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Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Newfoundland and...
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Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Could someone let us know if this brief itinerary is doable?

We have a short time to travel - we don't want to be rushed like mad though.

Here is the idea:

3 nights London

3 nights Bath

1 night Thornbury Castle

1 night London

We have an eight hour red-eye flight to get to London so we don't want to start off right away - we will need a couple of nights in London to rest up before setting off to the next stop.

The plan is to visit London to see St. Paul's cathedral, have a stop in the park or ride bikes, visit Westminster Abbey, and see a couple of museums (we are also hoping to see a play in the evening.

From there we would go to Avebury for an afternoon tour, dinner nearby, and then a visit to the site at sunset before continuing onto our lodging in Bath. In Bath, we would sightsee for a couple of days, then stop 1 day at Thornbury (to use up a credit on a botched reserved) and then return to London for one night to rest before catching the overseas flight home.

Any tips of making this itinerary work well would be super.

Also, can anyone provide a link on where to find train times for:

- London to Salisbury (hope we could pick up a car in town)

- Salisbury (or Avebury) to Bath

- Thornbury, or the nearest location, back to London

The train stations are really overwhelming for us so if you have any other tips on saving time moving about it would be most appreciated.

Also wondering if we need to try and add a night in Avebury and an extra night in London at the end of the stay.

Is there a better way to do all this?

Thank you.

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1. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

The closest raiway station to Avebury should be Swindon, no need to travel from Salibury unless you want to see the cathedral. Stonehenge is much closer to Salisbury.

IMO there's no need to stay in Bath for 3 nights, you could stay somewhere in the Cotswolds instead. If you rent a car in Swindon, you can drive from Bath to Thorbury. Nearest station should be Bristol.

Edited: 07 February 2013, 07:57
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2. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

First thoughts on the London -> Bath day, via Avebury :-

Swindon is the nearest railway station to Avebury BUT it has no left luggage facilities according to the website www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/SWI.html

See www.travelinesw.com for transport links in this area - Swindon bus station is 5 - 10 minutes walk (signposted) from the railway station and the hourly No.49 bus goes through Avebury, dropping off and picking up just outside the Red Lion.

For more about the Avebury site see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury - entrance to the site is free and it is possible, for a small fee, to take a guided tour of the stones.

The problem is: what are you going to do with your luggage while you visit Avebury? It might make sense to head directly to Bath from London and visit Avebury on another day when unencumbered.

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3. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

All great tips and questions - thank you both very much. The trains really do confuse me though - I appreciate the link and I hope that will help.

How is this? Maybe a few adjustments improve this? If not, please reply with suggestions on how it an be improved:

Fly into London - 2 nights at hotel to "recover" and sightsee one day

Catch a train into Salisbury (pick up rental car on arrival if this works)

Stay 2 nights in Salisbury (Salisbury on arrival day, Avebury, SH another)

Head to Cotswolds for 4 nights - visit area, plus Bath for a full day

Thornbury for 2 nights - rest up before return home

Ouch - it's already 10 nights - would it work to:

- drive straight from Thornbury into Heathrow, drop rental, board plane home?

- how long is the drive from Thornbury to Heathrow?

Does this work out alright?

I'm thinking it would reduce and simplify the number of train rides and help me keep away from London city when driving the rental (but then if it is just as crazy around Heathrow this will not be of any help at all). Still, I would much rather take a train somewhere from Thornbury to get back to the airport - would really like to avoid driving into cities like Bristol or London to return a rental car.

Also does anyone know of any luxurious accommodations in Salisbury that would enable us to simply walk around town to sightsee? When are the market days there? And where is the market located? Would be great to hit the market and pick up some fresh items before checking into the Cotswolds.

Any further reply would be super.

Thank you for helping.

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4. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Using a rental car would undoubtedly facilitate sightseeing but please think carefully about the pick-up and drop-off locations - you MAY be able to pick up in Salisbury and drop off near Thornbury but maybe not .....

Regarding Salisbury, Avebury and SH (Stonehenge, I assume?): Stonehenge, Salisbury and environs can be fitted into a day - or an afternoon and morning. Avebury would be better included en route to the Cotswolds. In fact, even Stonehenge lies in that direction.

