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Transportation to Cotswolds from Heathrow

We made a large mistake that I won't even go into but we thought we had 2 nights in the Cotswolds and now we have only one night. Needless to say I am sick about it. We land at terminal 4 at 12:15pm on Friday, May 30th. We have hotel reservations in Chipping Norton that night. We need to be back to London in the evening on Saturday, May 31st to check into the Millennium Gloucester Hotel. We are having a little bit of sticker shock on train prices to get to anywhere in the Cotswolds. We plan to rent a car once we arrive anywhere in the Cotswolds to do what we wish with our brief time there. Can you help me with how to get there quickly and inexpensively and back to London without causing too much turmoil. Thank you

Posted by
1930 posts

I would do this> www.railair.com - use this coach link from Heathrow to Reading Rail station.
When you arrive at Reading, buy a single ticket to Kingham (Chipping Norton is not on the rail network). The rail ticket will cost £14.30 and the journey will take 55 minutes. Schedules here > www.nationalrail.co.uk (RDG > KGM). You can also use this site to find out the times of the trains on Saturday back to London (Paddington). (KGM > PAD) > That will cost £28.20 one way pay on the day.

Between Kingham & Chipping Norton - use the bus. (It takes about 13 minutes). Schedules available here > http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/JourneyDetails.aspx?cacheparam=14

Are you sure that you can hire a car in Chipping Norton as it is not that big a place? If not, the nearest place that you can definitely get a car - as far as I am aware - would be Oxford. Should that be so, follow the advice above but go to Oxford instead of Kingham. Alternatively, hire a car at Heathrow & ask if you can drop it off say at Oxford & then take the train to London. They might even allow you to collect/drop a car in Kingham.

If you have to collect the hire car in Oxford, you will probably find it more convenient to use the direct coach service from Heathrow.
http://airline.oxfordbus.co.uk
A bus service also operates between Oxford & Chipping Norton. http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/JourneyDetails.aspx?cacheparam=1
This site should give you car hire companies:>http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/cheap-car-hire/uk/

If driving a circuit of Cotswold villages from Chipping Norton, I would do these in this order:> Stow-on-the-Wold > Bourton-on-the-Water > Lower Slaughter > Snowshill > Broadway > Chipping Campden - and - if you have time - Hidcote Manor Gardens or even Stratford-upon-Avon.

Find the places on Google Earth!

Posted by
4734 posts

Your other 'mistake' is to arrive at Terminal 4, as the public transport options to nearly everywhere apart from London from there are poor. The rail air coach to Reading, or the airport coaches to Oxford don't serve it directly so you would have to go to the central area or Terminal 5 first for those.

As you say 'we' consider for convenience booking a taxi which at around £100 would not be that much more expensive and make best use of your scarce time. Or hire the car from there if you feel OK about driving after your flight.

Posted by
51 posts

The previous responders know more about the logistics than I so this is just an FYI .
We took the train from paddington to Banbury. There is an Enterprise car rental in town. Banbury is 13 miles from chipping norton.

Posted by
2664 posts

You could take a taxi in Windsor (15 minute ride) to the Windsor & Eton station or Slough (15 minute away)get a train to Moreton-in-Marsh. If you go into Windsor you will have to change trains in Slough which is no big deal it's very small station. If you go into Slough there will be no change.

Posted by
16883 posts

Picking up a car at Heathrow is simplest and many tourists have done it, including me on my first trip. It pays to plan your driving route in advance and to stick to the larger roads, if you're not well rested. The smaller the road, the more you need to know all the intermediate town options that you will encounter at round-about intersections. See also http://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/driving-in-great-britain-and-ireland. Check Auto Europe and others for prices, but you can probably expect to pay the same rate whether you keep the car for 1, 2, or 3 days.