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Best travel options Heathrow to Cotswolds to London City Center

Hi all. My family and I will be landing in Heathrow later this month and heading directly to the Cotswolds for a few days, then staying in London (City of London) for a week or so. We're planning on renting a car, but unsure what the best option is for travel between the three destinations (rent and return car at Heathrow? train to Cotswolds then pick up & return car there?). We have a 1 year old and all the associated gear so I'm interested in the most hassle free option. Oh, and we're staying in Cirencester.


Posted by
9157 posts

Rent and return the car at Heathrow. After returning the car, either take a cab or a driver service to your London location. We did that without a one year old, easy. A train would be
difficult with extra baby gear.

Posted by
619 posts

Many posters here would advise against landing at Heathrow and immediately hiring a car to drive anything more than a few miles to a hotel. Being jetlagged and tired from a flight, as well as the additional stress of having a young child, is a bad time to learn how to drive a different car on unfamiliar roads.

Posted by
172 posts

I would suggest taking the metro to Paddington Station and the train to the Cotswolds. Moreton-on Marsh is a great jumping off spot in the Cotswolds. Rent the car there and get your driving legs in a less harried environment. Lots to do, places to see. Drive to Oxford area and don't miss Blenheim Palace. Metyro may not be a chopice with a one year old, but the train is relatively painless with a little one. Hank, Novato, Ca.

Posted by
5769 posts

Another option might be this bus service from Heathrow to Oxford, and a car from there. That would save you the trip to Paddington and back out on your first day. You could return the car in Oxford or elsewhere and take a train back to London for your time there.

I agree that a long drive after an overnight flight isn't a great idea, especially on the left side.

Posted by
1221 posts

We've done the longish drive after red eye plane flight. It's not precisely fun, but figure it's quicker to pick the car up at the airport and just kind of rip the band aid off rather than messing around with other transportation modes for a few hours and then getting a rental car.

Going west out of LHR on the M3 or M4 was actually not too horrible, and it's kind of helpful to get used to being on the 'wrong side' of the road on a nice divided highway rather than going straight into city and small town driving. Do watch some British Traffic School videos on youtube beforehand. That are awesome at demystifying the roundabout and explaining other UK traffic laws and courtesies. Spousal Unit found them far better for demonstrating the right way of doing things there than static images (booklets, web pages) are.