Is there any advantage in taking a train from York to Bath Spa instead of going through London? I know the route from York to Bath has at least one change, just as York to Kings Cross to Paddington(on the tube) to Bath does. It seems like trains might leave more frequently going through London. Thanks.
Yes, trains to London are more frequent. Unless it was a lot longer (which it isn't) I would take the route avoiding London, because doing one (or two) changes within the same station is a lot easier than going on the tube from Kings Cross to Paddington.
I can see one train per hour from York to Bath, requiring only one change at Bristol, and taking 4½ hours.
We took the train from Bath to York, changing in Bristol. It was an easy station to navigate, the scenery was beautiful along the way, and we did not have to worry about crowds in London.
Thanks so much-y'all have convinced me-avoid the London route! I especially appreciated the comment about the scenery.
This is the train company that operate the direct trains between York & Bristol (Temple Meads) - where you change to a Great Western Train for the 15 minute hop to Bath.https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk
Going via Bristol is much easier than going via London. You may find it easier to find the fares & schedules here > www.nationalrail.co.uk but pre-book a specific train with Cross Country about 11 weeks out = about the time the lowest price tickets appear. Pay on the day would be about £50. The cheapest way you can probably do it is to firstly establish the times of the trains - click details and find out when they stop at Cheltenham and make a note of it. So, for example, I see that the 9.44 from York is at Cheltenham at 13.00. Now, by pre-booking this service from York to Cheltenham, I can get a fare of £30.20. Then, pre-book from Cheltenham to Bath and I see a price of £7.50 > travelling (& staying ON THE SAME TRAINS - but, you may have to move seats at Cheltenham - but this is unlikely). So, by pre-booking well in advance, the total price from York to Bath is £37.70. (By doing a ‘split’ at Cheltenham, this is cheaper than buying a through ticket - even though you use the same trains).
As the following post tells you, it may be cheaper via London due to Cross Country not having enough coaches to match demand - so check out the fares via London if you wish.
You may also find this post relevant:>https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/using-bath-as-a-base
Do be aware that Cross Country, which does the York to Bristol leg runs trains that are often inadequately short for the demand on the route, and hence the cheap 'A'dvance tickets go quickly, especially at peak travel times (times of day and days of the year). Conversely there is more capacity via London so the fares can be cheaper.
Thanks for the additional info about cheapest way to buy tickets.