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Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

central florida
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Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Planning a 4 week tour of England with 8 of those days touring Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge (3 days) and Cotswolds (5 days). I will be renting a car on my way out of Bath for this part of my tour. Day 1 out of Bath will include Wells Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge. While in the Stonehenge/Salisbury area, I was also toying with the idea of adding Arundel Castle (Fitzalans are ancestry links) but not sure if the drive time is a good idea. Google Maps show: Salisbury to Arundel (45 minutes drive time), then allow 3 hours to tour Arundel Castle, then Arundel to Stow-on-the-Wold (2 hours 35 minutes drive time). Are these driving times realistic? Stow will be my base for visits to Cotswolds and Oxford (5 nights). I would love to hear your suggestions. Maybe I need to save Arundel for another time?

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1. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

45 minutes?.....Not a chance, just put it into the AA Routeplanner which I trust more than Google Maps and it came out at 67 miles, 1hr 20mins, that's not allowing for roadworks and accidents.

Edited: 12 May 2016, 11:31
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2. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Where will you be spending your nights? Bath? Salisbury?

So... Day 1 is Bath, right? O/night in Bath

Day 2 is Wells / Salisbury / Stonehenge - where overnight?

Day 3 is ... ?Arundel drive to Stow on the wold. O/night in Stow

Day 4 - 8 Cotswolds and Oxford. Where do you move onto next?

If Day 2 you were sleeping in Salisbury, I'd be tempted to spend Day 3 night there too, and travel up to Stow on Day 4. Feels like a lot of moving around.

Ps Google maps says near enough 1 1/2hrs from Salisbury to Arundel. Don't know where you got 45 mins from.

Edited: 12 May 2016, 12:15
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central florida
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3. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Spending nights 1 and 2 in Bath, at The Henry Guest House.

On day 3 renting car, driving to Wells Cathedral, then onto Salisbury and maybe Stonehenge in late afternoon. Sleeping in Salisbury area night of Day 3 (no reservation yet). Day 4 driving to Stow (no reservation yet). I am afraid that if I stay 2 nights in Salisbury I won't have enough time to doodle around the Cotswold villages since I have to be back in London on day 9. The only reason to stay 2 nights in the Salisbury area would be to allow time to drive to Arundel and back. Do you think that is worth the time?

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4. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

I'm sure others will disagree, and I do like the Cotswolds, but I think 5 nights is more than enough to doodle!

I could give you enough ideas for Hampshire/Surrey/Sussex that would make it worth swapping the nights around altogether, because these areas are just as pretty (in a different way) as the Cotswolds, but not on the tourist trails. For example, the Anna Valley & Test Valley (Monxton, Little Ann, Wherwell, Chilbolton et al) is beautiful. More thatched cottages than you could possibly wish for. So no, I have no hesitation in suggesting you stay 2 (or 3!) nights in Salisbury.

Edited: 13 May 2016, 06:48
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5. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

I was thinking the OP may have used Google maps in the middle of the UK night, but checking event the "no traffic" option for Salisbury - Arundel is over an hour. Beachgrandma - Google maps has the facility to change the time of departure for the journey which should show up the likely differences for travel at peak times.

My comment is more about Wells Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge for the Day 2 which presumably also includes time for collecting the rental car. Personally I wouldn't try to visit two cathedrals in succession and in any case I feel this is probably too much fro the time you have. Take the time to look around Wells - the town is small, but there's a lot of historic buildings around the Cathedral and in the centre; the Bishop's Palace next to the Cathedral is often open and there are extensive gardens there. I suggest you spend more time in Wells then head to Stonehenge and then to Salisbury - if you've time look around the Cathedral Close area, but leave the Cathedral to the following day.

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central florida
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6. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Thanks for your ideas, it has helped me revise my itinerary! I now plan to spend 2 nights in Bath (after landing at Gatwick), then rent a car and drive to Wells, allowing about 2 hours in Wells. Then drive to Stonehenge allowing about 1.5 hours at Stonehenge, then drive to Salisbury for the night. Booked 3 nights in Salisbury at the Cathedral Hotel. The next day (Sunday) I will spend visiting the Salisbury Cathedral and exploring the town. On Monday I plan to drive from Salisbury to Arundel Castle in Sussex (Google Maps now shows 1.5 hour drive), explore the castle for 3 hours, then drive back to Salisbury for the night. On Tuesday I will drive to Stow-on-the-Wold for my Cotswold stay. I would love any feedback on my Salisbury area plans!

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7. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Just be aware that that hotel has no car parking cathedralhotelsalisbury.co.uk/contact-detail…

Salisbury to Arundel is not a great journey. The middle bit is ok but expect delays around Chichester which is notorious for delays.There is no real alternative to the A27/M27

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8. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Don't forget being a Sunday, you won't be able to tour the cathedral / magna carta until after the church services, so about 12.30pm onwards.

Shops don't open until 10 / 10.30 / 11am and close 6 hours later.

But you could stretch your legs on Old Sarum unless a lazy morning appeals more!

To/from Arundel. Do consider visiting the Weald and Downland open air museum. The villages (eg Singleton) in the area are very pretty too in the South Downs National Park

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9. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

Google maps show Salisbury to Arundel as 1hr 21 minutes 67 miles.

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10. Re: Realistic drive times in the Salisbury area

If you have never driven in the UK before, study the Hiighway Code, the government publication/website giving the rules for driving in the UK (they are different to those in the US).

https://www.gov.uk/the-highway-code

Also, if you are not used to driving a car with a manual gearbox, be aware that hire cars in the UK are usually that type. If you require an automatic gearbox be sure to book in advance otherwise you may have a problem.