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A Few (To Start With) Bath & Cotswold Questions

A Few (To Start With) Bath & Cotswold Questions

Old Jun 6th, 2013, 03:31 PM
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A Few (To Start With) Bath & Cotswold Questions

After a couple of nights in Bath, we will be going to Tetbury for three nights and then on to Chipping Campden for our final three nights.

For the Bath to Tetbury day, I thought this drive sounded good (until some of you tell me otherwise). We would drive from Bath through Lacock, Chippenham, Castle Combe, on to Dyrham Park, and finally on to Malmesbury to Tetbury. Does this sound ok, or should I bag a place to see something else?

I've been provided (thanks annhig) a good list of things to see and do in the Cotswolds. One day, however, we would like to go to Blenheim Palace and perhaps Oxford for a long day trip. From which base would that be good and can we do both in one day?

In Bath, has anyone dined at either Restaurant 11 or Sotto Sotto, and the tavern (pub) Old Green Tree looks like it could be a good place for lunch after the abbey and a Roman bath. Last question (for now): Is either the Holburne Museum or the American Museum in Britain a place you would recommend visiting. As always, thanks. I'm sure I will have more questions as I delve deeper into the area.

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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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The drive to Tetbury will take you through classically rolling English countryside just like you have seen in the movies and on TV. It should, since several films and TV programs have been filmed in the vicinity. Number One resident of Tetbury, at least part time, is Prince Charles. His cherished organic gardens at Highgrove can be toured, although reservations in advance are required. His produce is also for sale in Tetbury at startling prices. The Internet has lots of information:

http://www.cotswolds.info/places/tetbury.shtml
(follow this one for film locations throughout the Cotswolds.)

http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/focus/the-royal-gardens


http://www.highgrovegardens.com/garden-tours.html

The Old Green Tree is a genuine local despite the touristic surroundings. Decent food; central location. If you want to earn respect from the regulars, ask for information about the local beers they serve, and be assured the draughts are genuine bitters.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Southam, thanks so much!!

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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Hi Tom,

You might be interested in checking out this documentary about Prince Charles’s country estate HIGHGROVE in the Cotswolds. He is quite a farmer. Watched it a while back, but I believe the gardens are open to the public at times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbJgNXgppkI

Unfortunately, I did not make it to Blenheim but would love to see it. For a great read about the Churchills (they were some bad boys!) you might read THE CHURCHILLS IN LOVE AND WAR by Mary S. Lovell which is filled with Blenheim lore and legend, some of it pretty raunchy.

Looking forward to a great trip report from you folks…
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 08:32 PM
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Definitely do your Blenheim/Oxford excursion from Chipping Campden. CC > Woodstock > Oxford > CC is only about 75 miles round trip and the car time only a little over 2 hours total.

From Tetbury it would be about 110 miles and about 3 to 3.5 hours car time.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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I'd question the wisdom of trying to squeeze Oxford and Blenheim into the same day.

Given the cost of getting in, most people spend a couple of hours going round The World's Most Tasteless Example of 18th Century Bling (TM), and those who've never seen a municipal park before spend an hour or two going round the park. The gardens are quite nice too: certainly making it into the top 250 within a mile of central Woodstock. The car park's a bit of a schlep, so it's rare for people to spend less than four hours from paying the admission fee at the park gates to leaving the park.

Though it's only 10-15 mins on to the nearest Oxford Park & Rides, you've really got to budget at least 30 mins to get from your car to a bus to the stop in the centre. Add all that up, remember walk-in sites start closing around 1630 (and everything you need to walk into is closed to visitors by 1800) and there's only a couple of hours at most to see Oxford. Though after the museums and colleges close to visitors, at this time of year it's light till 2145 and there's a lot you can see, drink, eat and do at least till it gets dark.

