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Best places to base when touring England by public transportation?

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I need some help figuring out where my wife and I might establish touring bases during a six-day period on our mid-September trip to England. We are spending 5 days in London (where we've been before), then 5 days in Bath (where we've never been). We'll be taking a day trip from London (Oxford, Stratford, Warwick Castle) and day trips from Bath (Chawton, Winchester, and The Cotswalds). We love history, architecture, and seeing historical sites and museums (especially English, not so much Roman). Here's the rub: We will be using public transportation only by determined preference, no cars. As seasoned travelers, we find it works wonderfully if we're in one place for at least 3 days. Since we have six days, we could be in two places during that period, or just one. So in looking for a town or city to base for that period of time, we could spend it entirely within city limits, or by taking day trips on public transportation out of town (e.g. to Blenheim Palace from Oxford). Does anybody have suggestions for where to locate that would have enough history, enough sights, and enough potential day trips that would work? If it might make a difference, we're going to Dublin via the ferry leaving from Holyhead at the end of our England visit.

I'd greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.

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