London sidetrip - Stonehenge or Cotswold

Feb 25th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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London sidetrip - Stonehenge or Cotswold


I was thinking of doing a side trip from London and I was wondering which would be nicer - a day trip to Stonehenge or visiting two villages in Cotswold. If I do Cotswold, I thought it would be nice to stay at a local B&B and return to London the next day in the morning. Iwould be going to these places via public transportation - train and/or buses.

What do you guys think? Thanks!
CandyG is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:38 PM
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I've never been one to stand around gawking at stones, no matter how meaningful and historic. Cotswolds are gorgeous. Go there.
Guy18 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 11:07 PM
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Stonehenge is in the middle of nowhere and there is very little else to see! these days you can't even get up close! Much better option to go to the Cotswolds won't regret it.
Ptolly is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Thanks guys!

I've been doing lots of reading and I agree that the Cotswold would be much better. I enjoy walking around little towns so this should be fun!

Any recommendations as to where I could stay? Thanks again!
CandyG is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 11:23 PM
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Since we're on the subject, I was wondering what would you guys recommend if I want to do a 2 day tour of Bath/Stonehenge/Salisbury? What mode of transportation would you guys recommend, and where to stay at?

sage2k6 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 12:49 AM
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Sage2k6, if a hire car is an option, that would be my choice and stay in Bath, it is a pretty and interesting town and nearby Wells Cathedral is worth a visit.
Faux is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 02:07 AM
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Have you done a search for "stonehenge" - whilst it is a 30 minute wonder there are several other things you can do which make a day trip to Stonehenge worthwhhile - and it's easy to combine them into an overnight trip to Bath.
alanRow is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 04:37 AM
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Are you planning to go to Oxford? Now that is one place no one should miss. 30-something colleges, each an architectural marvel, many with their own chapels and gardens and cloisters. The town is terrific, and it is a good jumping off point to the Cotswolds. Honestly, I think that would be a better choice than Salisbury or Stonehenge, but I don't mean to muddle things either. Just a suggestion...
Guy18 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 05:38 AM
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There are three sets of prehistoric stone rings in Southern England. CandyG has accepted the common view on this board that Stonehenge is underwhelming: her choice, but if the Stonehenge/Sslisbury Cathedral (arguably Britain's most beautiful) doesn't whelm her, nothing will. Stonehenge/Salisbury is by far the easiest of these options to organise by public transport.

The second, and by common consent best, is Avebury. Not quite as authentic as the other two (some of the stones contain a fair bit of 20th century concrete) but easily combinable with Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long Barrow and the local museum for a prehistoric day out. A bit messy by public transport (you have to go via Swindon, which isn't quite England's most uplifting town, but there are millions of trains to Swindon and its bus station is only a few minutes away), and the scenery's surprisingly steppe-like. Search this board for access details: henneth gave excellent info a day or two ago.

The third - and IMHO the most fun - is actually in the Cotswolds (the word refers to a range of what we call hills and most other nations would call bumps. So yes, you can have a Cotswold, but you can't be in Cotswold). The Rollright Stones, like Avebury, are totally accessible: indeed the proprietor (they're privately owned) sells divining rods so you can check which stone has the most powerful ley line underneath it. A pleasant round walk from Chipping Norton (locally known as "Chippy"): world famous as the home of aspirin and for its fish + chip shop - creatively branded the Chippy Chippy.

The Cotswolds - or at any rate the northern end, which hasn't been turned into a deadland of tourist joints and bankers' weekend cottages - has surprisingly good public transport, with reasonable buses getting you between the railheads at Oxford and Moreton in Marsh, pretty places like Broadway and handsome towns like Stow on the Wold and Chipping Campden.

The bits do link up, but they're tricky to research, since the operating companies are better at begging for more tax subsidy than telling customers what they do . A public-spirited former poster (what ever happened to him?) tried to explain how to make them work at
CotswoldScouser is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Salisbury and Stonehenge makes quite a good daytrip - Use a Train from Waterloo station to Salisbury, a bus to Stonehenge, then on return, wander the streets and then visit the Cathederal.

There are numerous daytrips easily made from London. It really depends on what aspects of the UK interest you.
willit is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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Stonehenge isn't what I would callin the middle of nowhere. It is just a few miles from Salisbury. Together they are a nice trip.

Keith is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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Before you take advice about a place, it is good to know if they have ever been there before. Certainly Stonehenge is not in a town - but it is not in the middle of nowhere. It is barely 12 miles from Salisbury w/ one of the best cathedrals in the world. And while you can't touch the stones, the pathway is quite close in places. Plus, one can book inside access to the circle.

That being said - I think an overnighter into the Cotswolds would be a wonderful diversion from London. That would be my choice. I would not recommend a Cotswold daytrip - but w/ the best part of 2 full days in the area you could have a lovely time. You could do much worse than staying in Chipping Campden. It is a very nice village - but big enough to have shops, pubs, restaurants. You would also be near to Hidecote Manor Garden - owned by the National Trust and one of the lovliest anywhere. And one other thing to consider - if you want to get a bit off the beaten path or places not well served by bus, there is a good Tourist Information Center in Ch. Campden and they could arrange a driver for you for 1/2 a day or so.
janisj is online now  
Feb 26th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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Thanks again guys.

This is all great info. I thought of combining Stonehenge with Salisbury but I think I will leave that for another trip. I've seen more and more pics of the Cotswold and I would love to visit them during this trip.

Right now I'm trying to decide which villages to see. I don't want to fit too much in a day but I thought I would depart London very early on a Tuesday morning and arrive in Moreton in Marsh and then take buses to two more villages. I just haven't decided which other villages to go to! I keep hearing Stow, Bourton, Chipping Campden and the Slaughters. Also need to figure out which village is best for accomodations because I would like to catch an early morning bus back to Moreton and then the train back to London.
CandyG is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Since you are depending on public transport you are better off staying in one of the larger villages - Stow on the Wold, Burford, Chipping Campden, Broadway, etc. Simply because there is more "there there" - more pubs and shops and better transport links. The Slaughters for instance are very small.

Given that limitation - I'd choose Chipping Campden because it is a lovely place - or Stow because it is a nice little town and a good hub for the Slaughters/Swells and Bourton on the Water.
janisj is online now  
Feb 27th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Thanks guys!

I'm going to contact a few places in Chipping Campden and Stow to see where I can stay. You've been very helpful!
CandyG is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Hi there!

We are living in London for six months and have learned that it is not easy to get to the Cotswolds by public transport, certainly not going from village to village. If you can stand a bus tour that is doable, or if you are willing to drive a rentacar in the UK you might be able to get one at a train station nearby.

If I were going to do this (I still might), I would take a train someplace in the general regio (say Bath), pick up a rental car, then do as much Cotswolds and Stonehenge as I could, dropping off the car at Bath (or wherever) on return. On no account try to drive in London lol!
bensmomma is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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"it is not easy to get to the Cotswolds by public transport, certainly not going from village to village"

Of course it is. I do it all the time when yet another plonker's forced me to get the car repaired.

Just needs planning. All the information you need's at the helpful directions a mysteriously desaparecido poster offered you all.
CotswoldScouser is offline  
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