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were to pick up car for london/bath/stomehenge/cotswolds

were to pick up car for london/bath/stomehenge/cotswolds

Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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were to pick up car for london/bath/stomehenge/cotswolds

we will be in london (south kensingto) and then plan a four day excursion to the following places

stonehenge/avebury/bath (maybe salisbury if time) (1 day)

cotswolds (2 days)

oxford/warwick (maybe windor castle if time) (1 day)

on the next day we are at heathrow for a 1pm flight home

should we rent car in londom (we need and automatic) and drive to stonehenge etc for the 1st day, ending up in bath overnight or continuing to sleep in the cotswolds
or , should we train to salisbury and get car there (with all our luggage...)

this itinerary would have us do oxford the day before our flight, and either drop off car in oxford and bus to heathrow next day, or drive into airport

or we could do the reverse- train to heathrow from london to pick up car (again all our stuff...) and do oxford etc that 1st day, and our last day would be bath stonhenge etc, making our way to heathrow to drop off car
I dont think we should rent car in london to drive to oxford, driving through the city from kensington, do you?

help!
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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it will depend partly on what day of the week you are picking up the car. Driving out of central London on a friday would be a LOT worse than doing it on a Sunday morning.

But in general for where you are going, I'd just head out to LHR and pick up the car there on the first morning. From LHR it is an easy drive to Avebury > Stonehenge > Bath,

For your return trip - Oxford > LHR is relatively easy and quick (except for Sunday afternoons/or during the weekday morning commute)

What I might do is: Pick up the car early a.m. at LHR. Drive to Windsor and tour the castle/see the town. After lunch, drive to Avebury and then on to Stonehenge, arriving in Bath in the late afternoon. That evening and until mid afternoon the next day in Bath. And then uo into the Cotswolds (avoiding the Cheltenham area from your other post re the race meeting).

Base in ONE B&B for the Cotswolds/Oxford/Warwick - that will save you time and hassle of moving about. Then on your last day leave the B&B by about 0800 or 0830 for the drive to LHR.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:56 PM
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If you're not used to driving in a city where the cars are on the proper side, pick up your car at Heathrow.

"Kensington" is used to cover a HUGE slug of west London. If you're comfortable driving, and you've checked at multimap.com that the postcode of the pickup place is VERY close to the A40 or A4, it's a lot easier to get your car there than faffing about with shuttles at Heathrow.

If you're not comfortable, the drive from Heathrow to Oxford (or to the M4 turnoff if you're going to Bath) is THE most painless way of getting used to driving on the left you can imagine.

Collecting a car at Oxford or Bath means dealing with town centre traffic right away. In mt view, traffic in both these towns is trickier - because generally less disciplined, and in Oxford awash with kamikaze cyclists, many with babies on the pillion - than in central London.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:09 PM
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There's an excellent carpark outside of Bath. Park your car, pay your ticket and wait for the bus, which comes every 15 minutes. The double-decker bus is very inexpensive and takes you right into the city.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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schuler's suggestion to use the park and ride lots for Bath also applies to Oxford. Don't try to drive in Oxford at all -- just park in one of the free park and ride lots on the ring road and take the frequent/inexpensive buses into the city center.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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It actually isin't too bad getting from Kensington to the west. If you leave early in the day especially the weekend. I would get the car in central then drive out and drop off the car at Heathrow after 4 days. We did just the opposite in Oct. Picked up the car at Gatwick, 4 day trip drop off at Heathrow train to High Street Kensington. It was all very easy.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 08:56 AM
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I agree with the previous posting about picking the car up at Heathrow. Then you are already outside of the city. Jump on the motorway (M4) and head to Avebury. South on A4361. From Avebury, take the A4 east to Marlboro and the A345 south to the A303. Turn right on 303 and you can't miss Stonehenge.

From Stonehenge to Bath there are a ton of different ways to go.

We did this trip in reverse back in April, getting to Bath about 9am and into London about 9pm (dinner on the way from Avebury). It is definately doable.

Oh, and we were staying in the Cotswolds, at Stow-on-the-Wold.

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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 10:18 AM
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We also did this same itineray.
We had the car rental agency drop the car off at our hotel in London.
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