Is a week too long in the Cotswolds?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22011 posts

Andrea, A week in the Cotswolds would probably be too long for me, but it will depend to some extent on how much of the area you want to see. My preference would be to split the time between Bath and the Cotswolds. Stow-On-The-Wold makes a great home base for the Cotswolds. Public transport is a bit "limited" in that area, so a rental car would be a good idea. Happy travels!

Posted by Steve
109 posts

Andrea, I think a week is too long in the Cotswolds. You can do a driving tour there in a couple of good days (some would say one good day), and enjoy some fine country walks and visit some nice pubs in a few extra days at most. We only visited for a single day (we stayed in Bath and drove over) and I wished we had more time, but I think a week might be too long.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
833 posts

My husband and I did a day trip from London to the Cotswolds. We did a Gray Line day tour and it was very nice. One day was enough for us.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
504 posts

In my opinion, 2 full days (3 nights) is needed to drive and see the area, including stops along the way. If you want to do a walk, which is very enjoyable, add a day and night. I think you can use the rest of the time you have allotted better somewhere else.
The first time we went, we only stayed one day. We didn't have enough time. I suggest Stow-on-the-Wold as a nice location to stay.

Posted by Robin Z
Troy, Oh, USA
1688 posts

I wouldn't think a week is to long, especially if you have a car. By staying a week you can take your time and not have to rush thru the villages. There are so many small quaint villages that you can visit. When we visited Blenheim Palace we were there for 4 or 5 hours, we toured the palace, had a fantastic lunch there, walked thru the beautiful gardens, down to the lake, to the butterfly house so there would be most of one day, then if you go to Sudeley Castle near Winchcome there is another half day or a little longer. Castle Combe is another village that should be a must see. Just to name a few things to do there. Bourton-on-the-Water or Broadway would make fantastic home base.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
237 posts

Unless you have an endless capacity for quaint or you're planning on doing a lot of walking I think 8 days is probably longer than you need to soak in the Cotswolds. I would say 2 or 3 full days is probably a good estimate but it is important to slow down to experience the slower pace of the country life. We likes Stow on the Wold, Chipping Campden, the Slaughters (very tiny) and if you like gardens don't miss Hidcote Manor. I loved the Cotswolds but there are so many other things things to see that I would branch out and see other things. There are a lot of Roman influences in the Cirencester area and a lot of ancient sites and stone circles around the Salisbury area. Hope that helps,

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5691 posts

Thanks everyone for your opinions. I think you're right and will consider 3 days to be a better length of time.

Posted by david
837 posts

No, Andrea, listen to Robin, he/she is on the right track. The Cotswolds villages themselves deserve at least 2 full driving days. Within easy driving distance are many other wonderful visits: Blenheim Palace, Stratford-upon-Avon, Coventry (don't miss the free auto museum with perhaps the best WWII blitz exhibit I have seen), Warrick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, and Oxford. There are other thinks like the beauty of Buckinghamshire (where Midsomer Murders episodes are filmed) and things like Blechley Park (probably mispelled, but the place where the Brits broke the German enigma code). One week is DEFINITELY NOT too long.

Posted by Sharon
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
1076 posts

I DEFINITELY agree with Robin and David - a week is not too long. Get a B&B and use it as your base to drive out to sightsee each day. There is so much, and it's beautiful!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5691 posts

I was actually thinking about renting a cottage. Most of them seem to require a one week stay in high season, though I wouldn't be traveling at that time. It seems I would have to stay at least 3 nights to go that route. Thanks for all the input. I'm just considering various scenarios for a trip of yet to be undetermined locations and length of time.

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
878 posts

Robin is right. The Cotswolds may be a bit twee for a lot of people but I love it .. so much in fact that my friend and I are thinking of doing the Cotswolds Way walk next year. I like staying in Kingham, assuming one has a car. Tiny little village to use as a base.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
237 posts

Andrea, I replied earlier but just to elaborate, I think the question here is "How much time do you have?" Could you spend a week seeing the Cotswolds and using it as a base for day trips to the surrounding area? You certainly could and you would probably have a great time. I would have loved to spend that kind of time there but if it means not going to Bath or Salisbury then is it worth it? I personally don't think it is. I'd spend a few days in each of those places instead during that week. We stayed in Stow and the Stow Lodge and they said many people come back there year after year and I can see that. But I don't live there and hadn't see the rest of the country so I had to pick and choose. Hope that helps,

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Although 8 days may be a little long in the Cotswolds on their own (and only you can judge that), the Cotswolds are well suited as a center from which you can see so many sights in the surrounding countryside- salisbruy and Stonehenge, into Wales and tintern; easy drives to stratford, blenheim Palace and Oxford. We also enjoy driving through the countryside in virtualy any direction. Even if you want to be "on the go" six days would be good, and if you want to spend time strolling through the villages and the countryside, eight would work fine. A hotel in a Cotswold village is so nice to come back to at the end of the day

Posted by Debra
Celina, TX, USA
187 posts

Has an extra day been added to a week? Last I checked it was still 7 days. That said, I am planning to staying a full week this June. My husband and I have rented a holiday cottage and we plan to just relax and enjoy the scenery. We have tentative plans for hikes and drives. I feel how long a stay is a personal preference.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12319 posts

For a lovely relaxing holiday walking between exquisitely beautiful villages in exquisetely gorgeous countryside 2 weeks is nowhere near enough - a week barely enough in the Cotswolds. Am I biased? Mebbe. Grew up there, didn't I? I could fill up page after page of marvelous things to do, just in the northern half of the Cotswolds. Several people have already given a good list. If you want to chill, relax, walk, perhaps grill a trout you caught that morning (or if you don't like fishing you can walk down to the trout pond with the farmer and they will net one for you), watch the wildlife, see the lambs and ewes, perhaps catch a glipse of a hunt, visit loads of National Trust Gardens and Houses (cheap 2 week memberships available)... maybe you'll like it. For rushing I suggest the Cotswolds are not the place to rush. PM for more.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

I glitched- i read Ed's post and had 8 days stuck in my mind. My mistake

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3266 posts

You can certainly do a drive-by and see some thatched cottages in a day, but it is nothing like staying there and getting in to the vibe of your little village. It is one of my very favorite places and I could amuse myself there for weeks. You just get in the car and head out in any direction and there is something fun to explore. One trip there we went to a play in Stratford, as well as the movie Phantom, which was playing in a movie theatre there. Nice way to spend a few evenings.