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Multi day tours from London to Cotswold

I will be in London at the beginning of April and would like to see Bath, Oxford, Stonehenge and some small villages in the Cotswold. Does anyone have a suggestion of a tour or company that does more than day trips from London? Are day trips from London a better way to visit these places? I am a solo traveller and will not be renting a car.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
1991 posts

I would suggest that you take a train from London (Waterloo) to Salisbury and check into a hotel for 1 night. Then take the shuttle bus to Stonehenge followed by a visit to Salisbury Cathedral.

Next day:> take a train to Bath and check into accommodation. From here, you could take a tour of The Cotswolds (on another day). People on this forum seem to recommend Mad Max Tours - so check out the dates off such tours.

When done with Bath, it is possible to take a train to Oxford. Whilst staying in Oxford, consider visiting nearby Blenheim Palace.
Then train back to London.

Alternatively, you can easily take day trips by train from London to Bath / Salisbury and Oxford. Hotels in London tend to be more expensive though Bath can also be pretty pricey.
Trains > www.nationalrail.co.uk (Advance book longer trips for specific trains to get lower prices).

Posted by
21996 posts

One can also take a one-day van tour of the Cotswolds from Moreton-in-Marsh, the only Cotswolds village with train service and a short train ride from Oxford. I stayed in Oxford and had no difficulty getting to Moreton in time for my GoCotswolds tour, which picked me (and others) up at the Moreton train station.

I would definitely not want to make repeated day-trips to the same area from London. Not only will you probably be paying more for the privilege of sleeping in a London hotel, you'll be wasting a lot of time going back and forth every day. The van tours of the Cotswolds should be prebooked; they may not run every day, especially in April, so you need to get that excursion pinned down. Oxford and Bath can be visited on your own. Each has multiple museums, so take the time to research the local sights before finalizing where you will stay and for how long.

Based on a quick look at the National Rail website, I think you can make day-trips between Bath and London by train quite easily, usually with just one change. I'd choose to stay in Bath if taking a Cotswolds tour from Bath and in Oxford if taking a Cotwolds tour from Moreton-in-Marsh. As cities, I much preferred Oxford, but many others prefer Bath.

I've never bothered with Stonehenge, so I'm not up on the logistics for that excursion.

Posted by
5997 posts

James provided you with some good advice.

You can see Salisbury and Stonehenge in one day. We saw Avebury as well, but we had a rental car.

The Cotswolds are loaded with several great towns and cities. Bath, you need one full day.

We stayed in Chipping Campden and drove to visit Stratford Upon Avon, Blenheim Palace and Oxford. Also, we spend about a day and a half visiting all the Cotswold places.

Since you are not driving, finding a tour would be your best bet.

Posted by
4825 posts

... and if going by train from Bath Spa to Oxford there is a change required at Didcot Parkway. Sometimes just across the platform (2->3) but more often these days from 5.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all so much. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed but thanks to James, Acraven and all the info I received I have a better idea of how to proceed. Doing day trips from London is out. I will take into consideration other recommended places to stay. I am retired and am quite flexible with time. Is there any other place/ things that you think I should not miss in the relative vicinity? ( train ride away)
I appreciate all of your suggestions and time.

Posted by
1991 posts

I think that the best Cotswold villages are in the north east Cotswolds - rather than the area near Bath. So, the idea of going from Oxford to Moreton-in-Marsh by train to pick up a tour is a good one. (Or - you could even stay in Moreton-on-Marsh - check it out on Google street view - as well as any intended accommodation).

You could save time by landing at Heathrow and taking the shuttle bus to Woking to catch a train to Salisbury. (This saves going into London 7 back out). Please note that some return rail fares are sometimes only about £1 dearer than one way (single) fares. Sometimes, single fares are much cheaper if bought in advance.

Google the places mentioned. Usually, if you put ‘visit’ > wherever in front, you get the ‘official’ tourist board websites which have plenty of info.

Map of rail network:>http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/routemaps/nationalrailnetworkmap.pdf