We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Which Bath hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Zurich, Switzerland
5 posts
Save Topic
Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Hi,

I'm going to be in the UK in a couple weeks and would like to visit Brighton, Bath, Bristol, and Stonehenge, but am struggling with the travel logistics.

Basically, I have just a couple days to do this.

Here is my tentative plan, but I would like some input as to the feasibility and any tips on cheap travel would be appreciated! I'm a recent university graduate and just worked as an au pair for a year, so I'm operating on a "low-as-possible-without-starving-budget" =)

Day 1: I arrive at London Gatwick around 12.30pm, head to Brighton

Day 2: Spend the day in Brighton

Day 3: Go to Stonehenge as early as possible (hopefully seeing it at sunrise!), head to Bath for the afternoon, then go to Bristol at night

Day 4: Spend the day in Bristol, meeting a friend in London in the evening

Sometimes I'm thinking it's very feasible, but then I think it's too much, too fast, and not the most efficient way to go

Thanks in advance for the help!

Cardiff, United...
Destination Expert
for Cardiff
Level Contributor
7,090 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

You have a car, right, to get to Stonehenge at sunrise? And have you booked to access the Stone Circle at that time?

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
25,447 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

First you need to remember that British Summer Time ends on October 27th this year and the clocks go back one hour. This means that daylight will be a little earlier and it will get dark earlier. Darkness falls quite quickly at this time of year. timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html…

You need to find out if there is a train from Brighton to Salisbury/Stonehenge www.thetrainline.com. This should give you the journey, time it takes and price. You have left it a bit late for cheap fares which are usually 6 weeks in advance.

The coach is cheaper than the train if it does the routes you want www.nationalexpress.com

I am not sure if you can go to at sunrise without going on a tour. Probably COcm is right and you would need to book. Here is the Salisbury forum.http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g186414-i1296-Salisbury_Wiltshire_England.html There are questions about getting from the station to Stonehenge. They will answer your question about sunrise too.

What do you want to see in Bath? You will have very little time. Perhaps time to see one, maybe two things.

Also wondering what you want to see in Bristol? It's not known for it's tourist attractions though it is plesant enough with the cathedral and museum. Maybe The Suspension Bridge.

I think you would be better to go from Brighton to Bath spend a whole day & half in Bath and go to Stonehenge from there - then go to Bristol to meet your friend. This would be much easier to book and you would not be so rushed.

To fit it all into the amount of time you have you need to be totally prepared. Print maps, timetables and tickets. Know where your transport arrives in each place and directions on how to get to the places you want to see. Find the bus numbers for within the cities. Use Google maps for both bus and attractions will be quickest. And you need to have some cheap accommodation arranged. Too late for bargains in chain hotels.

In future remember when you travel and want to do it as cheaply as possible it is better to start booking 6 weeks to 3 mts in advance for the best prices, places.

Good luck. I hope all goes well.

Basingstoke, United...
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
178 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

If you want to see the sunrise at Stonehenge you will not have much time to sleep in Brighton! Otherwise all possible with a car but somewhat tiring.

Bath UK
Destination Expert
for Bath
Level Contributor
2,385 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Stonehenge at Sunrise MIGHT be stunning, or shrouded in mist, grey mostly or tipping it down. If you haven't booked a sunrise access you need to start trying to book one now. If you are arriving so soon, you might need to base yourself inSalisbury and do a tour from there. that isn't necessarily such a bad thing. It would be great if you could do it that first night (then do Brighton at the end).

If you are o. Holiday for a while (i.e. more than a few days), then fitting Bath/Bristol/Brighton/Stonehenge is fine if you have VERY clear ideas about where/what you want to see (otherwise I worry you might not be ready for the jet lag/culture shock combo). You will be spending a lot of time travelling.

Zurich, Switzerland
5 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Thanks for all the advice!

I'm going to be there in 4 weeks, and plan to couch surf so I'm not worrying too much about accomadation. If that doesn't work, I will try to stay in youth hostels somewhere. :)

I wasn't sure about Bristol, but thought that since it was so close it would be worth checking out. But, now I think I'm going to skip it.

Since I'm flying into Gatwick (I'm coming from another EU country so jet lag shouldn't be a problem, thankfully!), I feel like it makes to most sense to do Brighton first. Unfortunately my London date isn't really changeable.

So, I think my new plan is:

Day 1: Fly into Gatwick, go to Brighton

Day 2: Brighton, leave in the evening for Bath

Day 3: Bath (Sleep in Salisbury if timing works better)

Day 4: Go to Stonehenge and leave for London in the evening

Does this look a little better?

