Visit to Bath and London england

Old Jul 16th, 2014, 05:56 PM
  #1  
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Visit to Bath and London england

On the road again and planning a visit to Bath and London England with a friend the last week in October.
London is always a joy and with a 4 day stay we will need to sort out the options for getting around the city: travel pass or the oyster card or......... Visiting bath is another story. This will be a first time for both of us to this part of the country.
Checking out Bath on the Internet, we're impressed with its beauty and wonder if our 3 or 4 days should be spent in town. In the past I've rented a car for the flexibility.
We are up for suggestions and 'do not miss" suggestions. Many thanks.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 07:06 PM
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Head over to Wells for a day trip from Bath. The cathedral on the green is absolutely stunning.
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Old Jul 16th, 2014, 10:00 PM
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Getting a car into Bath is a pain, and it's get exceptionally good rail connections for a place its size - which doesn't mean, though, that everywhere you might want to visit from a Bath base is accessible by train or bus.

For most people, visiting Bath comfortably and being lumbered with a car are really mutually incompatible. Start off on the assumption you're going to go there by train, plan your stay and if and only if you then realise the place you really want to go to needs a car, look into the practicalities of hiring a car from Bath.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 12:50 AM
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I would not stay 3 or 4 days in Bath - one day or one and a half day will be sufficient to capture the city's beauty and the major sights. Between London and Bath, there are other destinations to explore, especially Oxford, Stonehenge, Avebury, Salisbury. You may partly take the train and partly drive a rental car.

Oxford and Bath are easily accessible by train, while Avebury, Stonehenge and Salisbury may be explored by car which gives you the opportunity to see a bit of the countryside.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 04:23 AM
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Fabulous/thank you! This is JUST the input I was hoping for. When I posted 'Mimi takes 11 year old grand daughter to London and Paris' the feedback was invaluable as well. For one, I utilized the suggestion of "AtHomeinLondon.com" and returning to the same flat for this visit will feel like 'coming home'.
We will take the shorter Bath stay recommendation.
Regarding using the train:
Flying into Heathrow and taking the train will probably require first getting into London which might make for a long day carting luggage. So I will chart the trip to rent a car at the airport...do country side visits before Bath where I will look into return the car and then taking the train into London where we have our 4 night stay before boarding the Quantum of the Sea for its maiden voyage trans Atlantic back to the States.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 06:38 AM
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Mimi just think about your state of mind driving a strange car out of a major airport onto a series of strange motorways driving on the wrong side of the road with jetlag/exhaustion.

I've avoided it going East and felt better for it.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 06:48 AM
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I disagree about cutting back your time in Bath. Aside from the sights in Bath itself, you can day trip to Wells, and to Salisbury, by public transport. You can also reach Oxford by train. If you want to overnight there, consider staying in one of the colleges: http://www.universityrooms.com/en/city/oxford/home

See also: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-from-bath.cfm
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 07:06 AM
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A better option is to take a bus from Heathrow to Bath. Do Bath first, then rent a car. If arriving after a long, overnight flight, I always schedule the first few days in a city. Cities offer more options, more things to visit, which are easily worked in with jet-lag recovery.

When we went to Bath, I visited the Jane Austen Museum while my husband napped. After a few days we rented a car and did day trips out of Bath. This IS possible though driving the car out of and back into town can be a bit tedious. But we found a lot to do in Bath: the Roman Baths, the abbey, tea at the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms and the Fashion Museum, a walking tour of the city, the "house museum" in the Royal Crescent, a boat trip on the Avon River, and more.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 07:09 AM
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"Flying into Heathrow and taking the train will probably require first getting into London "

It doesn't. And even if it did, it would still be the height of criminal stupidity for an American even to think about driving from an overnight flight.

Stay at home and kill your fellow-citizens. We don't want fools like you threatening our safety.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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flanner--sorry, but I do it a lot (that is, picked up a car upon arrival at an airport)and haven't killed anyone yet-in fact, haven't had any problems. OTOH, picked one up at Waverley Station in Edinburgh after about a week in the UK and had a terrible time with it at first.

