Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Cotswolds help!!! we're leaving in 2 weeks

Cotswolds help!!! we're leaving in 2 weeks

Apr 13th, 2012, 08:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 26
Cotswolds help!!! we're leaving in 2 weeks

We depart in 2 weeks for our 21 day road trip through Scotland and England. Thanks for all your help. One last question......we are renting a thatched cottage in Ebrington (near Chipping Campden)for 3 days and would greatly appreciate suggestions on how to best spend our 2 1/2 days in this area. We will be arriving from York, so won't get to the cottage until mid-aftenoon on Day '1" which is a Friday. I thought we should go to Stratford on Saturday for part of the day (Day '2'), and then have all of Sunday free (Day 3). We are more interested in the beauty of the countryside, so will spend only 1/2 day in Stratford. We will head for Bath for an overnight, after leaving the cottage rental on Monday morning.
travelready1 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2012, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
If you are going north to Stratford - I'd probably choose Warwick instead. But honestly, I'd skip both. You have little enough time in the Cotswolds as it is.

Or another option would be to visit Stratford or Warwick enroute to Ebrington on Friday afternoon. That would give you all day Sat and Sun to tour around the Cotswolds. In fact IF you must go to Stratford, I would only do it Friday afternoon before checking in to the cottage

If you are into gardens -- Hidcote is practically walking distance from Ebrington . . . depending on how much walking you want to do.

Really, though to give useful advice, do you want to take long walks or do you more want to car tour around?
janisj is online now  
Apr 13th, 2012, 09:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 26
We would do more car touring. We had planned on stopping at Blenheim en route to Ebrington on that Friday (we'll leave York very early on Friday morning). I was in Stratford in 1984 and am sure it's changed! We won't have a problem omitting that if the Cotswold villages offer more atmosphere. We've already been to Warwick years ago, so can omit that.We do like gardens and the countryside.
travelready1 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2012, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,277
If the weather is good beginning of May, then I would potter around the villages, but then Im a keen walker. 'Stratford Walks' is a brilliant guided walk which gives a great insight into the town.
stevelyon is offline  
Apr 13th, 2012, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
From what you added --I'd skip definitely Stratford. Stratford doesn't change much, except the Theatre was redone. Other than the RSC, the things one visits haven't changed.
janisj is online now  
Apr 14th, 2012, 01:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 26
Ok....we'll skip Stratford......Is there enough to keep us busy for 2 1/2 days? Should we just drive from one village to another? Love to see sheep in the roadways, pretty views, etc.
travelready1 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
If you like gardens, go to Hidcote, a famous seminal garden. Nearby is Kiftsgate Court garden. And maybe take lunch or tea at the restaurant at Barnsley House; you can then tour the famous gardens of Rosemary Verey.

We like to see Roman remains in Britain. In addition to the baths in Bath, there's a Roman villa at Chedworth, and a Roman museum at Cirencester.

Another interest is the Arts & Crafts movement; we visited William Morris' home, Kelmscott Manor, at Lechlade. Nearby is Buscot Park, with interesting grounds and a mural painted by Edward Burne-Jones.

If none of this appeals to you, make you'll find something here: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attract...e_England.html

I'm wondering if you have enough time at Bath. But I love the place; I could live there. Anyway lots to see there.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
Here is an excerpt of one of my (VERY long) TR's that covers a one-day driving tour that started and ended very near where you are staying. There are some bits about the 'other car' but you can get the idea of what is doable on one of your days. We were a group of 6 'ladies' w/ two cars who rented a beautiful old house not far from Ebrington. To understand the snarky bits, you'd have to read the whole TR.

Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters, Burford, Minster Lovell, Stanton - two parallel tours

This morning we sat around the dining room table w/ both road atlases and I helped SCQ and her navigator mark the routes w/ a hightliter. Then I explained a little bit what to see in each place, where the best parking was etc -- all the "practicalities". Everyone said they got it. We all knew it would be difficult to keep together - even though the new car is an automatic and should be easier to drive. But w/ the full routes marked out we figured we'd be running into each other all day.

