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Bath to York via Blenheim

My husband and I are traveling to England for 11 days in September . We plan to go to Bath by coach from Heathrow spend 2 nights there a Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, I thought we would rent a car in Bath drive to Stonehenge, Avebury and go to Blenheim. From Blenheim go to Stow stay there Wednesday and stay on Thursday in Cotswold area. Friday morning drive to York drop off car there stay in York Friday night and Saturday evening catch a train to Manchester (have to visit a relative there). On Monday morning we thought to catch a train to London and spend 4 nights there. I would like suggestions and comments. 1) Is the plan realistic? 2) What is the best places to see in Cotswold ? 3) Is it better to return the car in Manchester airport on Saturday night use park and ride in York? 4) What is best map for this driving route?
Thank you

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you Bob for your input. We will be staying in Manchester two nights and then take a train from there to London.

Posted by
577 posts

It looks a reasonable plan to me, although I think I would prefer to keep the car and drop it off before getting the train to London. I was unclear if you were staying the night in Manchester or returning to York and going from there to London. For me, the main determinant would be the availability of parking at the places where I was staying, and the cost. Once in York, a car would be a nuisance, but it could make the journeys more convenient and it may not be possible to leave it overnight at a Park & Ride. We stayed in York a few weeks ago and the hotel car park was about £10 a day. Expensive, but worth it for our itinerary. There are frequent trains from York to London, Manchester to London, and York to Manchester. It may be worth looking out for disruption because of engineering work, and buy your tickets weeks in advance to get the lowest prices. As for places to visit in the Cotswolds, the most popular are Broadway, Bourton on the Water, Startford upon Avon, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Burford and Bibury, but the area has many attractive villages, and you may have a more memorable experience off the beaten track. Particular destinations are Hidcote (gardens) and Snowshill Manor, but there are a number of stately homes and abbeys. As for maps, you may find a good one on sale in the U.S., and this would help planning. If you wait until you are in Bath, W.H.Smith in the main shopping street will have a selection of atlases at various prices.

Posted by
26409 posts

Will you be in central Manchester or one of the suburbs?

Posted by
837 posts

Presuming that your relative in Manchester has a car, I would definitely follow your original plan of returning the car upon arrival in York. Even if the relative doesn't have a car, they must find public transport sufficient and if it works for them, it should work for you on your visit.