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Day Trips - Take a bus tour or do on your own

Looking at a bus tour (London Toolkit) to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Bath. The price looks good (£89) but seems like a lot of bus time. Anyone taken this or something similar? Looks like my total time on the tour is 12 hours (8AM - 8PM). Should I just break up these trips to different days or another time to London? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
365 posts

Windsor Castle is an easy train ride from London. We did just that and enjoyed the day then joined a tour on a subsequent day covering Bath & Stonehenge with a short stop in Lacock. Still would gave liked more time in Bath! I can't imagine doing all 3 together.

Posted by
533 posts

There are a lot of tours like that out there, that try to cram an impossible assortment of destinations into a single day trip. They do it by cutting down the time at each place to almost nothing, so you spend most of the day sitting on the bus itself. I can see them being appealing if you absolutely must see all three of those places and you absolutely have only one day to do it. In any other case, you'll probably be a lot happier spreading them out across multiple days and/or saving one or two of them for another time.

Posted by
7175 posts

Well put by khbuzzard above.
If you have the time available then choose Bath and Windsor Castle as 2 separate days, which you can easily do yourself. Leave Stonehenge for a future visit.

Posted by
330 posts

Hello,
I have done Windsor and Bath on 2 separate days on my own via trains. Lots to do in both places. I think a tour would just rush through.
I did go see Stonehenge on a trip where we had a rental car. On my last visit to London, I had thought about going out to Stonehenge. Found several companies that went only there. Also had heard about a bus that goes there from Salisbury. You could look into that and have some fun in Salisbury too.
Since I had gone there before, I ended up going to Canterbury.

Have a wonderful adventure!

Posted by
14241 posts

The last 2 years I've gone out to Salisbury by train but was able to spend a couple of nights there. The local bus to Stonehenge is very easy and picks up at the station or if you have stayed the night before in town, also has a stop in the City Centre. It is run by the local company called Salisbury Reds and is called The Stonehenge Tour. It's not guided, the bus just runs a loop all day out to The stones and back via Old Sarum. Lots to see in Salisbury. You don't need to book ahead and can just buy the ticket from the bus driver. I suggest getting the combo ticket for Stonehenge entry as the bus driver hops off, gets the entry tickets and you don't have to stand in line.

editing to add: Here is the link to the bus out to Stonehenge from Salisbury.

http://www.thestonehengetour.info/timetable

I also just love Bath but would not want to try and see all those sites in a day trip. Go for different days and/or save for a different trip!

In fact, Salisbury and Bath make a good 4 night break from London! Bath is a quick journey from Salisbury by train.

Posted by
54 posts

I'll be a little contrary and defend the bus tours. I'm a travel novice and it was very nice having someone else do all the planning, driving, tickets, food, etc. None of the tour companies charges that much for what you get, imo. It just took all the stress off of us.

I will agree 100% that they try to jam too much into one day and one tour. But simply look through the list until you find one with "just" two places to visit. Hampton Court & Windsor, for example. Or Canterbury Cathedral and Dover Castle, which was my favorite. I've been on the ones with three destinations and they do cut down on your time at each one. But four hours at one location and four hours at another will be fine. (Yes, you could spend days at each location, I agree.)

Bus time, car time or train time will all be close to the same. So driving time doesn't seem like a big issue to me.

Posted by
15657 posts

Trying to see Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath in one day is a disservice to yourself.

If you want to take tours, that's fine, but don't try to do them in one day.

First, I'm going to suggest you look at London Walks day trips to see if any fit your desires. You meet your guide in London, and travel with him via train to your location.)

If not, Bath is worth a full day on its own. If you want to visit yourself, take the train early and catch one of the free walking tours in the center of town. There is also a hop-on, hop-off bus if you want to venture further out.

Besides London Toolkit, look at Evans Evans Tours as they are one of the largest tour operators for these kind of trips.

I have done Day Trips with London Walks and enjoyed them. I have never used Evans Evans but have heard good things.

Posted by
1540 posts

We did several day trips outside of London.... used the trains.
I bought a book on Amazon- I think the title was something
like:
"10 day trips from London" - it had all the details about how to get there,
any fees, hours, etc.
We did:
Leeds Castle
Stonehenge
Bath
Greenwich
Oxford
Cambridge
Windsor Castle

All were great - had been to London several times, so our focus was to see
other areas, but use London as homebase.

Posted by
35 posts

I took a similar tour years ago and agree with the others that if you can take the time to break them up into separate days, you should. However, if you want just a taste of Windsor & Bath and your main goal is to get out to Stonehenge, this tour will probably fit your needs. The tour I took was offered as an optional excursion from a London long weekend package trip I was on, so the price was very good and I wanted to get to Stonehenge so I booked it. I'd been to Windsor before so didn't mind the abbreviated time there. I felt we had enough time at Stonehenge as honestly once you've walked around the stone circle and taken photos there's not much else to do there. Bath was gorgeous and I wish we'd had more time there, although we did get a very nice tour of the baths themselves and ended up being there at sunset which was so lovely. The tour I was on also included a nice lunch at an historic pub. Even though the time at each place was short I don't at all regret doing the tour as it got me to Stonehenge and whet my appetite to spend a few days in Bath on a future trip.

Posted by
100 posts

If you are short of time, I'm a big fan of Evan Evans bus company. I've done four (including the daytrip to Paris), and the best was Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge. I don't want to drive, and enjoy sitting back, listening to the driver's info, or getting shut eye. Sure, you could spend a day on each, or a number of days in Bath I suppose, but at London hotel rates, this is the way to see them all most efficiently.

Posted by
3 posts

I took this exact Evan Evans bus tour and for the short time we had there it was worth it. If we were there for longer, I would have split it up, but I enjoyed it and the price was right. Stonehenge is also quite a hassle to get to without a bus, so that was helpful. If you're short for time, I recommend this!

Posted by
32 posts

We took the train from London to Windsor and spent the whole day touring the castle and state apartments, they also have a changing of the guard ceremony and last but not least the beautiful chapel! Don't rush it's not the quantity but the quality of this day and it cost the same if you are there one hour or all day and close it down like we did! On another day we took an Anderson tour to Stonehenge and Averbury stone circle, it was a great a bus ride from London our guide was very informative on sights going there and our tour of Averbury! I would go on their tours again! Don't stretch yourself to thin and try to cram to many things in a day. No one likes to travel with some one who is tired and cranky!

Posted by
1010 posts

Evans Evans does great bus, day trips in and outside of London.

Posted by
977 posts

We have just returned from the UK. We did two day trips from London. Windsor Castle, Bath and Sonehenge with Evans and Evans and White Cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle and Canterbury with Anderson Tours. Anderson tours wins 'hands down'. Smaller bus, less rushed. Trying to see 3 places in one day is not very enjoyable.I would skip Windsor Castle and try to spend more time in Bath. Second visit to Stonehenge, just as under whelmed as the first time!

Posted by
34 posts

glad to hear you liked the Anderson Tours' Dover tour, i'll be doing that in a couple weeks, along with their Stonehenge/Bath/Windsor tour.

Posted by
7906 posts

Many others have explained the problem very well.

Yes, you can cram these three sites into a 12 hour tour.
If you only have one day to see these sites and will never come back to England, do the tour.

We did Windsor Castle on our own and it will take up half a day.

Stonehenge is less than an hour away and will take at least 1.5 hours.

That only gives you less than half a day to go another hour and a half to Bath, see Bath, then another two or more hours to return to London.

You will probably see the high points of Bath, but not in depth.