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Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Kent
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Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

My disabled friend wants to see Bath at the end of October (coming from London, driven by me). She wants to tour around the city without getting out of the car except at the Roman Baths. What roads must I include to see the beauty of Bath and are there any snarls ups I ought to avoid?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

I can't recommend it. The majority of the streets you might want to see are either closed to private cars, or very difficult to get to with a car, or you can't see much from the road. And the traffic is appalling

If you don't know the city and the way around you'll find it very stressful, especially if you're trying to look for things and point them out. Bath also has a complicated one-way system with lots of things that can trap the unwary like bus lanes/gates and so on

You're better off with one of the tour buses that do a circuit. You won't be trying to drive and guide at the same time plus they can go places cars aren't allowed

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Bath is one of the worst places to drive a car as it gets congested and has an awful one-way system and not forgeting the dreaded "bus gate".

You could drive up to the Royal Crescent and Circus etc. But if you get lost prepared to drive around in circles !

And you wouldn't be able to drive over Pulteney Bridge to get to Great Pulteney Street and Sydney Gardens - you'd have to take a massive detour.

I remember one time I was walking through Kinsgmead Square and a taxi driver from Taunton stopped me as he was lost and wanted to take his passenger to the Min hospital on Upper Borough Walls. I had to get in the taxi and show him the way.

The hospital was just around the corner and literally a 2 minute walk away but to get there we had drive in the opposite direction back towards Bath Spa station, up Manvers Street, through Bog Island, down Westgate Street, and then past the Theatre Royal to get to Upper Borough Walls.

Budapest, Hungary
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3. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Hmmm, difficult one. Do you know Bath at all ? if not, I suggest taking one of the tour buses - your friend would be on the lower level, but no different to a car. Alternative is a taxi driver who knows some local history (I know several) or a proper tour guide with their own car.

Bath UK
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4. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

HIring a taxi for a tour or using the HOHO bus does involve spending some money but it is probably cheaper than getting a fine for driving in a bus lane or driving on a road that is for buses only. So many people come onto the forum to complain about being fined that it must be easy to drive about ignoring road signs.

How does disabled parking work? The area near the Roman Baths is mostly pedestrianised. Staff at the Baths ought ot be able to advise, and also look at this link: romanbaths.co.uk/visiting/accessibility.aspx

Can your friend use a motorised chair? I'm just thinking that there is a Shopmobility place in the centre of town

bathnes.gov.uk/leisureandculture/tourismandt…

Can you rely on your friend as a competent navigator or should we keep it simple.

Finally, is this just a day-trip, and/or would you like some panoramic views?

If the latter, are you okay with very steep hills and narrow roads or would you prefer to avoid the back roads and scary hills that I love taking visitors around?

England
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5. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

If it helps, the Ho-Ho buses in Bath are now all low floor with a wheelchair space (except on the upper deck of course !).

Phil-the-Bus

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

>Finally, is this just a day-trip, and/or would you like some panoramic views?<

The Ho-Ho buses also do a Bath Skyline Tour - I'm not sure exactly where they go or what it entails but it wouldn't include two of my favourite places for panormaic views of Bath - Sham Castle and Alexandra Park which is a also a good place to watch the fireworks from on 5th November. (Shhh!)

You also get good views from Bath City FC's ground at Twerton Park, but considering how they are doing at the moment, the views off the pitch are better than what you see on the pitch! ;-)

Edited: 22 October 2011, 13:15
Budapest, Hungary
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7. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Sham Castle is not doable for a diabled person.

Agree that it's a fantastic view, though.

Bath
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8. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Don't even attempt to drive around Bath, there are lots of one way systems, and the parking restrictions are too difficult to understand for most visitors.

The bus tours are without a doubt THE best way to see the City, and the views in the Skyline tour are fantastic. If you want to cheat and save some money you could just drive the bus tour routes instead, but there are not many places to stop if you wanted to take photos.

Enjoy your trip in our wonderful city.

PS: Avoid 8am to 10am and 3pm to 6pm if you can - those are the worst times for traffic.

England
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9. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

Unfortunately you cannot drive the entire tour bus route in a car as some of it will be along bits of road restricted t to buses (as suggested in the other postings).

Edited: 23 October 2011, 15:03
Liverpool, United...
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10. Re: Driving in Bath to give non walker a flavour of the city

>The bus tours are without a doubt THE best way to see the City<

Sorry, but I disagree.

The best way to see Bath is on foot (or wheelchair/mobility scooter!) or even on a bicycle.

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