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Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

Nashville, Tennessee
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Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

I would like some advice, please. I will be in London 19 December, departing Christmas day. I want to go to Bath one of those days. I was originally going to get on the train and go on my own, then I started to consider the tours that go to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath.

Now I want to do Windsor and Bath in one day, if possible. The priority being a visit to Bath, more precisely, to the Jane Austen Center. The second priority being Windsor, it would really be lovely to see, I think.

Any suggestions on how to make this work? Is there a tour company that offers only the two (I haven't found one). Is the train an option? If so, can I get off at Windsor and get back on to Bath?

Thank you!

U.S. expats
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1. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

There have been lots of discussions about the pros and cons of doing a Windsor-Bath-Stonehenge tour. Personally, you couldn't pay me to do it. You'll end up spending far more time on the coach than in any of the locations.

You could easily do a day trip on your own from London to Windsor--the train from Paddington has only 1 change at Slough, and Windsor is immensely walkable. Touring the castle would take at least half a day, IMHO.

Bath is further afield, and has many attractions beyond the Jane Austen Center you mentioned, not the least of which is the Roman Baths. Perhaps you could consider staying overnight in Bath, and taking a tour out the Stonehenge the following day? I think that would give you enough time to really enjoy everything.

FYI-if you go to google maps, and type in London and get directions from there to Bath, then Stonehenge, then London, you get a total travel time of 5 hours for the 235 miles covered. I left Windsor out.

Watford
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2. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

The amount of free time these companies allow you in Bath is unlikely to be enough to let you see much more than a glimpse of the Jane Austen Centre and as Laura rightly says trying to see both Bath and Windsor in a day on your own by train, whilst not impossible, would be rushed. Also you need to bear in mind that it's not light until 8.00am and dark by 4.00pm at this time of year.

Nashville, Tennessee
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3. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

Thank you, Laura and Adam. I will continue to sort this out.

I'm really not interested in Stonehenge (this time around) which is what seems to be throwing a wrench in the plans with a tour company. If they did only Windsor and Bath I might be able to tolerate the time in the coach!

I have been reading many of the discussions about the tours and I see great compliments to the companies that provide them, but both of you are hitting the target - I don't see how I can get enough time in Bath to do as I please.

I'll look further into doing the two on my own by train in one day if it is humanly possible to do so.

Thanks!

Charlotte, North...
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4. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

Windsor and Bath each make a great day trip- but I would not try to do them together. Bath has a marvelous, large Christmas market. If that interests you, it might help make up your mind. There are some good small, shops as well. Windsor is my favorite castle, and will take at least 2 hours (more if you linger). You can also see the changing of the guard there if you time things right (much better there than at Buckingham IMO). Usually they have a small French-style Christmas market. There is also some good shopping- "highstreet" stores and unique small shops, too. The plus with Windsor is the short train ride (les than 30 min.) and the fact that there are trains twice an hour in each direction. The price is much cheaper, too and there is no discount for buying in advance as there would be for Bath (which costs much more without the discount). Windsor can be "done" in a half-day- we often vist the town (not the castle everytime) on days that we are going to the theatre at night. We usually take the 9:30ish or 10:00ish train out and take the 2:00, 2:30 or 3:00ish back. We are back to our hotel in time to shower, rest and dress for an early supper and the theatre.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

if you do not want to actually go into a Bath/spa, then the day tours are fine. However, the city of bath is quite interesting, and you may want to walk through it or stroll. its very pretty. if you do want to go to the bath, go on a weekday since they have better spa packages.

London
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6. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

You may not be aware there is no public transport on Xmas Day to Heathrow from London except for a skeleton bus service from Paddington.

You may therefore want to consider seeing Windsor on the 24th overnighting at a Heathrow hotel.

There are public buses for Windsor from T5 at Heathrow every 30 minutes or so.

There is a frequent National Express bus service from Bath to Heathrow.

If you are interested in Jane Austen, why not go out to Bath via Winchseter by rail. Jane is buried at Winchester Cathedral and there is a local bus to Chawton where she lived the last few years of her life and there is also a museum . You can then go onto Bath again by train changing at Southampton.

Edited: 04 December 2010, 08:13
Bath UK
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7. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

Hi

The trains down to Bath are likely to get booked up fast in the next week or so; lots of Londoners seem to descend on their extended family for Christmas. You can buy tickets online to pick up at Paddington station (or another station) using an overseas credit card at www.fgw.co.uk (the website of the main train co that serves the London/Bath route).

The Christmas market finishes on 12 December (but there is still a great street exhibition of giant photos "Britain from the Air" and the city looks very pretty at the moment).

I can't think of a tour that "just" crams Windsor and Bath into a day (probably because Stonehenge is between the two towns!). If you do take a tour, do read the small print and/or establish how long you have in Bath. The Jane Austen Centre is a 5-10 minute walk from the Abbey (where most coaches drop off) and some tours included entrance to the Roman Baths (spend at least an hour there if you go in to do the place justice).

Back to Austen, there is a Jane Asten MP3 walk you can download from here: http://visitbath.co.uk/janeausten/

Berkshire, United...
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8. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

This is a link to a well-respected site; you can choose to do just what and when you want to do your visits. However, due to your dates, it might not be available then:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g186419-d1…

9. Re: Daytrip suggestion needed, Bath and Windsor

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