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London to Heathrow to Cotswold and/or Bath.

I am planning to travel the Cotswolds and perhaps take in Bath. We will have no car so I am relying on the transportation system. I am getting alittle overwhelmed as it seems like a hassle. We will arrive in London Heathrow after a nine hour flight. So I am looking at the quickest way to get to a central part of Cotswold to begin our journey. Ideally would like to pick a central village and do some bicycling throughout some of the villages. Hoping to take in Bath if it is convenient. Will be there for eight days end of September/October. I am getting discouraged as there seems to be no simple way if you do not have a car. Thank you so much. I was thinking Heathrow, Oxford, Chipping Campden then explore from there. Or Heathrow to Bath, then try to get over to Cotswold. Sorry I am so wordy. Appreciate any input.

Posted by
244 posts

We will be in Bath and the Cotswolds at the same time. We decided to just rent a car. The best way to see the area. I've driven in Scotland before. It isn't that difficult. Most people on here recommend a car. Do you have RS tour book? He has one specifically for the Cotswolds. He does give information on traveling without a car. RS says it can be done😊!

Posted by
85 posts

Hi Debra, yes no car means making compromises but we are looking at similar plan for Sept. and I think I've figured out a plan to experience Bath and a piece of the Cotswolds. Fly to London then train or bus to Bath, which sounds pretty doable with regular trips on either train or bus, which appear to take less than two hours. After a few days we will train to Morton in Marsh, which has the only train station in the area. Then catch a 15-minute bus ride to Stow. We'll be able to walk to Bourton and back so will be able to see a couple of towns. To head back to London we'll get back to Moreton and then train to London, also apparently less than two hours. We will be travelling on a Sunday in the Cotswolds which means no bus service but I believe we can taxi from Stow to Moreton.
It would be wonderful to see more of the Cotswolds but we aren't going to drive, so, again, need to compromise on how much we see. Maybe the travel gods who are so good on this forum can fill us in a little more, but I think public transportation will still work in a good way. Good luck to you.


Posted by
31519 posts


be aware that if you are planning to walk to Bourton on the Water from Stow on the Wold, that it is a walk down the hill to Bourton on the Water, and a steep uphill walk back.

When I were a lad, we used to chant ...among others... "Stow on the Wold - where the wind blows cold" because it is so much higher than everything else around.

If you are a good walker you might want to go down the hill - new footpath next to the road - to Lower Swell then follow the waymarkers to Upper Slaughter then Lower Slaughter to Bourton on the Water.

It will be a grind up the hill back...

Posted by
16893 posts

From Heathrow to either Bath or Moreton-in-Marsh takes about 2 hours with one connection, either starting with a bus to Reading and catching a train there, or with Heathrow Express train to Paddington and connect to another train there. If using a BritRail England, Southwest, or London Plus pass (see coverage maps), the trains are covered but bus is not.

Posted by
3561 posts

Train to London Paddington, then train to Bath. Stay in Bath a couple of days.

Take the tour of the Cotswolds with Mad Max Tours (small tour bus). Leaves from Bath. Arrange before-hand with the tour company that you will not be returning to Bath, but wish to be dropped in the Cotswolds once the tour is over.Take your luggage with you. (Hopefully you will be traveling light, so you won't have much luggage.)

Choose a Cotswold village that is at the end of the Mad Max Tour route. Make reservations to stay the night there. The end of this tour is Bibury, a very nice place in which to stay:
Work your way around to the other villages by walking, riding a bike, or bus.

Leave the Cotswolds from Moreton-in-Marsh and train to London Paddington.