Which towns in Cotswolds

Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Which towns in Cotswolds

I'm planning a trip to southwest England and in the plan is to visit Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Cotswolds.

With only 2 days to spend in Cotswolds what towns not to miss, or simply meandering through the region is ok?
We'll be coming from Bristol/Bath and want to end up north in Warwick/York.

Or should I just skip Bristol to accord more time for Cotswolds?

Advice is greatly appreciated.

p/s: Would using Cheltenham as a base for Cotswolds be ok?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:02 PM
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How long is your whole trip? What is your itinerary? Where are you fitting Oxford in?

Can't really answer your questions w/o knowing a bit more.

But in general -- Oxford is near/just to the east of the Cotswolds, Bath and Bristol are to the south/southwest in the opposite direction.

So Bath to the Cotswolds to Oxford to Stratford/Warwick to York makes sense.

There is quite a bit of interest in Bristol - but on a first visit, I would prefer to spend the time in Bath, the Cotswolds and Oxford.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 07:11 PM
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My itinerary:
1 May - arrive Heathrow late afternoon, overnight near airport (after long haul from Asia, we don't feel like driving immediately)

8 May - flight to Berlin from Stanstead @ 1840

In between, the tentative plan is:
2 Oxford
3 Bath
4 Bristol (maybe?)
5, 6 Cotswolds
7 Stratford/Warwick/York - whichever combination possible
8 drive down towards Stanstead

If it makes more sense to drop Bristol and spend more time in Stratford, Warwick, York - then we're ok to do that too.

Have already booked on Travelodge for Oxford on 2 May
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Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:24 PM
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That helps -

Now, you are trying to do much too much and drive too far in too short a time. You really only have 6 days. Also LHR > Oxford > Bath > the Cotswolds means you are to-ing and fro-ing too much.

Here is what I would suggest:

May 1 - overnight in Windsor - only about 7 miles from Heathrow and you are "wasting" a night at an airport hotel.

May 2 - Tour Windsor Castle in the morning. Drive to Bath after lunch. Spend that late afternoon and night in Bath.

May 3 - spend most of the seeing more of Bath and then drive up to the Cotswolds. I'd plan on staying somewhere like Burford or Stow-on-the-Wold. Night in Burford or ??

May 4 - tour through central/eastern Cotswolds - stay the night in Burford or ??.

May 5 - drive through northern Cotswolds to Stratford-upon Avon. Stay the night in/near Warwick.

May 6 - Visit Warwick/Castle morning and early afternoon (Warwick takes at least 1/2 a day). Late afternoon head cross country to somewhere near Cambridge. Stay the night.

May 7 - visit Cambridge and/or Ely. Stay same place

May 8 - fly out of Stansted

If Oxford is a must you can easily do It as a day trip from Burford.

Or you could skip Stratford and instead on May 5 - drive from Burford to Oxford in the a.m. and spend most of the day there. Then drive up to Warwick, spend the night and visit the castle the next morning.



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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Hi there --

I agree with janis that you are trying to do too much in a short amount of time. I was in the Cotswolds for 4 nights this past September and felt like I barely scratched the surface. We split two nights between Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden. They were both fantastic towns that offered a lot of wonderful hikes and towns to visit within a short distance.

I'm also wondering how you are planning to travel. If you are going to take a train, you definitely want to consult an online point-to-point planner. You might end up spending a good deal of your days on a train, or in a car, so definitely consider that when deciding upon your final itinerary.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Thanks all for your wonderful advice.

janisj - I've been to Windsor and Cambridge before, so will most likely not visit them again (though they're wonderful... but priority would be to visit some place new)

hlocke1 - Will be travelling with my parents who won't be too keen to do too much hiking. So what we're likely to do is drive between towns and stop for visits.

I studied the map last night and thought of heading north after Oxford towards Warwick & Stratford upon Avon. From there move south with Bath as the final destination. Plus, that avoids the trouble of visiting Bath over a weekend when the crowd is bigger and hotels more expensive
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 08:38 AM
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I feel I should warn you that Stratford upon Avon is NOT looking its best at the moment. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is being rebuilt and the Bancroft Gardens which border the River Avon are also being refurbished= trees felled, paving renewed so it is rather like a huge building site at that end of town.
You will probably enjoy Warwick Castle though- almost everyone does!
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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I wish we had time and were going to be in England in a time when we could do this... Taking English Lit this semester and I am dreaming of these areas...
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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We stayed in the Burford area but these are my favorite towns and villages in the Cotswolds:

Bourton-in-the-water
Upper and Lower Slaughter
Stow on the Wold
Stanton

near Bath, I'm not sure if its part of the Cotswold, I truly love Castle Combe!!
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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To help understand the history of the Cotswolds we enjoyed the museum in Cirencester and Chedworth Roman Villa

Chipping Camden would be high on my list of villages to try to visit

If I understand your revised itinerary you are not trying to go to York, which seems very wise. WElls is a beautiful cathedral town near Bath that would be much easier to fit in!
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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If you're interested in the Arts and Crafts period of crafts, furniture and architecture I'd recommend an excellent new little museum in Chipping Campden by the church in a beautiful converted barn. The Cotswold House Hotel is a fine hotel in Chipping Campden.
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Old Mar 14th, 2008, 11:16 AM
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wonderful wonderful suggestions

Thank you!!
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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After studying for a week or so, I haved loved everything you all have written...I want to follow your advise and go to each place...We are leaving Oct. 4 and return Oct. 17...London (thought we were going to stay a week, but now am thinking not), over to Bath, up to the Cotswold area, to Stratford-upon-Avon, then we wanted to end up in Edinburgh, fly out on 10/17 through London and back to the US.
My question is: transportation...Can we find a train going out of London...into???..can Bath, cotswold,Stratford...be ALL sidetrips??? how? then get a train up to Edinburgh and stay about 4 days?
Would this work?
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 01:28 PM
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We stayed in Great Rissington, at the Lambs Inn. It was quiet and quaint; no TV or phones. The Inn had a nice pub and a formal restaurant. The town was charming, charming, charming. We used it as a base for seeing the rest of the Cotswolds.
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 03:34 AM
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Grasshopper,
Were you drivng? We are scared to drive.What do you think?
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Old Mar 18th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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I think you kind of have to drive to do the Cotswolds right. Yes, we were scaird too! Our first impressions were that the roads were way too narrow. We scraped the hubs and wheels a lot at first. But you do get used to it and it becomes part of the adventure. Driving on the highway is no big deal. It's the narrow lanes that make you a little nervous. And the roundabouts! At first they made me so nervous but then they became my friend: Miss a turn, wait for the next roundabout.

We drove from Oxford to Edinburgh and back to London. Edinburgh was the trickiest because it required more thinking about which lane to get into when you turn. But sooner or later your mind clicks over and you are like a local! (Until you have to parallel park )

Go for it. It will be on of your lifelong memories.
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