"Cotswolds" closest to Heathrow and Bath

May 26th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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As I mentioned above, you could drop by Castle Combe towards the end of your Cotswolds day.

You will leave Nailsworth on the A46, and even if you skip that bit and leave Cirencester towards Tetbury, you will still join the A46 a little further on. A few miles along the A46 is Chipping Sodbury, and then a left turn to Castle Combe - it is well signed, and it's about 7 miles off the A46.

Time permitting you could see Castle Combe on your way to Freshford, though Lacock is not en route.
julia_t is offline  
May 26th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Hi Julia, yes, I realize it is on the way, just wondering if we will have time.

However, I'm thinking about skipping Snowshill (Snowshill Manor not open when we would be there, and my husband and I have been to the village ) so maybe that will add time for Castle Combe?

I need to look at a map for possible routes. If we drop Snowshill and add some of these others, at least I'll be more true to my topic title!
wrenwood is offline  
May 29th, 2009, 05:52 AM
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Wren - Yes, the Hop Pole Inn in Limpley Stoke is probably your best bet nearby (1.5 miles from Priory Cottage).

It's one of my favourite 'summer' pubs as it has a lovely garden - I've just been there for lunch
They serve 19.00-21.00 on Sundays.

You could certainly visit Castle Combe en route to Bath - it's not much off your route (- a much better idea IMO than a long detour to Great Tew).

Alternatively you could find time for both Castle Combe and Lacock on the Monday before (- or after) Bath. You could have lunch there, then spend the afternoon in Bath.
Or Bath for the morning and head off to Lacok mid-afternoon ...

From Priory Cottage it's easier to drive than use public transport into Bath IMO.

Steve_James is offline  
May 29th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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If Snowshill Manor isn't open, I would not go out of my way to go to Snowshill. There's very little else in the village.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
May 29th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Yep, I think we're going to skip Great Tew and Snowshill. The itinerary, loose as it is, at the moment is sitting well.

Not Not Not driving into Bath Steve......for two reasons. First we avoid anything close to city driving when we can, but most important we're hoping to have dinner in Bath at Jamie Olivers and I would like to drink several........quite a few..............many glasses of wine with my meal! And I'm always the driver on trips, allows my husband to sightsee more, and besides I am a terrible navigator! So I need a train or bus!

We could however maybe walk around Lacock early Monday morning, back to Priory and park the car and head into Bath. That's not a bad idea as I assume we can do most of what we want to in Bath in a half day?

By the way the owners of Priory Cottage are from Bath so I think we'll have some built in tour guides!
wrenwood is offline  
May 29th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Did I miss what you want to see in Bath? Because it would certainly take me more more than half a day to see the sights of Bath. My first priority would be the Roman Baths. That takes at least a couple hours. Then there's the Pump Room, the Assenbly Rooms and the Fashion Museum, the Circus, the Royal Crescent and its museum, the Jane Austen Museum, Pulteney Bridge and Sydney Gardens, the walk along the canal to the pub at Bathhampton, etc...
Mimar is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 01:45 AM
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It depends what you want to see in Bath, Wren. You can certainly see the highlights in half a day IMO. If you want to visit various museums as well then obviously you need more.

Are you sure there is late night public transport from Bath? Priory Cottage is not the most convenient location ...

Steve_James is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Steve ~ I'll double check the late night transport w/Priory Cottage

We want a "taste" of Bath ~ The Roman Baths, the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms ~ no museums necessary ~ some time to walk ~ what's Pulteney Bridge?

My guess is if we visit Lacock early, we could be in Bath by noon or a little before or after. If we get reservations @ Jamie's between 6:30 and 7:00 that should give us about 6 hrs in Bath ~ enough for a "taste"?
wrenwood is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 02:35 AM
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Wren - Yes - 6 hrs is plenty for what you want to do.

I'm not sure there's a bus service past Priory Cottage. There's a train service between Bath and Freshford - but you'd have to walk from there. Perhaps you can persuade the owners to give you a lift.

Steve_James is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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Hi everyone I'm back and working on our Cotswolds tour again! Here's what I have so far.

Sunday ~ leave Heathrow Airport Hotel early (7AM?) head to Burford, driving through Minster Lovell on the way. Maybe grab a quick bite to eat somewhere in Burford.

