- WHERE TO STAY
- ATTRACTIONS + TICKETS
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
Bath Spa Railway Station
For a day trip to Bath from London it is very simple - a bit of a no brain decision. Take the train from London's Paddington Station. Trains leave broadly every 30 minutes and take approximately 90 minutes to perform the journey.
This is at least 30 minutes faster than any vehicle will take to do the same journey.
Frequent trains run from London's Paddington station taking approximately 90 minutes to do the journey. There are normally two trains an hour operating up until very late evening.
The station at Bath is formally called Bath Spa. It is very central, only 5-10 minutes' walk from the Roman Baths.
By leaving London after 9.30am during weekdays you can purchase day return tickets much cheaper than prior. At weekends, cheap fares are available at all times.
Note, visiting Bath using a guided tour from London will be little different in price to going independently and you will also stop off somewhere like Stonehenge or Windsor as well. Downside is none of the tours stay longer than 3 hours in Bath, most a lot less than that.
By going independently with trains running late in the evening you get much longer than the typical tour itinerary at Bath and of course the flexibility to do what you want to do in the time you want to spend.
Sightsee within 2 hours of London
Tours from London
Tours from London visiting
Sightsee from London
Within 2 hours
Tours from London
It is quite an attractive proposition to take a 3 or 4 day tour of the main English attractions in Southern England. There are frequent trains connecting Salisbury, Bath and Oxford.
Salisbury is a good base for visiting Stonehenge in addition to its own charms. Oxford is a few miles from Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds and Stratford Upon Avon.
There are good minibus tours from both Bath and Oxford that explore the Cotswold villages where public transport for visitors is not viable.
The three types of tickets are broadly:
Advance purchase: Buy in advance, sold in limited numbers and subject to availability. These tickets will have restrictions specified when purchasing.
Off peak: Buy any time, travel off-peak. The definition of off peak can vary from ticket to ticket. These tickets may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Where there is more than one Off-Peak fare for a journey, the cheaper fare with more restrictions will be called Super Off-Peak.
Anytime: Buy any time, travel any time. (the standard ticket). Anytime fares are fully flexible tickets, with no time restrictions on when you can travel.
For longer distance trains, travelling by rail can be very expensive purchasing standard fares, often more expensive than flying. Advance purchase tickets on these longer distances on the other hand can be bargains.
The cheap tickets are normally released 3 months prior to your departure date and the best deals often sell out quickly.
For the overseas visitor this can present problems as there are with few exceptions no true etickets delivered by email at present. Tickets can be sent to UK addresses by UK post and also internationally for a fee.
You can however order tickets on-line and pick up the tickets from machines at key mainline stations. Although most Central London stations have these machines, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted Airports do not, but Gatwick Airport has.
You can buy true tickets for the Airport express trains, (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Express)
At train stations there are manned ticket offices and also ticket machines. All major credit cards are taken as well as cash.
For fares and timetables use 'The Trainline' web site where you can also order tickets for delivery to your home address.
Railcards are money saving passes targeted at leisure travellers to encourage then to use the British railway network on their travels.
There are many Railcards all aimed at their own target niche market, but the broad idea of all of them are that you pay an up-front flat fee for a Railcard, with a one or three years duration that enables you to get significant discounts on nearly all train tickets throughout Britain.
The initial cost of the Railcard doesn't justify their use just for one or two journeys, but if you regularly use the railways for leisure travel or are using the railways to tour the UK they are very well worthwhile looking at.
The various Railcards are:
16-25 Railcard (1 Year or 3 Years) - 1/3 off train fares - For those between 16 and 25 and in full time education.
Two Together Railcard (1 Year) - 1/3 off train fares - For those over 16 travelling as a couple (not morning peak)
Family & Friends Railcard (1 Year or 3 Years) - 1/3 off train fares for adults, 60% off children's fares aged 5 to 15 years.
To use it, at least one of the group travelling must be named on the Railcard and there must also be at least one child travelling on a child rate ticket. The maximum size of group that can use a Railcard to obtain discounts is 4 adults and 4 children. The named Railcard holder must travel for the entire journey with any passengers who have been bought discounted tickets.
Senior Railcards (1 Year or 3 Years) - 1/3 off train fares for adults over 60 or over.
Disabled Person Railcard (1 Year or 3 Years) - 1/3 off train fares for adults who are claiming disability benefits or are registered as disabled. A travelling companion also gets the discount too.
Network Railcard (1 Year or 3 Years) - 1/3 off train fares for adults, 60% off children's fares aged 5 to 15 years for trains in the Network Railcard area (London and South East England). Restricted to the card holder and up to 3 friends.
The bus service between London and Bath is in comfortable touring coaches complete within on board washroom facilities. Travelling by coach is normally much cheaper than by rail, but for a day trip the 3-4 hour journey makes it a long, long day.
Coaches broadly run every 90 minutes. Most schedules call in on London Heathrow Airport on the way.
Tickets bought online are true etickets, visitors from overseas can pay by credit card and have their tickets delivered by email in a couple of minutes. On National Express, a return ticket can be not much more than a single ticket at standard fare rates.
The London Terminus is at Victoria Coach Station. Formally the baggage allowance that goes into the hold is 2 cases, neither of which should be heavier than 20kg. Drivers load the bags and they are not weighed, most drivers are very flexible as long as you are not taking obvious advantage.
A very economical way to spend 2 days in Bath is to take a tour that also stops at Stonehenge for an hour on the way to Bath on the outward leg.
By taking this day tour from London below, you can leave the tour at Bath and get the train/coach back to London one or two days later, finding your own accommodation and train ticket back to London.
Because the cost of the tour (that includes admissions) is comparatively cheap, it works out economically viable to leave the tour at Bath and not use the tour coach to return to London.
This tour is the only tour this is really possible with - with other tours they cannot guarantee Bath will be the last stop.
In the winter months (November to March) the tour doesn't run daily.
Luggage is carried; departure is from Victoria Coach Station, London.