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Help needed from you Cotswolds enthusiasts.

Help needed from you Cotswolds enthusiasts.

Jan 31st, 2008, 12:12 PM
  #1  
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Help needed from you Cotswolds enthusiasts.

I posted some questions on this subject in October but have now further studied the area.

My original plan was to fly from Amsterdam into London, rent a car at 10 am at the airport and continue on to Blenheim.

After spending most of the day there we would travel on to Chipping Campden, spending the night at the Lygon Arms Hotel.

The next morning we drive to Broadway, on to Burbon-on-the-Water and lastly take the short hike from Lower to Upper Slaugter. After this, we drive on to Bath for a 2 night stay.

Is this too ambitious a tour? What if we just drove to Burbon-on-the-Water after Blemheim, spend the night, and rent bikes the next morning for a tour of the Slaughters? We could also give up a day in Bath.

Your suggestions would be kindly appreciated.
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 12:23 PM
  #2  
 
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Just a few comments just now . . .

Are you landing at 10:00, or is that when you figure you'll be picking up the car?

1) Blenheim won't take most of the day. Assuming you get in the road around 10:00 you will be there w/i an hour or so and will be done by 2:00-ish. (don't ask flanneruk - he'll tell you to skip the place )

2) If it were me - I'd spend 2 nights in the cotswolds and 1 night in Bath

Now - what I'd REALLY do instead is fly Amsterdam to Bristol and go to Bath first. You'd be in Bath in the morning, have all of that day and until maybe mid-day/early afternoon the next day there. then I'd drive up to the Cotswolds for the next 2 nights.
janisj is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 12:58 PM
  #3  
 
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For what it's worth, the Lygon Arms is in Broadway. Whether you used Broadway or Chipping Camden for a base, you could easily visit all the other towns you mention during a leisurely drive or bike ride, so this does not sound too ambitious to me.
smarty is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 01:02 PM
  #4  
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janisj, thank you for your prompt response. I have already purchased the tickets so we are locked into arriving at Heathrow.

Our plane lands at 10, we will carry on luggage so perhaps we will arrive at the rental place by 10;30 or 11.

I don't mind driving but we also like to bike comfortable distances. (>10 miles)

We arrive Monday. I have already purchased passes for the Stone Circle Access at Stonehenge at 6:30 PM on Wednesday so that has to fit into our schedule. I am very open to any suggestions.
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 01:09 PM
  #5  
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smarty, then would you proceed with my original plan? I worry that I will spend the day racing from place to place and not really enjoy the experience.

Also, I re-read my reservation confirmation and it reads "Lygon Arms Hotel, Chipping Campden". If you learn differently please let me know.
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 01:22 PM
  #6  
 
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InMiami,
Janisj is right about Bleinheim and I wouldn't skip it either. I really loved it and we didn't even spend a lot of time inside. The grounds are beautiful to walk around and Woodstock is very quaint. I think the time you've allowed will be fine for those towns on those days. I also did the hike between Upper and Lower Slaughter - it was fun!

Jane
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Jan 31st, 2008, 01:38 PM
  #7  
 
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InMiami,
I guess there is more than one Lygon Arms in the area...who knew!! Sorry for the confusion.
smarty is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 02:43 PM
  #8  
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Jane, where is the best place to park our car for the Warden's Way hike? Also, would you recommend renting a bike in Bourbon-on-the-Water doing a longer version of this trail by bike?
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 02:51 PM
  #9  
 
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InMiami,
It has been several years since I did that hike. I honestly cannot remember where we parked the car. If you can wait a few days, I can dig out the book I used.

I can't really speak to the bike rental - I am not familiar with renting bikes in Bourton and the route you would take. Sorry I was not more help.

Jane
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Jan 31st, 2008, 03:18 PM
  #10  
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Jane, my trip is not until September so I have lots of time. I just noticed that I have mistakenly been saying Bourbon instead of Bourton. Luckily I have learned my mistake before wandering around Britain asking for Bourbon.
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 05:49 PM
  #11  
 
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There are indeed two Lygon Arms.

The Broadway LA is the more expensive "famous" 5 star one. The Chipping Campden LA is the perfectly fine 4 star one.
janisj is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 06:08 PM
  #12  
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janisj, you suggested spending two nights in the Cotswolds and one night in Bath. Can you suggest a village or town that would be a good central location for both areas?
InMiami is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 06:28 PM
  #13  
 
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Hi InMiami --

We spent four nights in the Cotswolds this past September. I'd also second the idea of spending more nights there if you can. We split our time between Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden. I found CC to be so charming. I'd highly recommend you stay there. Bourton was indeed adorable, but it seemed better suited to stopping in for the day and less like "real life". I hope that makes sense!