From Chipping Campden, Woodstock's a mildly pretty 30 min drive. I'd put Oxford or Blenheim into your return to London day and use the full day to see the other and few other gardens or whatever. Or use the Cotswolds properly: get out of the car and just meander along a few footpaths for 5-10 miles. Far better for body, mind and spirit than gawping at more "must see" thatched cottages.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 04:42 AM
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Hi MTTom - We also spent a few nights in Bath and I know you will enjoy your time there. Be sure not to miss the free walking tour that leaves from the front of the Pump House, it lasts for about 2 hours. Your hotel will have info as to time or if not, the TI is near the pump house as well. Following is a link to my 3 year old TR that includes Bath and a description of where we stayed. Scroll down to May 20, 9:29PM where the part on Bath picks up about half way into the post. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...endangered.cfm

Flanner has given you some good tips, particularly walking in the Cotswolds, although as someone who often likes "Tasteless Example[s] of 18th Century Bling" I would not concur with that. For people from the US, well, we just don't have any of our own so it is a novelty.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 05:02 AM
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Last year we stayed in Headington--quick 10 minute bus ride into Oxford city centre. We spent the entire day touring two of the colleges (New College and Magdalen--didn't get to Christ Church College), climbed the tower of the Church of the Virgin St Mary--fantastic view of the spires, and spent the afternoon exploring the Ashmolean and science museums. We spent the whole day in Oxford. If in Headington, check out the Headington shark. Don't make a special trip for it but see it if you happen to be in the area.

The next morning we went to Blenheim and it too does need some time to explore.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 05:46 AM
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To answer your question about the Holborne museum in Bath, yes, it's well worth visiting. It has been beautifully refurbished lately, and also the coffee shop is very good with tables outside in good weather.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 06:58 AM
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We just spent 3 nights in Chipping Campden last month. Where are you staying?

We did not drive ourselves. Driving in the UK is not something that would be a good thing for DH to attempt and it would be a death knell for our marriage, if not an actual death knell from the driving itself!

13 days in the UK and I still had difficulty figuring out which way to look when crossing streets!
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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The Holburne Museum (http://www.holburne.org/) currently has an exhibition of paintings from the Royal Collection called "Rembrandt and his contemporaries" which is worth seeing. The coffee shop also serves good lightish lunches if that fits your day, but they are at U.K. museum prices.

The American Museum has always appeared to be more about New England and quilting than the U.S. in general. It must be something of a curiosity for American visitors, but each to their own.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Lots of good suggestions. Thanks.

Good to hear about the Holburne. Looked interesting. I will skip the American one, however. We'll go to the real New England.

Staying at The Bramley House in CC.

Walking tour in Bath would be great. Thanks bs2

"Or use the Cotswolds properly: get out of the car and just meander along a few footpaths for 5-10 miles."

Sounds like a plan flan (channeling my inner Paul Simon there). Hopefully England has paramedics standing by. I really want to see Blenheim, however. You know, we wacky Americans like that gaudy glitz and stuff. I'm betting we can get out of there in two instead of four hours. That's when our ADHD usually kicks in.

"Driving in the UK is not something that would be a good thing for DH to attempt and it would be a death knell for our marriage..."

Tracy brings along a set of divorce papers on every vacation.

Thanks all. More suggestions welcome!

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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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Hi Flanner,

What would you suggest instead of a visit to The World's Most Tasteless Example of 18th Century Bling (TM) on Thurs or Fri?
The other day will be a visit to Oxford.

We're not all that interested in Stratford-on-Avon.

A driving day would be all right.

Thanks

Ira
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Old Jun 8th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Tetbury was in the papers today...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013...loucestershire
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Very cool, julia.

Has anyone visited the Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury? It seems very Tracy-esque. Thanks.

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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:45 PM
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I just have to put in a pitch for Demuth's restaurant in Bath.

http://www.demuths.co.uk/about/introduction/

I am a total carnivore but this veggie restaurant is AMAZING! The chef is world class and it was one of the best meals we had in England veggie or meat. At least try to go for dessert
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