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4 days in London...worth visiting Bath Spa?

Hi there. Coming from New Zealand in August, we're a family of 5, (3teenage kids) visiting London from a Friday to a Tuesday then heading up to Edinburgh. Is it worth taking the train to Bath Spa on the Monday? It looks fabulous on TV but would we be trying to squeeze too much in. We are pretty 'fast tourists' so don't need to look through everything. If its worth going, any hints on trains etc. Eg. What website to book with, special deals, where to sit etc???)

Really appreciate your help.
Marie & Family

Posted by
3419 posts

Bath is a nice day trip. You can even get a coach trip in Bath to go out to Stonehenge. You catch the train for Bath at Paddington Station. If you have BritRail passes- no problems. If not, point to point tickets have special deals at differnt times. You can check times/stations/ etc. at this site:

http://www.rail.co.uk/

There are lots of good day trips from London. You might like to read and article I wrote about doing just that at this link
http://www.aaacarolinas.com/Magazine/2008/Jan-Feb/index.htm

If they ask for your zip code use 28208

Someday my husband and I hope to visit your country. It looks lovely!

Posted by
354 posts

If this is your first visit to London, make a list of all the sites you will be seeing. Group them logically (by area), determine the time needed to see these, plus the time for transport and meals. You might find that 4 days is only enough time to see your London attractions. If Bath ranks way higher than some of the London sites, you can day-trip, but it will definitely take most of that day.

Posted by
37 posts

As much as I love Bath, and have been there twice during trips to London, I would skip if you have limited time and are traveling with teens. There is so much to see in London and Edinburgh. Even if you run through the Baths and just get the overview, it will be the train there and back and make it nearly the whole day. If you want to check on the train times and costs, take a look at qjump, which is a site that aggregates all the train services and will give you an idea of times and prices.

Posted by
3580 posts

I was in London last week. At Paddington Station, the ticket kiosks were charging 49 GBP for same-day round trip tickets to Bath. That is close to $75. Try to stay off trains on weekends because of ongoing repairs to the lines. At least check to see if your trip is likely to be interupted. They bus people around the construction zones, but it can add time and confusion to the trip.

Posted by
3419 posts

If you want to see something other than London proper, I'd suggest a trip to Windsor. It is about 25-30 min. away by train. The castle is one of my favorties. Your kids would enjoy it also- lots of medeval weapons, and since the reconstruction after the fire, there is lots of older stuff, too- they uncovered during the restoration. Walk over the bridge to Eaton and take a short cruise on the Thames. You can leave Paddington station around 10:30 ( you may have to change trains at Slough) and be there in time for an early lunch. See the castle and grounds, walk around town, see some of the unique shops, etc. Trains return to London about every 20 min. so you can head back anytime. We often do this on days when we are going to the theatre at night. We stay in Windsor until about 3:30 or 4:00 and return in time to freshen up at the hotel just before heading out to an early pre-theatre supper.

Posted by
643 posts

Bath would be an entire day away from London. With only 4 days, I'd stay in the city. There is enough to see for 2 weeks of new sights!

Posted by
964 posts

There's so much to see in London, and you only have 4 days, so unless seeing Bath is really important to you, I would leave it. As previously mentioned, it'll take you a whole day.

Posted by
44 posts

Hi Marie,
With only 4 days I would skip it unless you are really set on seeing Bath. With 3 teenagers I think that they would find things more interesting in London.