Gatwick to Bath - via train? Help!?!

Jan 22nd, 2009, 04:04 PM
  #1  
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Gatwick to Bath - via train? Help!?!

Hello. Hubby and I are putting together a trip to England (and on
to Belgium) for late March. We are novices and are trying to sort out lots of details right now!

We're flying into Gatwick, and will arrive at 6:00 a.m. on a Thurs. morning. We are planning to spend
our first two nights in Bath. We're
thinking of taking a train from the London area (from Gatwick perhaps) to Bath that morning. (We thought of renting a car, but will be weary and perhaps not up to adapting to UK driving!) ANY TIPS on the easiest way to do this.

And, for the next day (our full day in the Bath area) we do hope to rent a car
there and drive around for the day to see some of the area - we are open to ANY SUGGESTIONS ... Salisbury, Oxford, Wells, Stonehenge, Blenheim, Chipping Campden ...... not all of course, but we would appreciate any suggestions you might have!!

Also, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BATH Bath hotel or inn!

(We will then go to London for four nights to meet up with family travelers, and afterwards via Chunnel to Bruges.)

Thank you for your assistance!
ElizW is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Wish I could remember the exact train connections, but I think many others will advise you. I can only assure you that it is very easy to get to Bath by train. You might have to get back first to another London station, but it will be easy.

As for the hotel, my visits have always been spent at the nice old hotel near the cathedral. I don't know the exact name, but again it is something like "Bath Cathedral Hotel" but cathedral isn't the word.

Pardon my lack of recollection; I'm getting too old to remember all these details. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:48 PM
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Here's a place to look for train journeys: www.nationalrail.co.uk. For March 26, it shows some routings via London. These should be avoided as you have to transfer from Victoria Station to Paddington Station by tube or taxi. The alternative has you changing trains once at Reading.

I'd just stay in Bath for your two days. You'll probably have jet lag, and there's lots to see there. Whereas March isn't the ideal time for admiring the countryside.

Give us your budget for your Bath hotel.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 09:50 PM
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Look for a routing via Reading rather London

If you use http://www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com/ you'll be able to book ahead to get the best prices and be able to collect the tickets at Gatwick

alanRow is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 05:09 AM
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There are direct trains every hour from Gatwick Airport to Reading, taking about an hour and a quarter.
From Reading to Bath, trains run every half hour and take about an hour.
At Reading station, there are escalators to the platforms, and lots of places to get a coffee or snack if you have time to wait.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:16 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for your comments. As far
as our budget for hotel in Bath,
would hope to stay in the
160. to 180. USD if possible.

THANKS for the input!
ElizW is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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The cheapest place to get train tickets for the UK is www.thetrainline.com. You can pick up your tickets at the station using the credit card you buy them with.

Hope that helps.
Pikkukissa is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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ElizW - Hope you don't mind I jump in with a question. DH and I see some fantastic fares right now on BA to LHR and we are trying to decide whether or not to jump on the fare and do something similar to what you and your DH are doing. End of March into first week of April. Going straight to Bath, etc. London last.

Mimar - you mentioned March isn't the best time to view the countryside. Could you elaborate a little? I know it will be cold (at least to us from Arizona), but are we talking icy roads? More info anyone?



patandhank is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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This place is very nice:

http://www.paradise-house.co.uk/default.asp
Jimingso is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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With the vagaries of plane travel, it's better not to buy train tickets for right after your estimated time of arrival. Instead of leaving a big cushion of time, during which you might just be sitting around, I'd just buy them after you arrive.

The English countryside is beautiful, especially in spring. But in late March the trees haven't leafed out and the weather's not so good for sightseeing drives. patandhank, don't think you need to worry too much about icy roads, though they're a slight possibility.

Best place to look for hotel reviews is www.tripadvisor.com. In Britain you can also look at TheAA site, especially for B&B's. And I like Alistair Sawday's recommendations.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Thanks Mimar for the response to my question. Even though we're originally from a cold climate - we've been out of driving on ice/snow for awhile so I just wanted to double check from that end.
patandhank is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 07:17 AM
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The chance of ice or snow in late March in the south of England is remote.

Early Spring flowers will be out and if trees aren't in leaf, all else will be green.

Excellent advice on train from Gatwick to Reading then change for Bath.

Wells, Glastonbury and Longleat are all quite close to Bath, easiest seen by car but there would be buses from Bath. There's lots to see in Bath itself--the Roman baths, the abbey, the assembly rooms, the Regency/Georgian architecture.

Once you pick up the car, Salisbury and Stonehenge are of course to the south and east and the Cotswolds (Chipping Camden, etc) and Blenheim are north and east.

Either route has you working your way back toward London. You could certainly see a bit of the Cotswolds and Blenheim in a day, returning your car in Oxford, Reading or Heathrow for the train or underground into London.

Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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"March isn't the best time to view the countryside"

Sez who?

English countryside never stops being green, except in the awful prairie-like landscape of the extreme east. True: deciduous trees aren't in leaf by late March - but in any landscape, there are lots of evergreens, any hedge more than a couple of centuries old (ie: any hedge) will have diversified to include lots of ivies, hollies and the like, even deciduous trees and bushes have lots of moss to give them a green sheen, and practically all fields are grass pasture (and so green) or wheat - and so covered in green shoots by March.

Even now, in Jan, practically everything visible from this desk is green. By late March, we're past daffs and well into tulips - with blossom on lots of trees. Lambs will be so well established the first batch will be getting slaughtered as New Season's. The boidies will be twittering themselves silly.

Spring will be properly sprung. When our countryside is at its best is a matter of debate. Late March has as at least good as claim as May, June or Christmas - and a far, far better one than the dismal tedium of July or August .
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 26th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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Investigate either the BritRail England railpass or the London Plus railpass (which now also covers trains to Bath) - especially if you arrive by plane and want to take the next convenient trains - passes provide for fully flexible travel - hop on any train anytime - online discount prices inevitably have restrictions and flexible travel can cost a ton. For more on these passes, not sold at British train stations and which cannot be used by Brits: www.britrail.com; and two sites that contain beaucoup info on British trains and passes - lots of useful info and not just the usual pass prices: www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. I'm not saying the pass is necessarily you best option - just to consider it as it may be - especially if you want to take fully flexible trains and not restricted online fares - i mean you take any train to Reading then hop any train to Bath Spa - makes it all so simple.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 06:49 AM
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So, flanneruk, you think March IS the best time to view the English countryside? Including viewing weather? When you're a tourist and just have a few days, you don't always happen into those odd sunny days.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 09:51 AM
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Flanner is right - weather is March and summer could be about the same - usually lousy and rainy

I were in London last Feb first week and all the parks were ablaze in flowers - dadffodils (a thousand saw i at a glance, in the spritely dance)

and last summer there was nearly no summer in England - bout the same as March
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Why are you going all the way to Bath just to get into a car and drive around? You don't need a car to see the sights in Bath, which would take most if not all one day. If you have no desire to see Bath, then why not head directly to Salisbury or Oxford.
GBbabe is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 10:27 AM
  #18  
yk
 
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ElizW -

since you'll be taking the train to Bath, your train ticket will let you qualify for the 2-for-1 admission to various sights in Bath, on the day of your train travel.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Content.aspx?id=3023
yk is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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yk - good tip - and admission to the Roman Baths and several other key sights is, even with the anemic British Pound, substantial.
PalenQ is offline  

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