We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

Frederick...
Level Contributor
32 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

My sister and I are traveling to England and will have six full days there. We arrive at 6:30am at LHR on Sunday, July 3rd. We will then be departing for Paris taking the train from London on Saturday, July 9th. We are big Harry Potter fans and also love Pride and Prejudice. Our family is from Cornwall (and I'm in love with Poldark) so we had hoped to visit there as we love the scenery especially the cliffs, but it looks like it is going to be very hard to fit that in. We know we would like to see Bath, Stonehenge, Harry Potter Studios, at least one quaint, English town, and Stourhead gardens. We would also love to see beautiful countryside and cliffs to make up for having to skip Cornwall. We're also debating whether it would be best to first do London for two days or do that at the end of the trip since we will have to depart from London to Paris. We are trying to minimize the amount of back and forth traveling while obviously making the most of our trip. Our current thought is this:

Sunday: Arrive in Heathrow, take the train/coach to Bath. Explore Bath for the day visiting the pump room, Jane Austen Center, the Roman baths, and the assembly rooms. Overnight in bath.

Monday: Rent a car and drive to Stonehenge with lunch in Salisbury and visiting Stourhead gardens in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Bath. (I've heard parking is terrible in Bath, perhaps we should stay outside of town or stay in a different place for the evening?

Tuesday and Wednesday we're not sure about. Our thought was to keep our rental car and drive up through the Cotswolds perhaps visiting Sudelely castle as that looks like a beautiful spot. We also thought about instead heading towards Dover and visiting the cliffs there, or trying to do Cornwall for those two days. I realize that driving in England is very different than driving in the U.S. and I would not like to spend the entire time in the car so we're just trying to figure out the best places to visit in the surrounding area of Bath.

Thursday we were thinking we would drop off our rental car likely at one of the airports in the morning and then take the tube in to London, spending the entire day in London.

Friday we would visit Harry Potter studios in the morning and spend our remaining time in London.

Saturday morning we would leave for Paris.

Thank you in advance for all help and suggestions! I've been reading guide books and researching like crazy but would love input from you guys as well!

Mary Sarah

Mentioned in this post
England
England
United Kingdom
Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
Hounslow, UK
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
London
England, UK
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour...
33,587 Reviews
Leavesden, UK
Cornwall
Cornwall
England, UK
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
11,388 Reviews
Amesbury, UK
Salisbury
Salisbury
Wiltshire, UK
Dover
Dover
Kent, UK
South West England...
Level Contributor
2,610 posts
137 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

You should be aware that realistically with the queues and the new visitor centre Stonehenge may take 1/2 a day.

As for iconic villages, beautiful countryside, cliffs and seaside resort I would recommend heading to Swanage taking in corfe Castle en route. Wikipedia will tell you about these places and they are only 1 hour 15 minutes from Salisbury.A little further will take you to Lyme Regis as an alternative.

Also my own home town of Frome has much to offer and only 20 minutes from Bath.

Mentioned in this post
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
11,388 Reviews
Amesbury, UK
Swanage
Swanage
Isle of Purbeck, UK
Salisbury
Salisbury
Wiltshire, UK
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis
Dorset, UK
Frome
Frome
Somerset, UK
Exeter GB
Level Contributor
913 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

In early July you are nicely sneaking in just before the main school holiday season.

Dover and Cornwall are fascinating but probably too distant for such a short trip.

Other people will have their own suggestions but here’s mine.

On Monday, hire your car and drive via Wells (a cathedral city with as much or greater charm than Salisbury) and Glastonbury (with multiple interests) down to spend the night in Lyme Regis. This a proper old seaside town with its own Jane Austin connections and with great cliff scenery. The adjacent Golden Cap is the tallest cliff on the south coast.

Spend Tuesday touring Dorset and return to Lyme for the night. Dorset has lots to offer: great coastline, medieval Corfe Castle and prehistoric Maiden Castle, not to mention the Cerne Abbas Giant.

There is so much to see that you could easily spend another night here but alternatively you could move on to Sherborne, a lovely town with two castles and an abbey church. Near here is the Tudor mansion at Montacute and one of your own targets, Stourhead. Visiting one of the great landscape gardens – and this is one of the very best – is the nearest thing to a ‘must see’ I know.

Back to, say Heathrow to drop off the car with plenty of time to do justice to a visit to Stonehenge, which is a place to savour rather than rush.

But there are so many other possibilities….have a great trip.

Mentioned in this post
Dover
Dover
Kent, UK
Cornwall
Cornwall
England, UK
Wells
Wells
Somerset, UK
Salisbury
Salisbury
Wiltshire, UK
Glastonbury
Glastonbury
Somerset, UK
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis
Dorset, UK
Dorset
Dorset
England, UK
Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle
2,230 Reviews
Corfe Castle, UK
Maiden Castle
Maiden Castle
312 Reviews
Dorchester, UK
Cerne Abbas Giant
Cerne Abbas Giant
308 Reviews
Cerne Abbas, UK
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
11,388 Reviews
Amesbury, UK
Plymouth
Level Contributor
2,778 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

Another option for coast and countryside, and a fairly short drive from Bath, is Exmoor. The coast is stunning, the moors are beautiful, there is a mediaeval gem of a village at Dunster, and two more lovely coastal villages at Porlock and Lynmouth, thatched cottages galore - simply superb!

Netanya, Israel
Level Contributor
12,372 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

I like your choices very much.

Do not swap Stourhead with no tea in China. This is absolutely fabulous Capability Brown's creation and one of National Trust's flagman ships.

