Base for Hidcote, etc. from London

Old May 27th, 2017, 03:48 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Base for Hidcote, etc. from London

We're going to be in London at the end of March and would like to see Hidcote, Kiftsgate, Rousham and some other gardens and houses in the general area. Since there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get to Hidcote, etc. from London, we are thinking of taking a train to Oxford, renting a car there, see some gardens, overnight there, see some more gardens and take a train back to London.

1) Is Oxford a good base for this? It's a reasonable train ride, has places to rent cars and is a nice area (we've been there before). Would there be a better base?

2) Are there other gardens or houses in the area we should consider? We've seen Blenheim and Waddesdon, as well as Oxford Botanic Garden.

3) Are there better or worse days of the week to do this? Gardens are usually more crowded on weekends, although I'm not sure if that would apply to this area in late March?
fusion is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 04:50 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1. You're probably planning to use the extremely busy Paddington-Oxford commuter train route, with byzantine fare structures designed to entrap the unwary. A way to avoid this, usually save money and avoid Central Oxford traffic is to get the train from Marylebone to Oxford Parkway (which offers far more straightforward fares), then a one-km cab trip (cab rank at station) to the Oxford Airport Enterprise hire place. This option also means you're about four miles closer to the gardens - which round Oxford equates to a considerable journey time morning and evening.

Both routes take an hour, running half hourly.

2. It's a schlep from Oxford to these gardens. I'd hire the car in Oxford, then overnight in a Cotswold microtown: Chipping Campden and Stow in the Wold are handiest.

3. The obvious missing house is Chastleton.
flanneruk is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 06:18 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,870
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Follow flanner's advice. (I haven't yet used the Oxford Parkway station but it would be super convenient). Chipping Campden would be the nearest town with a pretty wide variety of accommodations, or possibly Broadway or any of the little villages between Chipping Campden and Stratford upon Avon.

If you were interested, you could visit Blenheim Palace/Woodstock (you pass right through it en route to Chipping Campden.

Don't tell flanner I said that . . .
janisj is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 06:22 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
My recent blogs of the area you'll be visiting, including gardens: http://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/portmoresby-in-england
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 06:39 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
As you've already seen Blenheim, a place I don't recommend, not on my list above, but just outside Broadway and close by car from Hidcote & Kiftsgate, I loved Snowshill Manor & Garden: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sno...nor-and-garden

If you find yourself planning to visit several National Trust properties (Hidcote, Snowshill, Chastleton among them) it would be worthwhile to join either the NT or Royal Oak in the US for free entrance.
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 07:10 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flanner's advice is very helpful. Thank you flanner, janis and MmePerdu.

Chipping Camden looks good. Any opinions on Charingworth Manor? Based on its prices, I'd imagine weekends would be crowded, even in March. We're leaning towards arriving early Thursday and leaving Friday evening.

Does that sound like enough time to see Hidcote, Kiftsgate, Chastleton, Snowshill and perhaps one or two others?
fusion is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 07:11 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We're big fans of Royal Oak. It saves some money and helps avoid lines.
fusion is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 07:18 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
You can certainly visit those with 2 days as they're all in close proximity to Chipping Campden. I'd visit the 2 gardens one day, Kiftsgate first, lunch at Hidcote and a leisurely visit in the garden. Then Chastleton & Snowshill on the same day. You might fit Sezincote in between those 2. There is another garden, Mill Dene, nearby Sezincote which others have recommended.
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 07:26 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
http://www.sezincote.co.uk/
http://www.milldenegarden.co.uk/
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 09:00 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
March is not the ideal time to visit English gardens. In fact Kiftsgate doesn't open until April, and opens at noon at the earliest each day. So you'd be better off visiting Hidcote first, then Kiftsgate, assuming it's open.

However there will be something to see: bulbs, fruit trees etc in bloom.

No need to return to Oxford. Or to return the rental car to the same office where you picked it up. Returning it to Heathrow might be a good option. Lots of public transportation options into London. (Caveat: returning a car to Heathrow, we circled it several times before we found the exit for rental cars.)

Also there are buses into Oxford as well as the train: Oxford Tube, Megabus, etc.
Mimar is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 09:33 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
Mimar, my thinking was that because of the proximity of the 2 gardens to one another (walking distance) and if they visit those on their first day, a noon arrival at Kiftsgate may be convenient. A thorough visit to Hidcote takes longer and why I suggested lunch there after Kiftsgate and the balance of the day lingering.

I wouldn't want to rush Hidcote to get to Kiftsgate. The day of my most recent visit, I went first to Hidcote for a good look around and lunch, then walked to Kiftsgate, afterward returning to Hidcote to see parts I'd neglected earlier. In my opinion, the setting of Kiftsgate is it's greatest strength, while Hidcote is really the more interesting garden and why I'd choose it for the bulk of an afternoon.
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 02:49 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mimar, good point - Kiftsgate does not seem to open until April, making it not an ideal place to visit in late March. Oh well.

I realize March is a bit early for many English gardens, but early works better for our schedules and for avoiding crowds and hot weather.

Hidcote is our main interest. My wife has wanted to visit it for many years. From what I can tell, it's open in late March. I'd be happier if someone can confirm its open and a good visit at that time. (I've also emailed them regarding opening times).
fusion is offline  
Old May 27th, 2017, 03:29 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
My NT handbook says that Hidcote is open this year daily from 4 March - 29 October, from 10:00. Plus a few other days earlier & later in the year. Next year presumably similar. You can email to be sure.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hidcote
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 03:30 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
Oh, I see you already have.
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 27th, 2017, 03:32 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10,725
Received 25 Likes on 3 Posts
In previous years I've visited gardens in March and found the displays, of bulbs in particular, very worthwhile. I was never disappointed.
MmePerdu is online now  
Old May 28th, 2017, 09:22 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FWIW, in light of opening dates for various properties (including closer to London), we've moved the trip to mid-April.

Any opinions on Charingworth Manor in Chipping Camden? If not, is there a nicer place to stay?
fusion is offline  
Old May 30th, 2017, 05:58 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Given our change in plans, I've started a new thread at http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...on-revised.cfm

Thank you.
fusion is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
AlineWyllie
Europe
4
Jun 14th, 2018 06:33 AM
losaltos
Europe
18
Mar 17th, 2017 09:19 AM
shellio
Europe
19
Sep 3rd, 2013 12:39 PM
Charp45
Europe
13
May 20th, 2011 11:38 AM
josele
Europe
14
Jun 5th, 2007 09:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:25 AM.