BTW--I've seen a lot of snide (and worse) comments on this forum today. Looks like many of us are having World Cup decompression or something.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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>>and haven't killed anyone <red>yet</red>
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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" I do it a lot (that is, picked up a car upon arrival at an airport)and haven't killed anyone yet"

Off a night flight? What flanner and janisj said in spades. So far I haven't seen any reason to have a car at all, and certainly not to get between Heathrow, Bath and London.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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Dai
 
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We loved Bath! We took the bus from Heathrow to Bath and enjoyed the ride very much. We stayed three nights and found plenty to do. We enjoyed the hop on hop off bus tour which helped us get our bearings in the city. The self guided tour at the Roman Spa was great, and the Free Walking Tour of Bath was awesome. One of the highlights was also the "Bizarre Bath Walk". That was such a crack up. Enjoy Bath!!!
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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"Flying into Heathrow and taking the train will probably require first getting into London ">

Yes you can take the Rail Bus link (maybe now a regular bus?) to Reading and join the London-Paddington high-speed (for backward train-wise UK) train to Bath Spa - as the station there is called. Or take Heathrow Connect trains to the first station on the line out of Paddington and then take a local train to Reading to join the high-speed trains which may only stop there between London and The West.

It may be quicker to take the Heathrow Express into Paddington and then go back out thru Bath but it would cost more.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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. . . But . . . it would be faster, easier and cheaper to dimly board the Express coach at LHR and get off in central Bath.

Trains are not the be all and end all.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Dai
 
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If you decide to take the bus from Heathrow to Bath do this:

After grabbing your bags and leaving customs, head toward the bus “1-13” signs. I believe they were yellow signs. Instead of exiting terminal 3 through the glass doors, look for a set of stairs that descend. They’re in the middle of the room. Near some shops. Follow the “Central Bus Terminal” signs. I got the tickets there rather than by advance purchase on the internet. If I had bought them in advance I would have saved a wee bit. I wasn’t sure that if I had purchased them in advance, but were unable to use them due to a flight delay, (for example) what would have happened. I didn't want to risk not being able to use them, so I waited and bought them there. The agent said I could have used them on a later coach if I had missed my bus. The ticket tells you which coach you will be on, and the bus when coming into the bus station will have the coach number illuminated.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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mimi - if you fancy a bit of car touring, spend say 3 nights in Bath, then pick up the car, head to Wells for a couple of nights, and then head back to London via Stonhenge - much easier to visit in a car than by public transport. from Wells you could do a very nice day trip to Cheddar Gorge and/or Wookey hole, or Glastonbury, or any number of lovely National Trust properties...or just enjoy Wells which is truly beautiful, not just the Cathedral but also the Bishop's Palace with the swans swimming on the moat.

You could return the car at Windsor and see the Castle at the same time, then get the train to central London from there and finish your trip.

How many days did you say you had?
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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thursday and janis--my comment was directed at Flanner's categorical rejection of driving after an overnite flight, and not mimi67's trip. I do think, with you all, that she'd be better off getting to Bath on public transportation and then picking up a car there. As annhig says, that's a nice part of the world to tour by car.

Everyone's different: I'm able to sleep, albeit fitfully, on overnite flights and don't have bad jet-lag. I've driven a fair number of miles after overnite flights (e.g. Gatwick to Canterbury), and I find that my problems come later in the trip when I've gotten accustomed to the car and the road system and perhaps drop my guard because everything has gone well. I would not trust my spouse, however, to drive after an overnite flight because she is badly affected by jet-lag.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 12:33 PM
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yes everyone is different something some Fodorgarchs continually forget in their prescriptive my way or the highway approach - good to warn folks who have never flown of being wiped out when arriving but to throw the baby out with the bathwater... what's good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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I love the exchanges and appreciate the concerns expressed for my safety and .... the safety of others. Please know I do not have an overnight flight from the states. We are taking a 3 day layover in Iceland so the incoming flight is around 3 hours and during the day. I also recently comfortably and without incident (injury or mishap)drove a standard all over Ireland; renting a car is not an issue. Finding parking, especially in Bath, would be more of a consideration.
I thank you for the constructive comments and I will look into the suggested alternatives. Perhaps the bus to Bath from Heathrow and then renting a car for the day since we both have Stonehenge on our list.

We have a Sunday to Wednesday AM (3 nights) for the Bath/Somerset area with the rest of that Wednesday til the following Sunday AM (4 nights) for London.

Thanks for the "Bizarre Bath Walk" recommendation. I've also taken up reading about Jane Austin and have my sights on our staying at the house she lived in while in Bath.
Again Thank You!
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