Please sign in to post.

Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral

My husband and I will be visiting the south of England at the end of August this year (2018). Months ago, after reading in the Rick Steves guide about the logistics involved in visiting Stonehenge, I considered the recommended options in the guide book and decided to sign up for the full day MadMax Tour 1 that also includes Avebury&Villages. An even higher priority for us is to visit Salisbury Cathedral. We have secured lodging in Bath for 3 nights, arriving around 5:00 our first night. As we consider time to explore Bath, our all day tour our first full day there, and time to experience Salisbury, there are a few options:

A-Cancel the tour (forfeiting 20% of our ticket cost), travel by train on our own, and included Stonehenge and Salisbury in a single day trip
B-Stay with the tour and travel round trip to Salisbury for a day trip on our second day in Bath
C-Stay with the tour and explore Bath our second day, and on our way to London after checking out of our guest house in Bath, train down to Salisbury in the morning

Thank you for your recommendations

Posted by
4343 posts

If I understand your time line correctly you have three nights which means two full days. Since the tour you already have booked is for the first full day and includes Avebury I'd definitely keep it. Avebury is completely different than Stonehenge and well worth seeing. If your primary interest in Salisbury is seeing the cathedral, consider getting an early start to Salisbury on the second full day. You may be able to check it out and then return in time for some exploring in Bath. Then on the departure day, leave the bags at the hotel after check out, explore Bath, and then head to London in the late afternoon.

Posted by
13210 posts

I'd go with C but TC's suggestion is a close second. I'd hate for you to spend 2 hours on the train on your full day in Bath going back and forth to Salisbury.

You could also change your reservation to spend night 3 in Salisbury instead of Bath. You could spend all day in Bath on your 2nd full day then transit to Salisbury in the early evening. Then spend most of the next day at Salisbury Cathedral traveling on to London at the end of the day?

Where do you arrive to Bath from?

Posted by
3111 posts

I concur that you shouldn't cancel the tour since it allows you to see Stonehenge, Avebury etc. The driving or public transportation connections would be a headache if you tried to do this on your own from Bath.

If I understand -- and as the other comments indicate -- the Mad Max tour does not give you time in Salisbury, and that's the thing you're concerned about, is that right? As suggested, spend your 2nd full day exploring Bath, then take the 3rd day to go to Salisbury and see the cathedral. If you can cancel the 3rd night of Bath lodging and sleep in Salisbury instead, then you'll avoid having to backtrack to Bath.

Posted by
255 posts

Based on the valuable input, we are thinking plan C: Day one tour, day 2 explore and enjoy Bath, day 3 check out as planned.
We arrive in Bath after three weeks in Ireland and Scotland. That morning train to Salisbury and after a leisurely time in the cathedral and lunch, train on to London. We are inspired by A Sense of the World, my pianist world traveling grandmother, and all caught up in the joys of winderlust. Thank you,

Posted by
942 posts

I would pick Option C. You don't say what time you are needing to be in London. If you are only to stay in London for a flight home the next morning, then I would head out of Bath early (after your third night) and go to Salisbury on the way to London. I would not cancel the Madmax tour and you will be disappointed if your short change Bath. My nephew lived in Salisbury for a while and I happened to be passing through on a visit to Downton Abbey one summer. We did a slow drive-by on Stonehenge for pictures only and ended up spending a lot of time in the Cathedral. We were not disappointed. Sometimes you just can't see it all!


Posted by
7178 posts

Enjoy Bath, it is great.

I would go with C

Avebury is worth a visit, as are Wells and Glastonbury south of Bath.