Touring Cotswolds and surrounding area

We are staying 3 days at a bed-and-breakfast in the Cotswolds. During that time, are we able to: 1. Tour the Cotswolds 2. Visit Oxford and Blenheimwe will combine this in one day
3. Visit Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castlecan we combine this is one day? Would love to hear opinions from those familiar with the area. Thank you.

Posted by Nancy
Dallas, TX, USA
145 posts

I just returned from this area last week. Oxford is worth one full day if at all possible. I highly recommend the free tours given by Oxford Official Walking Tours each day. They leave from the TI, and I suggest booking ahead as they only allow 19 people on each tour. Blenheim Palace is doable in 1/2 day depending on how much you want to walk around the grounds. Well worth the trip. Had a nice lunch in the garden overlooking the fountain. We drove from Stow on the Wold one morning and saw Stratford Upon Avon in a bit over 4 hours. We toured Shakespeare's birthplace, Anne Hathaway House, ate lunch and looked in a few shops. We could have easily spent more time here going in the other houses connected with Shakespeare. Stratford Upon Avon is charming. I did not visit the Warwick Castle. We spent a long afternoon looking around Stow on the Wold and Chipping Campden and had afternoon tea in Chipping. Didn't make the other towns-wish we had had time. If you haven't driven in England before, allow extra time for making a few wrong turns, etc. and confusion at roundabouts. Also think that although the distances are short, it takes a bit more time from place to place than you think. Finally, I suggest you get a good map before arriving in the Cotswolds. TI stations usually have a good selection. Petrol stations' selection is more limited. This makes you "ready to go" upon arrival.

Posted by Kathleen
Camano Island, WA, usa
398 posts

Warwick is like a Madame Tussauds with figures in scenes illustrating different eras of the Castles. It is fun and could easily be done in half a day. Where is your b & b? When near Blenheim be sure to Visit Winston Churchill's Grave. It is very moving to see in a very small village at the back door of Blenheim estate. I agree that Oxford is worth a day. There many famous museums and buidings to see. I saw a Shakespeare play done outside there. Of course you can also see a play at Straford. We went a the last minute and we were seated rather high, but the sight lines were not bad at all. Be sure to see Snowhill Manor and Hidcote Gardens while in the Cotswolds. Check the National Trust UK site for places open to visit in the area. You may be able to save some money with an NT Overseas Visitor Pass...but maybe 3 days would not be enough to make it worth while unless you are going to have more time in other parts of the UK.

Posted by Darren
Galt, Calif., UK
178 posts

It may depend on where you are staying in the Cotswolds and how you plan on routing the trip, with the right planning you should be able to squeeze it in.

Posted by Darren
Galt, Calif., UK
178 posts

Depending on what direction you are coming and leaving from you could explore the Cotswolds villages near Bourton etc day 1, go to Stratford and Warwick day 2 and visit Blenheim in am on day 3 finishing in Oxford if you are headed to London at the end of the 3 days.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11668 posts

Again, Annie, better information yields better and more focused answers. Where will you be in the fairly large Cotswolds area? It does make a difference to your questions. It is like somebody asking questions about San Francisco, Yosemite and LA and saying that they will be somewhere in California. We don't need to know where you are in California - although if you are in the Sacramento area there are great local travel meetings there - but we do need to have an idea of where you will be....

Posted by Rose
922 posts

I second the suggestion to visit the grave of Sir Winston Churchill in the very small graveyard of St Martin's Church in Bladon. It was a highlight of my last trip to that area. Considering his great stature and what he achieved for Crown and country and for the world, I found the humble setting of his final resting place extremely inspiring. He is buried there at his request, near to his parents and several other family members. Unfortunately, the church was closed when I was there, but I intend to try again when I return to the Cotswolds later this year.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1351 posts

Blenheim and Oxford are in close proximity to each other so you can do both in a day...the question is how thoroughly do you want to cover each one? If I had to do both in a day I would see Blenheim in the morning and then spend the afternoon and evening in Oxford. The tour of Blenheim is not too long. Get there right when it opens, take the tour (well worth it!) and walk around the gardens for a while. You can then have tea or lunch in their beautiful little cafe at the back in the formal gardens.
Oxford is beautiful at night with the dreaming spires lit - walk along the river at sunset, eat at a pub and maybe catch a concert in the Sheldonian theater or at one of the college chapels if you can hit it on the right date? You could easily spend a week in Oxford but you can certainly get a sense of it in half a day.