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Advise appreciated

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Rumson, New Jersey
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1,332 posts
103 reviews
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Advise appreciated

Originally planned as a day trip from London, we have now added Bath for a 2 day stay in January. Wish we were going straight to Bristol but too late to change flights! So now I have to decide between train or bus from LHR to Bath. The bus apears to be most convenient, but since daughter can become ill on long bus trips (main reason for not taking a long day tour), I would appreciate some feedback on this trip regarding the roadways (winding, etc?)

I have not been to bath for >15 years, and as much as everyone says it is a fairly small city, there is so much more to do than most realize! Our plans will include visiting the major tourist sites in town, Stonehenge, Royal Theater one evening, and a spa visit for her birthday.

While I have researched TA and travel books, I still need advise:

While taxis are handy, are they readily available for returns to hotels in the evening following dinner or theater?

Any suggestions for tours, or for spas other than the Thermae? Any suggestions for hotels centrally located with or without private spas?

Thanks as always,

T

Bath, United Kingdom
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70 posts
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1. Re: Advise appreciated

Taxis are always available from near the Abbey or you can go to Abbey Taxis rank little hut along Manvers Street and V cars have an office overlooking 'Bog Island'.

The Bath Spa Hotel has it's own spa which is lovely.

The journey time from LHR would be about 1.5 - 1.75 hours and is on a motorway so is largely a straight road.

Have a good trip!

Hampshire, United...
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for Amesbury, London
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2. Re: Advise appreciated

Another option is the RailAir coach from LHR to Reading, and then train from there to Bath. If you did decide to go by train, it would at least save you an unnecessary trip into London.

Rumson, New Jersey
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1,332 posts
103 reviews
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3. Re: Advise appreciated

Thank you for the advice; will start looking into convenience vs cost issues vs my daughters stomach!

T

Bath UK
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for Bath
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2,385 posts
53 reviews
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4. Re: Advise appreciated

Other spas:

- Royal Crescent Hotel (VERY nice day spa open to non-residents at certain times; you'd need to pre-book, I think)

- Priory Hotel - just opened, not sure what it is like but it OUGHT to be good. Again they have day-spa deals that you would need to book

- Bath Spa Hotel - it has been refurbished since I was last there but it is the sort of place you find in large hotels

If budget is no object I think I would choose to try the Priory (esp if you like good food too) or the Royal Crescent

PS The Railair coach is mostly on the M4 and the journey isn't too long so I think your daughter ought to be okay.

Travel sickness is more likely to be an issue if you were thinking about taking the Mad-Max/Scarper day trips to Stonehenge, I would think.

Have fun

Rumson, New Jersey
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103 reviews
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5. Re: Advise appreciated

I remember the Crescent as being up a hill removed from the tourist center; is this correct? Hard to judge from long ago memories. How far a walk is this from the abbey area? Royal theater?

Much thanks,.

T

Bath UK
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for Bath
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6. Re: Advise appreciated

Google Maps puts the walk from the Abbey to Royal Crescent at 0.8 miles taking 14 minutes. The same journey from the Theatre Royal is 10 minutes or 0.5 miles.

The Royal Crescent is a few metres above the main town centre, but I think you would probably just notice that Gay St was on a slight slope (inconsequential compared to other hills in Bath and nothing to bother somebody who is able to walk a mile).

Rumson, New Jersey
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103 reviews
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7. Re: Advise appreciated

Thanks for the info-we're looking into Priory, Dukes,Villa magdala, Hilton City Center. I'm looking for a short safe walk (10 minutes or so) coming back in the evening from dinner and theater. Any ideas on these.

I looked into car vs public transportation from LHR to Bath and the price and convenience is not as bad as feared!

Also we wanted to get out to Stonehenge, thought it would be easier from Bath than an all day bus ride from london, not so. Would a tour to the henge be easier from Salisbury?

T

Bath UK
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for Bath
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8. Re: Advise appreciated

Hi

Villa Magdala/Dukes and the ghastly-looking Hilton are all very central and within a 5 minute walk of each other and confortably meet your wish to be "within 10 minutes walk" of most attractions.

The Priory Hotel is much further away from the main city centre (which is part of its charm - almost like a country hotel - gorgeous gardens) but you would need to think about a taxi in the evenings.

I've not looked at rooms in any of the places but here are my thoughts:

Hilton - depite being one of the ugliest buildings in Bath, the rooms will be up to the standard of the typical renovated Hilton with a slightly corporate feel. There is a restaurant and swimming pool/gym on site. Parking is pricey (but there is an underground car park).

Villa Magdala overlooks a small park behind Great Pulteney St. It is an extraordinary-looking Victorian Villa so it is rather striking amidst the Bath stone housing in the area. The rooms are likely to be roomy with historic-style decor. There is a fair-sized car park in the grounds. This is probably the quietest place to stay.

The Dukes Hotel is a half-way along Great Pulteney Street and has a great restaurant in the basement. This is a traditional small Georgian Hotel, beautifully restored. Great Pulteney St isn't too busy, but you might get some slight traffic noise because most houses in Bath aren't allowed to install double-glazing..

Choosing an hotel is always a bit tricky so take a look at the hotel websites and read the reviews and go with your "gut feel".

If budget isn't an issue and you love good food, pay a few more pounds for the occaisional taxi and go splurge at The Priory.

Now for Stonehenge:

The organised tours to Stonehenge from Bath go for full and half-days (Scarper and Mad Max spring to mind) but they do use mini-coaches. This might not be ideal for your travel-sickness prone daughter?

Alternatives are to :

1) Hire a car for the day

2) Arange a private tour/taxi (so you get driven there and probably stop at a few other places too)

3) Train to Salisbury then catch the shuttle bus (the stop for which is just a few yards down the road from the station). The train journey takes about 1 hour and Salisbury is a nice city to explore, so you could easily make a day of it.

4) If you are getting a taxi to/from Heathrow contact them asap and ask them to re-price the journey so that you have an hour at Stonehenge. When we travel to/from Heathrow we often go this route to avoid congestion on the M4 so it isn't a huge detour.

Hope this helps

Rumson, New Jersey
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1,332 posts
103 reviews
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9. Re: Advise appreciated

Great advice. Thank you,

T

Rumson, New Jersey
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1,332 posts
103 reviews
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10. Re: Advise appreciated

After more review, I think Hilton is out , after all what is Bath without Georgian charm! Now narrowed it down, is your personal opinion Villa Magdala or Dukes for the central site? wiill then decide between that and Priory? Thank you.

T