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Need Help with Bath Itinerary

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Need Help with Bath Itinerary

Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I will be visiting the Bath area (spending 2 nights in Bath) and need help with the itinerary. We will be driving from London early in the morning and hope to be in Bath by lunchtime. We want to explore Bath that afternoon and will be staying in town that night. The next day we are hoping to explore the Cotswolds but don't know which village is best. Any advice would be appreciated. The next day we will return to London, but would love to visit market towns as we head back to the city.

Thanks in advance!

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1. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

What day of the week will you leave London ?

And what do you mean by early ?

And where in London will you leave from ? I normally reckon on 2 hours from Heathrow: it's just over 100 miles, mostly on motorway (freeway ?).

Where are you staying in Bath ?

If you arrive on the edge of Bath at 9:00 on a Monday it may take half an hour to get into the city: a similar on a Sunday will take 5 minutes.

Do you want to include a visit to Stonehenge on the way to Bath or on the return to London ?

There are a multitude of routes to get between the two places, obviously, but if you use the A4 west of Hungerford you will go through Marlborough, which is a nice market town with a couple of excellent teashops: that route would also take you past Avebury (the stone circle is miles better than S'henge) and Silbury Hill/ West Kennet Long Barrow.

I find many Cotswold towns and villages rather twee, but Northleach is (relatively) unspoilt: might be an idea to look on the Cotswold forum for ideas.

Edited: 21 August 2013, 07:27
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2. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

Hi RomanCitizen! We are driving from London on a Tuesday morning and will drive past Stonehenge for very quick pictures before we head to Bath, which is our home base for two nights. We would like to spend the afternoon exploring Bath and the following day in the surrounding area. We were originally thinking of spending that day driving through the Cotswolds, but I'm unsure as to which village would be a good destination. We're looking for good shops, pubs, scenery, but not tourists. My boyfriend would really like to visit one of the nearby castles, but Warwick Castle looks a little like an amusement park. Can you recommend something else? I was also looking at Wells in Somerset as a possible stop--I realize it's the complete opposite direction. As you can probably tell I'm totally overwhelmed. We want to see so much, but have so little time to get it in. I also should mentioned that we need to leave on Thursday to be back in London by lunchtime.

Thanks so much!

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3. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

I believe S'henge opens at 09:30, so try and be there by then, which may mean an early start. Where are you staying in London, so we can offer advice on where to avoid/ best route ?

On the way from S'henge to Bath you pass within a mile of Farleigh Hungerford castle, so you could pop in there for an hour. However, Bath needs a h*ll of a lot of time itself - the Roman Baths really needs 2 hours on its own, so you have to think about how you spend that day.

If you try and head up to Warwick you will be spending all day in the car, better to concentrate on the southern half. Tetbury and Cirencester are nice, but as I suggested, I think you need to ask a question of the Cotswold forum, something along the lines of 'what can we do in a day from Bath'.

Sadly you won't have time for Wells.

Edited: 22 August 2013, 06:23
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4. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

I don't think you can see stonehenge from the road any more. That road has been removed.

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5. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

As other point out, a visit to Stonehenge or Avebury a very good idea either on the way to Bath or way home.

If you are in Bath Sunday morning the mayors guides walking tour of the city is excellent, and I think free. Check it out on line for meeting point etc.

The roman baths are a must see too.

If you want a castle, there is a little one at Fairleigh Hungerford, 15 minutes away,, or the best one, within a hours drive, is Chepstow, just over the Severn bridge.

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6. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

@RomanCitizen--We'll be picking up our car in London (still not sure where to pick up yet), but we're staying in Hammersmith. I was hoping we could just drive past S'henge, get out, take a couple pics and then continue on. Is that possible? Maps show a road that passes right by it, but @ Akkarin mentions that that road may have been closed. Neither of us want to take a tour of the site. We want to spend as much of that day in Bath, so we will be leaving London early. Would it be better to just pick up the car outside the city? Coming from the US, it seems a little nerve-wracking driving around London and in the countryside. But, we don't want to be tied to a train or bus schedule. We're thinking of splitting the following day (Wednesday) by spending half of the day in a Cotswold village and the other half visiting a castle (not sure if that's logistically possible). I've posted on the Cotswolds boards and am deciding between Stow, Bourton, and Chipping Camden. As mentioned, we need to be back in London by lunchtime on Thursday. So, alas not much time in the country, but perhaps next time.

Thanks everyone!

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7. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

Oh! should also mention that although there are several ruined castles in the vicinity, we're hoping to find a more intact castle, similar to Berkeley or Warwick (although not as Disneyland-y). We would really like to see the interiors and how the castle functioned when it was in use.

Thanks again!

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8. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

Hard to get photos without going in - and there is a link fence all around which will be in the photos....whereas at Avebury you can wander round amongst the stones to you heart's ease, touch them, lean against them etc. At Stonehenge you are kept away from the stones: and yes, it is not possible any more to stop on the side of the road, so you would have to pay for the car park.

Hammersmith is on the right side of London, so feel free to drive from there, but be aware that to leave early (before 07.30 say) you may need to hire the afternoon before. Also easier to get to Avebury/ Marlborough from Hammersmith........

Can you drive stick-shift ? Europeans don't like the inefficiency of automatics, so thay are rare, so make sure you specify well in advance when hiring if you need an automatic.

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9. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

From what you say I have a feeling you would like Avebury Stone circle, which is very approachable. You don't need permission to go up to it, in fact the stone circles cover a large area including along some of the roads outside the town. You can drive right by them, then you can park in the town in order to get out and take a closer look. There is a tiny bit of tourism in the town (shops) but I believe this is a whole different thing than Stonehenge (which I admit I have not visited). As for Bath, in order to save time just skip the Roman Baths. We thought it was incredibly expensive! It's a pleasure to just walk around the town even if you don't pay to go in to any of the museums. You can also go in to the Bath Abbey for free since it is an active church (we dropped a pound coin in the box).

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10. Re: Need Help with Bath Itinerary

£13 for something that is unique and should take at least 2 hours ? by UK standards that is cheap.

I note that the suggested donation at the Abbey is £2.50.......