Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
331 posts

It really is easier to rent your own car. We are middleage and we did it.

Posted by Linda
Naperville, Il, USA
14 posts

Wow. How could it possibly be easier trying to figure out where to go and drive on the opposite side of the street?! Would love to hear how you did it.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

You'll see more with a car. For example, after Stonehenge, the West Kennet Longbarrow, Woodhenge, Sillbury Hill, and Avebury are all lined up within twenty minutes to the most distant. The problems: getting out of London is slow, it has the darn gogestion zone fee, and getting back in when it's dark can be an eye-popper the first few times finding parking at Windsor can be sporty The Un Problems: driving on the left (you don't notice it after five minutes) figuring out where to go (the signs are in English) What You Miss: walking in a herd seeing stuff in Bath that doesn't interest you

Posted by j.c.
Cary, NC, United States
842 posts

Linda, Windsor and Bath are easily reached by train from London. Windsor is a few minutes away, and Bath about 90 minutes. You can spend a full day, have dinner, and take an evening train back to London. You can also go by train to Salisbury, near Stonehenge, and grab one of the local tours/buses out to Stonehenge (ten miles away) and back. Salisbury itself is interesting, more so, I think, than Stonehenge. About a car: Driving on the left seems to get to a few people, but it isn't difficult. Extra attention is required the first day or so until the driver becomes accustomed. Avoid driving in London, period. Just don't do it. Book a car to be picked up at some outlying smaller town and take the train there. Avoid the Motorways, too. Like Interstates here, you don't see much at all. Rent an automatic. Rentals ("car hire") usually default to standard transmissions. Adding shifting gears with the left hand while driving on the left and trying to navigate seems unnecessary. Armed with a good GPS and good maps, getting around is not difficult. Often, more road signs point to the next couple of towns up the road than identify the road itself (e.g, A34, B2312, A87, etc.) But... unless you want to organize a multi-day auto tour for yourselves, I really suggest you consider going by train and making a daytrip each out of those 3 destinations.

Posted by Linda
Naperville, Il, USA
14 posts

JC: Thanks for your input but we literally have 3 days in London. That's why we wanted to hit those 3 spots in one day and this seemed like the most efficient way to do that. The idea of being in a tour group via bus for 11 hours sounds excruciating but it also seems the easiest.

Posted by Chip
Tipton, Iowa
329 posts

Linda, you have found the big three coach tour operators. They have all been in business for years and offer similar tours. I know of no reason to choose one over the other. When comparing prices be sure to check what is covered, some include admissions, some don't. I think the operating method of all three companies is to pick you up at your hotel, take you to Victoria Coach Station for the tour and then drop you off at Victoria Coach Station. Some tourists are disappointed to be dropped off at the coach station instead of their hotels. Tours are sometimes cancelled due to lack of interest, check the day before. Traffic problems and missing group members can affect the tour.

Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
331 posts

We would never bother taking a tour in UK. Renting a car is best if you have one person do the driving and one to navigate. Most rentals now have navigators built in so you just have to watch the real traffic to know when to merge in the roundabouts. My husband learned to love these because he didn't have to stop. Driving on the left is easy because the steering and controls on on the right side. Just keep the on coming traffic on your right side. The "M" roads ...the expressways are easy to make time on and most have rest stops with cafes and shops. Most of these were based on the Roman roads. "A" & "B" roads are the drives through the towns. The UK is one of the easiest places in the world to tour. Information centers everywhere. Most Historic Sites and can be viewed more cheaply with buy ahead passes for overseas visitors. Check the National Trust and English Heritage web sites. The freedom of having a car gives you a chance to visit anything on your way. Most Sites have guides or self guided tours and a gift shop and some have cafes. At times non-escorted travelers can go ahead of groups; especially if they have a pass.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

Linda, Tours arent bad if you or the other isnt the driving type. I CHOOSE not to drive if at all possible. Since i travel solo, there is no navagitor other than myself and i dont care for GPSs at this point in time. Also, if your human GPS sucks at it, it doensnt help anything either. As others have pointed out, there are trains/busses that go to where you want to go, but your time is limited. So any choice you make will have to do. also as has been said, avoid driving in london if at all possible. good luck and happy trails.

Posted by Chris
London, UK
3 posts

This is a great tour to take, if you try http://www.sightseeingtourslondon.co.uk they offer discounts on Evan Evans Tours so will save you a bit of money. Personally, I would pick between Evan Evans and Premium, Evan Evans have been around a lot longer but Premium are a good competitor. Either way, I am sure it will be great!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

Linda I did Goldentours to Bath , Stonehenge and Salsibury a few years ago( must have been 5 at least).
Tour was well run, but I hated wasting time at Stonehenge, and wished we had more time in Bath. I had been to Bath a few years before that on my own by train and loved it.. thought a short stop by tour bus would be ok since it was second time around but it was too rushed to me. I totally understand not wanting to drive.. some people love it , but for me its just not an option.. ( those who like to drive spend considerable time trying to convince those who don't want to drive no matter how clearly you say you don't want to,, I have no idea why they bother) Driving does take more time sometimes anyways as you can hit traffic going in and out of London.. the train is a much better choice as far as I am concerned. A bus tour is efficent.. and you can sleep through long drive back.. and one bonus is that on a bus you are up high and can actually SEE some of the scenery.. while as when I spent 4 days in country with a friend who lives there I noticed I couldn't see much as many roads seem to be low and have high hedges or fences. Just choose the cheapest tour , they are all so overpriced and offer much the same product ( you will see all the bus companies in the parking lots at sites ) , unless you can afford a nicer private tour.