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Stratford upon Avon or Bibury for overnight

We are driving and can go on either direction , ending in Bibury or Stratford upon Avon. Trying to decide which village to spend the night . Seems like Bibury is tiny and can be enjoyed by a Morning walk. We were Interested in the Swan in Bibury and the White Swan hotel in Stratford upon Avon. If you have been there and have an opinion I’d love to hear it. Is Stratford still quaint and cute or big ?
Thank you !!!!
Lauren

Posted by
1259 posts

They are sort of in different directions and definitely different places. Bibury is "quaint" as the Americans say, and worth a quick visit, but there is nothing to see once you've taken a photo. It would be a beautiful place to live, if you can park and avoid the tourists, but not to actually do anything. SuA is a larger town, with several sights, especially if you like Shakespeare, including the RSC, but its not cute.

Posted by
28135 posts

You have completely apples and oranges.

Bibury is either a village or hamlet - I don't remember if they have a church - it has one road, nice enough duck pond, one tea room in the hotel, and the Arlington Row - with or without the protesting Reliant Robin. Population 627.

Stratford upon Avon (be sure to use the whole name - there are several Stratfords, including the one in East London where the recent London Olympics were held) is a large market town which is the seat of the District, with many many shops, many banks, museums, several car parks and a park-and-ride (be extremely careful parking on the street or you will wind up with a little plastic envelope glued to the windscreen, lots of buses and bus routes, and it has nearly as many coffee shops as Bibury has ducks. It is used every day by locals as their shopping centre and there will many tourists. Population 27,445

I like both but they are completely different.

Posted by
56 posts

I am not sure why these are only two alternatives. I agree with both previous responses, but would suggest you consider some other places. Broadway is an attractive large village popularised at the end of the 19th Century by American artists and writers. Winchcombe is a beautiful Cotswold market town with a nearby castle. The two places are conected by the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway, which is well worth a visit in its own right.

Posted by
4186 posts

Bibury and Arlington Row can be seen in an hour unless you really want to take a long stroll. Stratford Upon Avon is larger and it would be easy to spend a day there. Plus, Shakespeare is there in Holy Trinity Church. The main part of The town is walkable. I’ve never spent the night there. My last time there I ate at the Garrick Inn. It’s in a nice timbered building.

Posted by
6802 posts

We stayed in Stratford-upon-Avon for two nights, and were happy we did. It has a lot of things to see, and its big enough to be comfortable. I'm not that interested in Shakespeare or theater, but we did see a play, and it was enjoyable. We ate at a few places, the only one of which I remember is the historic Thatch Tavern which was perfect for us.

Posted by
103 posts

Hi. Thank you for your thoughtful responses . I thought about castlecomb, lower slaughter . Moreton or bouton on the water .... lol I’m sorry that’s me being exhausted. I wanted to spend one night in a charming town with historic old beamed inns and a town with little pubs and stores. I guess it’s overwhelming with so many choices. Thank you !!!!

Posted by
6802 posts

Carol, we stopped in Castle Coombe. Yes, very charming. But there is hardly anything there as far as shops and pubs or anything but nicely trimmed gardens and houses. Maybe on the outskirts, but it seemed to me that they have purposefully discouraged tourism. That was my observation anyway.

Posted by
1934 posts

Castle Combe has not discouraged tourism - what you get is a tiny village just (as near as dammit) as it always has been. Well, I suppose if this was America they would massive advertising hoardings and the dreadful signs with slide on letters and burger joints all on the outskirts.

If you want a quieter village that is not on any main road - choose Lower Slaughter. If you want a larger village - choose Bourton-on-the-Water. I suggest that you look on Google Maps to see the size of the different places and also check them out on Streetview. Also note that the main A429 does not go through either of the 2 villages just mentioned.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Bourton-on-the-Water,+Cheltenham/@51.8963112,-1.7761519,5203m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4871259c974efdd3:0x62b46d705469ad33!8m2!3d51.886805!4d-1.763191

Posted by
5630 posts

We loved Stratford Upon Avon. Yes, there were many tourists there, but the city is loaded with old buildings as well as Shakespeare stuff. The city is what I would call small to medium sized, not as large as York, but not a village either.

The Shakespeare museum or whatever they call it is great and there are four other sites that you can visit by purchasing an all site ticket. The home that Shakespeare was born in is well preserved, as is the home and farm of his mother. Further, his wife's home is included. Can't miss his tomb in a church.

It will take you almost a day to see everything.

Posted by
6802 posts

Castle Combe has not discouraged tourism - what you get is a tiny village just (as near as dammit) as it always has been. Well, I suppose if this was America they would massive advertising hoardings and the dreadful signs with slide on letters and burger joints all on the outskirts.

James, I agree. Its a wonderful place to visit because of what it doesnt have.

Posted by
28135 posts

It does have a motor racing circuit of some renown though...

Posted by
389 posts

Have you considered Tetbury or Stow on the Wold? Both a step up from village but still plenty of character and options for staying. Castle Coombe has the fantastic Manor House hotel if your budget can stretch!

Posted by
103 posts

Thank you. It’s going to be a good reading weekend with the approaching snowstorm in Boston!!! Appreciate everyone’s help!!!