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jwb10 Mar 28th, 2007 10:29 AM

Car Rental - LHR or Other
I'll be flying into London and spending a few days there, but would like to go to Bath for a few days and maybe take some day trips from there. Is it feasible to take a train from London to Bath and rent a car there? I've driven in England before, but the thought of getting out of Heathrow by car is intimidating. Thanks.

NeoPatrick Mar 28th, 2007 10:36 AM

"Is it feasible to take a train from London to Bath and rent a car there?"


jwb10 Mar 28th, 2007 10:43 AM

Maybe "feasible" wasn't the right word. Will it be more convenient because it is away from the city? Will it be a hassle to get to a car rental store from the train station in Bath? Will it be more expensive to rent in Bath than at LHR?

janisj Mar 28th, 2007 10:45 AM

Driving and parking in Bath is a pain of the first order. Whereas getting out of most LHR rental locations is relatively easy. If you are staying in Bath - make very sure the B&B or hotel has parking.

If it were me (just me personally) - I'd rent at LHR, see some sites along the way (like Avebury) and stay in a village near but not IN Bath. Then when I wanted to visit Bath I'd drive to one of the park and ride lots, park for free and take the inexpensive buses into the city.

You don'r need a car IN Bath, but you definitely need one for touring around.

NeoPatrick Mar 28th, 2007 10:48 AM

Well, I would certainly guess that it would be more expensive from Bath, only because you'd also be paying for train tickets. It's no big deal to drive out of Heathrow, although I will say we drove in circles for an hour or more once trying to find the return location for a rental car, despite the maps in our hands.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if you're spending a few days in London first, why you would go to Heathrow to rent a car. We've picked up cars on the edge of London proper and headed out. Avis at Wareham Road (?) was particularly easy as it was right where the motorway begins that heads out to the west. Renting from a location like that is probably cheaper than from the airport, but you can return to Heathrow assuming you're flying out of there.

jwb10 Mar 28th, 2007 11:38 AM

Patrick - how did you get to the Avis rental place on Wareham Rd? (tube, taxi?) I'm sure I could figure it out, but thought you might remember. I just assumed Heathrow would be easier to get to and then return back to in order to catch my flight home.

janisj Mar 28th, 2007 12:21 PM

Where you want to pick up a car would partly depend on day of week, time of day. And you can pick up at one location and drop at another usually w/o any drop off fees.

If on a weekday afternoon - you would not want to be driving in teh commute traffic out of London. And whille driving out of central London on a Sunday a.m. would be easy as pie, few if any agencies are open Sundays (or Sat afternoons for that matter)

In general, LHR would be easiest most of the time, but there are certainly situations where driving out of London wouldn't be a problem.

NeoPatrick Mar 28th, 2007 01:11 PM

We used a car service from our flat in Covent Garden to Avis -- as I recall it cost something like 12 pounds.
It's no problem picking up in London and returning to Heathrow, either. In fact I think it will still be less than picking up AND returning to Heathrow.

jwb10 Mar 29th, 2007 08:02 AM

Neopatrick, I cannot find a location for Avis on Wareham Rd., London. Is there another town it would be listed under? Thanks.

janisj Mar 29th, 2007 11:59 AM

There isn't a "Wareham Rd" anywhere in central - or central-ish - London.

flanneruk Mar 29th, 2007 01:52 PM

Patrick means Edgware Road. The very bottom bit, near Marble Arch

Nowhere near the edge of London proper, but very close to the edge of the tiny bit of Central London tourists limit their interest to.

NeoPatrick Mar 29th, 2007 01:56 PM

You see that question mark after Wareham Road in my post? That was to indicate I wasn't sure of the spelling. Let's try Warwick Road, right at the beginning of the A-4 in Earl's Court. Don't ask me how Warwick became Wareham.

But oddly, I don't see an Avis there any more. That was two years ago, and it looks like the Earl's Court Avis has moved.

davidcharles_69 Mar 29th, 2007 06:00 PM

Hi, It's really not that hard to pick up a car and drive out of heathrow. i've done it plenty of times with jetlag. of course the train is a good option if you are really uncomfortable with the whole thing.

NanBug Mar 29th, 2007 06:13 PM

Hi, jwb.

Bath isn't the easiest place to navigate in/around with a car, IMO.

The car rental places are a taxi ride from the train station. For some reason, I thought that the roads in/out of that city were maddening.

I drove a car for 4 weeks in England during that trip, and Bath's roads/highways were the most confusing to me.

I stayed in the city a few days before I rented a car, so I didn't drive it within the city itself. My experience is based solely on taking day trips to the surrounding areas (Glastonbury, Wells, Cheddar, Lacock, Avebury, etc).

If I were you, I'd figure out what you wanted to see and then figure out what bus lines or tours go there.

For example, Glastonbury and Wells are easily accessible by public bus, I believe.

And Mad Max Tours has day trips from Bath(recommended by Tripadvisor and Rick Steves) of Stonehenge, Avebury and the Cotswolds, etc which seem pretty reasonable.

It sure will reduce the stress, especially if you're used to driving on the "other" side of the road.

Have fun.

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