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London Heathrow to Bath

Hi all! I'm sure this question has been asked a dozen times or so, but what is the best/easiest/most efficient way to get from London Heathrow Airport to Bath. We arrive to Heathrow at 10:30 am, and since we are arriving from the US, we are unsure just how long it will take to pass through customs. I was thinking taking the London Heathrow Connect to Paddington Station, and from there catching a train to Bath. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Annaliese

Posted by
1986 posts

That would work well. Very simple and convenient. After your long flight you dont want a hassle. We have also taken a bus connection from Heathrow to Reading (?) and caught the train along the way, but this is a bit of ahassle. Others will recommend taking a bus direct from Heathrow to Bath. I find the rails more relaxing, aldo you can move around on the train

Posted by
970 posts

You can grab a Bath bus at Heathrow. I haven't done it, but there are many mentions of it here, and you can also check the Heathrow web site for details.

Posted by
635 posts

What are you planning to do it Bath? If you want to see Windsor and/or Stonehenge on the way, you'll need to rent a car. If you are planning to pick up a car in Bath, don't plan on doing this on a Sunday. Everything is closed.

Posted by
1424 posts

Not sure if you feel comfortable driving in England? We always get a rental car at Heathrow - not that far a drive to Bath. 10:30 is a good time to land and move through customs and then get a car.

Posted by
643 posts

I'd take the train to Paddington and then transfer to a train to Bath, changing at Reading. I am sure I could drive in England, but not sure if I'd want to after a long airplane flight.

Posted by
1424 posts

Wow, Kathy - that article about not driving with jetlag is plenty scary. Sounds like not a good idea. In our case, my husband always sleeps on the flight - is rested when we arrive - has driven in England many times so is comfortable with it, and we typically select a first night's destination that is a fairly close drive. We did just this drive on our first driving trip in England (Heathrow to Bath), but he was rested and had time to get used to driving on the opposite side.

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks for all the replies! I think we will go ahead and take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and from there to Bath. We are renting a car in Bath a few days later to tour the Cotswolds as well as Stonehenge! Thanks again!
Annaliese

Posted by
1939 posts

Be sure to see the lovely town of Wells not too far from Bath and also to take the free walking tour of Bath you can get right by the Baths. I think it takes about and hour or two. Enjoy.

Posted by
1631 posts

Yes, definitely take the train. I've done both, train and bus. The bus was the longest ride especially considering the long flight there from California. Have a great trip.

Posted by
643 posts

good choice. I've often thought that renting a car in Bath might be a good way to go. Instead of driving for the first time in England in heavy traffic, drive around the countryside.

Posted by
2654 posts

I wouldn't recommend going into London then out to Bath. Why spend the time going into London then back out...there are two options you could do~~ go to the Central Bus Station at Heathrow and getting a bus (coach) to Bath or you could take the bus to Reading and getting the train from Reading to Bath.

Posted by
3580 posts

As a survivor of 3 bus trips, Heathrow to Bath, I recommend the train. Either option. IMHO After a long flight, then possibly a long wait for a bus, then 2 1/2 hours on a bus (it's about 100 miles) the exhaustion and jetlag aren't worth the bus option.

Posted by
5 posts

Annaliese, We just came back from England and took the Heathrow Express (runs every 15 min/ 15 min trip) to Paddington Station and then took the direct train to Bath. It was very easy. We used Britrail flex pass. The pass is valid for the Heathrow Express. Are you renting a car in Bath? The Hertz car rental is not near the train station. We made the mistake of walking, I would recommend a taxi from the train station to the Hertz.

Posted by
687 posts

If you rent from Enterprise they will pick you up, no need for a taxi.

Posted by
27 posts

Once again thanks for all the advice. Seeing as we are arriving from California, it seems like the train is going to be our best option. Should I book tickets for the train from Paddington to Bath Spa in advance? If so, any idea how long it will take to clear customs? We are not checking any luggage and are both well-experienced travelers if that helps any. I am looking at rental cars in Bath, and it looks as though Enterprise is going to be the cheapest. Kathy, how do you schedule a pick up from Enterprise? We are staying at a hostel in Bath, and I know the Enterprise shop is quite a ways outside of the town center. Thanks for all the help!
Annaliese

Posted by
687 posts

@Annaliese - sorry, it's been a while and I forget. I don't remember now whether I scheduled it on the web site or called them. I needed a pick up at Durham train station and someone met my train and drove me to the office.

Posted by
970 posts

Annaliese, train tickets bought online in advance will be cheaper. I don't think you said when you are going, but the discounted fares aren't published until 60 days ahead of travel (might be 90 days, can't recall). In any case, there's no downside to buying online early. London stations are often busy, and queues to buy tickets, even at machines, can be long. Count on an hour or so to get off the plane, hoof it to Passport Control, and into the airport lobby. Might be quicker, might be longer. I.e. give yourself some flexibility. The best way to deal with car rental shops, or most anyone else in the UK, is just to call them. Doesn't really cost that much at all. Ask them to confirm arrangements in an email, and take a copy with you.

Posted by
27 posts

Thanks j.c.! I actually leave in a little over a month, mid-August until the beginning of September, most likely the busiest time on the year, so I am definitely booking travel in advance! We have a couple of long legs (Bath to Liverpool, Liverpool to Inverness, Edinburgh to LondonI looked into flying and it is quite a bit cheaper to take the train) so that is what I will do. Once again, thanks to everyone for all the sound advice. You rock!
Annaliese

Posted by
29 posts

Hi Annaliese,
My daughter and I came into Heathrow in April, took not even an hour to get through customs, get the luggage, etc. I had bought tickets to the Heathrow Express prior to leaving for England so we just hopped on the Express got into Paddington Station 15 minutes later, found out the next train to Bath was in 20 minutes and made it with time to spare. The trains to bath seem to run every hour...Very easy, very convenient and worth every cent. Enjoy your trip :-)

Posted by
2 posts

Has anyone tried a car service from Heathrow to Bath? It seems to run about 120 GBP for 1-4 people for a straght trip, double that for sightseeing at Stonehenge and Avebury along the way. Unfortuantely we are only two, so it is pricey but does seem ike a nice way to go. Has anyone tried this?