daytrip to bath and stonehenge

Sep 16th, 2010, 08:36 PM
  #1  
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daytrip to bath and stonehenge

I will be in London for 7 days and would like to do a daytrip to Bath and Stonehenge. My questions, are can they be done in the same day? If not, I'd like to go to Stonehenge from Heathrow because it will be the shorter excursion of the two but what will be the best way to get there? My flight lands at 7am thursday (March) and I'd like to take a bus or train instead of driving because I do not want to risk an accident. Any such way or should I just save it and do both on another day? Thank you so much!
KayDoll is offline  
Sep 16th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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Going to Stonehenge from LHR is a tiny bit complicated. It may be closer but there is no direct transport. You'd have to first take a coach to Salisbury and then take a taxi or local tour to the stones and back and then a train to London.

There are commercial tours that do Bath and Stonehenge in one day starting from London. Avoid the Windsor/Stonehenge/Bath tours since they give you very little time at each place. Just Bath/Stonehenge is marginally OK. They are fairly expensive.

Another option and definitely doable would be to give up one night/1.5 days in London. Land at LHR and take the express coach to Bath. Spend your first day in England walking around Bath. The next morning take the train to Salisbury,see the cathedral and take a local tour/taxi to Stonehenge and back and train to London. This is an efficient way to manage it but you'd 'eat' one of your nights in London.
janisj is offline  
Sep 16th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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The idea of spending the first night in Bath is a good one. A nice place to just walk and take it easy while you admire the town. Much nicer to get over the jetlag than in London. So I support the idea that janisj put to you.
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Sep 16th, 2010, 09:18 PM
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Hi Janis! I think it was you who also suggested this idea on another post of mine. I was highly considering it but the b/f did not want to give up a night in London. So as of now, we've already booked 7 nights in a b&b at kings cross/st. pancras area.

So perhaps the best things to do would be just to take a day trip for both? Any way I could do this without renting a car or with a tour group? Ideally, I'd like the morning in Stonehenge (1-2 hrs) and then spend the rest of the day in Bath. However, I wasn't sure if there were any forms of transport between Stonehenge and Bath. Sorry for being so confusing!
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Sep 16th, 2010, 09:29 PM
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I knew you'd booked the week -- that's why I mentioned having to 'eat' one night. You won't need 2 hours at Stonehenge -- unless you walk all the way from Salisbury. An hour is about right if you listen to every bit of the audio guide.

There is no transport from Stonehenge to Bath -- you'd have to return to Salisbury and take a train. The train takes either just under or just over one hour depending on which one you catch.

London to Salisbury take about 90 minutes.

Arriving in Salisbury around 0945 would let you catch a cab out to the stones and back to Salisbury to maybe catch a noon-ish train to Bath. As you can see - you'd only have part of the afternoon in Bath.

The guided coach tours leave London early in the AM and get to the stones around opening time and you have maybe 35-40 mins there before driving across to Bath arriving around 11 AM.
janisj is offline  
Sep 16th, 2010, 09:48 PM
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Hmm...would you suggest renting a car then? Since there will be 2 of us perhaps the cost of 2 tour tickets would be about the same as renting a car and doing it ourselves?
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Sep 16th, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Actually a car rental would cost less than two tour tickets. But the logistics take a bit of planning.

You'd have to either 1) rent your car from the afternoon/evening before and find someplace to park it overnight in order to get an early start in the AM.

or

2) Go out to LHR really early in the morning and collect the car there. That would be the easiest way since the agencies out at LHR have much longer opening hours.

If it was me, I'd head out to LHR around 6 - 6:30AM which would have you collecting the car 7 - 7:30. The drive will take 1.5 - 2 hours depending on traffic and Stonehenge opens at 9:30 so you'd get there first thing. Leaving Stonehenge by 10:30 (and assuming you don't spend any time in Salisbury) the drive to Bath would be 1+ hour so you'd get there before lunch time.

