Cotswolds Towns to Visit

Jun 23rd, 2015, 07:09 AM
  #1  
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Cotswolds Towns to Visit

We will be picking up a car in Bath and driving to the Cotswolds where we have booked 3 nights in Burford (as recommended by some Fodorites). What towns would you recommend visiting on our way from Bath to Burford and then the other day. One of the 3 days we plan to visit Oxford and/or Blenheim Palace. After we leave Burford we plan to spend our last day in Windsor and overnight there before dropping car at LHR for our flight home.
TravelerKaren is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 08:11 AM
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Castle Combe is not far from Bath. This is a beautiful little village. It is where the original movie Doctor Doolittle with Rex Harrison was made. From Castle Combe get on the M4 heading east and take the Swindon Exit 15 north on A419 toward Ciercester.

Cirencester has the Corinium Museum and a nice downtown area if you care to do any shopping. If you are new to driving in the UK you might want to skip Cirencester and head directly to the A429.

Near Northleach on A429 is another little museum. Continuing north on A429 brings you to Burton-on-the-Water. This is a very touristy village but it is very scenic with lots of shops. Almost across the A429 from Burton is Lower and Upper Slaughter. Lower Slaughter is one of my favorites. There is a path between the two Slaughters.

Continuing north on A429 is Stow-on-the-Wold, which has a number of shops. Note there is a small shopping center just north of the main turn-off into Stow where you can park.
MikeS is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions Mike. And, yes, I have not driven in the UK before, so will be new to driving on the other side of the road! Both Stow-on-the Wold and Burton-on-the-Water were on my list of towns that looked appealing, so thanks for that.

Is Stonehenge worth a detour from Bath to Cotswolds? I hear mixed opinions about visiting this site.
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Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:34 AM
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"Is Stonehenge worth a detour from Bath to Cotswolds? I hear mixed opinions about visiting this site."

No doubt opinions here will be just as mixed.

Stonehenge is probably by a million miles the most important easily accessible prehistoric site in the world. Its importance (and interest) is revealed only by lengthy walking the entire complex, with a great deal of prior research and background guidance.

If that's not up your street, then there's almost nothing there that adds to photographs you can easily download, and it's not that close to Bath anyway. Without a doubt, it attracts more "so what's" than any other alleged tourist must see in Britain, though clearly only from the kind of moron who thinks there are such things as must-sees.

The "almost" comes from nearby Avebury: less photogenic, highly reconstructed, but capable of being walked around and easy to imagine the background of.

If you have to ask the question, Stonehenge is almost certainly a waste of time. Avebury, though, probably isn't/
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 11:55 AM
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If you feel up to it driving wise, you can drop down to the A4 road from Castle Combe and take it east to Marlborough, then north. Avebury is just off the A4 west of Marlborough. I didn't mention it earlier because the M4 route should be easier driving. The A4 is a very pleasant drive and there are numerous places to eat in Marlborough.

If you do get to Marlborough and want to see some thatched houses, as you exit Marlborough's main street on the east, go through the roundabout and turn north toward the M4 and Swindon. At the first light, which is only about a 100 yards, turn right on Poulton Hill Road. The first village Mildenhall, has some nice thatched homes. You can then retrace your path back to Marlborough.
MikeS is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 12:05 PM
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Here is my trip report from 2013 (with photos). Chapters Eight through Sixteen detail Stonehenge, Bath and the Cotswolds. Hope it helps. We loved our time in the Cotswolds (and everywhere else for that matter). We based three days in Tetbury and three in Chipping Campden. Have fun.

http://travelswithmaitaitom.com/england-2013/

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Jun 23rd, 2015, 01:54 PM
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Mike: Thanks so much for the feedback.
Maitaitom: I will check out your trip report. Thanks for sending.
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Jun 23rd, 2015, 03:34 PM
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flaneruk, I don't know. I went to Stonehenge in 1998, and in 2000 and enjoyed it both times. First time, I think I was driving from Bath and don't recall it being too far.

Caveat: I've lived in places where people think nothing of driving 8 hours round trip for their weekend fun.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 04:48 PM
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hopingtotravel: It looks like it's about 1 hr drive from Bath to Stonehenge but then we'd have further to go to get to the Cotswolds. Just not sure I want to give up some of the Cotswolds towns/villages to see Stonehenge.
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Jun 23rd, 2015, 07:54 PM
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As you say you're new to driving in the UK, please read the relevant sections of the Highway Code. The biggest mistake Americans seem to make is thinking that driving in the UK is like driving in the US, just on the other side of the road......It's not.

https://www.gov.uk/highway-code/contents
Hooameye is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2015, 10:03 PM
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It would take about 90 minutes from central Bath to Stonehenge and then a minimum of an hour there. From Stonehenge to Avebury to Burford is a 2.5 hour drive not counting stopping at Avebury. So in 'real life' Bath/Stonehenge/Avebury/Burford is a full day.

One thing you need to factor in -- when looking at your drive you need to add between 25% and 75+% to the times on the on-line calculators.
janisj is online now  
Jun 24th, 2015, 02:06 AM
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If you are into stones, yes, Avebury.

Look into Rollright Stones as well. Not far off your territory.

In another direction, look for White Horse Hill with a prehistoric (?) horse carved in the chalk and an Iron Age fort.

Near that is the barn at Great Coxwell, perhaps the largest remaining medieval tithe barn. Boring? No.

The places you can reach from a base in Burford are incredibly varied.

Good choice!
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Jun 24th, 2015, 02:24 AM
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I took a friend who is really "into" the whole stones thing and I thought he was going to go to heaven when we got to Avebury. He could not keep his hands off the things but at least he could actually touch them and walk amongst them.
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Jun 24th, 2015, 05:12 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your feedback!

Janis; thanks for the heads up about the amount of time it takes between towns and that the online tools under estimate the times. I definitely need to take that into consideration.

Maitaitom: I just started reading your blog - it's hilarious. Great job, looking forward to more reading.
TravelerKaren is offline  
Jun 26th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Bookmarking for my some day trip to the Cotswolds.
Dee_Dee is offline  
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