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Gatwick to Oxford and Gatwick to Wareham -- Best Transportation options?

Gatwick to Oxford and Gatwick to Wareham -- Best Transportation options?

Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 05:09 AM
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Pausanias
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Gatwick to Oxford and Gatwick to Wareham -- Best Transportation options?

I will be visiting the UK for a few days in late September and will need to get from Gatwick to Oxford. I would like to use public transportation. Is train via London the only option?

After a few days in Oxford I'd like to visit Clouds Hill in Wareham, Dorset, and then return to the US from Gatwick. I thought I would return to Gatwick, rent a car and drive to Dorset, since there are a few other places I want to see while there. Would that be the best plan, or would renting a car in Oxford and dropping it at Gatwick after the visit to Wareham be simpler (and not much more expensive)? Is there any place interesting to stay near Gatwick, or should I return the car to London and head out to the airport the next morning?

If you have an idea of the driving times required by the various routes that would be helpful. Below are the directions to Clouds Hill posted at the National Trust website.

"By road
9ml E of Dorchester, 1˝ml E of Waddock crossroads (B3390), 4ml S of A35 Poole-Dorchester road, 1ml N of Bovington Camp"

Many thanks.
 
Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 05:17 AM
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Train via London is the worst option. There's a more or less hourly bus (www.oxfordbus.co.uk/gatwick.html ). Or if you're a train glutton, there's a half-hourly (generally rather slower, but more reliable at rush hours) train requiring a cross-platform (ie you don't need a lift, stairs or underpass) connection at Reading. Just pump your data into the National Rail site.

Going back to Gatwick to hire your car's pointless. All the hire companies have an Oxford office: take your pick and leave it at Gatwick. Drivetimes at www.rac.co.uk.

Unless you want to visit London, it's not the most sensible place to dump a car. Personally I'd spend the last night at Chichester, but you'll get lots of other suggestions
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Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Pausanias
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Many thanks. I think you've straightened out the tangle.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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Hi,

I hope you are still watching this post. I too am going to Dorset this fall. I usually go every year in Spring, however, I am getting a late start this year. I think you will definitely need a car if only going for a couple of days. Rent (or "let" as they say) in Oxford and return it to Gatwick. It is worth the extra money. From Oxford, drive down through Avebury where you will see the less touristy stone circles and Cerne Abbas (the giant on the hill). Believe me, Dorset is off the beaten path as it is a bit hard to get around on "quick" public transportation. There aren't many trains. I have been to Clouds Hill. I was lucky enough to have a Lawrence expert around. It is very small and will take little time to get through unless he is there and you end up chatting as I did. Very close by is the Church in Morton. Do NOT miss it. It is absolutely wonderful. The windows were etched with incredible scenes after they were blown out in WWII. T.E. Lawrence is buried nearby. This is out in the country though! Not too far away is Thomas Hardy's Cottage and do not miss the coast. Check out Durdle Door and Corfe Castle too. If you have enough time, drive to Seatown (on the coast near Bridport) and eat at the pub there, then walk up Golden Cap and check out the view. On the beach you may find many fossils.

As for drive times. It takes about 3 hours From Dorset on main roads during good traffic. That is driving straight through. Timing is essential. You can make good time everywhere and then get stuck behind a tractor for ten or twenty miles. It is so hard to say. As for the places to stay. I love the country and have stayed at several places within twenty minutes of Gatwick. I stayed at Deerfell near Haselmere which was about 30 minutes west of gatwick and 25 minutes east of Jane Austin's home in Chawton. Another place within 30 minutes is Bolebroke Watermill near East grindstead which was featured in the movie Carrinton. It is reasonable, but without knowing you budget or preference it is hard to say what is reasonable. I hope you have a great time.
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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 05:11 AM
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Pausanias
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Thanks so much for answering this old post with new and useful information.

This whole trip is about Lawrence -- there's a symposium on him in Oxford in September.

Also planning to visit the church in Wareham that holds the Kennington effigy.
 
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