Burford to Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water to The Slaughters

The Slaughters to Guiting Power

Guiting Power to Bibury

Bibury to Bisley

Bisley to Chalford

Chalford to Minchinhampton

Minchinhampton to Uley (Owlpen Manor)

Uley to Castle Combe (if out of time, we could do this Monday or Tuesday morning from Freshford)

arrive Priory Cottage @ Freshford around 6PM

We won't be shopping or anything, mostly just walking around, taking pictures, relaxing, and exploring. This will be my sister-in-law's first trip to England, our second trip. (we have been to Bourton on the Water, The Slaughters and Bibury, the other villages will be new to us also)

Using ViaMichelin I came up with a little over 5 hours of driving on this route. Do you think this is do-able? It will be on a Sunday the end of September, don't know how many other tourists there will be. I'm assuming Bourton on the Water would have the most chance of coaches and herds of people, but maybe not around 9-9:30 AM?
wrenwood is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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wrenwood is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 02:59 AM
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I don't think you'll find any of those places crowded, Wren.

Bourton is really the only one of those which is a magnet for coach tours - but they won't be there at 9.30

Is it doable? Really it depends how long you want to spend in each ...

Steve_James is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Is it doable? Yes, if you just drive and not get out of the car or eat anything or just need a break.

"Using Via Michelin I came up with a little over 5 hours of driving on this route." In their dreams! No way, no how.

For this (and any other drives on your trip) - add between 30% and 50% to the times on the route planning websites. 5 hours is for a local -- and they know the practical detours if they hit a snag.

As for the stops -- Minster Lovell will take at least 45 minutes.

Burford - maybe 1-2 hours depending on where you eat. Just the walk from/to the car park and a quick visit to the church would take 30 mins.

Bourton on the Water - up to you -- at least an hour.

Lower Slaughter -- you can't really see anything from the car so about 45 mins for a walk/visit to the Mill and back and the church.

Bibury - maybe an hour -- walk along Arlington Row, and a drink at the Swan.

and on and on and on. Your plan is about two full days

Plus leaving LHR that early means you will get to places like Burford, Bourton on the Water and the Slaughters well before any sites are open other than news agents and/or grocers. Shops and sites don't generally open until 10 AM.
janisj is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:40 AM
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I KNEW you guys wouldn't let me go to all these places!

In Burford the Lamb Inn serves breakfast from 8-10. But then that is sit down, would take longer. Huffkins opens at 10, which might work if we spend 45 minutes in Minster Lovell. I had thought we would just drive through Minster Lovell on the way to Burford, but I see we will want to stop. (just copied some info off of a Janis trip report, guess we'll be walking down to the Old Hall)

The only reason I really thought about going to Burford was to grab something quick to eat as we will probably leave Heathrow Marriott with just coffee. Burford is a little larger town than we found we liked in the Cotswolds. I'd skip Burford if I knew we could find a bite to eat somewhere else. I know the church is amazing, but........

So if we cut out Burford where else do I trim down?
wrenwood is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:51 AM
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Cirencester to Uley via Chalford, Bisley and Minchinhampton is about hour-and-a-half's drive without any stops or detours - and that's if you know the route (important point!).

I live at the top of Chalford, about 2 miles from Bisley - BTW you will travel from Cirencester along the A419 which comes down a hill into Chalford Bottom - you then either choose to turn back along Chalford Vale and then up Coppice Hill into Chalford Hill, or go a little further along the A419 and turn right up the hill called the Old Neighbourhood.

You will not be able to drive through Chalford at more than 5mph due to parked cars (it is a Sunday) and you have to expect to stop/wait/back up for oncoming cars. The village is lovely and very pretty but the lane through is a right PITA! Old Neighbourhood is quicker - but watch out for the bottom two bends - but then you miss out on most of Chalford. The speed limit in Bisley is 20mph.

Best route from Bisley is straight through Eastcombe and down the Toadsmoor Hill. This is one of the prettiest hills, but steep(and dreadful on icy winter mornings!). At the bottom you will be back on the A419, turn right and take the first left up Brimscombe Hill. At the top you will find yourself on Minchinhampton Common (13,000 acres of National Trust land on which the local landowners can graze livestock - the cattle will probably still be out in September, and if you meet them on the road they have right of way! Anyway at the top there is a junction where 6 roads meet called Tom Long's Post (legend has it he was a highwayman who was hanged there...) You will turn left, almost immediately right, then almost immediately left to Minchinhampton. If you look back you will see Bisley church spire on the hill behind you.

