Bath To and Fro

Jun 4th, 2007, 01:43 PM
  #1  
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Bath To and Fro

A friend and I will be travelling to Bath from Oxford. Our plan is to travel to Bath on July 21, and depart for Heathrow on the 23 or 24.

National Rail site says Bath is approx. 1 hour from Oxford, with a change at Didcot.
This seems fairly straightforward. However, we will be coming from a 3 week stay in Oxford, and will undoubtedly have luggage issues. Are porters available at the railroad stations?

I assume there aren't non-stop buses, and that a bus would double our travel time. True?

Our other issue is whether or not to spend the night of the 23rd in Bath or to stay at an airport, or London, hotel. Our plane departs Heathrow at 2:15 p.m. on the 24th. Is it practical to go from Bath to Heathrow on the morning of our flight?

Any thoughts on the merits of any of these options would be appreciated.

specs is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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One direct coach a day to Bath that takes 2 hours - www.nationalexpress.co.uk

Porters disappeared sometime in the early 1960's along with most of the train network.

These days it's carry it yourself
alanRow is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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"Are porters available at the railroad stations? " Nope - you have it, you schlepp it.

As for getting to Heathrow on the 24th - The easiest would be a direct coach from Bath to LHR. Otherwise you either have to take a train to Reading and a bus from there to LHR, or a train in to Paddington and then another train out to the airport.
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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was posting the same time as alanRow . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Bath to Heathrow - perfectly practical - see National Express for a direct coach

Q if you are flying out of UK how can you have luggage issues? Or are you prepared for some rather large excess baggage bills
alanRow is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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was posting the same time as janisj .
alanRow is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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a regular tag team
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Egads! You two are prompt. Thanks for the information.

Our luggage issues aren't so much a question of weight (at least I hope not). Our luggage is just cumbersome in general. We'll probably both have a rolling suitcase and possibly a rolling duffle bag. Try as we might this seems unavoidable, one must dress for high table, pack for all weather, and bring a lap top. We are going for broke and squandering our frequent flier miles on 1st class. So that will cut us a little slack on weight.

In terms of travel time, are we cutting it too close if we leave Bath the morning of our flight? Or is this a reasonable plan? I don't know if there are regular glitches or traffic problems that are apparent to any fool (except this one).

We haven't seen any porters in ages, but it was worth a try.
specs is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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There are 08:25 or 09:25 express coaches from Bath that get to LHR 10:20 and 12:25 respectively. I'd personally take the earlier one "just in case" . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 4th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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P.S. Don't forget to pack a bunch of money in those suitcases. I found Bath to be quite expensive.
Dottee is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Thank you all for the very good advice.

The departure times to Heathrow seem reasonable. Not too early for sleepyheads.

Dottee, With the terrible exchange rate I will probably have to pack two suitcases full of money.

But I fear two more suitcases will complicate my luggage issues, and may send alanRow over the edge. (laughter)

specs is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Last time I dined at high table, there was scant evidence anyone had changed so much as a pair of socks in the past week. That's why you wear gowns: to disguise the scholarly poverty of your wardrobe. Flash garb is the kind of thing they do in johnny come lately establishments.

And if you can get your suitcase up college stairs, getting it on and off a train can't possibly be a problem. This is England, for crying out loud: not one of those godforsaken countries that make you scale a ladder to get onto a train.
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Jun 5th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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flanner dear,

Please don't be hot under the choler. Please gather Mrs.flanner and flanner- pup to your side and relax with a beverage of your choice as I offer feeble justification for luggage issues.

We are not issued gowns, although this would solve any number of problems, from sleepwear to a frock for the garden party.

We are not a group of pub crawling, sleep deprived 20 somethings, nor are we super-caffienated Italian teenagers whiling away our days in designer jeans and generally creating a nuisance on the High Street.

For the most part, we are adults, and expected to uphold Oxford tradition (even if that tradition never existed outside of a certain Evelyn Waugh novel). As such, we dress for dinner 4 nights a week. Dresses or pantsuits for the ladies, with appropriate footwear. And jackets and ties for the gentlemen.

I expect there is no Hall on campus featuring a temperate climate. Sitting cheek to cheek with your neighbors, on benches, in full summer, in an un-airconditioned room is an experience akin to any one found in the "god forsaken countries". The exchange rate is probably better in the aforementioned countries, but that is neither here nor there.

To the point, any clothing is soon a sodden mess and cannot be re-worn. While on the subject of sods, I don't know how those is ties and jackets can stand it. In my experience the blessed words from High Table "gentlemen may remove their jackets" have only been uttered once.

Merton is hardly a johnny come lately (although some will quibble as to whether it was the first or second college founded at Oxford).

Luggage issues are trebled by the knowledge that any clothing worn throughout the day will be unfit for the next. A good swish in the basin doesn't help much, as clothing dries slooowly in the humid air.

flanner, do you remember the summer of '06 aka The Inferno? One was tempted to wander the streets naked as a Bushman carrying little more than a large Pimm's. Or early July '05 when it was so cold that one had to buy overpriced, and inferior, fleece products to supplement the wardrobe? You must admit packing can be challenging.

I've resigned myself to packing a little of everything and hoping for the best. My friend, however, arrives prepared for anything. (why bring a map when you can bring a globe?) This will undoubtedly present some problems at Gloucester Green as I remember climbing stairs to board trains. (Not a problem at Merton, however, as porters help out) I hope our departure won't prove to be a circus. As I understand it, creating a spectacle, or flash, simply isn't done.

specs is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Oh, specs, I so hope that you get many more replies to your post because I'm having the best time reading your responses! (insert knee-slap smiley)
Dottee is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 12:02 AM
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How nice. Thanks!
specs is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 02:13 AM
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Oh, please do a trip report when you return.
Carrybean is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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I might try posting from Oxford, but computer access is in a spooky basement. With the heat from 25 computers the atmosphere is somewhat malarial.

Every year I plan to do a post-trip post, only to succumb to intertia, procrastination, and a number of other feeble excuses.

Will try again this year, as I truly enjoy everyone's posts.
specs is offline  
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