In an effort to try to answer your question about biking... the trails are definitely rough in most places (dirt paths etc). If you want to stick to the trails (rather than riding along the roads/lanes), I think walking is probably your best bet. If you're into mountain/off-road biking, then you might be okay to do so.

You can get details on restaurants and sights in my trip report from September. Good luck!
hlocke1 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 06:35 PM
  #14  
 
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A visit to Blenheim on a pretty day is a nice idea. We drove there from Heathrow. We made a wrong turn once out of the Hertz lot and it took a lot longer than we had planned with much driving on surface streets, and me learning to drive on the other side of the road.

With your plane landing at 10 am, even with carry-on, I doubt you will leave the rental car lot by 11 am. You still need to go through customs, get a shuttle to the rental car lot, fill out the paper work, and unless you have driven on the other side of the road before, you might want to spend some time practicing your driving in the lot before driving off.

Just a note, we drove back to Heathrow and it seemed to take forever to reach the Hertz lot even though we were on the airport roads. It seemed very far from the terminal. Check out where you are picking up the car and allow plenty of time to pick it up and return it. And, find out where you can purchase gas before you return it. We were down a quarter tank when we returned the car and it cost a great deal of money.

Hertz charged my credit card in U.S. dollars. This was before I ever heard of DCC. Be sure your car rental company charges you in pounds or prepay here in dollars if it looks like a good deal. On our last trip we pre-paid at AAA for a Hertz rental in Italy and got a very good deal.

I spent four nights in Broadway a few years ago. Your hotel is on the main street. You can easily walk to the Swann, a lovely restaurant. We liked it so much we ate there three of the four nights.

You can read about our visit and see my photos at
www.travelswithdiane.com/Cotswolds.html
luvtotravel is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 07:07 PM
  #15  
 
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luvtotravel: Wrong Lygon Arms - the one InMiami is talking about is in Chipping Campden not Broadway.

InMiami: If it were me _ I'd stay in a larger village instead of some of the really tiny ones. It is nice to have a choice of pubs/cafes/restaurants w/i walking distance w/o having to drive at night.

Two of the best would be Chipping Campden and Burford. Since you've already found the Lygon Arms you might just stick to Chipping Campden. I really like Burford - a wonderful "wool" church, the river Windrush and so on. But Chipping Campden would be absolutely fine.

And I definitely would stay 2 nights in the same place. You can easily drive to any part of the Cotswolds from any village so there is no reason to pack and move for one night.
janisj is offline  
Jan 31st, 2008, 10:04 PM
  #16  
 
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Why do you need bikes to "tour the Slaughters"? They're about three feet apart, and you can't even call the brief mini-strollette from one to t'other a walk.

Getting to the Slaughters by bike from Chiping Campden is close to lethal. Cyclists on (the nearly universally crowded and twisty) proper roads in the Cotswolds are a serious danger both to themselves and the rest of the population - and as hlocke says, the footpaths the area's honeycombed with are no use for anything except mountain bikes. What hlocke doesn't say, though, is that bikes are explicitly banned from most footpaths. The Cotswolds are really, really unsuitable for bikes

Get a copy of Ordnance Survey map OL45 and do your touring by a mixture of car and walking.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 12:04 PM
  #17  
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Lots of good suggestions here.
Flanneruk, thanks, that is just the information I need. I had a feeling that the paths might exclude bikes. Also I agree that small twisting roads might become dangerous for bikers.

janisj, I agree totally. A larger village will provide a better selection of restaurants, pubs and shops. Burford seems more central than CC, would that be your first choice? Also what if I just stayed in Burford and did a day trip to Bath? It would mean not having to switch hotels until I left for London.

luvtotravel, I see your point, I will adjust my schedule. There are similar rates (approximately $225 for an automatic) for Avis, Budget and Enterprise. Does any of these companies have a better reputation in UK?

hlock1, these middle aged bones are not up to the mountain bikes. Perhaps just short hikes will suffice.
InMiami is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 12:18 PM
  #18  
 
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InMiami, If you have a sunny, clear day, you might want to check out the Broadway Tower near Broadway in the Cotswolds. Once you reach the top, you have a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. I also had the luck of finding a £20 note while we were there!
twina49 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 07:17 PM
  #19  
 
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Hi again, InMiami --

I think you'll find that your "middle aged bones" will be perfectly happy doing those short walks, too. They're wonderfully relaxing and scenic.

Enjoy!
hlocke1 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 10:35 AM
  #20  
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hlocke1, my original intent was to spend one night in Chipping Campden and then 2 nights in Bath. Can you recommend a town that is central to both areas so that I would not have to change hotels?
InMiami is offline  

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