- riverside, theatre (newly refurbished); good restaurants and places to stay- try The Church Street Townhouse or No 9 or the theatre's own restaurant.
That's not to say Bath isn't great too but on a much larger scale. We stayed at Villa Magdala near Henrietta Park just over Pulteney Bridge for a very reasonable rate. Try Toppings Bookstore in the Paragon.
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Old Feb 10th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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May I share a wonderful experience combining both, very efficiently and enjoyably, within a 3 day time span!! It was back in 9/00, however, so one would have to check the transport info for changes.... the vital "coach link" I learned about from a nice hotel clerk in bath may or may not still be running.

CHALLENGE:
We had 3 days, I was with my daughter's m-in-law Dot, a newbie to England, wanted to see both places; no car transport, low budget. The internet solved it all!! I found a BUS that went from Stratford to Bath, through the beautiful Cotswold country, so that was a bonus.

STRATFORD:
Train about 8:30 or 9 am? Arrived Stratford about 11, walked to a CUTE ( cheap) B & B where the other guests were an avid college group booke to see 4 plays in 3 days(!). We went back to High Street. Had our choice of a double-deck bus ride around Stratford OR an Excursion to one of England's fabulous castles. We figured we could find the local sights walking on our own, so took the bus to Warwick Castle. What a hoot! Parapets, pennants, dungeons, the lot... even had a tearoom for a caloric late lunch.

Back to our B & B... a passing shower gave us a double-rainbow reward, as we walked by Shakespeare's garden & childhood school, to a high Street pub (Dot's first fish & chips!) then on to "Romeo & Juliet" (tix bought online) at the theatre. Walk home by moonlight.

BATH:
Bus left High Street 9 am ... a "coffee stop" at a Cotswold Village provided us with breakfast plus a camera op. We enjoyed views, golden-stone houses, vista going down into Bath. We walked a few blocks from terminus by Rwy station to (!) Baths YMCA ... a quiet building INSIDE a commercial block halfway up High Street. Made our way to Royal Crescent ... at #1 RC we enjoyed a tour by knowledgeable docents. Back down to shopping center, stops at a Jane austen shop (?), then into a restaurant to duck the rain, have Sally Lunn treats.

After an early night, we were at Town Hall by 9 am for FREE walking tour of Bath conducted by retired Oxford Don, replete with erudition and funny anecdotes. A truly delightful tour, superior to many costly walking tours! Checked out of our hotel, bought some treats for the train, and caught the 1 pm express. Took the Tube to the London U area, Checked in to a london accommodation .... and off for a spaghetti dinner by 7 pm. Ta-Dah!
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 02:02 AM
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For once may I vigourously disagree with Flanner. Not that Bath isn't nice- I'm sure it is, but I've only ever spent half a day there.

For family reasons I've spent heaps of time in Stratford, and I love it, for itself as much as Shakespeare.

I admit that it has tourists coming out of every orifice; and, as a consequence, lots of tourist shops, which are best avoided.

But it has a lovely Mediaeval core, real people in every pub- and nice pubs, did I mention them?- the Shakespeare Trust properties which are all worth a visit, a river to punt on, the Church, brasses to rub, bucolic countryside, riverside gardens, and no fewer than 3 quality theatres with the best Shakespeare anywhere.

What's not to love (yah; I know. The tourists!)
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 12:22 PM
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Bath is one of my favorite places in Europe. The Roman Baths are incredible and worth a few hours. The Aby is beautiful. The history of Bath and the connections of Bath to the rest of the world is very interesting. Literary connections are interesting. Architecture is lovely. Food is good. Take one of the free walks provided by the city. They were the best of any tours I have taken anyplace.
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