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Is it possible to see the Cotswolds without renting a car?

Is it possible to see the Cotswolds without renting a car?

Old May 6th, 2015, 06:43 PM
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Is it possible to see the Cotswolds without renting a car?

We're going to be in England late July/early August. DH would like to do this trip without driving (a first for him!) but I want him to see the Cotswold. I've been there, he hasn't. Is it possible to do it without a car? Is there other transportation?
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Old May 6th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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Yes - there are local buses. But they really aren't geared for tourists. More for the local school run, etc.

You can see a bit w/o driving -- especially if you like to do some major walking (we'd call them hikes in the States).

Or -- you can do a day trip tour from London w/ London Walks or from Bath w/ Mad Max.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 07:20 PM
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We did a Mad Max Tour from Bath and loved it. It was a long day, but we saw a lot; several villages and churches, old stones, etc. had an hour or so walk a couple of times, lunch in one of the villages, and it included Stonehenge,

Bath is certainly worth a visit anyway, and easy by bus or train from London. We loved Bath, so if you go there and stay a couple of days, one day could be for seeing Bath and the other could be for the Mad Max Tour.

The tours are by minivan.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 10:05 PM
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The best way to see the Cotswolds ("Cotswold" is an adjective: never a singular noun) is on foot, and the area is simply lousy with thousands of miles of free-access cross-country footpaths.

The is not an area with "must sees" and one honeycoloured limestone village with a double-barrelled name is more or less indistinguishable from the next one a couple of miles away across the fields.

Pottering from a pub in one to a cream tea in a second and a pre-supper Pimms in a third (inspecting the church in all, and admiring the lambs' good manners on the way) is a far more relaxing and instructive way of appreciating the area than worrying about bus timetables or car park spaces.

The best summary of local transport is at

Among hundreds of websites on walking the area, the best is

The best single-microtown website for walking is Trains from central London are hourly, taking about 75 mins, or 15 mins from Oxford. The town's handful of hotel rooms are a brisk five min walk from the station.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Thanks, all. We love walking and do plan to do some hikes there so I will definitely be checking out that site. And I spent a very short time in Bath (again withou DH) but it was too short, so I had already planned some days there. We spent some time in London last year and he is very over that ��. Planning more of the country this time. He would rent a car for a few days, but I rather like the idea of training in and hiking all over.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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You will have a MUCH easier time of it if you rent a car for the few days you'll be in the Cotswolds. You don't need a car at all IN Bath. But there is very little rail service in the Cotswolds -- trains to go to Charlbury, Kingham, Moreton-in-Marsh . . . but most likely those aren't place you'll want to explore.

There are amazing walks from most every village . . . but first you have to get there. Rent a car, stay in a nice village or town (Burbury or Chipping Campden or Broadway) drive out each day to a different area, do your walks/pub lunch/etc., drive back 'home'. Repeat.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 04:57 PM
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I like the idea. Will pass it on to DH and see i he agrees.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 03:52 AM
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Has anyone ever biked in the Cotswolds??
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Old May 17th, 2016, 05:12 AM
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Yes I've biked over much of it when younger, but the best is to take the walks as you get off the tarmac.

If you want public transport support then you need

give you an idea of what resources are available
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Old May 17th, 2016, 05:22 AM
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When we visited we had a car and stayed several nights in Broadway. We did some walking but we also used the car to get to some of the other locations.

I wish I could get "Mr. Excitement" to walk more than he does but that is, at this stage, a vain hope. Nevertheless, we enjoyed both forms of movement and if you are any sort of barnyard animal lover you are bound to walk by something with four legs eventually which simply adds to the charm.

As to the car: on a couple of occasions we ended UP staring at those animals in what appeared to be somebody's front, or back, or side "yard" at the end of what appeared to be a "road." I'm sure somebody was peering out from behind the lace curtains, pitchfork in hand, and muttering, "There are some of these idiots...again!"
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Old May 17th, 2016, 07:00 AM
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Has anyone biked there??
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Old May 17th, 2016, 08:18 AM
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I planned a walking trip to the Cotswolds a few years ago. Getting around was a very tedious process without a car. To add to my frustration it rained ( buckets, not drops) and I was essentially unable to do any off paved road walks. My recommendation is to hire a car.
It is a beautiful region, well worth a visit. Enjoy yourself.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 04:23 PM
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It seems everyone is responding to the OP. That was the question re touri g the Cotswolds without a car. Danen5 topped this old thread to ask (twice) about biking . . .

danen, touring by bike is not easy. There are some dedicated bike routes, but getting from village to village will have you riding on narrow roads with no shoulders.
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Old May 17th, 2016, 10:01 PM
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Sadly, the answer to danen5 's question is "yes" and the suicidal delusion is getting more popular. With lunatics.

The Cotswolds aren't at all bike-friendly, so naturally today's breed of self-centred obsessives sees that as a challenge. Increasingly, quiet microtowns are invaded by pelotons of Middle Aged Morons in Lycra, breaking speed limits, going the wrong way up one-way streets and pretending they're too "authentic" to look at traffic signs.

If you're that kind of me-generation anti-social, take your fad and practice it somewhere else. If you just fancy cycling along empty country lanes, realise there's no such thing here, and that undulating, twisty roads are simply death traps for people on bikes. A driver well below the 50 mph speed limit typically has fractions of a second between first seeing a cyclist and hitting him.

We have adequate (by British standards, so outstanding by the standards of most of the rest the world) public transport, the world's best footpaths for walking, OK roads for driving around and well-trained horses and riders. The only useful role bikes play in all this is to help properly-trained people living beyond easy walking distance get to stations or bus stops.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 05:38 PM
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Thank you for the input. After reading the responses, we will rent a car.
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