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Gatwick to Bath Suggestions

Hello- Arriving mid morning to Gatwick on October 2, wondering what is the best way to get to Bath? Train? Bus? Book ahead or at the airport?

I would be fine paying a little more for a faster route as I anticipate we will be restless and ready to check into our B&B, but am open to suggestions from those who are familiar with the trip!

Thanks in advance:)

Posted by
205 posts

Nationalrail.co.uk

Gatwick - Reading (rhymes with bedding); change there for a train to Bath.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for the suggestions, the only thing that makes me nervous booking ahead of time is I'm not sure how long I should leave between expected arrival time to Gatwick (1030) and the deparure of train, would a 1200 train give me enough time?

Posted by
5067 posts

Overseas flights do not always arrive on time. Even if they do there is some time needed to get through immigration, but Gatwick was fairly fast last time we landed there. One and a half hours is, in my opinion, a little bit tight. Perhaps a later train or you can pay a little more by getting a ticket when you get there. On the other hand, if you get a super good deal on an advanced ticket and don't mind losing the cost of that ticket if your plane is late, then go that route. Just depends on your tolerance for risk.

Posted by
2494 posts

A turn up and pay on the day fare is £57.50 one way but on the 15.03 from Gatwick into the evening peak - it jumps to £73.70. If you have to return from Bath to Gatwick, purchase a return ticket as it will only be £1 more. If you intend to return from Bath to London at a later date, still buy the return - which would be valid as far as Reading and then a Rating to Paddington single - purchased at Bath station on the day.

I would pre-book the £16 Advance fare - allowing plenty of time. Then, if I arrived early enough to catch an earlier train, I would ask the conductor - found at rear of train at Gatwick - whether I could use his train rather than wait an hour for the pre-booked one. You would have to do the same at Reading. (This really annoys me about the British Rail fare system as any of these trains in the middle part of the day are not at a time of peak demand and they should really allow more flexibility to allow for situations like yours).

Posted by
631 posts

90 minutes at Gatwick could be OK if it was an internal or european flight AND used South Terminal. If you are dealing with US flights and/or North Terminal add more time (90 minutes and 20 minutes respectively). It is vital that you pick a service with 1 change at Reading, do not go to London. Not only does it cost more but you have to use the Underground to travel between mainline stations.

Whilst it is very popular to knock railway fares (British Rail hasn't existed for 20 years) National Express offer the journey with their long distance buses, they also need a change en route, take over 2 hours more and cost a mere 20p less at the cheap rates. You seldom hear anyone saying their fixed reservations are unreasonable......

Posted by
16 posts

We recently took the train from Gatwick to Bath - didn't book ahead. I recommend that you look up the schedule so that you are prepared to hustle (or not) depending on how long the line at customs. For us, the timing worked out perfectly - I believe we only had a 15 minute wait before the next train (they were running hourly). The change in Reading was quick - don't dawdle between trains! Enjoy your trip! :)

Posted by
5386 posts

How many people are travelling? At least 2 because of the 'we' but could be more.

There is a little publicised special fare between Bath Spa and Gatwick Airport called the 'Gatwick Flyaway' @ £100. For the same price up to 4 adults can travel plus up to 4 children at an additional £1 each. It is also valid at any time, including peak.

The slight catch is that it is issued in one direction only, ie Bath Spa to Gatwick. However, it is a return so I can't see why you can't use the return part and throw away the outward, if that suits your plans.

It is only available to buy from GWR, valid on the route via Guildford and Reading.

Also if there are more than 2, you could alternatively use Groupsave, where each would get a third off regular tickets (but not the special offer above).