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-   -   Reading? Good Base for visiting Salisbury & Bath (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/reading-good-base-for-visiting-salisbury-and-bath-684697/)

haydeedoll Mar 3rd, 2007 11:59 PM

Reading? Good Base for visiting Salisbury & Bath
 
I'll be going to the UK for 2 weeks in May. Spending half my time in Scotland, and half in England. My Mother works for a Hotel chain, and she can get us good discounts. Although they only have a few Hotels, most are in London (where we will take advantage of the discount for 2 nights).
They do have a Hotel in Reading. I'm wondering if Reading is close enough to use as a base for visiting Bath and Salisbury?? We would be staying in the Hotel 3 nights, and then leaving from there to Heathrow for a noon flight.

sheila Mar 4th, 2007 01:50 AM

Let's put it this way.... Reading is not a "destination"

flanneruk Mar 4th, 2007 04:16 AM

You're not telling us where this hotel is.

Reading is horrible. But it's got lots of trains going through the middle of it, many of them go to Bath in 40 mins or so and quite a lot go to Basingstoke where you can connect with a train to Salisbury so you'll be there about 75 mins after you left Reading.

If the trains are working alright, which they are more often than not if you define "alright" generously.

But if the "Reading" branch of this chain of yours is 15 miles outside town, you'll spend forever getting into town. If it's near a bus stop, which many out of town hotels aren't, and if you've got to get a taxi into town the cost of that will probably be as much as you're saving by staying in horrible Reading rather than somewhere nice. Salisbury or Bath, for example. Or just staying in London, if all you want to see is Bath and Salisbury/Stonehenge: the train to Salisbury's no quicker from Reading, and it only saves you 25 minutes to Bath. And there's more to do within 5 yards of your London hotel than in all of Reading.

Sadly for tourists, Reading for all its horrors is a boom town. So hotels etc there aren't cheap, and aren't cheerful. Just nasty.

Which brings us to Old Flanner's first rule. Always mistrust anything at a discount. It's not the 75% you save (compared to what?) It's how much you're spending compared to what you'd be spending otherwise. Does the family discount in London really make the place cheaper than you'd get a similar hotel for on Priceline?

Dukey Mar 4th, 2007 05:42 AM

It's not the 75% you save (compared to what?)

Normally, Flanner, it is compared to the regular price.

walkinaround Mar 4th, 2007 05:57 AM

>>>>>
Let's put it this way.... Reading is not a "destination"
>>>>>>

if you're interested in books, there is a very big reading festival held there every year.

julia_t Mar 4th, 2007 06:31 AM

LOL walkinaround!!! :-d

janisj Mar 4th, 2007 09:28 AM

give us more info - like how much you'd be paying etc. But Reading itself is definitely not a place to stay on holiday. Ther are some decent towns not far from Reading - but if you mean Reading proper (and there isn't much "proper" about it) - then no.

I assume you will be driving. If so the drives to Salisbury and Bath aren't bad.

But, if you also get a discount in London, I'd consider ditching the car and spending those "Reading days" in London. You could take trains to Bath/Salisbury and public transport to Heathrow.

haydeedoll Mar 4th, 2007 06:36 PM

Hahaha - So, that answered my question. Reading is not too exciting....Our discount is about 35-45% off. We might just stay in London those 3 days and take day trips to Bath and Salisbury. I'm hoping they have late buses or trains back. We have reservations at Stonehenge at 7:45pm on thursday, and will probably be there till 8:45/9pm....I'm always weary trusting public transportation. Must be the LA in me.

noe847 Mar 4th, 2007 07:20 PM

We used our full hour at Stonehenge. Towards the end (the last 15 minutes or so) all the other people from our time slot had left, and it was pretty wonderful to have the stones to ourselves.

If you use an hour at Stonehenge, then you'd have to get back to Salisbury to catch the train (probably no earlier than 9:30.) The train ride to London is around 1.5 hours. nationalrail.co.uk is a great resource for timetables, fares, tickets, etc.


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