|Subject: Re: Trains: Bath to London|
Not all trains require reservation. Most of the trains do not need reservation, but some do, and French TGV is one of those that requires reservation. That is why you heard so much about train reservations lately, because the recent topic was about TGV trains out of CDG airport.
Go to http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en Enter London as FROM city and Bath as TO. Click Search Connection button. On the next page, click on Details for All button, then look at the Comments column. If a train requires reservation, it will say something like Subject to compulsory reservation .... If it did not say so, then a reservation is not required. Just to see it for yourself, enter FROM Paris To Nice, and do the some click and click. You will see Subject to compulsory reservation appears under the Comments column for all the TGV trains.
If you won't be traveling with a rail pass, then all you need to do is to buy a ticket before you board an un-reserved train.
Last year we traveled in Switzerland and France with a rail pass. We only had to make reservations for the Bernina Express, the Glacier Express, and the TGVs because they are Subject to compulsory reservation. For all other trains, we just went to the platform, waited for our train to come, and then hopped onto a 1st class car. There are usually plenty of open seats.
Mei-Ching Reading, MA