Leaving Salisbury, there is a choice of routes north to Avebury. The A338/A346 and A345(via Amesbury) run via Marlborough, the A360 (with a short detour to Stonehenge) goes via Devizes and the A361. I suggest that you look at the Google map and satellite pictures of the area before deciding which route to take. There is no public car park within Avebury village but there is a clearly-signposted car park, on the left-hand side of the A361 once past the Beckhampton roundabout, run by the National Trust. There is a parking fee (£5 last time I parked there, might be more now) unless one is a member of the National Trust. A signposted footpath leads from the back of the car park, past one quadrant of the stones, to the village.

Thursday is Market Day throughout Wiltshire. I do not know about markets in Salisbury but Devizes certainly has a Thursday variety market in the town centre.

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5. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

If travelling by train to Heathrow (from Thornbury, Bristol, Bath or wherever dropping off the rental car) note that there is no need to go into London then out to Heathrow - use the Railair coach from Reading railway station to whichever terminal you require. See www.railair.com for more information.

If you decide to head straight for Bath - by train - from London, it is possible to to take Day excursions to Stonehenge, Salisbury etc. from there. Check out "Things to do" on the top left of the Bath forum page.

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6. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

"Thursday is Market Day throughout Wiltshire"

I think that will come as a surprise to the people who live there !

Salisbury Market = Tuesdays & Saturdays

Marlborough Market = Wednesdays and Saturdays

Devizes Market = Thursdays

Chippenham = Fridays and Saturdays

There are also a few small ones in other towns too - see wiltshire.gov.uk/communityandliving/markets.… .

If they were all on the same day, what would the traders do on the other days of the week ?

P-t-B

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7. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Phil-the-bus -

Thanks for the correction! - and my apologies for a misleading statement, I was repeating what I was told, last September, by a Wiltshire resident.

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8. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Have you thought about staying the whole week in London at the same hotel, it would save you living out of your suitcase for 10 days, packing up ever cpl of nights, dragging your suitcase around with you.

All yiur trips are all ok to do from london.

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9. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

Market day switching days makes sense - here they always alternate in various towns, as the vendors make more rounds that way - thank you for the well laid out schedule!!

Yes - doing this all out of London is tempting, but we are stuck with a credit at Thornbury we need to use up : ) and since we wish to see a few places - e.g. Salisbury and cathedral, market, Avebury, Stonehenge, and Bath (and maybe some biking around the lower Cotswolds?) I thought it would be best just to travel and stay closer. If we were going to Stonehenge only then a day trip would be super!!

By the way, what about the round table replica in Winchester? Is this worth a stop? If so, then we would have to take the train there, pick up our car, and then drive to Salisbury, but it would be less convenient - if a 12 and 15 year-old would think it is fascinating and impressive - then I'd be game to try and make it out.

How long does it take to drive from Bath to: Salisbury, Avebury, Stonehenge, etc.?

From some posters it sounds like we could stay in Bath or Cotswolds to access these sites. We have stayed in the Cotswolds before, but have never seen Bath - which will offer us the nicest experience? Would we be disappointed staying in Bath? There are some apartments in town that look okay.

Would it work to do things this way?

- London - 4 night (then train to Bath - I've read there is a direct train to Bath Spa station)

- Bath - 4 nights (pick up car at the train station - hopefully - will check this out)

- a day in Bath (best place for lunch, dinner or high tea? suggestions?)

- Avebury am, Stonehenge afternoon tour, revisit again at sunset

- visit a Cotswolds village OR

- lunch, bike riding or more time in Bath - an outdoor play maybe?

- Thornbury - 2 nights (archery, other activities??) - hope to drop car here or Bristol

- train back to London, directly to Heathrow for our flight

Do you think it is safe to take the train back to Heathrow and fly out the very same day? Not sure how reliable the trains are in this respect and would hate to miss our international flight thought I'm sure we'd love to stay in the UK longer...

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10. Re: Help - Mini Itinerary (London, Bath, Avebury)

That sounds better! But please clarify the arrangements regarding picking up and dropping off the hire car - it is not enough to be hopeful, one needs to be SURE.

No need to collect a hire car until actually driving outside of Bath - plan your sightseeing accordingly, attractions within Bath on consecutive days - as I understand that driving and parking within Bath is a nightmare - and, before making arrangements for accomodation, ensure that there will be somewhere close to park the car. There are Day excursions, by coach, available from Bath to places of interest - see the Bath forum, "Things to do" , to learn more, you may not need a car until the day you move out.

As for the "round table replica at Winchester" ... it is not really a replica, more an imaginative construction of what King Arthur's "Round Table" might have looked like - if there was a King Arthur and if his "Round Table" was, in fact, a real table. I have seen it - once - but did not bother on subsequent visits to Winchester.