On a Sunday in June we will be driving from Keswick to the Cotswolds. We are hoping to see Warwick castle on the way to the Cotswolds. I was wondering what the best route would be since it will be a Sunday and I assume that Sunday's are a busy travel day? Also approximately how long will it take and will there be enough time to see Warwick? We will be traveling with our daughters age 5 and 9. I would love to take more scenic roads if time permits. We haven't made accomodation arrangements in the Cotswolds so any suggestions for that would be great! Thanks for all of your help.
Sarah, we drove from the cotswolds to the Lake District in September. We took the M6; I think with a lunch break it took five or six hours. Traffic flowed along smoothly but we were told that is not the norm. I think if you took scenic routes it would take much longer. I didn't go to the castle so I don't know how long it would take to see it. It doesn't seem too far from the cotswolds so depending on how long you plan on being in the area maybe you could still see it.
We stayed at Bould Farm b&b. It is off the beaten path and was very quiet and peaceful. We would stay there again. I'm no sure about their policy on kids. Even though it was in a more remote area it didn't take long at all to get to the main towns.
This route planner from the AA is a good place to start. Also shows you the "pretty" route options.
The M6 only goes down about as far as somewhere east of Birmingham.
If you drove straight through with a couple of quick breaks, it'd take about five hours (if you don't get snarled around Birmingham). That's using the freeways as much as possible.
Getting in to Warwick, wandering the castle, seeing just a bit of the adjacent town, and having lunch would take at least four more.
It's probably a choice between a scenic drive and Warwick. With kids, the castle would probably win. I think it's a sucko carnival but my dim-witted kids really enjoyed it and they were about that age.
By default most travel planners will send you via the M6T, costing a toll of £4.80 presently on a Sunday. Check on the day whether there is any need to go that way as the only significant time benefit is when the free route is congested.
When we travel up to the North West we always use the M6 Toll Road. The cost is worth it to us in order to avoid driving on the main M6 around Birmingham.
If you come down from the Northwest to the Cotswolds you will perhaps be going out of your way by detouring into Warwick.
Don't get me wrong, I happen to like Warwick and its environs very much, and the castle is quite a show. I used to live in Warwickshire.
It doesn't seem practical to me to drive a scenic route most of the day from the Lakes, then spend half a day or more at Warwick Castle - you will be spending enough £££ so you may as well get your money's worth, most people go there for the day -- hopefully you will something of the lovely town of Warwick before you leave, and then get to wherever you are stopping for the night.
The Cotswolds, much like the Mountain area between Yosemite and Sequoia, is a large area. Severeal hundred square miles.
It would be helpful to know where you are going.
I'd hop down the M5 towards Cheltenham and Cleve Hill unless you want Stow on the Wold which could be M6, M42, M40, Warwick and then the Fosse Way.
We haven't quite figured out where we are staying in the Cotswolds, but I am leaning towards Stow-on-the-Wold. Thanks everyone for your replies.
We did go to Warwick Castle. It is very theatrically presented, I believe staged by Madame Tausaud. One attraction especially attractive to girls, which we did not see, is a princess dress-up area. While I admit that we did not spend time in town, in touring towns in the area - Coventry, Stratford, etc - Warwick the town didn't seem particularly attractive. I would park, tour the castle, and head directly for the Cotswolds.