Incidentally, part of Bibury churchyard is known as the Bisley Piece. Apparently once upon a time in Bisley there was a 'bone hole' where old bones were thrown when graves were broken into. About 600 years ago a priest fell in and died, and this made the Pope very angry so he forbade burials in Bisley for 2 years. So instead the Bisley residents had to bury their dead in Bibury. So the story goes...

And here's the one about the Bisley Boy...

julia_t is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 11:01 AM
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I'd ask you for tea but I don't think you'll have time!
julia_t is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Hi Chip:

{{Found these "less visited" villages ~ Great Tew, Blockley, Stanton, Stroud, Guiting Power, Naunton, Chalford.}}

Since you mention Blockley, I would recommend you take in the informal Mill Dene Gardens...your SIL would love this place. You can probably avoid the crowds and enjoy "millng" about therein. If you're in Bourton, simply drive up to Stow and take the A-424 left to the intersection of the A-44...turn right for about a mile and the Blockley sign will be on your left.

Afterwhich, if you wish to have lunch in Broadway just follow A-44 for a few miles and the Broadway Hotel has the very nice Jockey's Pub..eat inside or outside. OR, another option would by my favorite pub in the Cotswolds which I first discovered in 1980's...The Fox and Hounds in Great Wolford...leaving the Gardens, take A-44 toward Moreton and continue on the 44 just about a mile and the great Wolford sign will be on your left. See the web pages for both Mill Dene and Fox and Hounds. (By the way The Washbourne hotel on the riverside in the Slaughters is also a possibility for lunch, but without the pub ambience of the F and H).

Your SIL will love the Cotswolds.



...and nearly all of the places mentioned in the North Cotswolds are in the Cotswold pix herein...they start at photo # 93...so no need to go through the London half. Just click on the Cotswolds' thumbnails individually...

Stu Tower
tower is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Sorry...my salutation above is incorrect....Wrenwood..confused with another poster I had just responded to.

tower is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:22 PM
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No problem Stu, it's almost time for a glass of wine here, that always improves my mental sharpness .............

I really wanted to go to Great Tew, but was convinced by others (and rightly so I'm afraid) that it's a little too far out of the way.

Don't want to add anymore, wondering what else to delete from my rough itinerary if we find we are running out of time?
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 05:48 PM
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OK, we are now going to Hampton Court, Castle Combe and Lacock on Sunday, our first day, leaving from Heathrow Marriot after a good nights sleep.

One of the next two days we are going to Bath, and one day to Cotswolds ( I added another day staying at Freshford)

So, prepare to start rolling your eyes, here is our ROUTE............notice I say route. I'm sure we won't have time to stop in all the villages, but we can drive through some and stop in others and if we run out of time, we'll just head on back to Freshford. I hope we can leave Freshford by 8 at the latest. B&B will do breakfast at 7:30, or maybe we can get coffee and take some fruit and scones or something and leave earlier. Hope to be back in Freshford by 7:00

~ Freshford to Bibury ~ 90 min
~ Bibury to Bourton on the Water ~ 25 min
~ Bourton on the Water to Lower Slaughter ~ 5 min
~ Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter ~ 5 min
~ Upper Slaughter to Guiting Power ~ 10 min
~ Guiting Power to Snowshill ~ 15 min
~ Snowshill to Stanton ~ 15 min
~ Stanton to Winchcombe ~ 10 min
~ Winchcombe to Chalford ~ 45 min
~ Chalford to Minchinhampton ~ 10 min
~ Minchinhampton to Freshford (Minchinhampton ~ go down the W road towards Box & Nailsworth) ~ 60 min

So, I changed the route a little from previous post. Still at least 5-6 hours of driving up and back (through lovely countryside!) leaves us 5-6 hours of wandering and walking. And as I said, if we are losing too much time we'll have to skip some villages.

So, we leave next Saturday, I will let you know how this day goes, and THANKS again for all the help!
wrenwood is offline  

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