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St. Louis
posts: 125
reviews: 2

I am new in this forum. Could I please get a little help with a 1 day trip to Bath from the Sumner Hotel in London. I appreciate any suggestions with transportation, schedules and things to see. Thank you.

Liverpool, United...
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
posts: 8,636
reviews: 65
1. Re: Bath

If you have already set aside a day to travel from London to Bath then surely you must have planned what you would like to see in Bath?

Otherwise, why would you want to visit Bath?

posts: 11,111
reviews: 37
2. Re: Bath

The best way to Bath is by train from London Paddington, there are two trains an hour and the journey time is around 90 minutes.

The best-value tickets are Advance fares, which are available up to 12 weeks before departure date. However these are for specific trains, and are not exchangeable or refundable once booked. For more flexibility, look at off-peak fares, which mean you can leave London after 09.30 (any time at weekends) and, if on a day trip, return by any train the same day. Off-peak fares can be bought at the station on the day.

Paddington Station is easy to reach from Marble Arch; there are several buses (7, 23, 36, 159, 436), or a short ride in a taxi.

When are you travelling though, as major works at Reading over the Easter weekend and in early April will mean longer journey times.


Edited: 5:23 am, January 19, 2013
Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
posts: 6,531
reviews: 38
3. Re: Bath

What day of the week are you planning to come to Bath ? by far the best way is to come by train, and leaving Paddington after 09.30 will be cheaper, the drawback is that you won't arrive until 11:00.

If you can, get an earlier train, and go straight to the Roman Baths - allow at least 90 minutes to see it properly.

Otherwise do some research, there are loads of things to see and do in Bath - we have no idea of what interests you.


Farnham, Surrey
posts: 6
reviews: 7
4. Re: Bath

Dear Beachman,

Bath is a beautiful city and I go there once a year for a weekend and never tire of it. If I only had a short time there, then this is what I would recommend: take a bus tour so that you can see a lot in a short space of time. The bus tours are very informative and give you a feel for the City. Then I would take a tour around the Roman Baths as the previous person has said, and then take afternoon tea at The Pump Room - essential for a first time visit!

What time of year are you going?


posts: 20
reviews: 4
5. Re: Bath

We are landing at Heathrow at (hopefully as scheduled) 11 am on a Wed. I didn't book train tickets because I thought the bus was faster..so now I'm going to book so I dont end up at airport w/no way to get to Bath..should we do the train? I went to National Xpress website and when I put our info in it told me 4 hours! Well that's not really express!

I also, since we're renting a car and driving all over and up to Scotland, planned on leaving car in York and taking train to London. Should I book these train trips at the same time, will it save me to get some sort of train card? Getting Anxious!

posts: 3,816
reviews: 24
6. Re: Bath

Ducklady -I advise you to start a new thread of your own (with a more informative title like "help needed booking advance train tickets") in order to get all the information you need. But in general walk up long distance train fares are an extremely bad idea because you might pay up to 10x the advance fare, and may not even get a reserved seat (fancy paying £100 per person to stand all the way?Me neither).

Bath, UK
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
posts: 6,531
reviews: 38
7. Re: Bath

Are planning on going straight to Bath from the airport ? Rick Steves recommends this, people who have actually done it don't.

posts: 11,111
reviews: 37
8. Re: Bath

@ ducklady - you should go for the direct coaches, they only take 2h35.

posts: 20
reviews: 4
9. Re: Bath

That's why I was looking at National Express, they are supposed to be direct! Is there a different one? Their site says 2+ hours, but when you go to book it, it tells you 4. My time is short, trying to book ahead, but not sure, info is not really available!

Nassau, New...
posts: 2,825
reviews: 42
10. Re: Bath

We've gone to Bath many times over the years to visit relatives. Normally, we take the train from Paddington, but have taken the rail link bus from Heathrow to Reading, then taken the train from Reading. Is this still possible? I recall it being convenient, but not sure if it was time efficient, as the Heathrow Express to Paddinton is a mere 15 minutes.

While ticketing in advance does seem the way to go, we've almost always used a train pass and found it to be not only economical, but it's real worth comes from having the flexibility to take any train at any time and not be relegated to a particular train or time. It's given use lots of excuses to make day trips on the spur of the moment -- heading down to a station, having a look at the board and hopping on one to explore for the day.

From your description of your plans, perhaps a train pass would work for you. It would, if nothing else, give you extreme flexibility in yoru plans. A 3 day pass, for example, can be purchased to use on 3 consecutive days or on any 3 days in a month. There are many different options/days/regions to choose from. A 3 day pass could take you on the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then to Bath and return on the same day. And use the pass again when you drop off your car in York. Nor sure where you plan to pick up the car, but perhaps even taking the train north of London so you aren't driving in heavy traffic areas -- perhaps even York.

Bath is a lovely city, and while it can be sampled in one day, you really do want more than that to get a fair look around. There's much to see and do and even with a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and the Roman Baths in one day, you do miss a lot.