I'd do a one-way rental w/ pick up at LHR and drop off in Bath, and take a train back to London after dinner. That would eliminate having to schlepp back to LHR and then into London.
janisj is offline  
Sep 16th, 2010, 11:38 PM
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Another afforadable option is a day trip with London Walks. www.walks.com they do a day trip to Salisbury and Stonehenge and another one to Bath.
jamikins is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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Thanks Janis! I will look further into these two options
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Sep 17th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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jamikins is right about Londonwalks - very good and inexpensive excursions (you meet in London at a train station and travel out as a group)

But they don't do Bath AND Stonehenge on the same day so you'd lose two full days out of London. Just depends on your priorities.
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Sep 17th, 2010, 08:11 AM
  #11  
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i've just spent some time on their website so i am considering it. however, i'd like to know if it makes sense to arrive early in Bath, rent a car to drive to stonehenge and then return it in london.
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Sep 17th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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I would just like to add another suggestion. I did a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge a few months ago. I took an early train from London to Bath. The trains are great and it was under two hours. I took the Hop On Hop Off bus to get an overview of the city. I used the Days Out Guide to get a 2-1 for the bus. There were other offers for Bath as well, so be sure to check. Had a quick bite to eat before going on a Mad Max tour to Stonehenge. It was about four hours long and included a brief stop in Lacock, which I really enjoyed. I spent the rest of the evening in Bath, which included dinner and took a an evening train back to London.
Nancy_W is offline  
Sep 17th, 2010, 07:33 PM
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Am I correct in thinking that you departed from Bath for your tour of Stonehenge? If so, do you have any more information on this tour? Thank you so much for your help!
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Sep 17th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Mad Max does great tours. They start and end in Bath. The 1/2 day Stonehenge tour leaves at 1:15 so w/ a morning train to Bath and even just a 30 min quick lunch you'd have very little free time in Bath.

The hop-on-hop-off would be a possibility-- but you'd completely miss the Roman Baths. But you could visit the Roman Baths, eat lunch, catch the madmax tour and then wander around Bath in the evening before taking a train back to London

http://www.madmax.abel.co.uk/
janisj is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 03:05 AM
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Yes, we left for the Stonehenge tour from Bath. The pick up/drop off stop is right in front of Bath Abbey. The Abbey is across the street from the Pultney Bridge, which made for some pretty photographs.

Upon arriving in Bath, we walked to the TI and bought the Hop On/Hop Off bus tickets. We shared a pot of tea in a little shop across the street from the station, which was a few stores away from one of the bus stops.

After the bus tour, we went to the Roman Baths and used the audio tour, which was very informative. There was a discount for the tour with the Hop On/Hop Off Bus ticket. We had lunch in the Pump Room, which is connected to the Baths.

After the Mad Max tour, we were also able to go into Bath Abbey, which was beautiful, but the tower tour was closed. The Mad Max tour was great. I would highly recommend it. We had dinner at Sally Lunn’s, but IMO, I wouldn’t return. Honestly, although we did all these things before the tour, I didn’t feel rushed.
Nancy_W is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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Maybe they have changed the itinerary since Nancy_W went.

As far as I know the 1/2 day Stonehenge tour leaves after lunch so there wouldn't be time to visit the Baths/Abbey/etc after returning. It doesn't get back to Bath until 5:15.

But IF there was a morning tour during the time you are there, that would work. You'd take an early train to Bath - there be no time for the H-o-H-o but you could pop into the Abbey or walk around for a while then meet up for the tour. Get back into town in the early afternoon and spend the rest of the day there. But that only works if there is a morning tour.

Perhaps Nancy_W's trip was in July or August when the Baths are open later and one could visit after an afternoon tour. But the rest of the year, last entry to the Baths is 4:30 or 5 PM depending on the month.
janisj is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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We were there in May of this year. We took the 8:00 a.m. train from London to Bath. We did the HO/HO bus tour first. We took the one hour tour for an overview and did not get off the bus. Next, we visited the Roman Baths in the morning prior to the Mad Max tour. The Mad Max tour was from 1:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. We visited Bath Abbey upon our return from the Mad Max tour as it did not close until 6:00 p.m. We took the 8:45 p.m. train back to London.
Nancy_W is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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Just re-read my earlier post, the last sentence should have been at the end of the third paragraph. I think I made a mistake with cut and pasting. Sorry to be confusing!
Nancy_W is offline  
Sep 18th, 2010, 07:21 PM
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Another option is to early train to Bath, rental car to Stonehenge and then turn it in at Salisbury (most of the rental agencies are about 1/2 mile walk from the station and then train back to London. Or, instead of driving to Salisbury, drive from Stonehenge to Heathrow and tube back from there. Could also do that in the opposite direction.
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Sep 18th, 2010, 08:06 PM
  #20  
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Thanks for all of your help! I truly appreciate all of the detailed responses. I think we will end up doing a little mix of everything.

Early train to Bath
Rental car to Stonehenge
Return car in Salisbury and wander a little bit
Train from Salisbury back to London.

Sound good?
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