The ORD ladies and I piled into my car and the other two went w/ SCQ. We pulled out of the drive and were on our way to Bourton-on-the-Water. We were going there first because after about 11AM the village can get overrun w/ day trippers and tour buses. We wanted to see it and then get out of Dodge by about the time the first coach pulled in. Our car arrived in the village at 9:45-ish and it was perfect. The shops were just starting to open and we got a parking space right in the center of the village.

We shopped, took all sorts of photos of the river through the center, and had morning coffee. Then on to the miniature village. Now, anyone who has been there probably understands. The Bourton Model Village is an old fashioned tourist attraction - but is just so charming that it shouldn't be missed. I said the miniature village was next and neither ORD lady was very enthusiastic -- so I said "We really should - heck - it'll my treat." (it only costs £3pp so not a big splurge). Well, once we got inside they were captivated. They took photos of all of it and said it was one of the sweetest things they saw on the whole trip.


It is an exact replica of the central part of Bourton-on-the-Water down to the model of the Old New Inn having a model village in the back, and the tiny model of the inn in that village - has a teensy model village behind it . . . . Each of the model churches in the model village has a collection box out front where any donations are given to the real church in question.

The other car arrived in Bourton about 35+ minutes after we did. They must have done some free wheeling but none of us quite figured out where they went. We do know they didn't visit the Model Village (that night back at the Cottage they said "we talked about it and decided it didn't sound like much" - and the ORD ladies rolled their eyes and winked . . .)

Our car took off for Lower Slaughter. This is just a lovely wee village -- pretty houses, small river, church and a water mill converted to a shop/museum/gallery. We parked across from the church and just wandered around for about an hour. The main site is the Mill - to get there you walk down a pedestrian roadway along the river. Several of the houses along the walk had baskets out on their fence posts or front porch w/ honesty boxes. One was selling fudge, one bunches of lavender, one snapshots of the village.

We came around a bend in the walk and got the first glimpse of the mill and one of the girls got really emotional. Not just tearing up, but sobbing. Her friend and I were caught up short and tried to console her - but they were tears of utter joy!. Background: this woman had learned about the Cotswolds and fallen in love w/ the "concept" years and years ago - but never thought she'd actually ever see them in person. Then she got the chance to come on this trip. And THEN - in late Feb her husband passed away! She wavered about going on the trip - but after a few weeks decided she should. And this place at this time was sort of the culmination of everything. She was just swept away w/ the emotions of it.


(the other car did eventually make it to Lower Slaughter - a while after we had left. Once again - they missed some of the best bits. Apparently they parked near the church and looked at a couple of houses, got back in the car and drove away.)

from LS, we drove the short way to Upper Slaughter. This is a much less "manicured" village than its neighbor down the hill. It has some really lovely views and pretty houses. We just walked around for maybe 15 mins and then headed off for our next stop - Burford.


(SCQ's group drove into the village - and straight out the other end . . . A theme here?)

We Left Upper Slaughter and drove down to Burford. I first tried to park on the high street - realizing that would be a long shot. Then went around back to the car park on the river down behind the church. That was fine because one of the main reasons to visit Burford is St John the Baptist, a wonderful "wool" church - one of the best in the Cotswolds. Both of the girls were reluctant to visit the church. I got the same sort of reaction a few times - A church? "I saw a church - don't think I want to see another one." Hailes Abbey? "A ruin - we saw a ruin yesterday." So I sent the one who is more into photography down to the bottom of the churchyard and told her where to get the best views of the church. The other one went inside w/ me -- and was blown away. It was another emotional moment for her. She went off to a side chapel and lit a candle. The photographer then came in and she was also totally impressed.


(OK - dontcha think these broads would eventually figure out I actually know what I'm talking about? That I put a lot of thought into what is "worth" it - that I'm not just flapping my gums??? )

SCQ's group parked down behind the churchyard too - but decided not to look at it or go inside

After the church we walked into the center of the village and had lunch at the Cotswold Arms (which isn't the best place in town but is a nice pub w/ decent food all day) Just as we arrived, a huge tour group came in. It was two coaches - one a typical mixed group and one 100% Korean. There was one tour leader, 2 drivers, and 1 translator. They were pre-booked into a large back room so didn't impact us at all. But the driver/guides sat at a table next to us. So these 60+ people file in, head to the back room, apparently all have exactly the same meal since precisely 35 minutes later they all file out. As they leave - one of the bar maids said "Welcome to Burford. How long will you be in town?" -- and the poor woman answered - "Oh, we aren't seeing anything here - we're getting back on the bus" ?!?

