London, Bath, Bristol & Wales on a Budget
There is a lot more to England than just London, and if you have a few free days to spare then there some fantastic day trips available. Gwen Debaun spent four days traveling from London to Bristol via Bath and Wales and she has put together a guide to the best places to see and a recommended 4 day itinerary.
If you’re looking to move around England on the cheap, check out Megabus, National Express or First Group to see what prices and times are best. Avoid traveling at peak hours (7am-9am and 5pm-8pm) if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on travel. Although, buses are a good alternative to the picturesque trains and usually cheaper and take around the same amount of time.
Day 1: London
In all honesty, you cannot see all of London in one or two days. But if that is all the time you have it is best to make a plan include the sights that you really want to see before you get there. My plan consisted of starting at Westminster Abbey to the Eye, London Tower, Buckingham Palace, Gardens, and Covent Square. It worked well in the 6 hours I had.
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Day 2: Bath
I took the train over to Bath from Bristol Temple Meads (15 £ round trip) and left at 9am. The train ride was only about 15 minutes long; the bus is about 45 minutes. The main goal was to check out the Ancient Roman Baths. For only £15 you can walk around all of the Baths and hear the history of them. Though I’m not a huge history buff, they were absolutely fascinating and beautiful.
I would highly recommend them. With a whole half-day left in Bath, meander the shops, stop for a wonderful cup of tea, see the famous Abbey, or the less famous one that has a delicious coffee shop, check out Bath University even. If you have loads of time, check out the running times of the buses to Stonehenge and get out of the city to see some one of the natural wonders of the world.
Day 3: Bristol
Bristol is a bustling harbor city with a lot to see. Bristol has a wonderful public transport system and you can get anywhere. First stop, head into the city center, it’s one of the biggest malls I have ever seen. Plus, you get to eat some fabulous food, both chains and street food from the market. Head across the street and you can enjoy Castle Park; on the grounds of an actual castle you can enjoy the sunshine and food. Midday catch the bus over to Clifton to see the suspension bridge.
If you catch the bus at College Green, you can see Bristol University. If you get off before the end, you can even take a trail down to the bottom of the bridge, and trek back up. When you get back to the top, you can see the bridge from another perspective, which is breathtaking, especially at sunset.
Day 4: Wales
Usually it only takes about 45 minutes to an hour and half by train from Bristol. My purpose for going to Wales was to check out the surf, so Porthcrawl was our destination, a beautiful surf break. After getting through the toll, it only takes about 20 minutes to get to the surf. If you want to catch some waves, the rentals are very inexpensive and last the whole day. If the water isn’t your thing, the beaches have beautiful rock formations all along the coastline. There are a bunch of cute cafes you can stop in for a cuppa or a bite to eat.
By Gwen Debaun