Cotswolds vs York, Need Help Choosing

Jul 17th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Cotswolds vs York, Need Help Choosing

Hello All,

I'm hoping for a bit of advice. DH and I are in London for two weeks for the last week of October and the first week of November. While we both love London, we would like to spend a little time elsewhere. To that end, we've narrowed the selection down to York, UK and the Cotswolds. We'd be going there Nov 2 until the Nov 5. Now both of us love walking and hiking, ambling as DH would put it, so that's a vote for the Cotswolds. (Yes, I know I'm making assumptions but please feel free to challenge them.) We love museums and York has a couple of excellent ones - great indoor activity. Both of us like museums, trekking, eating out, and photography.

Honestly, shopping holds very little appeal during this time. We really don't have to slog through days of rain. So, what have we missed?

Alice_Liddell is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:12 AM
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Most likely the weather will be rainy and windy so that indoor activities, such as those in York, will be better. You could wait and decide at the last minute, depending on the weather. Shouldn't be too much competition for accommodations that time of year.
Mimar is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:28 AM
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Agree with Mimar. If you want to plan in advance, the safe bet would be York; part of the attraction of the Cotswolds would be lost in typical November weather. But if you're OK with last-minute planning, you could hope for a spell of good weather.

The thing I remember most about York was the Jorvik Viking Centre... complete with authentic Viking smells.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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I agree w/ Mimar. At that time of year you should have no trouble finding accommodations in either place. The weather could be dreadful or clear/crisp.

A couple of downsides to waiting -- last minute train tickets (for York) and walk up car rentals (for the Cotswolds) can be much more expensive.

But I think I'd still wait -- you honestly can't make a wrong choice since both have tons of things that fit in your wish lists.
janisj is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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was posting the same time as jent103 . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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Spot the American woose:

"most likely the weather will be rainy and windy so that indoor activities... will be better"

And Mimar claims to come from the Pacific Northwest.


1. The weather in November is no more or less likely to be rainy OR windy than any other time of the year
2. And if it is, so what? Does a spot of pleasant autumn weather really stop the numpties in Seattle from getting out of their coffee shops?

The real Alice Liddell (because, sadly, we not only established in an earlier post that this poster isn't the real one come back to life, but has taken her monicker from some johnny come lately cyber-world, and not from the model for Alice in Wonderland) would have been nonchalantly striding round the Cotswolds in late December protected by little more than a stout pair of walking boots and a decent umbrella - and still walked back to her dad's house for tea.

If it's walking you want, the Cotswolds are the place for you in late autumn. Nowhere on earth competes. As many mists and as much mellow fruitfulness as you can cram into a couple of hundred square miles. Pubs with raging log fires. Footpaths you can follow, with all the midsummer overgrown-ness dying back. And none of that oppressive heat that makes serious wakling uncomfortable in midsummer

If you're as averse to a few drops of rain as the nesh Washingtonians, retreat to Britain's best museum outside London(the Ashmolean: a couple of hundred yards away from Alice's dad's house) - re-opening in November.

Simply no contest.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Do you want to visit specific places in the Cotswolds? Many are covered fully in posts on this list. National Trust properties will be starting to close and even the gardens when open like Hidcote are reducing their hours. If you have something specific you want to visit I would check whether it is open before making a decision.

The evenings begin to pull in in November so you need to get started fairly early in the morning if walking to allow for delays or hiccups.

I think school half term will be last week of October, at least it is for the state sector in London but in some areas it might be the first week in November. This will affect the availability of accommodation and the crowds at museums and other attractions.

Weather is a bit unpredictable, as always but it could be nice. It is usually good up to 5th November (Bonfire Night) and then there are heavy mists. I have never been sure if this is the effect of the bonfires. You might be somewhere with a good firework display on 5th November, some places now move the display to the weekend, usually before so look in the local press when you arrive.
helen_belsize is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:02 AM
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I do agree (up to a point) w/ flanner. Normal fall weather, be it wet or dry, is great in the Cotswolds. But since he lives there -- if the rain is blowing sideways he can decide to sit by the fire w/ flannerpooch until it lifts a bit. A visitor w/ only a small window of time might not have that chance.

I know when I lived there - I did tend to wait for the less monsoon-y weekend to walk about . . . But then I am a bit wimpish.

But it is also true that there is no bad weather - only inappropriate clothing

If you are OK w/ whatever the weather might be - then I'd opt for the Cotswolds (just about every time)
janisj is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Apples and oragnes. But tht time of year I would go for York, since more is indoors. It's truly fascinating - esp the Minster.

We've done parts of the Cotswolds a couple of times - but in the late spring, when the days are longer and the weather typically milder. Also the lambs are adorable. I'd save a visit for then.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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Upon rereading my earlier post, I wanted to clarify that I really enjoyed everything that I was able to see in York (and the Minster is definitely one of the highlights). It's just hard to top the purposefully done aromas in terms of memorable experiences.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Personally I prefer the Cotswolds. There's a lot more flexibility. We like to rent a cottage somewhere central to the area, use it as a base and then explore from there. Indoor activities if the weather is bad, outdoors if it's good We use these guys for cottages:
LondonDave is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I never thought about deciding at the last minute. Normally I plan to the nth degree then disregard everything once I get there so it should be a fairly easy transition. DH is leaning towards the Cotswolds - we love hiking in mountains where we live so this seems a natural. If I did choose the Cotswolds, would the most sensible place to rent a car be Oxford? There's no way I'm driving in London. I'm a horrible driver as it is, why compound it with other people who aren't as honest with themselves?

flanner - My stout walking shoes are a must for this trip regardless of where I go. However, I would never trust my father to boil water, must less brew a decent pot of tea.
Alice_Liddell is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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No one in their right mind would recommend driving in London so your are safe there.

Your two best bets for renting a car are 1) At Heathrow

or 2) In Oxford. The rental agencies are not in central Oxford but in different suburbs. The easiest is probably Hertz which is north of the city in Kidlington.

Both have advantages/disadvantages.

LHR might be a bit more expensive due to airport surcharges - but the opening hours are better/more convenient. It is easy access to the main motorway up to Oxford/the Cotswolds

Kidlington is easy as can be to drive out of - but you'd have to take a taxi from the train station and the hours are more limited.

Really six of one/half dozen of the other - and neither has you diving in London.
janisj is online now  
Jul 17th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Alice, I requested The Times to do this article just for you.
You can also find an article on city walks. There is one for Oxford.

Hope it helps.
Saturday July 18, 2009

Travel - best walks in the British Isles

Times Walks: the best rambles in Britain
jsmith is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 06:50 PM
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We did this in reverse. Oxford Tube to Oxford, local bus to Kidlington. Bus had a stop near the Hertz agency in an industrial park. Hertz drove us from our dropoff to the bus stop so I don't recall what the distance was.
jsmith is offline  

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