London for 2 days, then Bath

Old May 28th, 2012, 07:42 PM
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London for 2 days, then Bath

My husband has a business trip to Bath and I am tagging along, we will have 2 days to spend in London before driving to Bath. We arrive Friday at 6:30am to Heathrow, then will leave our bags at the Heathrow Hilton where we are staying then take the tube into London. I've been to London in the past and have seen many of the highlights but am making a list of what to do and how to pace ourselves our first day there. The Churchhill war rooms are high on the list, and I'd like to see either the Spitalfields or Borough Market. From looking at a map I think Borough may be more accessible in general. I'd like to go shopping in Knightsbridge, I have no intention of buying but it's still fun to window shop! The next day we want to take a river cruise to Greenwich and spend the day there.

We will leave mid-morning Sunday for Bath and will have a car. We need to be in Bath late afternoon/early evening so am having a difficult time deciding what to do with the day. Blenheim Palace looks wonderful, but I also thought of detouring up to the Cotswold and exploring a bit there. The more I read in these forums the more I'd like to do...so much to see!

Thanks for reading and for any and all advice!
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Old May 28th, 2012, 08:51 PM
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The only thing I found interesting about Blenheim was that it was the birthplace of Winston Churchhill. There's a good exhibit there.

If you want to see the war rooms by 10 Downing St. then this would be a good tie-in.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:51 PM
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I personally loved Blenheim. It was a short trip from Oxford and well worth it (at least imho). If you have a chance to tour a bit, I would definately recommend it. I stayed in Bourton on Water and did some walking around the area. Bath has a lot to see and experience too. I guess I wasn't much help - it is all beautiful so whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed - enjoy!
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Old May 29th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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Have you been to Winchester? Salisbury? They aren't on the most direct path, but you said you were considering detouring to the Cotswolds, so... Oxford is fabulous but difficult to park a car. Not sure how much out of the way you want to travel, what you've seen before, or how long you want to drive. But those are 3 great places.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:29 PM
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Do you have to stay at an airport hotel? It's going to be well over 2 hours round trip between hotel and central London so once you leave the hotel you are stuck in London for the rest of the day.

Then you could just take the direct train to Bath and spend the day there rather than having the hassle of picking up a car, driving and finding somewhere to park in Bath.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:47 PM
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Greenwich has its own market on the weekends, too. Borough Market is a foody place (and very crowded), whereas Spitalfields is lots of arty-crafty clothes and bric-a-brac (and busiest on a Sunday). Greenwich market is more reminiscent of Spitalfields, on a much smaller scale, so you'd get some of the feel.

I've only ever been to Borough Market on a Saturday, so I don't know early it gets going on Fridays, or how late it stays running, so can't advise about whether to do it before or after Knightsbridge.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:54 PM
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Borough market is great on Fridays, way less busy than Saturday when it gets a bit insane. It runs from 12-6 on Fridays http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/
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Old May 30th, 2012, 12:00 AM
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If you really want to see Blenheim (God knows why, but there's nowt as queer as folk) you're just not going to have time to do anything else on your way to Bath. It's 90 mins from Edgware Rd to Woodstock, at least 2.5 hours to justify your £20 per head contribution to the "Keep the Churchills in the style they believe they're entitled to" fund and at least 2 hrs from Woodstock to Bath.

Alternatively, you could drive to Woodstock, park your car at the Black Prince pub on the A44 heading NW, take the (free) public footpath opposite into the Blenheim estate, stay on it for 10-20 mins to gawp from outside at the tastlessness of a dump educated people throughout Europe fell over themselves in the 1720s to laugh at, go back to the boozer for a bite and drive on through Burford, the B4425 to Cirencester, then Tetbury to Bath.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 12:18 AM
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Oops.

It's still at least 90 mins (closer to 2 hrs) from a Heathrow hotel to a car hire place to Woodstock, though once you're behind the wheel it's exactly 60 mins to the Black Prince.

From Woodstock to Bath, the roads are infested with 50 mph limits and speed cameras to enforce them. Though both are well signalled, it's very easy to forget about them. Doing so, or thinking you can make up by speeding the time you've squandered realising why Vanbrugh should have stuck to his day job, can run up an enormous credit card bill.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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@flanneruk - I thoroughly enjoyed Blenheim. We don't have anything like that this neck of the woods - to each his own.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:12 PM
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Thanks all for your responses. Still trying to narrow down what we will do. This is a business trip for my husband and the company has made our reservations at Heathrow Hilton, and he will need the car as well.

@texasbookworm, I will be on my own Mon-Thurs so will look into Salisbury and Winchester. Are they easily accessible by public transport from Bath?
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Old Jun 4th, 2012, 04:06 AM
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I have never stayed in Bath (been there twice but just for parts of days) so know nothing about public transport from there. I suggested Salisbury, Winchester, and Bath as options for your driving day, instead of Blenheim/Cotswolds. But from Bath your options may look a little different if planning solo day trips with public transport. I'd think Winchester might be a little far (but I haven't done any research at all). Nearer Bath are Wells--prettiest cathedral I've ever seen and charming town/city--and Glastonbury Abbey and Cheddar, both interesting spots. Again, I am no help about public transport from Bath but I'm sure it's doable! Have fun.
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