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Need help on trip to England. Guildford, Highclere, Cotswolds, Dorset

Need help on trip to England. Guildford, Highclere, Cotswolds, Dorset

Old May 26th, 2022, 07:26 AM
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Need help on trip to England. Guildford, Highclere, Cotswolds, Dorset

I am traveling to England with a friend. We are in our late 60s and have each been in London several times. We are going to wedding near Guildford and need to be there September 9 and 10.

We will most likely arrive at Heathrow the morning of September 3. The only tickets available for Highclere are September 5 at 2 pm. We would like to travel to the Cotswolds for two days and spend a day or so near the sea and then arrive back in Guildford afternoon of September 9. We will leave for the US on Monday, September 12

Neither one of us is thrilled about driving in England but we have each done it before.

If we decide to rent a car, we would prefer not to do it at Heathrow thinking there will be a lot of traffic etc. so where would you suggest we pick up a car. We were thinking about taking a train from the airport to a further out location and ideally return the car to Guildford the afternoon of September 9 and take train to Heathrow on September 11
  • Would really appreciate suggestions on rental car pick up and drop off locations. I know in the US are frequently penalized for dropping car at a different location than pick up.
  • We would like to spend two nights that would be near Highclere. Any suggestions on another place to visit in that area on the fourth would be most welcome. We are both into history and scenery
  • Seems to make sense to leave that area after our tour September 5 and head for Cotswolds we would appreciate advice on where to go and stay. You would probably stay the night of September 5 and 6th
  • Then we would leave for Dorset and spend the night of the September 7 and 8. Again accommodation and suggestions for activities would be most welcome. We would return to Guilford on September 9
Do you think we could do this without a car and if so what would the logistics be on that? If we decide to get a car , Is there any advice you could offer in terms of pick up and drop off locations , car agency to use

thanks so much



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Old May 26th, 2022, 07:45 AM
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Just very quick -- but if you do decide to rent a car, IMO/IME Heathrow actually IS the best place to pick it up and drop it off. Yes, there will be traffic, but it is all motorway so very controlled. Collecting a car in most English cities is much more difficult. Easier to navigate a motorway to start out than the centre of Oxford or Bath or Reading etc.
janisj is online now  
Old May 26th, 2022, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
. . . Collecting a car in most English cities is much more difficult. Easier to navigate a motorway to start out than the centre of Oxford or Bath or Reading etc.
Having rented cars in both Oxford & Bath (and other towns & cities), as well as Heathrow, I find the cities considerably less stressful than the motorways. So I'd stick with your instinct to bypass Heathrow & get closer to a destination. It's just a personal preference & I try to avoid motorway traffic if it makes sense otherwise.
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Old May 26th, 2022, 12:58 PM
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For Dorset I recommend Lyme Regis:

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ut-lyme-regis/
https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ng-lyme-regis/

If you don't want to drive you can take the airport bus from Heathrow to Reading and a train on to Newbury, which seems to be the closest town to Highclere. Although I might choose to stay in Reading rather than Newbury.

I no longer rent cars when I travel, but if I were doing so I would prefer to rent at Heathrow. You can always practice driving round the airport before joining the motorway, and if you are heading west you will avoid the M25.
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Old May 26th, 2022, 01:47 PM
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I wasn't sure where Highclere was, but looked at a map and saw it was about thirty miles from Winchester, which is a great stop for a few days in itself. There is a bus from Heathrow -- it looks like it's direct these days.

Afraid I can't help with car rentals from Winchester. When I do rent one, it is usually from Heathrow. I find the motorways an easy introduction to British driving.
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