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Need advice on getting from Jedburgh to the Cotswolds

We will have been in Scotland for about a week - early October - and plan to end up in the Borders before continuing on to England. We will have a car and planned on driving back to Edinburgh to fly to Bristol or Birmingham, however, I was wondering if driving from the Borders would be reasonable. My main objection to flying is that the flights that are available are either really early in the morning which would be a little problematic for leaving or early evening which could make renting another car and driving to our B&B in Broadway tricky. Nothing is set in stone so we can change reservations.
I like to drive but have not yet driven in the UK. I do plan on renting an automatic car and my wife will be with me as a navigator although she will probably not want to drive unless absolutely necessary.
Also, if we drive halfway in one day, what would a good stopover in England be? I feel as if York won't take us far enough.

Posted by
2125 posts

It's perfectly possible to drive from Jedburgh to the Cotswolds - a long drive but nothing particularly difficult about it. Half way would get to you somewhere like Chester or the Peak District. There's nothing wrong with the Cotswolds but don't overlook other areas of England with better scenery that would be closer such as Northumberland, the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales.

Posted by
1888 posts

I would be inclined to drive and would favour the western route. This would mean leaving Jedburgh on the A698 for Hawick where you join the A7 heading for Carlisle - where you join the M6 (3 lanes in each direction).

If you would like to stop-over in the Lake District - leave the M6 at Junction 40 (Penrith) & head west. Look for a 1 or 2 night stop at say Keswick. (This is not halfway). Return to the M6 via Windermere and head south. It is M6 to Birmingham and then M5 - be careful where the M5 splits off from the M6. (If my memory is correct, the M5 splits off to the left - but you would have thought it was to the right). Leave M5 at Junction 6 (near Worcester) & take A44 towards Evesham & then to Broadway.

I don't think it is worth leaving the M6 to visit Chester.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you both for your detailed replies. Assuming, after nearly a week in Scotland, that we will have adjusted to driving in the UK, driving south from the Borders region sounds like it might be the better choice. It will certainly give us more options and flexibility.

I would love to visit the lake district but I think we would be most likely to encounter rain there in early October, true? And while we know that rain is always a strong possibility in the UK, I'd prefer not to stack the deck...especially after spending time on the west coast of Scotland.

Would Liverpool would make a good stopover? It never really interested me but friends of ours went there and enjoyed it. If we did that, maybe we could take a more scenic route from the Jedburgh area and be in Liverpool just long enough to take the ferry cross the Mersey, have dinner and sleep and continue on to Bath and Cotswolds in the morning.

The Yorkshire Dales and/or Northumberland sound great too. I imagine if we drove that route we would pretty much be giving up most of our time in the Cotswolds (I have been wondering if the Cotswolds may be a little overrated as a tourist destination?) Actually, as far as lovely countryside and small town charm goes, I wonder if we will get our dose of Cotswold-type experiences before we even get there. We do want to visit Bath because we've heard so much about it. And Oxford.

Obviously, its really hard to choose when there is so much to choose from and just not enough time. Bottom line here is that we planned to leave Scotland on a Tuesday morning and, after dropping our car off somewhere, take a train to London, arriving on Friday evening in time to check into our hotel and have a late dinner. How we spend our time in between is what I'm trying to figure out.

Posted by
2125 posts

While it's true that the west side of the country gets more rainfall than the east, it's impossible to predict the weather on any given day weeks in advance. October may be glorious (or not).

Liverpool would be a good stopover - very popular city.

My point with the Cotswolds is that people go there because people go there - it's on many itineraries. By driving from the Borders to southern England you miss whole swathes of the country that are equally rewarding.

As ever, it's doing what appeals to you - so much to see, so little time.

Posted by
1888 posts

If you want to ditch the car & proceed south, then how about driving from Jedburgh to Newcastle & getting rid of the car? Have a look around Newcastle centre & then catch a train to York for 1 night?

From York, you could travel by train to London in about 2 hours but you could easily make a detour to Cambridge (by train). Alternatively, travel from York by train to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon or Cheltenham in order to see the north Cotswolds (Broadway etc. plus Stratford-upon-Avon) but note that a car is best for touring the villages. You could also go by direct train from York to Bristol and change for the 15 minute hop to Bath.
Long distance rail journeys are cheaper if advanced booked for specific trains.
(For travelling south by train using the West Coast Mainline, use Carlisle as the place to switch from the car).

If driving, you might wish to visit Hadrian's Wall.
These 2 places can be done as a day trip from Jedburgh (or as a detour if heading for Newcastle):>

Posted by
5669 posts

One thing about driving the car and doing this trip in October is that you can probably be more flexible. If it is pouring down rain, keep on driving. If it isn't and you see something you like, why not stop and enjoy it? After a week in Scotland you will know that there are many degrees of rain. There is the soft rain, there is showers, there is intermittent down pours and there is the Big Black Cloud. As long as you the Big Black Cloud stays away, you will be able to keep on touring. :)

The tourist office for a slight fee will help you find a place to stay.