Lunch was decent - I had a beef/Guinness pie. Up to then both ladies had ordered diet cokes most everywhere. I suggested they try a cider - they already knew they didn't like any beers they'd tried. Well - we now have two converts to the joys of English cider

After lunch we wandered around town for maybe an hour - visited the neat kitchen shop (I find something unique there every time) and did some other shopping. One of the ORD ladies had been fascinated w/ all the cottage names/nameplates she saw in every village. She decided she is going to name her townhouse and we found a shop that sells the cast iron name plates. She spent quite a while picking the motif/name she wanted.

We could have spent more time, but after a couple of hours in Burford, we drove down the road to Minster Lovell. This is one of my favorite places. Usually no one else is there and it is just a wonderful setting on the banks of the River Windrush. Now the village of Minster Lovell is just a tiny place w/ a few attractive houses and a pub/restaurant/hotel. The SITE is Minster Lovell Old Hall - there is a very small car park (really just a turn out w/ maybe 6 spaces) and then a couple hundred yard walk down to the church. then one walks through the churchyard and into the grounds of the Old Hall.

It is a ruined medieval manor house in the grounds of a farm. There is also the most amazing doocot (dovecote).


I gave really detailed directions where to park and how to get to the Hall/doocot. The other car - nope. They drove into the village, didn't see any "hall" anywhere, and drove away. That evening there was some talk that Minster Lovell wasn't much of a village (!)

from Minster Lovell we drove across to Stanton. This is a village high on a hill w/ a pub (The Mount Inn) at the very top. There are incredible views all across the western Cotswolds - you can see forever! It is also just a really pretty village. We each had a half of cider.


Then back cross country to Lower Quinton. We ate dinner at the cottage and then went down to the pub for (much needed) nightcaps --
janisj is online now  
Apr 15th, 2012, 06:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 26
JANIS......your info is just what I needed for this part of our trip. Thanks ever so much. I found your entire trip report and read all you did in the Cotswolds. I think I will print it out and follow it to a 't' ! Any additional suggestions--pleases post. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, too.
After the Cotswolds we head to Bath for 1 day (been there before), then 2 days in Salisbury, 2 days in Canterbury, and 5 days touring London.
Oh--has anyone been to the James Heriott Museum in Thirsk? Is it worth the 'detour' as we will be driving from Haltwhistle to York (staying in York 3 days) and would make a stop if you think it worthwhile???
travelready1 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,879
Thirsk is practically in your path from Haltwhistle so sure, stop in Thirsk. If you take the A167/A168 you'll go right through. In fact, you can do quite a detour east and/or south from Thirsk and visit the Moors and/or Castle Howard or other really interesting places NE of York.

the rest of your itinerary after Bath looks quite good. I'm assuming you are going sort of 'round-and-about' enroute from Salisbury to Canterbury seeing some of the castles/gardens in east Sussex and Kent.

"Any additional suggestions--pleases post" Yep, don't ask for separate checks and don't burn up the clutch
janisj is online now  
Jul 8th, 2012, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 212
Don't know if you are still looking at this thread but wondering where you rented that cottage in the Cotswolds and if you liked it?
Goldiept is offline  
Jul 8th, 2012, 08:38 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 44
Goldiept, we went to the Cotswolds last year and stayed in a beautiful, spacious bed and breakfast called The Old School House. Ensuite rooms, a big guest living room area, fabulous breakfast, lovely gardens, and the host was wonderful about advice on where to go and what to do. It wasn't cheap, but if someplace like that interests you I'd highly recommend it!

jarand is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 212
Sorry to be so remiss about looking at this link. This place looks just amazing. Will check it out further. We will not have a car so the priority will be to stay somewhere near a rail station. Truth is I have hardly begun making any plans and don't even know which towns are which so I have a lot of homework to do.
Thanks very much for your input. You recommendation looks beautiful and calm.
Goldiept is offline  

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 -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:07 AM.