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Help finding private tour from London to Bath and Oxford

Help finding private tour from London to Bath and Oxford

Old May 28th, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
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Help finding private tour from London to Bath and Oxford

Hello. We (family of four) have very limited time....only about 30 hours....outside of London. We want to see Bath AND Oxford and the surrounding sites. Any private tour recommendations? I see some online, but cannot find any feedback and am hesitant to commit over the internet for a semi-unknown booking.
Help is appreciated.
PGB is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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Not sure if you mean 30 consecutive hours - including sleeping overnight - that's very limited time to see Bath (needs a full day), Oxford (ditto) and anything nearby (if you mean Cotswolds that takes a couple of days).

Also, how old are your kids - and are they up for non-stop sightseeing. If it were me I would rent a car and just go see what we wanted. A private tour would be extremely expensive, since you will have to pay hotel and meals for the guide plus vehicle rental etc.
nytraveler is offline  
Old May 28th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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We basically have 1-1/2 days.
We're worried about getting used to the roads and getting lost...there is such a limited time. Kids are 13 and 15; one is a huge harry potter fan. I hate to choose either Bath or Oxford, but if I do this any other way, I'll have to.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:58 PM
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London to Bath to Oxford is nearly 200 miles and would take a coach more than 4+ hours to drive it. Then it would be another 90 minutes from Oxford back to central London. So at minimum you'd have about 6 hours on the bus.

Leaving London at 08:00 and returning at 19:30 would leave you a grand total of 5.5 hours to split between Bath and Oxford.

Yes -- there are idiotic tour companies that do this route but I definitely wouldn't recommend them. Seeing both the same day is unrealistic.

Pick one city and do it on your own by train. It will give you more time in the place and save you a fortune if you book ahead.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:57 PM
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There's no clause in the (unwritten) British Constitution requiring visitors to spend a day in each of Oxford and Bath -and it's an absurd delusion that there's some benefit in doing so.

Both cities are lovely, a three hour walk in either of them reveals a huge slug of terrific stuff - and after almost half a century of living in, living around or popping back to visit Oxford, I've still to discover the place fully. It's simply silly to fantasise that you "have" to spend an hour, a day, a week or a year there.

It's 90 mins by half-hourly train from London to the centre of Bath, 90 mins (by slightly erratic, but roughly twice-hourly, trains) from the centre of Bath to slightly off-centre (600 yd walk to the nearest stunning college) Oxford and an hour back to central London by train. Rather longer by the world's most frequent intercity bus service (c. every 5 mins) or 90 mins by half-hourly buses to Heathrow. At this time of the year, it doesn't get dark in Oxford till 2200, the city its rivers and its canals look even better in twilight than during the day, so you can fit an extremely pleasant, if busy, trip to both cities into a day and get a train or bus back to central London around 2300 (they run practically round the clock) - or to Heathrow for a late flight or an overnight to catch an early one.

Which said, it's also possible to get a train to Oxford, leave bags at the Backpackers' Hostel by the station, visit the city, get an evening train to Bath, overnight there and return to London in time for lunch.

Both cities have immense amounts of self-guiding information on their visitors' websites and are essentially designed to be walked around.

What you'll struggle with, however you do it, is seeing anything worthwhile in between: the train connection, though pretty in parts, just shows you countryside and there's nowhere on the railway line with a station worth getting off at (though Didcot's fun for steam railway fans if you go through on a day steam's up, but a dreary dump the other 99% of the time). Both cities are nightmares to park in for people unfamiliar with their layout, and driving to and between them is a great deal slower than getting a train. Even hiring your own private expert, with enough experience to find a parking place in both cities, will involve so much time taken up in travelling you're not going to see more in between than pretty fields.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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What about http://www.grentours.co.uk/?

They have many reviews on tripadvisor as well, and customise many tours.
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Old Oct 17th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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Sabrina: this thread is more than three years old.
janisj is online now  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Oh whoops?.....Didn't realise
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