If you don't mind packing and unpacking, don't go to Bath for second night, stay somewhere in Wiltshire. Premier Inn Chippenham was good, cheap ( only £39 prpn, booked in advance, by saver none refundable rate ) and cheerful for us.

Sudeley Castle is very nice. There's Katherine Parr's grave and very pretty gardens. Nevertheless, I'd visit Bowood House and Lacock next day instead. Bowood House is the top Capability Brown's masterpiece. Lacock is medieval village owned by NT, with beautiful Abbey with gardens and grounds, and Fox Talbot Museum ( photography). Location wise, BH is only few miles from PI Chippenham and Lacock is few more miles further. You'll be able to drive through Castle Combe ( real beauty ), Tetbury, etc.

You can book tickets to Stonehenge online. It won't save you much money, but will help you beat the queues.

Same advice about Roman Baths. Book online, if it doesn't work out, book by phone. VisitBath is a legitimate business, don't be afraid to share your CC details with them. I recall, when we've arrived to Roman Baths, there was a queue to the box office, at least an hour long. We had our tickets ready ( prepaid by phone, and picked up from VB kiosk ), so we just waltzed in like royalty.

It is very difficult to choose what to omit! The whole area is so very rich with wonderful places, one can only dream about visiting.

Hope it helped.

Yuri.

Mentioned in this post
Wiltshire
Wiltshire
England, UK
Chippenham
Chippenham
Wiltshire, UK
Sudeley Castle
Sudeley Castle
1,333 Reviews
Winchcombe, UK
Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
153 posts
754 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

Some excellent suggestions here already, so I don't think there's too much I can add. Personally I would say that two nights in Bath would be much better than a night in Bath and Chippenham. The latter might be a convenient stopping point, but it doesn't have much to offer as a tourist destination.

Secondly I would concur that trying to tack Cornwall on is probably too much. The Cotswolds are eminently do-able from Bath though.

And finally, have you considered flying from Bristol to Paris rather than returning to London to get the train? It's only a 40 minute drive or so, and it would be easy to drop the car off there. In fact, if you didn't want to spend two nights in Bath, a second night in Bristol would be much better than Chippenham.

Mentioned in this post
Chippenham
Chippenham
Wiltshire, UK
Cotswolds
Cotswolds
England, UK
Bristol
Bristol
England, UK
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
London
England, UK
Budapest, Hungary
Destination Expert
for Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
12,018 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

The Jane Austen centre in Bath is not worth it, according to friends who have been.

Lyme Regis takes about 2 hours from Bath, Stonehenge 1 hou, Exmoor 2.5-3.5 hours depending on where you go.

The difficulty of parking in Bath is ridiculously overstated, ask your hotel/bnb for advice.

Edited: 11 February 2016, 17:04
Mentioned in this post
The Jane Austen Centre
The Jane Austen Centre
1,954 Reviews
Bath, UK
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis
Dorset, UK
Stonehenge
Stonehenge
11,388 Reviews
Amesbury, UK
London, United...
Level Contributor
5,817 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

I am not going to add much to the very good responses you have had but just to confirm that driving to Cornwall or driving to Dover from Bath are not good ideas. If you are still in the west country with the car at the end of your touring phase ( depends where you finish of course ) i would consider returning it to your Bath rental office and take the train to London . The drive to London from Bath on the M4 has little to recommend it, the airports are well outside central London and the train gets you right into the city centre.

Mentioned in this post
Cornwall
Cornwall
England, UK
Dover
Dover
Kent, UK
London
London
England, UK
Dorset
Level Contributor
249 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

You have been given some great ideas here. Just to add that if you decide to visit the Dorset coast then you could go to Golden Cap - between Bridport and Lyme Regis. This is the highest cliff on the south coast.

Near Stourhead you could also visit Shaftesbury or Sherborne. Although there are plenty of picturesque towns and villages in this area.

Mentioned in this post
Dorset
Dorset
England, UK
Bridport
Bridport
Dorset, UK
Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis
Dorset, UK
Bath UK
Destination Expert
for Bath
Level Contributor
2,654 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

Some excellent suggestions above. Dorset is lovely (we often nip down for the day in the summer, but it might be nicer to overnight locally or perhaps in the New Forest). I thought of suggesting Lulworth Cove.

Assuming that you did want to see a bit of London, would it make sense to start your journey there (more things are open earlier/later, which might be useful if you are fighting jetlag)? Then Harry Potter.....drive down to Bath through the Cotswolds (sunset will be at about 9:30pm at that time of year assuming it isn't pouring down!).

If you haven't sorted out all your flights, I would fly from Bristol too

Mentioned in this post
Dorset
Dorset
England, UK
The New Forest
The New Forest
327 Reviews
Ashurst, UK
London
London
England, UK
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour...
33,587 Reviews
Leavesden, UK
Cotswolds
Cotswolds
England, UK
Bristol
Bristol
England, UK
Traverse City...
Level Contributor
24 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Six day England/Bath Itinerary help!

Sudeley Castle is beautiful, we loved every minute of being there, but it was early April and we were there on their opening day and had the place to ourselves.

Chepstow Castle is right on the border of Wales, and a beautiful quick stop. We took the train, but since you will be renting a car it might be just as easy. En Route, you could stop and see Gloucester Cathedral.

Mentioned in this post
Sudeley Castle
Sudeley Castle
1,333 Reviews
Winchcombe, UK
Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle
878 Reviews
Chepstow, UK
Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral
2,772 Reviews
Gloucester, UK