Salisbury and Bath or Alternative?

Jan 14th, 2009, 04:15 AM
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Salisbury and Bath or Alternative?

I will be visiting the UK in April and am trying to finalise the small details, including accommodation. I arrive on a Saturday afternoon, pick up the hire car and thought I'd spend the Saturday and Sunday nights at Windsor to recover from the flight and see Windsor Castle, Eton and whatever else I have the energy for.

My first thoughts were to go to Salisbury via Stonehenge etc and spend about four nights there and do day trips, visitng Stourhead, Corfe Castle and Hardy country and of course the cathedral and other sites nearby. I then thought of heading off to spend a couple of nights in Bath, visiting Glastonbury and Wells on the way and then having a full day in Bath before heading to Cotswolds (have already booked accommodation in Chipping Campden).

However, I wonder if there are alternatives. Would there be a place where I could stay in the one place and visit all these places without having to change accommodation? Or would it in fact be better to split the time and spend at least one night further south to avoid alll the doubling back.

All opinions welcome. Thanks.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Last summer, we made a similar tour.

From Windsor, it is just a short drive to Stonehenge and Salisbury. Stonehenge is gorgeous, breathtaking, a must-see-in-a-lifetime, but - it does not take more than a few minutes to see it. (I would even recommend to save the entrance fee because you see everything from the fence as well.)

From Stonehenge, it is a few minutes drive to Salisbury. There you visit the Cathedral, the Close and maybe you walk up and down the main street. This can be done in two hours.

If you do not spend too much time for lunch, you can even see Stourhead in the afternoon and reach Bath by the evening.

Then stay in Bath a couple of days. Make a day trip to Wells and Glastonbury. Then move to Chipping Campden. From there, Warwick might be a destination for a daytrip (if you like disneyfied castles).

On your way back, you should stop in Oxford and spend at least a couple of hours there.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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Hi Eiga - I think your plan of splitting time between Salisbury and Bath is a good one - both good bases for your planned day-trips.

'Would there be a place where I could stay in the one place and visit all these places without having to change accommodation?'

Places that come to mind would be north Dorset - e.g Sherborne or Shaftesbury.


Steve_James is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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Two of my favorite places, Salisbury and Bath. I agree with staying somewhere in between. (Slow Travel!) Salisbury and Stonehenge would take a day, Bath could absorb several days, but I too would try to add in Stourhead and Wells.

You could delay picking up the car until you're ready to leave Windsor. It would be a short trip back to Heathrow and you wouldn't have to drive with jetlag.

Also I don't know how many days you're spending in the UK and what sights you plan on seeing but we made good use of out Great British Heritage passes. The pass, for a fixed period, let you into all National Trust and English Heritage properties as well as others in Scotland and Wales. Won't work for Windsor Castle but good for Longleat House and Blenheim Palace as well as Stonehenge, Corfe Castle, and the Roman Baths.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Thanks for you ideas - looks like I'm on the right track.

I have already purchased and received my Great Britain Heritage Pass and intend to make full use of it. Rental car is already booked and paid for.

It's only because I hope to visit some places to the south that I don't just base myself between Bath and Salisbury. Thought that might be a bit much for a day trip!

I've already done Warwick Castle and think once is enough! I'll be heading north - to Peak District after Chipping Campden - but I do want to see more of Oxford than I saw on the bus trip I did a few years back. Would Oxford be OK as a day trip from CC?

eigasuki is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I would recommend Three Abbey Green as a B&B in Bath . Great location, very nice hosts and great breakfast! They also rent a luxury apartment which is where I've actually stayed, right around the corner. Do go too quickly through Bath, there is so much to see! Do the free walking tour which starts near the Abbey every evening. Also, agree that Stonehenge is neat to see but I arrived right after closing and still got great photos through the fence. I also recommend Salisbury and Windsor. The Salisbury cathedral is HUGE. Have a great time!
jumbonav is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Sorry, "don't" go too quickly through Bath.
jumbonav is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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I've stayed in Salisbury for 2 nights, and I personally feel that Salisbury deserve more than just a mere few hours. It's got a lot to see and it's a very cute town. A full day (or more) would be better.

The Salisbury cathedral offers free guided tour, but in addition, you can book the Salisbury Cathedral Tower tours which lasts for 2 hours. I didn't have time for it, but Fodorite noe847 has taken it and had great things to say about the tour (she wrote a trip report on that). Apart from the cathedral, there are a few museum and houses in Salisbury, and Wilton House is nearby.
yk is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Salisbury is certainly worth a full day. I spent a month there several years ago and was surprised at all there ws to see. The Tower tour is a must,and as yk mentioned there are several museums and houses to visit in The Close, among them the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and Mompesson House which has a nice tea shop in its gardens. St. Thomas Church has a wonderful 15th century Doom painting. I can recommend an excellent B&B, if interested.
historytraveler is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for all your input. I've been researching for quite a while and already have all your ideas for Salisbury on my 'to-do' list. I really want to do the tour of the Cathedral tower and yk's trip report has me interested in seeing Wilton House. I guess to a certain extent the weather will dictate how much time I spend inside these buildings and how much driving I'll do.

Thanks for the B&B recommendation,jumbonav - with the pathetic Aussie dollar as it is, a little out of my price range.

Any suggestions for modest yet comfortable place to stay in or near Bath? I'm thinking a village nearby that's on the train line might be good. Quiet and catching a local train in would make parking easier, though I know there are various park and ride places. Or would it be better to be IN Bath?
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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Here is the link to noe847's trip report which has the Salisbury Cathedral tower tour described:

If you plan to stay in Salisbury as well, I wholeheartedly recommend the B&B that I stayed at:
85 Exeter Street B&B

Rate starts at £55 for a single. The proprietor, Susan, is a guide at Wilton House, which is an added bonus if you do plan on visiting (which I also highly recommend).
yk is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 02:52 AM
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What's your price range for B&B in Bath?
Steve_James is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 03:58 AM
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I'm hoping to stay under 50 pounds if that's possible (it'll be Easter - I know; better get booking)
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Why has no body suggested Avebury for your trip? Or even Wells cathedral?
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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..yes dont miss Wells..both the cathedral and the town.
travelbunny is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 09:31 AM
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Eiga - The Tourist Office website has listings and links to B&B's in Bath.

If you put in your maximum price it should give you a list in your range -

You might want to check out 'The Henry' guesthouse (- no personal experience)
(- very central, gets good reviews on Tripadvisor).

Hope this helps ...

Steve_James is offline  
Jan 16th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Well, I mentioned Wells in my original post. I certainly want to visit Avebury - just not certain whether to visit en route to Salisbury or go on the way to CC after Bath.

I didn't list all the things on my to-do list in the area - I'm sure I wouls be hot down in flames by those insisting I try to do too much. At this stage it's an outline, and what I actually do will depend on the weather, how I feel, my whim of the moment and other opportunities that present themselves along the way.

Thanks for the links Steve - have heaps of links for B&Bs but there's nothing like personal recommendations, especially for those little tips about parking, road noise, etc etc.

Only two and a half months to go - it's getting exciting
eigasuki is offline  
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