Hitchhike from London to Bath
Hitchhike from London to Bath
How to hitchhike out of London?
Hitchhiking out of London, to many, might seem scary at the beginning. It’s an 8 million people city surrounded by a huge orbital motorway (M25), which would take you something between 2,5 and 4 hours to drive around! The key to hitchhiking this mammoth road is using the service stations.
No matter where in London you are staying, always aim to get to a road (junction) that would eventually lead to the M25. Once on that road, ask your driver to drop you off at one of the service stations:
– Clacket Lane: located south-east of London, between junctions 5 and 6. Use this service station to travel to Kent, Surrey, Sussex and also onto the European mainland (via Dover).
– Cobham Services: located south-west of London, between junctions 9 and 10. Use this service station to travel to Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.
– South Mimms services: located north of London and accessible from junction 23. Use this service station if you’re travelling to the north of the country.
– Thurrock services: located east of London and accessible from junction 30 & 31. Use this service station if you’re travelling to Essex as well as onto the European mainland (via Dover).
Refuse a lift if the driver is not willing to take you to a service station and would rather just take you to another junction. Junction hopping around London can take you all day!
Hitchhiking from London to Bath
Our first lift took us from Junction 4 of the M25 to the ‘Clacket Lane Services’ from where we were scooped up by an Iraqi truck driver going west to Bristol. The last lift took us from Bath M4 junction into the city itself.
Number of lifts: 3
Estimated journey time: 6 hours
Estimated waiting time: 1 hour
Alternative transport costs: Bus: £22+ / Train £15-31.50
Noisy, brash and vibrant, multi-cultural London is both capital and largest city of England and Britain, one of the world’s ‘global cities’ and a leader in culture, music, education, fashion, politics, finance and trade. London is huge, easily the largest city in the EU, and is packed full of things to do and see. Spectacular culture highlights include the British Museum & National Gallery, which are amongst the very best in the world (and they are FREE!); the architectural gems that are Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament and the buzzing atmospheres of Soho or Camden. As the essayist Samuel Johnson once said: ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’
The historic Roman town of Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its hot springs, medieval history and Georgian period architecture. The Roman baths, which were built over 2000 years ago and are supplied by England’s only mineral hot spring, are arguably Bath’s principal attraction. Architecture to be enjoyed includes Bath Abbey, which was built at the end of the 15th century and is the last Gothic church in England, as well as the magnificent semi-elliptical Royal Crescent of houses completed in 1774. Bath certainly isn’t cheap but it is one of the finest towns in Britain.
What to visit on the way?
Built in the 11th century following the Norman conquest, Windsor Castle is a royal residence famed for both its architecture and its historical significance to the monarchs of England and later, Britain. It is the longest continually occupied palace in Europe and, due to its long history, is replete with a myriad of architectural styles including: Gothic, Rococo, Baroque, Georgian and Victorian influences. Windsor Castle is located to the west of London, in the county of Berkshire and admission comes at a steep £18.50.
Where to stand?
From south-east London, the M25 can be accessed at junction 4 by standing along the A21, near either Chelsfield or more conveniently Knockholt train stations. The real key, however, is reaching Clacket Lane Service Area, which is located between junctions 5 & 6 on the M25. From there, it is possible to get long distance rides especially from truck drivers coming up from the continent.
From central London take the District Line tube to Gunnersby or overground to Kew Bridge, although this is a little further to walk to the spot. From Gunnersby it is a 500m walk, along Chiswick High Road (A315), to junction 1 of the M4 where there is a handy Esso petrol station on the corner of the slip road heading west.