Pick up the car at LGW or at Bath?

Old Jun 7th, 2002, 06:12 PM
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Pick up the car at LGW or at Bath?

(Continuation of my question under another topic)...

Our group of four adults are arriving at LGW on a Thursday morning. We have been told that we would be much better off to go to Bath to pick up a rental, than to pick up the car at LGW -- jet lag, rush hour, unfamiliarity with driving conditions, etc. Once we pick up the car, we will be driving to Melksham for a few nights then moving to the northern Cotswolds for a week, and a couple more nights in the Bedford area before returning to Gatwick.

Based on what we had been told by a travel agent, we were going to either take the train to Bath or hire a driver to get us to Bath to pick up the car.

I've had a few good responses so far (mostly, why would I want to do this?) which I appreciate (really!). I haven't convinced myself that the plan above is really the best, and I'm wide open to suggestions. Thanks in advance!
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 06:45 PM
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Melanie: With the new info you have added I can make a clearer recommendation. Picking up and (dropping off) the car at LGW is very easy and it is motorwaay all the way to Chippenham which is about 6 miles due north of Melksham. if the designated driver is someone who can sleep on a plane that is what I would reccomend.

But if you feel you just can't cope with the drive upon arriving, a car service is your best bet. The train from Gatwick to Bath is not straightforward and you would be wrestling your luggage several times. A driver would be expensive - but not any more (and probably less) than four train tickets.
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 07:04 PM
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When we flew into London last year, we picked up our car at Auto Euope and drove all the way to Grovsner---pure highway for most of our drive and VERY easy.....My spouse slept over on the plane , so wasn't tired.....

As long as someone gets some sleep,I would pick up the car at Gatwick and jump on the motor way--Be sure you get a GOOD driving map of England--The British TOurist Authority will send you 1 for free and then go to your local bookstore and pick up an ATLAS for England--it was THE best for helping you get around to specific little tiny out of the way places.....

Rush hour is not your problem--You are heading AWAY from LONDON--so don't worry about that.
Old Jun 7th, 2002, 07:40 PM
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Thanks!! I appreciate the help.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 01:39 AM
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Just to reinforce the recommendation for picking up the car at LGW: (1) if you're not accustomed to left-side driving, highways are actually easier than smaller roads, to get used to the concept; and (2) taking the train to Bath is sufficiently complicated and tiring, you won't really be more rested when you get the car there, compared to getting it at the airport! More time will have elapsed since your arrival, true, but you will have been through yet another travel experience that's not particularly restful. Not to mention, it's cheaper to not buy all those tickets (or driver) to get to Bath!
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 04:10 PM
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Lots of people opt for getting away from the London area before getting a car, but Gatwick is so far from the city that you might as well get the car there. I've rented a couple times at LGW on arrival & had no problem with traffic, but must admit that lack of sleep made me an unsafe driver. I felt better on my last trip by just taking the train into London for the first night to rest up before going after a car the next day. Once in London & rested, you can catch a train directly from Paddington Station to Bath & be in more control of driving.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 04:20 PM
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We collect our rental cars at Gatwick all the time. For some reason my husband gets a burst of energy as soon as he's out of the airport. Pick your car up at Gatwick if you can and save yourself some money.
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