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Gloucester/Oxford/Edinburgh

Travelling with hubby and 19 yr old daughter in May 2016. Spending five nights in Gloucester at The New Inn and plan on taking a day trip to Oxford and day trip or two to London. Would prefer staying away from having to overnight in London (cost). Prefer smaller towns. Some must-sees are The Harry Potter tour (we are all Potter fans), city tour of London to see Tower, St. Paul's, Westminster Abbey. Should we travel by train to London and then take tours from there? We will then spend several days in Edinburgh (travelling by train). Any suggestions, recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I am the only one who has been to London before. Loved it and want to share it with family. Thanks for your help.

Posted by
1841 posts

I have just done a quick check on the Gloucester to London (Paddington) trains at www.nationalrail.co.uk
Going today (Wednesday 27 May) & paying on the day would cost £160 return for peak time trains but from the 8.48 departure, the price drops to £64 return. Booking in advance for Saturday (few commuters so lower fares) 11 July, I can depart Gloucester on the 7.46am for £16 one way and return on the 16.16 for £18.50. Booking ahead for a weekday in mid July, I am getting £23 for the 7.45 departure & £41.50 for the 17.42 from Paddington. (For these pre-booked one way fares - you must use those specific trains). I suggest that you should consider the cost of the train fares carefully. You may be able to find lower fares with the ability to use any train by splitting the journey:> Gloucester > Swindon ; Swindon> Didcot; Didcot > Paddington (you stay on the same train). Journey time is around 2 hours. www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

If going to Oxford by train - it is not a direct route and you must change at Didcot. You will find it cheapest to pay on the day (at Gloucester station) for a Gloucester>Swindon off peak return for £9 plus a Swindon> Oxford off peak return = £10.80. On weekdays, you would depart on the 8.48 train (or later) to get these fares and you would arrive Oxford at 10.34 - having changed trains once - at Didcot.

This site will help advise you where buying split tickets works:> http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/split-cheap-train-tickets/

I would definitely make the 1 hour train trip to Cardiff. (Pay on the day return fares on this route are around £16). http://www.visitcardiff.com

You could also use the same train route to Chepstow - to see the Castle; then take a bus up the Wye Valley to see the ruins of Tintern Abbey. http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/tinternabbey/?lang=en

Bath is also around 1 hour 20 minutes away by train. http://visitbath.co.uk (Pay on the day for off peak return = £14.30). This fare applies to 8.41 or later from Gloucester on weekdays.

For bus info for Chepstow> Tintern or other places, such as going east into The Cotswolds, use > http://www.traveline.info

Posted by
26448 posts

Commuting to London and Oxford is a false economy, both in money and in time. You can always get more money if you work hard; you can't get more time.

I'm a little confused by your "We will then spend several days in Edinburgh (travelling by train)." You surely don't mean you are commuting there too, do you?

Posted by
4539 posts

You haven't said àny particular reason why you want to stay in Gloucester. I can only think there must be a good one as using it as a base to visit Oxford and London has no logic for all the reasons above. The stated rationale would be far better suited to staying somewhere like Reading.