We are traveling from London to Edinburgh in December and would like to make a stop in the Cotswolds for one night. Is that possible on the train or should we rent a car? We will be flying to Dublin from Edinburgh so would have to drop a car there. Haven't been before and only have a quick week to go from London to Dublin! Any suggestions will be much appreciated...thanks
It is possible to get into the Cotswolds by train - Kingham or Moreton-in-Marsh are both on the railway line for example. You can get to both by direct train from London in about 90 minutes. But if you want to see several places, then a car is pretty much required unless you join a coach tour. If you don't want to drive in London (nor potentially pay the congestion charge), take a train to Oxford, Cheltenham or similar and hire a car there. You seem to be suggesting driving up to Edinburgh - that is perfectly possible but it will be a long trip, about 7 hours and mostly on fairly dull motorways (or longer but more scenic if you use other roads). You might want to split the journey with an overnight break. Or, since you will not want a car in Edinburgh, you could drop it off in the south and then take a train or flight up to Edinburgh (Birmingham Airport has fairly cheap flights up there). Out of curiosity, why the Cotswolds? They are pretty enough and I can understand they make sense for someone doing a London-Oxford-Stratford-Bath tour, but since you are ultimately going London-Edinburgh, you could be passing some much better (my opinion, clearly) English countryside - e.g. Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, even the Lakes with a bit of a detour.
Thank you for your reply! We have been told that the Cotswolds were a must see. We will train from London to Madeston on Marsh, spend the night, then train to Edinburgh. Any recommendations on hotel in Dublin City Centre, easy transfer to/from airport, walking distance to sites? We are there two nights but have an early morning flt to the states. Don't really want to stay at the airport both nights, or have to change hotels. Suggestions...and thanks ahead of time.
There are direct trains from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh. For some departure times you will need to connect in either Didcot Parkway or Oxford. You have two choices for routes from Moreton-in-Marsh to Edinburgh. 1. Stay on the west side and connect in Worchester Shrub Hill and Birmingham New Street. 2. Return to London, take the Tube from Paddington to King's Cross, and travel up the east side to Edinburgh. Both routes take nearly the same amount of time. See the timetables on the East Coast site.
Thank you so much...great info!
I love the Cotswolds - grew up there and return when I can - but are you aware of how short the days are in December, the low light, and the weather? The fabulous beauty of the villages is made so gorgeous by the sunlight on the honey-yellow stone of the old buildings, the flower beds everywhere, the thatched roofs, the slate roofs... The countryside with the small rivers, the fords, the walks through the fields, are best in the relative dry. Is it the only time you will ever be able to see the Cotswolds? I'm not sure I would pick December for a visit there if I had a choice. I like Yorkshire stone even in the winter - the dark stone walls look good even in the rain.
We stayed at this hotel in Dublin. Good location, easy access by bus from airport, nice breakfast and staff. This is a basic, good value hotel that I would stay at again. http://maldronhotelparnellsquare.com/
If you go to the Cotswolds, in my opinion, Moreton is one of the less scenic spots- but one of the very few with train connections. Train to Moreton, rent a car and see some of the more scenic villages- Bourton, broadway, burford bibury, and many more. The suggestion of the Yorkshire moors is also excellent- again, it is much easier if you rent a car in York and spend a full day travelling the moors, and another day seeing york itself. Coming from Los Angees, the Winter days in England can seem amazingly short- gets light fairly late, and gets dark quite early
thanks so much to everyone for your posts...a wonderful help!