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Cotswolds and Beyond March 21-31, 2022

Planning a trip in March 2022 for 2 weeks. The first part of our trip will be in London visiting sites and friends so we are all good with that part of the trip.

London - March 16 - 21

Cotswolds - March 21 - 26
We leave on train from London on March 21 and current plan is to stay in Moreton-In-Marsh for 5 nights.
We are getting a rental car and plan to use Moreton-in-Marsh as the base for traveling to as many villages as possible.
Bath, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Stow on the Wold, Bourton on the Water, etc. We plan to do a lot of walking and don't mind taking our time.

March 26 - 30???
After leaving the Cotswolds, we will have 5 more days. This is where we need suggestions. Some thoughts are Cornwall area, Dover, Wales, etc. Help! We want to spend the night before leaving from London at an airport hotel.

Rental Car in the Cotswolds
One other question: We are taking the train from London to Moreton-In-Marsh. Where is the best place to get a car? We actually stayed in London an extra night because we were hitting a lot of rental companies that were not open on Sunday.

Any help, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (Even changing the number of nights in Morton-In-Marsh).

Thanks so much.....

Posted by
400 posts

You could double check this, but I don't think it easy to rent a car in the Cotswold's. We had to pop over to Oxford, and rent from there.

Posted by
2849 posts

EDITED: I loved the Cardiff area of Wales and did everything by train and bus-London to Cardiff, Fagan's outdoor museum, Caerphilly Castle. I also did Bath and Salisbury on this trip, all by train. On a different trip to Bath, we took a Mad Max tour that included Avebury, Lacock, and Castle Combe.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks I did check Oxford just now and that would work.

Posted by
26094 posts

I love the Cotswolds.

I grew up there, I still have lots of family there, but most of them are 6 feet under, unfortunately.

I know the area, particularly the northern areas, most everything north of Burford and the A40, like the back of my hand.

But March in the Cotswolds wouldn't be my choice for doing a lot of walking. Villages and towns, sure, especially if a bit of rain doesn't put you off, but if you're walking between I hope you have a good pair of comfy wellies (are there such things as comfy wellies?) each. Probably too early to run into much in the way of sheep droppings, although many fields will likely be off-limits due to lambing and you will have to find a way around, but you are pretty much guaranteed (except on Cleeve Hill) to encounter plenty of mud and puddles, some quite large particularly around gates between fields where animals and machinery churn up the mud.

You may find that there is frost most mornings.

Sorry to be negative, but if you haven't considered that, it is worth knowing.

Years ago there was a small car hire chap in Moreton-in-Marsh, around the corner from the station, but he has been gone for at least 5 years. The only places in the general area which might have more than a local garage which hires out a few cars (and those are pretty much gone now) are likely to be Cheltenham (maybe) and definitely Oxford. Maybe you might have a chance in Evesham.

That's probably why a lot of folks take the train to Oxford and get a car, or get one at Heathrow.

I hope it works out well for you..._

EDIT: I'm pretty sure that there used to be an Enterprise car hire in Cheltenham, but that was the before times - after most places sold their cars during the lockdowns I don't know if they are still there___

Posted by
2774 posts

Here's an idea for your last few days. Since you'll have a rental car, you could head somewhere that's not conveniently reached by train from the Cotswolds. As the railways tend to run north-south (except the radius around London), how about heading east to Norfolk, or north to the Peak District? Or, as at least one other person suggested, westward to Wales.

It really depends on your interests and what parts of England, if any, you've visited on previous trips.

In any case, I would return the car at the airport and stay in an airport hotel on your last night before departure. You don't want to be dealing with any delays at the car rental agency when you're on a countdown to get through security and boarding.

Posted by
4793 posts

I'd suggest the train from Paddington to Oxford and renting the car there. You could base yourselves anywhere in the Cotswolds, doesn't have to be Moreton. Plenty to see in Oxford too, plus Blenheim Palace if that interests you.

As for your last few days, it really depends on your interests and tolerance for the kind of weather Nigel described. I'd suggest nearby cities rather than more countryside, like Bath, Cardiff, and/or Salisbury. Cornwall and Dover are pretty far away, in opposite directions. Driving anywhere will take longer than a North American driver might expect.

Posted by
1213 posts

Have you been to Bath yet? It’s 1h 30m southwest of Moreton-in-Marsh. You can make it your home base and take day trips to Glastonbury (1h) and then drive to Wells (15m) and back to Bath (45m). I would then work my way back to London via Salisbury (1h 15), Stonehenge (30m from Salisbury) and Windsor is 1h 15m from Stonehenge. You can always drop your car off in Windsor and take a train to London (1h).

Posted by
26094 posts

drop your car off in Windsor and take a train to London (1h).

half that time. 29 minutes from Windsor & Eton Central to London Paddington (including the quick change at Slough).

It would only take the 56 minutes if you took the train from Windsor & Eton Riverside to London Waterloo. But few tourists would want to do that. The Riverside station is further from the centre of town (Riverside is down the hill, around the castle and a bit, whereas Central is directly opposite the castle right in the middle of everything) and the route to Waterloo is in addition to slower is also more expensive.

I'm also not convinced that Windsor is a good choice. If you want to see the castle (and a very good castle it is) that's fine, but parking in Windsor can be a real bear (I once tried to get my brother to the castle and drove around for 45 minutes looking for a space in a carpark and gave up) and using your car as a locker for your luggage isn't a great idea, but if that's your choice...

Dropping the car at Heathrow works easily (or back at Oxford) and fairly soon the new Elizabeth Line will open linking Heathrow with central London.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks everyone. Understand about the weather!
You have given me the gumption to rent the car at Heathrow. I've driven in Ireland on my 12 visits there and know I can do it. Was a little leery about the airport driving. It will be less hassle free.
I think we will shorten our stay in Moreton by one night giving us more flexibility to visit other areas.
Thanks so much for all the suggestions. Looking forward traveling again and to our visit with friends who we haven't seen in 4 years.
Mimi Bliss

Posted by
2634 posts

You can try Robinson Goss rental……….they are located in Shipston-on-Stour, which is 8 miles from Mireton-in-Marsh.

Posted by
4948 posts

We did six nights in the Cotswolds in 2017 and based in Chipping Campden at the Volunteer Inn. I highly recommend the town and Inn.
We rented at Heathrow, but you could rent at Oxford. Also, should spend a day in Oxford, as well as another in Blenheim Palace and anther in Stratford Upon Avon. Bath is a bit removed from the Costswolds, I recommend staying at the Brooks Guesthouse and dining on the best Fish and Chips in England at the Scallop Shell.

Posted by
4537 posts

Car hire is currently in the topsy-turvy situation that renting an extra large commercial van can be significantly cheaper than renting the smallest of cars. That is certainly the situation with some of the major companies in Oxford and at Heathrow. This will right itself at sometime but how soon is a matter of conjecture. Presuming it does since you are intending to stay a final day at Heathrow you might as well return the car there.