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UK Experts: Thinking of Combining York, The Cotswolds and London (10 Night Trip). Too Rushed??

UK Experts: Thinking of Combining York, The Cotswolds and London (10 Night Trip). Too Rushed??

Old Feb 13th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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UK Experts: Thinking of Combining York, The Cotswolds and London (10 Night Trip). Too Rushed??

All,

We are thinking of a 10 night trip in April. We have been to London several times, perhaps 10 trips. We have also spent a week in Cambridge with side trips to sites outside Cambridge. On prior trips we have done day-trips to Oxford, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens. (Provided as background info only).

My husband has an interest in viking history and would like to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre in York. We have always wanted to see the Cotswolds region also. If we are in the UK we would also spend time in London (hard to pass up one of our favorite cities). How doable is this w/o rushing too much?

I was thinking of arrival on Wed, April 15th at LHR and train to York for two nights. Then pick up a car in York and drive to the Cotswolds region for 5 nights. Then on Wednesday return car to a location in the Cotswolds and train to London for last 3 nights - fly home on Sat., April 25h.

Some immediate questions come to mind - what is a good base in the Cotswolds considering we are first timers in this region and will be driving down from York? Is this location near a car rental return agency? I my order of cities / region correct? Would you start in the Cotswolds instead?

Thanks in advance for any helpful tips you may have.
Bette is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2009, 11:03 AM
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I think thats a great plan! Especially since you've already spent so much time in London.

We spent 3 nights in at the Colbourne Inn between Cheltenham and Cirencester last Oct and loved it!

Please dont leave out the Cotswolds, they are so great, we cant wait to get back! If we were to stay anywhere it would be Winchecombe or around Bourton on the Water.
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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10 nights is plenty since you've been to London before.
You will need a car in the Cotswolds, for sure. 5 nights is plenty there. 3 or 4 is fine too.
I can't comment on car rental spots because I've always rented in London and dropped off at Heathrow.
I was just back in the Cotswolds last week, staying in Chipping Campden, which is a good base. I've stayed in Broadway before, and really like it too (I preferred it actually). I've stayed in Stow on the Wold before as well. If you do choose Broadway the Olive Branch is a lovely B&B.
You might want to consider going to the Cotswolds first and returning the car somewhere close by - maybe Oxford - then taking the train from there to York and back to London (although I don't know if this is a convenient train trip - hopefully someone with more knowledge will weigh in).
Another option could be to start in London for a few days, train up to York and back, and then pick up the car in London and go to the Cotswolds, finally dropping the car at Heathrow for your departure.

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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Five nights in the Cotswolds are way too much. The historical towns are pretty, but if you have seen one you have seen all and there are not that many attractions in the area. Two full days in the Cotswolds are plenty.

IMO, Chipping Campden and (second place) Broadway are the most attractive bases for the Cotswolds (proper towns with a life of its own and not just touristy).

If you are in the area you may visit Bath. And although you have been to Oxford: it might be worthy to spend another day in this most beautiful city.
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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"Five nights in the Cotswolds are way too much"

Huh?? I lived near the Cotswolds for almost 5 years and still haven't see/done everything.

Bette: Just a couple of quick comments -- there are no trains from LHR to York - you'd have to travel into London - transfer from one station to another and the take another train to York That is a LOT of faffing about while jetlagged IMO.

If it was me -- I'd fly open jaw into Manchester and out of London. Arrive in Manchester and either take the train (preferable w/ the jetlag) or drive to York. Spend 2 days there. Then drive down to the Cotswolds for 4 or 5 days. Drive to LHR and turn in the car there. Into London by public transport. Spend the last couple of days in London. Fly home from LHR or LGW

There are few major car rental agencies in the Cotswolds and very few train stations. So dropping a car and then taking a train to London is problematic. Dropping at LHR is not difficult at all.

This plan means you aren't backtracking and is an easier route.

OR -- If you already have your flights booked and can't fly into Manchester ---

Then I'd do the Cotswolds first. Then drive up to York. Then turn in the car in and take a train to London for the finish.
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Thank you all for your help.

We are flying from Boston and going into Manchester, which is a good idea, means a plane change at Heathrow with a few hours layover.

I realize there is not a train at LHR to York -sorry! What I was thinking was having London-transfers (Ray) drop us at the train station in London - BUT that is a lot of running around when we will be tired.

Perhaps we should pick up a car at LHR and drive straight to either York or the Cotswolds. Thanks for that idea.

I should have noted that we would like our base in the Cotswolds to be within walking distance of restaurants and pubs. No driving in the evening for us as we want to enjoy our beverages!!
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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We loved the Lygon Arms in Chipping Campden. The pub is right in the house. The steak&ale pie is best. Incredibly inexpensive wines and champagne.

http://www.lygonarms.co.uk/
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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I would not recommend driving to York upon arrival at LHR -- that is a loooong drive even when one is not jetlagged.

A main decision seems to be whether you want to hang around LHR for a couple of hours and do York first, or driving to the Cotswolds first.

MAN to York is approx the same distance as LHR to the central Cotswolds. So really six of one half dozen of the other.

For a Cotswold base -- I'd look in 1) Burford, 2) Chipping Campden, or maybe 3) Winchcombe. They are each quite small, pretty towns w/ several pubs, shops etc. and w/ good road links to other parts of the area.


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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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Don't even dream of driving to York from Heathrow. It's unpleasant and if you've been flying overnight criminally (I mean that literally) irresponsible. A car pickup, followed by a painless 2 hr train journey, is about as much activity as most of us can manage after a long flight - and the hour's snoozw will set you up for some serious pottering in York.

There's no obvious place to drop a car in the Cotswolds that's got a train to London. Check if the company you're using has a dropoff place in Moreton in Marsh. Otherwise the options are:
- somewhere like Chipping Campden that requires a bus or taxi to the railway station
- somewhere outside, and on the wrong side, like Evesham
- Cheltenham, which is a relatively pricey train trip back to London, or (which is what I'd do) Oxford or Heathrow, which are on the way to London after the Cotswolds.

There isn't five days of intensive sightseeing in the Cotswolds. But it's a nice place to spend five days pottering, if you're not one of those people who think holidays have to be spent scurrying around cramming 37 must see's into every day. Being the centre of England, it's also a terrific base for places technically outside the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (which, to be honest, is overegging it a bit), like Bath, Stratford and Oxford
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Old Feb 14th, 2009, 06:31 AM
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Thanks everyone for your help.

Like many people, we hate jetlag and our driving max after landing is 2 hours....after that, we really can't function.

We love pottering and hate scurrying about checking off "must sees". I can't imagine travelling in that fashion, but everyone is different.

You've given us lots to think about!
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 03:51 AM
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Will just add that it's not too rushed. If you like walking the Cotswolds are great as is the countryside around York. One of our best trips was several days in the cotswolds walking the footpaths with lovely b and b's at night. It was not a tour, but rather footpaths we mapped out ahead or ones suggested by our hosts.
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Old Feb 15th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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Why not take a bus or train from Heathrow straight to Bath upon arrival?

You can spend your first jet-lagged day in the town, sleep over, then pick up your rental car in the morning and take off for the Cotswolds.

Driving around Bath is a bit tricky, but much better than trying to drive right after landing.

Have fun!

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