My husband & I will be in London for 6 nights in May then traveling via Eurostar to Paris. I'm planning a day trip out of the city for one day while in London. Bath looks wonderful so its a Must See but also interested in Windsor and seeing Stonehenge. First question - are these 3 things really doable in a one day, all day outing? I see some tours do go to all 3 places. Is that too much to try and see in a day? The info online says its an 11 hour trip which doesn't really bother me at all if its all day. But if it is really too much, then I'd like to do Bath and Stonehenge. Can you do both in a day? Also does anyone have any experience with any of the tours and could recommend one over another? I've also looked at the day trips with London Walks (to Bath). Has anyone used them for a day trip & would you recommend? It looks like they would just do Bath. Please give your thoughts & feedback. Its our first time to London, not sure if or when we'd ever go back since I have so many places on my growing Bucket List. Thanks!
You'll spend a lot of time on the bus. London to Bath alone is 2-2.5 hours by bus. You could spend an entire day in each place and still not be able to see everything available at each site. So, if you go the "tour" route, expect to spend most of the time traveling, with only about an hour or less at each site.
My personal preference is to do one site really well, but that's my preference.
I did a Grey Line day trip that included Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford; I could have done without Stonehenge because while it's quite iconic, it was not particularly satisfying outside of that aspect; we looked at the rocks, we took photos, we used the restroom and then left. Windsor castle and the little (touristy) town were quite interesting but Oxford was the best of the lot and I really, really needed a lot more than 1 hour to explore. Next trip will include dedicated time there. You do spend a lot of time in the bus. I liked seeing what towns outside of London were like and also got a glimpse of Highclere Castle. I suggest picking the place that grabs you the most--sounds like Bath (on the list for next trip), and taking a trip with that focus.
I’m with @ klecser – “do” one, and “do” it well. Lumping Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor into one day seems like a LOT of time on a bus, and not nearly enough time at each destination. You won’t be doing any of those lovely sthan needed to do it justice, all in pursuit of ticking off boxes on a list?
Bath is really lovely, and a perfect day trip all by itself. The baths are a must-see if you have any interest in Roman history. The abbey is glorious. The costume museum is surprisingly compelling. Tea in the Pump Room is a major treat and so swank! A city walk will take you over the famous bridge (Putney? Pultney?) and along the Royal Crescent – so gracious and lovely – or you can do a boat tour on the river!
Stonehenge is amazing (although less so these days, since one can no longer wander amongst the stones) – and you could make an awesome day trip if you grouped it with Salisbury, Glastonbury Tor and Old Sarum. I really, really like Old Sarum. It’s da’ bomb – and only 5 or 6 miles from Stonehenge! And Salisbury Cathedral is heart-stoppingly magnificent.
Windsor Castle is stunning and only a short train ride outside of London. I’d suggest touring the castle in the morning, having a pub lunch and exploring the village, then walking into Eton to look around the college. The walk takes you over the Thames and along lots of charming shops on the Eton High Street – I suggest a refreshing pint in the Crown and Cushion Inn’s little pub on your way back to get the train.
Thank you all for your input. After careful deliberation (and my husband telling me he does not want to go by coach anywhere) we've decided to do Bath via London Walks. I'm super excited about it too. It looks like a great day out of the city!
Diana, you will not be disappointed! What fun! Have a great time in Bath!
You can go out to Windsor on a different day from your Bath trip. You don't need a tour bus or anything; you can do it yourself. Take the train out early one morning, visit Windsor Castle, walk around the town of Windsor (or do some of the things Kira suggested), get back on the train, return to London. You'll be back mid-afternoon to see another sight or take in dinner and a show that evening. Windsor is not very far from London; more just on the outskirts of London.
bath is lovely. we're here now. one of the top 3 ( roman baths, abbey being first) is the canals. if you walk across the north parade bridge, then left and up to bathwick hill, then ask anyone where the canals are. it's maybe a twenty minute walk from the abbey. you can see the boats go through the locks. so if it's sunny and you feel like a stroll with some ice cream, it's quite interesting. if you've got other things you're dying to see though or if it's rainy, skip it. have fun!
i should have said "my top three." i know the canals aren't on most people's must sees for bath but i thought they were lovely and very english! we also really enjoyed punting but you'd need to allocate 2-3 hrs to walk to the boathouse, have an hour in the boat, walk back over pultney bridge.