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Travel from Basel to Bristol and/or London to Bath

Good afternoon
I am hoping to get some assistance from those who might know!!
Firstly (on Saturday 28 December 2019) we are flying from Basel in Switzerland, with our end destination being Bath. We were hoping to be able to fly direct to Bristol and then take a train to Bath. However the only airline that I can find that flies direct is EasyJet and their flights don't seem to run on a Saturday. If that isn't correct I would be keen to hear.
Failing a direct flight we thought to fly to London. So the question is what would be the best (quickest and least fuss) airport to fly into and to take a train to Bath. I know it is asking a lot, but in an ideal world a direct train trip from the airport of arrival to Bath would be great.
Basically any tips that anyone can provide would be very much appreciated.
Kind regards

Posted by
1672 posts

Not a good time to travel as the railway is often shuts down over the Christmas to New Year period for engineering work. Buses may be provided as an alternative but these can take much longer than the trains. It is a pity that you can’t do your trip on the a day that Easyjet run flights from Basel to Bristol.

Here’s a simple method. You could fly to Heathrow and then pick up the National Express coach (bus) which goes directly to Bath & takes a couple of hours. They’re comfortable and the driver will show your luggage under the bus.

Any train trip from Heathrow would involve a change of trains, and services tend to suffer from delays & cancellations over the Christmas period due to engineering work.

Posted by
4865 posts

The easiest way is probably to fly into Heathrow and then take the coach straight to Bath. You can also take the coach to Reading where you can catch a direct train to Bath.
Otherwise it's the train from Heathrow into Paddington and then onto Bath.

But as James says that is not a great time to be travelling on that train route. It 'should' be running but based on the last few years engineering work is really quite likely.
You could maybe look at flying into Birmingham? Not great but less likely to be hit by train works.

Posted by
3025 posts

You can only book EasyJet tickets until October at present, so they may or may not be flying this route on a Saturday in December. Dates for December will be released in April.

Posted by
7741 posts

I flew Basel to Bristol a few weeks ago. You are correct, currently it only runs a few days per week. Easyjet amends its times every few months depending on demand, so next December it could be more or fewer flights.

Now the good news, there is a bus direct from Bristol airport to Bath, currently every 30 minutes. No need to go via Bristol. Details here:

Edit: Plan B, fly Basel to Gatwick (3 flights per day, Easyjet), then train from Gatwick airport to Bath (1 change at Reading). This train goes round London, no need to go into London. But, this year they were digging up the Gatwick-Reading line, which I why I did Bristol this time.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all very much for your replies, very helpful.
I would think we would be leaning towards catching the bus. My only query is, if it is snowing would the bus be likely to be cancelled, or would it simply be delayed and/or take longer.
Being from Australia and very ignorant of snow conditions, would snow also effect the trains?
Many thanks

Posted by
2274 posts

Living in the northeastern U.S., with some experience in the U.K., I think I can say the roads would be treated for snow & ice if warranted by weather conditions, so the bus would still be running. Only in case of an unusually heavy snowfall or severe ice storm might there be cancellations -- and if so, your flight might also be delayed because of runway conditions for landing.

Posted by
2741 posts

Very unlikely to be snow in December and certainly not any that would cause the level of disruption you're concerned about.

It probably won’t be snowing. We don’t get a lot of snow, and particularly not in the south-west.

If it is snowing A LOT, the entire travel infrastructure in the UK tends to seize up anyway as we so rarely get big snow events and don’t know how to handle them. So planes don’t land, trains get stuck etc. Which means bus is no better or worse than anything.

Happens maybe once per winter, not often in December. It’s a tiny risk factor.

Posted by
498 posts

There is no railway station at Bristol Airport. Your choice is either a direct bus to Bath, or a bus to Bristol followed by a train to Bath. If there is snow (a very big if), either all the buses will be runnng more or less normally or all will be cancelled.

Posted by
3817 posts

You might wish to investigate reliability (and annoyin add-on fees) of specific discount and no-frills air carriers, if you don't already have this experience. Note that London has three airports, although having coach service does seem like the best solution to your particular desire to reach a secondary city with no changes. I would prefer to have a car if in Bath for more than two nights. Not that many airports of the world have full-route rail stations on site.