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Daytrip Oxford/Cotswolds?


We are a family of four (young adult 22yo kids) who have 9 day trip to London/Edinburgh end of May/early June.

We have 5 full days in London and want to take a day trip out of London for one of the days. It would be a guided tour/with a driver. Not via train/on our own.

I'm thinking about Oxford/Cotswolds. I know that there is a lot to see but really this is probably our only time that we will be going there all together and trying to maximize what we do/see.

Curious to get feedback though on this day trip idea.

Posted by
27408 posts

I'd spend the day in Oxford. In fact, I'd recommend spending two nights there, but you don't have time to do that.

I enjoyed a one-day tour of the Cotswolds a few years ago, but I was staying in Oxford at the time and just had to take a train to Moreton-in-Marsh to get there in time for the GoCotswolds tour departure. That way, I got to see five or so Cotswold villages, walking around briefly in each of them, as well as some of the beautiful countryside. If you try to cover Oxford and part of the Cotswolds from London, your time in both will be seriously inadequate.

Five full days in London isn't actually long. Many of the museums (often free/donation requested) are monsters requiring more than a day to see in full. The Churchill War Rooms was more than a half-day visit for me, and places like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London are not things you just visit for an hour. And those sights are well scattered across miles of the large city.

Posted by
27408 posts

If you truly must do a combo tour to Oxford and the Cotswolds, I assume the LondonWalks option is as good as it gets. The company's London walking tours are great (there are dozens; I recommend them very highly), and I think the O/C tour uses a train to Oxford, which probably means somewhat less time sitting on transportation.

Posted by
248 posts

We did the Oxford Cotswold trip with London Walks a few years ago and it was a fun day. However I don't think they are doing the day trips out of London now. I checked with them a month or so ago and they said they weren't but you might check their website. Try The English Bus. It is a small group tour company (16 people at the most). We have signed up for one of their tours in early June.

Posted by
545 posts

I'm going to be the person who gives a thumbs-down on your plan. If you just want to say you visited Oxford and the Cotswolds, then your plan is ok. If you want to actually see and enjoy those two very different destinations, then I'd say you need a new plan. Look at travel time required and then estimate how much time you would actually have at both destinations. Oxford is an entire city and university complex with many interesting destinations. The Cotswolds is an entire area with many small villages. Both require far more time than you're allowing for them.

My suggestion is to choose one of these, or perhaps a more "compact" destination such as Hampton Court or Windsor.