I did more planning for my trip to London yesterday. I was at it for a couple of hours. I concentrated on firming up plans for the two day trips.
The one for Hampton Court was easy. Everything there opens at 10am. I can leave at a reasonable time from London and still get there right when things open. I looked into train schedules. I can take a 9:36 am train out of Waterloo Station and get to Hampton Court at 10:12. This is a direct train and takes 36 minutes. It will cost £6. This is the saver fare.
The trip to Bath is a little more complicated. It takes about 90 minutes to reach Bath by train. The good thing is that many of the sites open at 9. The bad part is how expensive it can be to get there. The fares are all over the place. You can pay up to £133 for a round trip ticket. There is an "Advance" rate of £33.50. It looks like you book the train the way you do a plane. You book an actual train time and you're assigned a seat. Very different from train travel here. There's an 8 am train that would get me into Bath around 9:30. However, if I go after 9:30 the train could be as low as £19. These cheap tickets sound like the real cheap tickets you can get on planes in that there are only a limited number of them.
My preference is to take the earlier time and spend a solid day in Bath and maybe even take a quick trip to Bradford-on-Avon. I think the thing to do is to look into this on the day I arrive. There's a train station not too far from where I'm staying. There also might be somewhere to purchase tickets when I come in at Heathrow. Someone at work is from England so I'm going to ask her if she knows anything about it.
I also did a little more shopping. I got a new pair of jeans and another shirt. I'm hoping to stop off at Filene's on the way home form work today.