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First trip to UK--stay in London OR take a day trip?

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Hello everyone! I'm very new to the Fodor's forums, but I would love any help! :)

My husband and I (both of us are 27 with no kids) are going to London (staying with a friend near St Paul's Cathedral) from October 8-15. It's a first time in the UK for both of us! Right now, we are trying to decide about taking a day trip. We would LOVE to see the English countryside--maybe see some sheep! :) I would love to see the quiet beauty of rural England--I am obsessed with BBC, Agatha Christie, sheep, farms, etc.
So the question is how? We both enjoy meandering road trips (and live in urban Chicago with lots of traffic), plus my husband enjoys manual driving. So originally, I was thinking about renting a car and driving around the Cotswolds. Then, in order to avoid the stress of renting a car (almost always frustrating in any city) and driving in a different country, I was, instead, considering taking a train from London to Bath (a much blogged about day-trip!)...

What are your thoughts and/or experiences? Should we rent a car and drive through the Cotswolds? Or take the train to Bath? Or is there another day-trip via train that would give us the countryside experience?

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