Cotswolds

We want to spend about 4 days in the Cotswolds. We can stay with a travel club in Warwick. Is this a good basel, or is Rick's suggestion of Stow a lot better? We want to do some walking, but not the all day type, and to enjoy gardens, the ambience that IS the Cotswolds. We will be reliant on public transportion, perhaps an occasional taxi if we walk too far!

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9141 posts

The Cotswolds are tough without a rental car. A limited amount of public transport there and so that reduces what you can do and see. Distances (for taxis) can be significant.
Recommend you rent a car for the Cotswolds part of your trip, to add to the quality of your experience (although driving on the Wrong Side is a challenge and we could understand why you might not want to do it).

Posted by bradleysmith1212
15 posts

I agree with the car suggestion. Warwick would be okay if you had a car. It's a still good driving distance to the Cotswolds, but would be okay with 4 days. And, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick castle are worth a visit.

One of my favorite travelling highlights ever was staying in a thatched-roof Cotswold B&B and bike riding from village to village.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
9141 posts

One of my favorite travelling highlights ever was staying in a
thatched-roof Cotswold B&B and bike riding from village to village.

Just like Midsomer Murders, but without the murders.

Posted by Rebecca
Nashville, TN, USA
1103 posts

Kent--LOL!

Barbara, as Kent said, having a car in the Cotswolds is ideal. There are also buses that travel between the villages. However, these buses may be only once or twice a day, depending upon which villages you are traveling between. Central locations in the Cotswolds for traveling, walking, or biking to other villages would be Chipping Campden, Stow-On-The-Wold, and Broadway. There are many other villages that would be good also.

"We can stay with a travel club in Warwick."
Warwick Castle is very interesting, and walking around the town is also interesting. But it is not in the Cotswolds. You will need a car, taxi, or bus (called a "coach" in England) to get to the Cotswolds from there. You could spend one or two nights in Warwick, then move to a B&B or hotel in Chipping Campden, Stow-On-The-Wold, or Broadway.

Posted by Barbara
Auburn,
10 posts

Just what I needed to know. I like the thatched cottage idea. It is, of course, what I'd REALLY like to do. Thank you all.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
905 posts

Just to be very pedantic - but "Midsomer Murders" is not based in the Cotswolds (at least not the TV programmes). The villages are mostly in south Oxfordshire and the rural bits are the Chilterns. Also, for a more "authentic" thatched cottage you need to go to somewhere such as Dorset - the Cotswolds' wealth was from sheep.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11890 posts

to be even a bit more pedantic - it would be unlikely if you were to catch a coach from Warwick into the Cotswold villages - much more likely to be a bus. Coaches are long distance services with only occasional stops and usually fairly plush interiors.

Buses stop more frequently, even the "X" buses which stop less often and have leather seats and wifi - at least in the gold version - are still buses.

If you want to bus around the Cotswolds a much more convenient place is Stratford upon Avon which has the occasional buses to Moreton in Marsh. Buses from Warwick will likely involve connections.

Warwick is not in the Cotswolds; Stratford upon Avon isn't either but it is closer.

Using the bus around the Cotswolds can be time consuming and slow. Much easier with a car.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
1407 posts

Re: The Cotswolds are tough without a rental car.

Not if you can walk.
https://www.contours.co.uk/walking-holidays/circular-walks-cotswold.php

... have devised four walking tours in the heart of the Cotswolds.
They range in length from the Cotswold Short Break, a delightful two
day walk through some of the finest countryside the Cotswolds has to
offer, to the weeklong Cotswold Villages Trail, which seeks out the
timeless villages and towns that are among the loveliest features of
the area.

Easy to get to start of walking tours using commercial/public transit and not dealing with a car:
https://www.contours.co.uk/general/travel-information.php

For example, to get to Moreton-in-Marsh start/end of tne "Village Trails" walking tour:

By Rail – There is a railway station at Moreton-in-Marsh within
walking distance of most accommodations. From London – There are
regular trains from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. The journey
takes approximately 1 hour 40 minutes). Trains run regularly between
Moreton-in-Marsh and Heathrow or Gatwick airports or Birmingham (2
hours 15 minutes).

Or to get to the Highlight 3 day walk start-finish village of Chipping Campden:

Outward journey from London to Chipping Campden: Train from London
Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh (1 hour 40 minutes). Bus or taxi to
Chipping Campden.

Return journey to London at the end of the holiday: Bus or taxi to
Moreton-in-Marsh railway station. Train to London Paddington (1 hour
40 minutes).

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11890 posts

Trains run regularly between Moreton-in-Marsh and Heathrow or Gatwick
airports or Birmingham (2 hours 15 minutes).

That's a bit of a stretch.

None of those are direct trains. Heathrow is Paddington and then change to the special and very expensive (highest in England on a per mile basis) train to Heathrow.

Gatwick is change at Reading and change again at Redhill for just less than 3 hours.

Birmingham is change at Worcester for a relatively slow train to Birmingham.

Not quite so easy in reality as advertised.

Posted by Rebecca
Nashville, TN, USA
1103 posts

The Cotswold Way is a trail that links some of the villages. See the National Trails website for free brochures and maps:
http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/cotswold-way/information

Also read this article about the Cotswold Way:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotswold_Way
Click on the map on the right side of the article to enlarge it, and see the route.

This would be a great way to walk to some of the villages. We walked a short distance on the Cotswold Way. It is well-marked by small signs on posts. In some areas, you will walk through the streets of the village. In other areas, you will go through a gate and across a field. Watch out when the path sends you through a field where there are cows grazing. We saw a bull eyeballing us, so we didn't enter the meadow. We stuck to the road for that section, and picked up the path in the next town.

There are also some car and van services available to take you on a drive around the Cotswolds, if you prefer.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
1407 posts

...None of those are direct trains. Heathrow is Paddington and then change to the special and very expensive....
I'm sure Nigel being a local is correct. But if I were doing the walking tour, being a foreigner I would spend time in London before the Cotswolds enjoying the City and getting onto Greenwich time. I would depart to Moreton--in-Marsh from Paddington and return to London before heading home.

Looking at Trainline and picking randomly May 20 outbound and May 27 return, a number of morning departures showed direct trains between PAD and MIM with travel times 1:33 and 1:40 duration. Trainline quoted return prices from £69.60 Any Time Return to a low of £38.90 Super Off-peak return. That seems a lot cheaper than a car hire. What are cars in the UK renting for these days with full coverage insurance?

Those prices may be high per mile but cheaper than having a hired car parked at a small fee while doing a walking tour. And someone else does the driving.

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
1161 posts

" What are cars in the UK renting for these days with full coverage insurance? " This past Autumn , I paid $ 70 USD / day ( full coverage , included tires , glass , no excess ) from AVIS via AARP

Posted by ayn_ides
1 posts

Sorry to butt in.. My husband and I are planning to visit Cotswold from Bath. We're considering staying in Chipping Campden for 2 nights and tour around on foot and public transport. I bought Rick Steves' England guide book and I read that we can tour Cotswold via public transport. However, I am not sure if this is really convenient or if some people have already done it. In other forums people would discourage going to Cotswold without a car. Renting a car is out of our option as we are used to driving on the right hand and we don't have international license. Thanks.