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Driving Into Bath on a Saturday - Nuts???

Driving Into Bath on a Saturday - Nuts???

Old Dec 6th, 2003, 09:41 PM
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Driving Into Bath on a Saturday - Nuts???

We will arrive in London on a Saturday morning in May. By the time we pick up our car and drive to Bath, it will be 10:30 or 11 AM. One of the hotels I contacted doesn't have rooms and the other, Villa Magdala, hasn't yet responded to my email. I'm beginning to think we are nuts for wanting to drive into Bath on a Saturday.

I am open to suggestions of someplace else to spend our first night that's no more than 2-1/2 to 3 hours from Gatwick. We will be going on to the Lake District next so it can't be anywhere south or east of London.

We want someplace that we can drive into without a lot of hassle, then stay put and maybe just walk around and see the sights until it's time to go to bed.

Is Bath a bad choice and do you know someplace better??
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Old Dec 6th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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There are so many small B&B type hotels in Bath. It is unthinkable that you would not be able to find advance accommodations. Given your situation, why not stay in one of the large houses with grounds that is not in the center of town? It will be peaceful and lovely and easier to park your car, and some of these places are only a 10-15 minute walk into the city center.

Bath is a beautiful city and charming place to begin your holiday. There were several recent threads on the subject of Bath hotels. Do a search and I think you'll get a lot of info.
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 12:41 AM
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Thanks, Marilyn, for your reply. We have been to Bath before, altho many years ago. Unfortunately I am not a big B&B person, just a matter of individual preference.

I had looked at numerous properties before narrowing it down to Harrington's (full) and the Villa Magdala.
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Hi, bettyk. Have you considered the small, but absolutely charming, town of Bradford-on-Avon? A lovely place for a walk-around your first evening. I highly recommend it. J.
 
Old Dec 7th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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Betty it sounds like you might be arriving on a holiday weekend. You don't say why or how you chose the 2 places in Bath so it's hard to make other suggestions. I agree with Marilyn, with all the choices in Bath, even if you eliminate b & bs, it's hard to believe at this early date you're not able to find something. The large houses Marilyn refers to are not b & bs necessarily. In fact, many are quite grand- Homewood Park, Lucknam Park, The Priory and Ston Easton.

I also agree with jmw that Bradford-on-Avon is a good alternative. It's really just 1 town before Bath heading west. It's got shops, pubs, tearooms etc. I'm just not sure about a hotel or inn there.

I have stayed in Marlborough at the Ivy House Hotel. It's a nice town & the hotel was certainly fine (not fabulous).
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 02:09 PM
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McLaurie, how does one choose a hotel? I looked at numerous websites and picked a few that were well located, looked appealing and were in my price range. They also needed to have private car parking facilities on premises or nearby. This one requirement eliminated a lot of properties.

Actually, we arrive on May 8, which I believe is the weekend after the holiday. After hearing that Harrington's was full, I started thinking about how congested it might be on a Saturday and us trying to navigate a car in an unfamiliar city after being on a 10-hour flight.

That's what I really need to know. How bad will the traffic be in Bath on a Saturday since it is such a popular tourist attraction?

Bradford-on-Avon sounds promising. In fact, I came across a hotel there that looked interesting; I just didn't know much else about the town.

Thanks for all your input.
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Old Dec 8th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Anyone familiar with traffic conditions in Bath on a Saturday?
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 02:54 AM
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Took our English trip last month and the one sour note was the drive into Bath on a Sat. night! It was murder, the traffic is deadly, and it wasn't even a holiday..it's the one thing I would do differently. It was also my second visit to Bath and honestly I think I could have done without it, for the tourists (English, American and others) were really overrunning the place. I think the suggestion to stop at a smaller town is a good one.......When we got into Gatwick we drove to Thaxted and spent the next day there and at Saffron Walden two ancient beauties in Essex(great shops, houses, beautiful guild hall and church, and no crowds)...though it may not be in the direction you want to go....good luck, elli
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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Hi

There are some nice B&Bs and inns just outside of Bath. You could drive to one of those and either walk into town, or take a taxi or bus.

Years ago, when it was even less busy than it is now, my first (and last) drivng experience in England was driving into Bath. There is (was) a sort of ring road that circled the town from which other roads radiated. The smaller roads were so narrow that in one case I had to back up to let a school bus go by. Then there was a matter of avoiding the many pedestrians.I sideswiped a parked car in the process. Parking near our little hotel was also a problem--it was very limited, and even parking lots weren't all open 24 hours. It was a nightmare, and I wouldn't think of doing it again, though some brave souls may be more successful and confident than I.
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Old Dec 9th, 2003, 10:59 PM
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Yes, you are, to be frank.
Saturdays in most towns and cities in the UK are very busy. Bath is an old city that was not built with the car in mind, of course, and sitting in a probably non a/c car in a traffic jam, searching for (expensive) car parking places is not my idea of fun. I suggest staying a little outside of Bath (you have been before) and using public transport to get into Bath.
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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Well, I've decided not to do Bath on this trip. I think we're going to overnight in the Cotswolds instead. It probably won't be much better traffic-wise, but at least it will be a smaller town -- I've narrowed it down to two hotels, one in Broadway and one in Chipping Campden.

Wish me luck!
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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Go to Chipping Camden (or Burford or better still IMO, Woodstock & see Blenheim).
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Old Dec 10th, 2003, 11:15 AM
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Thanks, maclaurie. I visited Blenheim when I lived in England years ago. Very impressive!
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