Visiting York, Bath, or Durham in England???

We will be in London with my mother for a few days at the end of October. Unfortunately, due to time restrictions, we will only have 1 day FREE to travel outside of London. We have been considering either York, Bath, or Durham. Which would others travel too? What are the pros and cons of each town? I'm thinking that York and Bath are closer by train, and look VERY NICE. Durham is much farther north by train, but I've also heard its nice. Or is it too far? Too bad we didn't have more quality time for each town.

Posted by Ellen
Sacramento, CA
3 posts

If you only have one day, go to Bath. Frequent trains, easy to walk and see major sites in central area. York is fabulous, but not a one day trip-save it for your next adventure.
Cheers

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
829 posts

I wouldn't like to be accused of trying to talk someone out of a place they've decided on. Here's the "but", but, of the places you've named Bath is the nearest and while it deserves more that one day, one day is better than nothing. Where would I go if I only had one day? I'd go to Windsor or even Dover or Salisbury. (Truth is I'd go to Bletchly Park but it isn't for everyone)

Posted by Toni
Charlotte, NC, USA
2846 posts

I'd pick York over Bath. I just find it a more interesting city. Cardiff Wales is also a very, very good day trip from London. It is a unique shopping experience, the castle is right in the center of the city, too. I also LOVE Windsor and Cantrubury as day trips. Here is a link to an article I wrote about day trips from London: (*NOTE- if it asks for a zip code use 28208) http://www.aaacarolinas.com/Magazine/2008/Jan-Feb/britain.htm?zip=28201&stateprov=nc&city=charlotte

Posted by Mark
Henson, Florida, USA
466 posts

hands down, you must go to Bath, It's very beautiful!!!!!!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

If you like a medieval town and a beautiful church, choose York. If you like Georgian architecture and ancient Roman baths, choose Bath. It depends on your historical passions. I haven't been to Durham yet, but there was a good article about it in the San Francisco Chronicle travel sections in the past year. Google SFgate.com to find it. The author was John Flinn, I believe.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

Hi JoyAnna. Of the three towns that you mentioned, I recommend : go to either YORK or BATH. My personal favorite is YORK. But some people may like to go to BATH for the purpose of walking through two Georgian style big houses there. I did much travelling in England. For my sightseeing priorities, in the future, I want to go in more big houses (mansions). I especially like the Georgian archectectural style in England, and I like seeing home furniture made in the 1800s and 1700s. But York is a more pleasant town than Bath. York is a tourist's delight. York can be enjoyed, as a day trip from London.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7185 posts

I would also say Bath. It's one of my favorite places and convenient enough from London to be a daytrip.

York is another of my favorites but it seems a little further than a day trip from London.

Posted by Marcie
Littleton, CO, USA
44 posts

I did a day trip to York. The train ride was about 2 hours each way-left at 7 am, got back to my hotel about 7:30 pm, so it was a long day. It sounds like you will be pretty busy, so I would choose Bath, which is closer, or other small trips like Windsor.

Posted by Martha
Petersburg, WV, United States
25 posts

I have not been to the other places but we took a day bus trip to Stonehenge and then to Bath which was a very good trip, would have been better to spend move time in Bath but the trip on the way was very nice , very pretty scenery , some thatched cottages, there was enough time to tour the roman bath which was very interesting...we were also able to just walk around a little bit and get something to eat.

Posted by Carroll
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1346 posts

I have not been to Durham, but it seems a little far for a day trip. York and Bath are both fantastic places with lots of history and interesting sights. You really can't go wrong with either. I would choose the one that takes the least time to get to in order to maximize your time.

Posted by Elaine
Vancouver
29 posts

I have been to Bath and York; I stayed in York for 4 days, 3 nights and still did not see all I wanted to see (though if you go climb the minster at York Minster, you get great views you can't get anywhere else in the area, and you get a certificate £4 signed by the Dean of York confirming your completion of the climb and decent of it). I was able to see much more in Bath in a one day trip than I would have been able to in York; Bath is much more conducive to daytrips since most of the things people come to Bath to see, the baths themselves and the abbey are relatively close together. Additionally, the Bath hop on hop off bus takes you into the hills to glimpse at the million £ houses and then to the University before taking you back to town. I have not been to Durham yet but want to visit it as some of my family is from there.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7819 posts

Besides the Baths themselves.. there is a lovely Costume Musuem in Bath.. if weather is not very nice its good to have serveral indoor sites to tour.

Posted by Gio
Chicago, Illinois, USA
584 posts

I say Bath! The ancient & medieval Roman baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the River Avon, the stunning gardens and greens, Georgian architecture, delightful restaurants...I know I sound like a tourism board commercial for Bath, but it really is a great place to visit. Here's a link to our report from Bath, based on a trip there this summer. What a wonderful little city!

http://moltogentileitalia.blogspot.com/2009/07/getting-whacked-in-england-9-nights.html

Posted by rccij2013
1 posts

I was in County Durham in 1974 researching motivation and productivity of the coalminers at Dawdon Colliery. I stayed in Seaham Harbour at the Golden Lion. Several times, I took a double decker bus to Durham frpm Seaham and back. It was a nice 55-minute ride through green countryside and villages that had mines. The mines closed years ago but I imagine that the ride is still pleasant, especially right after children were done with school and taking the bus home. I enjoyed listening to the lilt of their voices, quite different from what I heard in the South . On the bus, I sat in the very front of the upper level to have the best view. There was an electric rail car that would go from Seaham to Newcastle. This is a way to see ordinary neighborhoods. When I smell coal, I often think of that ride to Newcastle. I went up the stairs to the top of the central tower in Durham Cathedral. If it is a clear day, don't miss that. The view is terrific.

In Newcastle, there was a museum with many things about Roman times. Newcastle had its own Chinatown then. Even Seaham had a Chinese takeout. Late in the afternoon, there was a long, long stream of magpies flying away from Newcastle to roost somewhere for the night. Somewhere between Seaham and Newcastle there is the ancestral home of George Washington. You might enjoy picking up a CD of Geordie music, folk songs and the like, from Newcastle and Durham.