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Trip was planned to Taunton and Glastonbury March 23rd

Trip was planned to Taunton and Glastonbury March 23rd

Old Feb 17th, 2014, 03:45 AM
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Trip was planned to Taunton and Glastonbury March 23rd

Hello Fodorites,

I am planning on visiting the UK March 13-27 and was planning to travel to Taunton, Glastonbury, and Wells during this time using public transport. With all the horrific flooding in Somerset, it seems as if I should cancel that part of the trip. I've read everything I can find about the flooding and surprisingly it is hard to get a good amount of information here in the States.

Would like to hear opinions or advice in this matter. I already have non-refundable accomodations in place but have not tried to cancel as of yet.

Thanks so very much for your help.

mogsanova is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:29 AM
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Flooding map here

BBC in the Uk is still leading most news with the subject. Rain is stopping but sewerage in the flood water is a concern.

Maybe Annhig or FlannerUK, who live further south, may have more news.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:42 AM
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Check www.nationalrail.co.uk

None of those has been mentioned as places with any particular difficulty, apart from any disruption to public transport en route.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Glastonbury and Wells are north of the floods, so are fine, but I would echo Patrick's advise about checking rail services as there has been considerable disruption on the line south of Bristol (where I live). If you are driving, then you'll be fine.

For Taunton, bilboburglar's map link makes the M5 motorway look flooded, but you can check current road incidents via the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/motorways

There are no incidents currently reported on the M5, which suggests to me that it's clear.

Fingers crossed it'll be much better when you get here anyway!
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Have just checked the rail situation - looks like the rail service between Bristol and Taunton is down. Hope you are driving!
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 05:19 AM
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form the blog covering the city of Wells.
The nearest railway station to Wells is Castle Cary, 13 miles from Wells.
From the website for Glastonbury.
Again there the nearest railway station is Castle Cary,16 miles away.
There are buses running between Glastonbury, Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton.
Nation bus also run long distance coach routes to all of these locations.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 05:37 AM
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It's five weeks away.

I live slightly away from the worst floods, but just 10 miles from one of the heaviest concentrations of localised floods in the country. On Saturday morning, the river below my house, normally 20 ft wide, had covered the flood plain, to a depth of 5 feet or so, for 50-70 yards on either side. We'd gone (for the umpteenth time this winter) from a pretty brook to a 150 yard wide lake, with geese swimming in it.

48 hours later, the river's back inside its banks 20 feet apart - and a good four feet below those banks. The geese have gone to find somewhere more promising, and the trains that were cancelled on Saturday are back to their normal mild unpunctuality.

There has been some horrific flooding in Somerset. But generally, with our short rivers, English floods flow away within days.

The real risk to travel in SW England five weeks hence isn't the likelihood of floods (very low) or or damaged buildings (surprisingly few: the damage is mostly the sheer misery to those affected of having their moveable possessions destroyed).

It's the distinct possibility that, with worries about long-term climate change becoming more deeply entrenched, there'll be serious and urgent reconstruction work on floodproofing basic transport - especially the railway link from London to the SW along the Thames Valley. If it's going to be done at all, that particular corridor needs upgrading almost immediately, and will require some complete closure.

Whether, when, how much and how disruptive are currently being argued. Getting round most of Somerset is likely to be close to painless, if possibly a bit whiffy. Getting to it MIGHT be trickier.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Flanner is right that the situation is constantly changing, and that predicting what it will be in six weeks time is impossible. The railway line along the Thames Valley that he mentioned was running fairly normally this morning, but is experiencing cancellations this afternoon as I type. The problem there is the height of the ground water, which is interfering with the signalling. The line between Bridgwater and Taunton remains closed because the line itself is flooded.

Having said that, flooding on the Somerset levels is common in winter and often lasts a long time. It's just even worse this year. The result is that roads across the levels are closed now, and will probably remain closed for several weeks. This includes the A361, which runs between Taunton and Glastonbury, crossing the River Parrett at Burrowbridge.

My advice would be to delay cancelling yet (the local economy will need all the business it can get this year) but start preparing alternatives.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 11:26 AM
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Norfolk is (relatively speaking) dry - the odd puddle but nothing significantly more. It was looking glorious in yesterday's sunshine. Being in the east, the storms and rainfall were much depleted when they hit us. Be different and head east instead.
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 02:19 PM
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This is exactly what I was looking for!!! Thank you all so very much!

We would be taking the train from Oxford to Taunton (through Reading) and then taking the bus 29 from Taunton to Glastonbury (which I believe would be taking the A361 which is now closed).

I'm taking my son for his 18th birthday (his first trip overseas) and we were going to stay at the Castle Hotel in Taunton and try to go to Fivehead Parish where the Tabb family originated from. Then on to Glastonbury (staying at Covenstead B&B), Wells, and then Bath.

Five weeks is a long time and I feel so awful for all that the people are going through there. I won't cancel anything just yet. I definitely WILL NOT BE DRIVING so I will be relying on public transportation. You all do not want me as a driver on your roads. I drive out of sheer necessity at home as we have terrible public transport in Nashville.

Thank you all so much for the links and for responding so quickly! We are so excited for the trip.
mogsanova is offline  
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