I'm going to check into the tours for Stonehenge, thanks for the info on that (I'm used to just showing up to places so I didn't even think to check into it!)

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
25,447 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

That sounds a better plan and should be simpler to fit everything in. You wil be able to see things rather than travel all the time.

Pack warm clothes, waterproofs and walking boots. It is probably the time of year to be the darkest and wettest. Though you never know on an island ;-)

Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Hi Erica,

You haven't said whether you will have a car, or be using public transport. With a car, your itinerary is possible (but exhausting), and with public transport it will be difficult, fretful and much more expensive.

If you are using public transport:

- Gatwick to Brighton is no problem by train.

- Brighton to Bath will have to be via London and you need to allow 3.5 - 4 hours. Check here:

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

- Bath to Salisbury will take an hour on the train (plus walking and waiting time:

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

- There is no public transport from Salisbury to Stonehenge, but there is a Stonehenge tour bus, but it doesn't run before 10am in the Autumn. Check here:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186414-i1296-k3…

and here:

http://www.thestonehengetour.info/

- So a taxi (or a friend with a car) is the only option to get you there before sunrise, and get back again - remember that you have to get from Stonehenge (in the middle of open countryside) to either Salisbury or Bath after your visit.

- Salisbury to Gatwick will take about 2.5 hours by train:

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

- or Bath to Gatwick will take around 3 hours:

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

My opinion is that the itinerary is too much to achieve without a car, and too much to arrange smoothly at short notice, including access to Stonehenge before sunrise.

On the other hand, if you hire a car at Gatwick airport, you will be in Brighton within an hour, but Brighton to Bath is a 3 hour drive.

Considering it is Autumn, the weather conditions are variable, and it gets dark by 5pm, it is an exhausting journey (I have done it several times), but allow more time. See here:

theaa.com/route-planner/…7C164768

Cross-country is feasible, but you will need a SatNav, and the journey time can be a lot longer - particularly at busy times or in bad weather.

No point in going to Salisbury for the night when you can drive from Bath, so allow an hour (again in the dark). See here:

theaa.com/route-planner/…7C142338

Then I would recommend heading on your way back to Gatwick from Stonehenge, rather than going back to Bath of Salisbury. A good place to visit is Marlborough, which is only 40 minutes from Stonehenge and is close to the motorway route back to Gatwick.

Even with a hire car, you will be driving for many hours, mostly in the dark - and will be exhausted by the end of it. I would suggest reducing your itinerary by taking Stonehenge out of the equation. Do it on another trip, preferably in the summer months when the weather is better and there is a good chance of actually seeing the sunrise.

Have a safe trip.

Edited: 17 October 2013, 09:33
Zurich, Switzerland
5 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Thanks for the advice. Renting a car isn't an option for me, as I cannot drive a manual and it's just a bit too expensive to rent alone (in my opinion). So, I'm doing the bus/train routes

Will definitely be packing up warm clothes and some waterproof shoes!

I've decided to skip Brighton also, and just go to Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge, which should make it a bit easier and not so tiring so I can enjoy my time :)

Thanks!

Edited: 21 October 2013, 20:23
Budapest, Hungary
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
9,209 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

I suggest you head straight to Bath and stay there.

You will have the evening of day 1 to orientate yourself, then spend day 2 visiting the sights (get to the Roman Baths first, it can get busy, get an audio guide), then train to Salisbury and bus out to Stonehenge on day 3 - a day is more than enough.

Don't worry about missing sunrise, at this time of year it isn't the same as midsummer. At 4.00am on a June morning it is peaceful, at 8:00am on a late October/ November morning it will be noisy (there is a major road nearby). If today is anything to go by it will also be wet !

Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Brighton, Bristol, Bath, Stonehenge, advice needed!

Erica,

That's good advice from RomanCitizen.

Also, to keep the costs down, consider alternative travelling methods. Compare the costs of trains and coaches from and to Gatwick.

National Express run coaches from Gatwick to Bath and can be checked here:

nationalexpress.com/wherewego/…bath.aspx

and here:

www.tourinaday.com/bath/gatwick-to-bath.html

and train fares are cheaper if you book them in advance, rather than paying on the day. check here:

http://www.thetrainline.com/

or here:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/

Also consider booking your train ticket from Bath to Salisbury in advance.

Enjoy your trip.

We are off to your home-city for the weekend :-)