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Need help with transpo around Cotswolds

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We are spending 10 days in england. 4 in London then on to the countryside. I haven't decided where exactly, but I know we want to see the Cotswolds and Stratford on Avon. have found one tour (Mad Max) that will tour much of the Cotswolds. It leaves from Bath. I'm trying to figure out how to get to the Cotswolds from London and then get around to various places from the Cotswolds. My husband is skittish about driving on the opposite side of the road, but it sounds like it will be miserable and confusing if we don't drive.
Would also appreciate recommendations for lodging. It will be my husband, 18 yo daughter, and myself.

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    The Cotswolds are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) running for 70 miles or so NE of roughly Bath. Public transport within the AONB is designed for our elderly to go shopping and our children to go to school: it's generally close to useless for tourists and since tourism's a trivial part of the AONB's economy, that's not going to change.

    Public transport to and from London and Oxford, though, is fine (we prefer to read or update our presentations while commuting to work or before flying off to tell foreigners how to do things), and is listed (with connections) at www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/?page=gettinghere .

    For most visitors, the only real choice is between driving and walking. It is possible to have a pleasant walking holiday based in one of the few towns with accommodation (Burford, Chipping Campden, Northleach, Winchcombe and Tetbury), which need a train followed by a bus to get to. Bath and Cheltenham, just on the edge of the AONB, both have an urban feel hat's quite at odds with the microtown ambiance of the smaller towns.

    If you're worried about driving on the proper side of the road (an incomprehensibly wimpish hangup you'll get no sympathy for in an area where we drive on the opposite side every time we go on holiday or visit a client), pick up your hire car at Heathrow, use the hire co's car parks for familiarisation, then drive the 60 miles of dual carriageway to the area relatively worry-free. Only when you get more or less here do you encounter cars on the same road that aren't separated from you by a crash barrier.

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    Hi, wordfreak.

    I relied on public transportation in the Cotswold and loved the experience.

    Twice, I've visited the Cotswold area...taking a bus direct from Heathrow to the countryside, then bus/rail to London to end the trip. (But you can plan to train/bus from London, too... I decided to go straight to the country first, then to London.)

    I'm no expert, and not a local, but here's what I did:
    Bus from Heathrow to Reading Rail Station, then train to Cheltenham (which I used as a base the first time.) STayed at the GEORGE hotel in Cheltenham -- lovely, lovely place -- and around the corner (1/2 block) from the big Bus stand (not a covered station, but a semi-circular parking lot where the buses came to pick up/drop off passengers).

    If all in the party are able bodied, may be wonderful to do a walk:
    Walk 1: Chipping Campden to Broadway (via Broadway tower); catch bus to start, another bus from end to get back to Cheltenham.
    Walk 2: A circular walk: STanton to Snowshill (visit Snowshill manor... heart-achingly lovely villages, so pretty!)
    Walk 3: bus to Winchcombe and tour Sudeley Castle (less prep needed; no ordnance survey map/walking map needed for this... but a lovely, historic day)

    Your local library may have books on Cotswold walks (mine did, which I photocopied and used), and you may want to buy an ordnance survey explorer map and compass -- it sounds intimidating, but it's not. The Cotswold Way is one of the easier trails to follow. Also, google these walks and sometimes you'll see images posted of routes folks have taken just to get an idea... still a map is a good idea.)

    Use this site to plan for public transportation:
    http://www.traveline.info/

    And this site:
    http://www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/?page=TransportPublications

    I did several other walks and visited other towns, but the three above, I feel, are very nice, atmospheric, and not confusing. If any walks appeal above, I can try to give a bit more information. You can also click on my name and read my trip reports.

    Have fun planning!

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