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First time in English countryside

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We will be in England for about 10 days total in July. We will fly into Gatwick and take a train to Chelmsford to visit our granddaughter for 2 days - then we would like to spend time in the Cotswalds, visit Stratford-upon-Avon, Stonehenge, and then finish up in Wales for two days with a friend. I am curious about the east coast after seeing "Mr. Turner" - is there anything that I should not miss while we are there?
Can we take a train into the Cotswalds - and where should we stay to be best situated to venture out to the neighboring towns (including Stratford-upon-Avon). I would appreciate any suggestions regarding lodging - Inns or B&Bs. I'm reading all I can, but the logistics escape me. Should we rent a car? Or can we rely on trains and public transportation. We've never driven on the left!

Thank you somuch in advance. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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