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Bath Guide

Car Hire

Bath, a historical city and UNESCO World Heritage site, is famous for its Roman baths, hot springs and Georgian architecture, attracting millions of visitors each year. It boasts museums, theatres and parks, and more than enough hotels, restaurants and bars to accommodate its large amount of annual visitors. Bath is surrounded by the picturesque countryside typical of Somerset, and a car rental is a great way to explore the area. It is just on the outskirts of the beautiful Cotswolds region, as well as being just a short drive away from Stonehenge, the Forest of Dean and the laidback city of Bristol.

Who to Book With
A number of well-known worldwide car hire suppliers have offices in Bath, including Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar. Most branches can be found on the western edge of the city near Lower Bristol Road (A36). Booking online in advance is the best way to snatch the lowest rates as well as to ensure the vehicle of your choice.

Best time to go
Bath plays host to visitors throughout the year, although the busiest months tend to be from June to August. This is when the winds are at their lightest, although the driest months are actually April and May. Winter in Bath is less crowded and when rates on accommodations may be lower.

Need to Know Essentials
When picking up your car rental, the following documents are needed:

- Both parts of your UK driving license or an International Driving Permit
- Some form of identification, such as a passport
- The credit card used when making the booking
- Confirmation of booking

For more info read our FAQ's.

Driving
Most of Bath is easy to walk around, while its hop-on hop-off tour bus stops at all the main attractions. Driving is not recommended in the city itself due to heavy traffic, although a car is the best way to explore the city’s surrounding area. Parking in the city centre is not easy, as there are limited spots that are quite expensive. Those with a vehicle can park in one of the city centre car parks or at one of three convenient Park and Ride lots found on the outskirts of the city. Regular buses run from these car parks to downtown Bath, costing £3 return or £12 for 10 journeys, including parking.

Read more about driving here in our guide to the United Kingdom.

Transport

Walking is the best way to explore Bath, as the entire city is only 11 square miles. Public buses are reasonable, but visitors should not rely on these alone. Taxi drivers, found outside of the Bath Abbey (pictured) and the railway station, are also more than willing to zip tourists around the city.

Trains
Bath’s Victorian Bath Spa Railway station sits on the National Rail’s Great Western Main Line, connecting the city east to London Paddington and west to Bristol. Trains run every 30 minutes, with the journey to London taking approximately 90 minutes. The railway station was built in 1840 and is an attraction in its own right, listed as a Grade II building. The Oldfield Park Railway station, just outside of the city centre, provides commuter train service to Bristol Temple Meads along the Wessex Main Line.

Taxis
The majority of Bath’s taxis can be found at the railway station, outside of the Abbey and on Milson Street near the Circus roundabout. There are numerous taxi companies in Bath, including Abbey Taxis and V Cars, which will take visitors on a tour of the city, to an exact destination or to a nearby airport.

Buses
The public bus system in Bath operates from the bus station next to the Spa Bath Railway station. Fares are more expensive here than in most other UK cities, with a FirstDay ticket costing £4.10. Tickets are bought directly from the driver, with most buses running from around 06:00 until after dark.

Exploring

In its ideal location at the northeast end of Somerset, Bath offers all sorts of daytrip opportunities. The lively city of Bristol is just 15 miles to the west, while the picturesque town of Bradford-on-Avon is just a 20-minute drive to the southeast. Those that wish to spend time on the beach can drive west along the A37 to Weston-super-Mare, while travellers that prefer stunning landscapes can continue south along the coast to Quantock Hills.

Recommended Drives

Stonehenge - This is arguably the UK’s most visited and famous site, located off of A36 near Amesbury. This prehistoric monument is believed to date back to between 3,000 and 5,000 BC, and, together with Salisbury, makes for a fantastic daytrip. Stonehenge is open all year from 09:30 until 18:00, except for on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Grand Pier - Located in Weston-super-Mare this pier is filled with attractions and is especially appealing to families, although anyone can enjoy spending a day here. This indoor theme park, open year-round, is home to rides, such as go-karts and roller coasters, a massive arcade, numerous restaurants and a pirate-themed bar.

Glastonbury - A town of myths and legends, is known for its alternative spirituality, New Age lifestyle and famous music festival. Its Abbey is one of the so-called burial places of King Arthur, while its Tor is a place of myths and goddesses.

Frequently asked questions

Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest? Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town. What do I need to do when picking up a car? To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient. Are there any additional costs? In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance). What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental? In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car. What is a worry-free label? This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you. How can I change or cancel my reservation? You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less). When will I get a confirmation of my booking? Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours). Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
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