IHelp need with Cotswolds vacation

Feb 3rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
  #1  
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IHelp need with Cotswolds vacation

I am planning a trip with my Mother and Aunt this May. We have rented a cottage and purchased our airline tickets. We are planning to take a train from Paddington to either Moreton in Marsh or Evesham and getting a rental car there. We prefer not to rent at the airport because we are afraid of being too nervous and tired after the long flight. We need to rent a car for one week. Can someone recommend a rental car agency in the Cotswolds? The only one I could find did not have an automatic. If they could deliver the car to the train station that would be great. Also, we would like to go to Stratford, but we don't want to drive, we would like to take the bus or the train. Can someone tell me if there is a bus or train from Moreton or somewhere close by. I appreciate the help.
texdeb is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
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You are talking about local rental agencies in very small towns - villages really. If you want to guarantee getting an automatic, you're pretty much going to have to go w/ one of the major/national chains.

Where is your cottage? That might make a difference w/ recommendations. But, if it were me - I'd take the train to Moreton/Evesham and then a taxi to your cottage and just chill that day. No car. Then the next day you can go in to Oxford or up to Stratford and pick up your car there .

"we would like to go to Stratford, but we don't want to drive, we would like to take the bus or the train" - driving to Stratford-upon-Avon is not difficult, so after you've got used to the driving for a few days you may decide to drive up there. Otherwise, there are trains/buses - bay can't tell you which w/o knowing where you are staying.
janisj is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:14 PM
  #3  
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My cottage is in Bourton on the Hill. Thanks for your advise. I think it's a good idea, except that we arrive on a Saturday and I don't want to be stuck on Sunday in a small village with no supplies and no transportation, so I was trying to get the car the day we arrive. I had heard that there are a lot of tourist buses in Stratford, so we are nervous about driving there, so we were thinking about taking a bus or the train. We are very nervous about driving on the wrong side of the car and the road, so we would like to start out from a smaller town if possible.
texdeb is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Sunday sort of messes things up. It is very likely even some of the national rental agencies may not be open Sunday - or even Sat afternoon. And bourton-on-the-Hill is a very small place so yes you will want your car.

But it is right outside of Moreton-in-Marsh-- a very short taxi ride. OK - any chance you can learn to drive a stick by then

(If you do know how to drive a stick, that would solve everything)

It REALLY is too bad you are not flying in on Friday instead. You could chill in London or Windsor Friday night and pick up you car Sat a.m. to drive to your cottage.

Here is a fairly off the wall option. I assume you are arriving at LHR early in the morning. If so - you could get a room at an airport hotel (or the yotel if it is open then) and all nap and recover for 5 or 6 hours. Then pick up your car and drive up in the afternoon.
janisj is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:32 PM
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The number 21 bus goes about ten times a day from Bourton on the Hill to Stratford Mondays to Saturdays. Timetables for all public transport in the Northern Cotswolds at http://www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/file...sTtable07b.pdf.

This site contains one error that might be crucial for you. It wrongly claims the timetables are valid till June: in fact the train timetables change on May 17 - and some connecting buses change with them. If you're travelling in the overlap period, check buses with the operator and trains at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

I strongly disagree with your idea of starting fromn a smaller town if you're worried about driving on the proper side of the road. If this really is a problem for you (and millions of us change road sides, language and measurement systems whenever we go to France and don't see the need for the endless whining about it your compatriots constantly self-indulge in), smaller towns, where you're encountering two-way traffic as soon as you leave the car hire place, are the biggest problem you'll encounter.

Far more sensible to collect a car at Heathrow, drive round the car park till you're comfortable, then drive off (M4 west, M25 north, M40, A40 to Oxford, A44). For the first 65 miles, you'll be on dual carriageways, so you'll have at least an hour driving in anger before you hit two-way traffic.

Just after the A44/A34 junction as you go round Oxford, take the A4260 towards Kidlington and stock up at the Sainsbury's, the only decent supermarket convenient for this route (apart from the Wal-Mart/Asda at J4 on the M40). Return to the A44 then follow Evesham.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:57 PM
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PS:

Should you, however, be looking forward to a REALLY good "you'll never believe how expensive things are over there" moan when you get home, don't stock up at Sainsbury's.

Daylesford Organics (input GL56 0YG) is about two miles from Bourton across the fields, and is where we all buy our food when we're not slumming it at oiky places like Waitrose. Their groceries are priced at what we're prepared to pay, the stuff in the cafe's surprisingly cheap, but Lady B's clothes shop sets standards of loopily over the top prices even we find a bit excessive.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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flanner's advice about starting your driving on motorways (major, divided highways) out of LHR instead of in a small Cotswold village is absolutely, 100% correct.

To give you some perspective - I am an American, lived in the UK for several years, and go back frequently. I have driven thousands of miles in the UK. It is easier to get the hang of the car and being on the other side of things when all cars are going the same direction. Plus -- there are no cars parked everywhichway, or pedestrians popping out in front of you, or lorries taking up his lane and yours - all of which is standard in any village.

This is not to scare you - but getting your first taste of "wrong side of the road" driving in a small village is a real test. Especially the parking thing. Cars will be parked both direction on both sides of the street - so there are no mental cues to tell you which side you should be on.

So - getting an automatic is easier at LHR is easier, learning about the car is easy at LHR, and the initial drive is easier from LHR.

If you do arrive in the a.m. - think about getting a day room to rest and then pick up the car at LHR. Then the Sat or Sun rental won't be an issue.
janisj is online now  
Feb 4th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Flanneruk's route to BOTH is fine but an alternative route is to stay on the A40 rather than changing to the A44 and turn off at Burford and then take the A424 through Stow-on-the-Wold and then on to BOTH from there. It is about the same distance and time - I know we have a cottage in BOTH and use both routes often.

There is a large Tesco's supermarket in Stow which you could use to stock up with provisions and also means your cold/frozen food won't have time to cool/thaw before you get to your cottage.

BOTH is only two miles from Moreton-in-Marsh and that has three supermarkets all of which are open on a Sunday (as it Tesco's in Stow) so you won't have problems stocking up anyway.

Have a good trip.
Slatters is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 02:41 PM
  #9  
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Thanks everyone for your advise. I checked my flights and my plane does not land until 3:20 pm. We will either get a room and rent a car on Sunday, or take the train and rent a car in Stratford on Monday. I thank all of you for your advise. Thanks Flanneruk for the timetables I printed them out. I appreciate your help.
Slatters thanks for the supermarket advise. I'm almost afraid to see what the price of food is going to be.
texdeb is offline  

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