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Bath a good base?

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Maryland
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345 posts
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Bath a good base?

Hello

My husband and I are making our first trip to England in May. We are staying 4 nights in London and want to spend 4 nights somewhere else to visit Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury, Oxford, and ? What else should we see in the area?

Is Bath a good base for these areas or should we stay somewhere else?

We plan to stay at the Paradise Hotel/Inn as it seems to be the type of place we would like and has great reviews here.

Thanks for your help and advice.

Seattle
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1. Re: Bath a good base?

TC: Are you driving or taking the train? If it's the latter, you can easily hop the train for day trips to Bristol and/or Cardiff, Wales amongst other places. Check out the rail maps on

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk to get an idea of what is where and then you can also figure out train times.

Maryland
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2. Re: Bath a good base?

We will take the train to Bath but thought we would rent a car while there to be able to see the area.

Then we will take the train to the airport to fly home.

England
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for Peak District National Park
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3. Re: Bath a good base?

You don't say whether you will be making the journey by public transport or by hire car.

The notes below assume the former.

Depending on how much luggage you have with you, you will probably find it more time-efficient easier to visit Stonehenge and Salisbury on the way to Bath - trains run every hour from London Waterloo to Salisbury from where bus number 3 to Stonehenge departs from outside the Station building at 1000, 1100 & 1200.

Assuming that you ony need 40 minutes at Stonehenge (which sadly many people find more than enough) you will be back in Salisbury at 1130, 1230 or 1330. Trains run at least every hour from Salisbury to Bath and take approx 1 hour, so you could easily spend the afternoon in Salisbury and be in your hotel in Bath in time for an evening meal.

Similarly, you could "do" Oxford on the way back from Bath to London, by changing trains at Didcot or Reading. However you might find it better to leave Bath on the afternoon of day 3 and stay overnight in Oxford.

Bear in mind, however, that left luggage facilities are difficult to find outside London so be prepared to cart your luggage around with you.

The other alternative would be to go straight to Bath then do a day trip to Stonehenge / Salisbury - see www.madmaxtours.co.uk (this also includes visits to other popular attractions. Salisbury can easily be done as a day trip from Bath by train.

I hope this helps.

England
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for Peak District National Park
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4. Re: Bath a good base?

Having just noted your reply to Lee's posting, if you want to tour the Bath area by car, you might also wish to visit the Wiltshire villages of Castle Combe (claimed by some to be the prettiest village in England), Lacock (where parts of Harry Potter and other period dramas were filmed), Avebury (Ancient Stone Circles) and Bradford on Avon - see www.visitwiltshire.co.uk .

However, the Mad Max Tour will visit most of these and would presumably give you the benefit of the guided tour en-route.

Pasadena, California
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5. Re: Bath a good base?

We used the Bath area for a base and were very happy... would gladly go back as there is so much to see within easy driving distance of Bath. Some of our favorites:

The lovely old town of Wells, and Wells Cathedral.

Near Wells is the facinating old town of Glastonbury, a center of Arthurian legend and early Christian history in Britain (with evocative landscape and ruined abbey). Also a British NewAge center, naturally.

A little farther but still within driving distance is SW Wales; we spent a day at Chepstow Castle and Tinturn Abbey. Highly recommended.

You can get driving distances/times on www.viamichelin.com, a European mapquest type site. VERY handy for planning, and then print out directions and take with you.

Pasadena, California
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6. Re: Bath a good base?

Sorry, I meant SE Wales, just over the border.