Oxford then Bath

Old May 18th, 2000, 06:55 PM
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Oxford then Bath

My spouse and I are planning a trip to London and area for approx 12 days in Sept-Oct. I'm thinking after 4-5 days in London spending a few days at a B&B in each of Oxford and Bath. I'm thinking we'll rent a car and day-trip around each. Will this give us a good feel for the country? Is there some other area I should be considering for this short a time? Perhaps by train somewhere further?
Old May 18th, 2000, 08:30 PM
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I'd add York.
Old May 18th, 2000, 08:44 PM
Pat Johnson
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As a Travel Agent and person who was once English I would suggest that you will get a better feel of the country if you spend some time in the countryside, staying at B&B's or pubs. It is several years since I have done this myself but I plan on doing it in June of this year. Bath is a must but it is very much on the tourist track, as are Oxford and Stratford. Sept-Oct are good months.
Old May 18th, 2000, 10:56 PM
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I would'nt add York - too far.
Pat has got the right idea; the triangle bounded by Stratford on Avon, Bath and Oxford, i.e., the Cotswolds, is beautiful country, and will look great in Autumn. I'd visit all three, but probably stay in none of them, as the country pubs and B&Bs sound better to me, unless you want shopping and fancy restaurants.Take it slowly and enjoy the lovely villages.
Old May 21st, 2000, 08:16 PM
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Yes I've noticed that B&Bs in Bath and Oxford seem kind of expensive. Can anyone suggest a town outside of each that would be good alternatives? and perhaps even a B&B for each? And are there any "must-see" towns in each area besides the obvious ones noted in all the tour books. Is Cardiff worth the drive?
Old May 22nd, 2000, 08:32 AM
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Old Manor Hotel, Trowbridge, outside Bath Tel. 011-44-1225 777393--
Barry [[email protected]]

Camillo, I stayed at this place that's nine miles outside of Bath last October. Their rooms are between 60-75 pounds a night. It is very nice with great food. Perhaps that will fit in your price range.
I agree with others who have said to stay in the geographic triangle of Stratford, Bath, and Oxford, with the lovely Cotswolds in the middle. That could keep you busy for a month and it is terrific area. Like you, my husband and I spent 12 days and ended up with four in London. It was a fantastic trip and the weather was even warm, without too much rain. May you be so lucky.
Old May 22nd, 2000, 08:48 AM
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Hi ...

Maybe you could try somewhere on the south coast, ie. Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth. By train it is 1.5 hours to Bournemouth from London.
Most towns have Tourist Information Centers where you can get B&B listings from .... I wouldn't book anything in advance, just book as you go along ... I would have thought that you should be able to get a decent b&b for 40 to 50 a night (for a room) .. of course London will be more expensive ...

Another place you could try is the Isle of Wight ... get there from Southampton ... if you want any more info well contact me direct ... I live in Southampton, so should be able to help.
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 07:32 AM
D Fox
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Oxford is definitely worth staying in. It is not an easy place to park, so you are better walking or cycling around the city itself, where there is lots to see and do. It is also well located for the Cotswolds (although you might consider staying a night or two somewhere like Broadway, if you want a more rural experience - we found the Lygon Arms good, nice food). Oxford also has a lot of good resaurants.

As an alternative to staying in Bath, you could consider Bristol, a lively city, with some good hotels. We usually stay in the Tara (which is central and good value), althought the Swallow is our favourite (it is a lot more expensive). We've also stayed at the attractive Berkley Square (which often offers good deals and has a good restaurant), but beware of having valuables stolen from your room (as someone we know did - we also arrived back to our room in the middle of the day to find all the rooms open and no one about, we could have taken anything we liked....). Although Bath is a lovely place, it is a bit too touristy, wheras Bristol is a bit more approachable (good restaurants include: the always excellent Melbournes, the Glass Boat, and The River Station.

If you want to try the south coast, Brighton is the only town of interest - with lots to do, some nice restaurants and good shopping (especially antiques). I'm afraid Southampton is not a place you'd want to holiday (whatever it is like to live). It has no hotels I could recommend (and we've stayed in a lot of them), and it is difficult to find anywhere in the city to eat (the Olive Tree - I think it's called - is about the only place we'd willingly go back to) - but some of the surrounding area, especially the New Forest (Brockenhurst has several nice places to stay and eat) and Winchester (which is where you have to go to get a decent restaurant - Hotel du vin et Bistro and Wykeham Arms [both accom also] and the [very] Old Chesil Rectory) is well worth visiting.


Old Aug 27th, 2000, 09:30 AM
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Your note brings back memories of more than 30 years ago when we did much the same thing. You might want to add Wells and a tour of the Mendip Hills while you are in Bath. Try to add Avebury because its stone circles are much more interesting and accessible than Stonehenge. The nearby Kennett Long Barrow makes an interesting hike.
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 11:18 AM
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I'm just wondering why everyone says Bath is a "must". I finally spent two nights there on my sixth trip to England and couldn't wait to leave. I have read all of Jane Austen and that was what I associated with Bath (and once I was there I remembered that she wasn't very positive about the city herself!). It was crowded, dirty, and Georgian architecture just isn't my style.

I am only one person, with one person's opinion, so if Bath is your dream destination go for it. For a few days, though, I'd go to the Cotswolds or a bit further afield to the Yorkshire Dales.

Good luck!
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 02:50 PM
Susan Park
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I love both Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon. I think they are both must-sees.
Old Aug 27th, 2000, 03:14 PM
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I think that is a good idea. I spent 8 days last spring in the area - 5 at the RAF base in Fairford and 3 in Stratford. There is plenty to see in a week of day trips. If you want to stay in Oxford and Bath because there are quite a few things you want to see & do in those places, then certainly choose them. If cost is a factor, you can probably find cheaper places.

Regarding Bath, I spent a day there and found it enjoyable, but driving in and around the city was terrible.
Old Aug 28th, 2000, 11:47 AM
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We stayed 3 days in London and 4 days in Oxford on our recent (August) trip to UK. Outside of London, I can only comment on the Oxford region. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Oxford and took a day trip to Stratford and Warwick Castle (a must see if you are into castles, history, that sort of thing). The countryside was beautiful and there are so many small towns with B&B's everywhere you shouldn't have trouble finding a place to stay. We stayed in Oxford at Parklands Hotel, just north of City Centre. Their rates, which were very reasonable for Oxford, included a wonderful breakfast, and the rooms were very comfortable. They have their own car park and you can use the local bus service to go to City Centre where there is a lot to do, and a lot of places to eat. Some restaurants are expensive, many are very reasonable. If you would rather someone else drive you around from Oxford, Cotswold Roaming offers some nice day trips. I believe you can find them at www.cotswold-roaming.co.uk. Perhaps making Oxford your base, and exploring from there, might better suit your desires. Just a suggestion. Safe journeys!

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