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Best place for car rental & one overnight after Heathrow arrival?

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We arrive at Heathrow at 9 a.m. on Tues Sept 27. Want to rent a car for driving tour of Cotswalds first, and then down and around Southwest peninsula, needing to return the car and be back at Heathrow for departure at 5:15 p.m. on Tues Oct 8. Where would be the easiest place to stay for that first and last night that would also be convenient for pick up and return of rental car, to avoid driving in and out of Heathrow?

Guidebooks seem to mostly recommend Bath and the National Express coach bus, but I see on their website that they advise prebooking -- is that possible from the US? Any ideas, options other than Bath and bus, like trains perhaps?

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