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Day Trip Advice

by xxsentiaxx Online Now Apr 2, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Good Morning,

I'm hoping someone could give me advice regarding me itinerary for a day trip out of London. I'm going to rent a car and leave early in the morning.
I
I'd like to see:

Castle Combe
Lacock
Avebury
Stonehenge
Salisbury

We plan to spend the night in Salisbury. We don't plan on spending any time at Stonehenge, we just want to see it, knowing that we can't get close and will be surrounded by other tourists.
If we leave early and plan to spend a few hours at each small town, does this look doable?

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13 Answers
  • tango_jd's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by tango_jd Online Now Apr 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Castle Coombe, Lacock, Avebury, Stonehenge and Salisbury - in that order - seems do-able especially as you plan to stay the night in Salisbury.
    I was told once that parking in Salisbury was a bit of a nightmare so if your planned accommodation doesn't have parking you may think about doing it the other-way-round and staying th enight in Castle Coombe or somewhere nearby.
    Google Maps says the distance from start to finish (not London - the other places) is around 68 miles.
    This doesn't account for stopping-off at interesting places along the way if you come-across them!

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  • zuriga's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by zuriga Online Now Apr 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    I think it's doable. We live south of London and have had daytrips to places further away than you're planning. It truly is a small island, and if you're going when it stays light till 10 or so, it's not bad driving back to London rather late at night. Avebury is terrific and much more interesting than Stonehenge. Lacock, too, is a lovely place.

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by Britannia2 Online Now Apr 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Yes do able but remember English cars are not generally automatics as in the USA. Also our roads are very congested especially around London so bear in mind although places may not look far on a map travel can be slow in busy periods. I am sure you know too we drive on the left.

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by hawkhead Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Yes, it is doable but you check with the rental company as to how early you can pick up the car. Also, I hope you are staying somewhere you can easily access the road to your first destination - otherwise you might find your time eaten up by either having to go across London or else on a roundabout route. Staying in central London and having/collecting a rental car are not happy bedfellows!

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  • colin_bramso's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by colin_bramso Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Doable, but not to spend "a few hours" in each place.

    I agree about the problem of getting through London traffic eating up the time - taking a train to a car hire office somewhere on the route would be a great help.

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  • tango_jd's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by tango_jd Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    That's a point - London traffic..... Maybe get an early morning tube to one of the Western outposts on the tube line towards the M3 or M4 motorways depending on your chosen route.
    I don't know the M3 area very well so a train to a town outside the M25 may be best. Woking, Chertsey, Staines etc assuming there are direct trains to there.

    M4 - you could get the tube to Uxbridge which is at the far end of the Metropolitan line and I know there are car hire places there.

    Just a thought!

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  • KakapoTheParrot's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by KakapoTheParrot Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    I think I'd get a train (looks like from Waterloo) to Salisbury and hire a car from there. I live in the UK and really wouldn't fancy picking up an unfamiliar car in London. Seems it's 90 mins from London to Salisbury by train. I think your day would be a whole lot more relaxing that way.

    At Avebury, try to make time for Silbury Hill and the Long Barrow at West Kennet. Silbury Hill might just look like a big mound but it's been calculated that it would have taken more effort to build than the ditch system at Avebury.

    If you have time before your visit, have a read of Mike Pitts' book "Hengeworld". A very good introduction to the prehistoric sites in the area. Makes you realise how little is really known, how much of what is 'known' is fantasy and how much more work could be done if the will was there.

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by Britannia2 Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Yes Salisbury trains do go from Waterloo - its a fast journey and probably faster by rail to Salisbury than driving and no hassle. Car hire will be cheaper too.

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  • tango_jd's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by tango_jd Online Now Apr 3, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    yes forget my earlier suggestion - go for the train to Salisbury and hire a car from there - MUCH more relaxing! The station is only 1/2 a mile from the cathedral/centre so would help you make better use of your time.

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  • xxsentiaxx's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by xxsentiaxx Online Now Apr 8, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Wow, thanks for your advice. I hadn't checked back in a couple of days and came back on with another question about rental cars. But now I think i've changed my question.

    So, our hotel is located near the Bayswater station and it looks like it's about a 2 hour train journey from my hotel to Salisbury.

    Here's my predicament: If we get up early and take the train to Salisbury, rent a car, stay the night in the Salisbury area, will it be difficult to get back to Heathrow to catch our flight to Ireland the following afternoon?
    The reason I was going to rent a car in the neighborhood of my hotel was so i could pick it up there (either pick it up the evening before and park it in a 24 hr car park or pick it up at 8am that morning) and then drive ourselves to Heathrow and drop the car there.

    What do you think?

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by Britannia2 Online Now Apr 8, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I don't see a problem - what time is your flight? Its about an hour from Salisbury to Woking by train( you would have a Waterloo to Salisbury return but just get off at Woking - a little short of Waterloo) and from there take the dedicated bus from Woking station to Heathrow.
    National Express coaches frequency go up to every 30 minutes and the journey time is 50 minutes. Single fare is £9.00..

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  • xxsentiaxx's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by xxsentiaxx Online Now Apr 8, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    oh, and one more thing to consider for me....

    I found a rental car through National Rental Car for 106 GBP with pick up near my hotel at Bayswater and to be dropped off at LHR. But after looking at trains from Waterloo to Salisbury and Salisbury to Paddington not including the train to get to LHR, I'm looking at 215 GBP plus the cost of renting a car in Salisbury. There are 3 of us traveling together.

    If we got the car the evening before and left early in the morning, would traffic really be that bad? Like spending an extra 200 GBP bad?

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  • xxsentiaxx's Profile Photo

    Re: Day Trip Advice

    by xxsentiaxx Online Now Apr 8, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Our flight is at 3pm.

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