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Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Atlanta, Georgia
12 posts
Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Hello! My wife & I are making our first trip to the UK in December. On a Saturday we are going to a Madness concert in Birmingham at the Arena. We were wanting to make it a day trip to Cotswolds and then on to Birmingham from there. We are staying in London in Chiswick.

We haven’t been able to find any Cotswolds tours on a Saturday so far. Would it be best to just take a train there? If so, should we go to Moreton-in-Marsh and visit there, or are there tours we can pick up in Moreton to go see more villages, or should we just pick a village or 2 and get a taxi from Moreton?

And it looks like we’d have to take the train from Moreton to Birmingham (i mean it looks like that’s the only main Cotswolds train station)?

Just looking for some suggestions. It’s difficult to know exactly what’d be the best thing to do. Initially we thought we could hit Oxford on the way and then Cotswolds and onto Birmingham, but that looks like too much to make it to the 730 concert and grab dinner too. We both think the Cotswolds would be more interesting and a change from being in the city (London).

Thanks in advance!

Shawn

11 replies to this topic
Warwickshire...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds, Rome, London
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1. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Have you tried Secret Cottage tours?

https://www.cotswoldtourismtours.co.uk/

You would have to pre-book a taxi at Moreton and to have one to take you around for a day or half day won't be cheap. There are some public transport options which will get you from Moreton to some of the larger villages:

https:/…

The booklt on this page hasn't been updated for 2018 so some routes, bus numbers, etc may have changed so you will need to chck the individual operator websites. There is a bus from Moreton to Stratford-upon-Avon where you can take the train to Birmingham.

Having said that, seeing Oxford on the way will be easier than trying to see some Cotswolds villages.

Cheltenham, United...
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for Cotswolds
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2. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Are you staying in Birmingham after the concert? Returning to London that late in the evening probably isn't practicable.

I think you are underestimating the complexity of travel in rural areas. There are several railway stations which serve the fringes of The Cotswolds, but local bus services are not co-ordinated with train times nor designed to facilitate tourism. I have experimented with various bus routes and stations it is unfortunate that the timings don't support a round trip to a couple of places eg Chipping Campden & Broadway. Obviously a taxi would reduce these limitations.

http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk .... travelplanner

Your options in terms of time are also limited by the starting point of Chiswick, there doesn't seem to be a way of travelling West without going East (to Paddington) first.

I don't think The Secret Cottage Tour would help. You would need to leave Chiswick about 7:15 to catch the 8:22 train from Paddington, arrive Moreton 10:00 where Secret Cottage would meet you. The Tour returns to Moreton station for 16:30, there is a 16:42 train to get you to Birmingham New Street at 18:48, via Oxford.

Meanwhile there would be nowhere (AFAIK) to store any luggage you have for an overnight in Birmingham.

https://www.cotswoldtourismtours.co.uk/ ... Secret Cottage, see luggage details.

I think you need to re-think your ambitions, perhaps as suggested include a stop off in Oxford, with a bus trip to Woodstock.

Cheltenham, United...
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for Cotswolds
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3. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

https://www.premiumtours.co.uk/category/out-… ... This tour company has just been mentioned on a similar parallel thread. Whilst I think the tours offered are crazy you might be able to use them but leave the tour at Stratford rather than returning to London. Not my idea of fun,but it is your holiday.

https://www.premiumtours.co.uk/category/out-…

Edit 2nd link added.

Edited: 08 October 2018, 06:01
Atlanta, Georgia
12 posts
4. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Thank you very much. That’s exactly what I needed - some real local knowledge of the area and transportation.

Are any of the towns that the Cotswolds train stations in nice to visit? We could do that instead of traveling to other villages then head to Birmingham. Unfortunately for the tours, there appears to be none from what I can see on that Saturday.

I wanted to take advantage of a trip out of London and Cotswolds is more appealing to us than another city like Oxford...though Oxford is far from unappealing! Just wanted to see something not in a big city. But it sounds like we may have to change our plans. We may just stay in London now and just head straight up to Birmingham before the concert. We really wanted to visit the Cotswolds but maybe we’ll have try to make it there on another trip. We’re in the country for a week but I think it’s all going to be just seeing London. This is our only day out of the city, although we were going to attempt a part of a day out to Canterbury.

Thanks

Shawn

New Mexico
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5. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

We spent a great day in Birmingham, don’t discount spending the day there.

We really enjoyed the canal district.

visitbirmingham.com/what-to-do/…

Atlanta, Georgia
12 posts
6. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Thanks! That crossed my mind too. The Cotswolds was more for a change of scenery from the cityscape. But I was thinking about that also!

Thanks

Shawn

Warwickshire...
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7. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

The main gateway to the northern Cotswolds is Moreton-in-Marsh - it has Cotswold stone buildings, several pubs, but it also has a busy main road running through it which rather spoils it. Stow & Chipping Campden are nicer but about five miles away with your only options being the bus or a pre-booked taxi. There is a station at Kemble near Cirencester but it is a bus trip to get to Cirencester and it would be hopeless for gettiing to Birmingham in time for your concert (the best part of three hours by train). Oxford is logistically much the best option aside from exploring Birmingham.

Machynlleth, United...
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8. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

The great thing about Oxford is that it will offer you a great range of options, whatever the weather, as well as places to store luggage ( there's a shop with lockers by the bus station, and a hostel a short walk from the rail station which provides luggage storage for non-residents).

Oxford has two wedges of countryside that come pretty well into the heart of the historic city. There are lovely walks along the Thames away from the city, with reasonable paths. Look up the walk across Port Measow to Binsey for instance. (There's the river Cherwell from University Parks, too, but likely to be muddy and require walking boots).

The ancient streets and colleges are great for just wandering. There are guided walking tours and a HoHo bus. There are towers to climb, including a Saxon one that pre-dates the Norman Conquest of 1066! If the weather's Really Awful there are amazing museums (the Ashmolean and quirky Pitt Rivers, for starters).

Bus to Woodstock for a wander and lunch would be another option, as suggesteed; though outside the Cotswolds national park area, it's a very charming little town.

Your time-frame is too tight for a satisfying exploration of even a tiny part of the Cotswolds by public transport, but I don't think you need to be too disappointed. December, with short daylight hours, bare trees, dank fields and likely bleak weather isn't the best time to be considering this anyway. Choosing from the many options within and around Oxford would fit better for a great day en route to Birmingham.

Machynlleth, United...
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9. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Ignore duplicate post .... removed ...

Edited: 10 October 2018, 20:04
Atlanta, Georgia
12 posts
10. Re: Trip from Chiswick to Cotswolds to Birmingham

Thanks so much for the detailed reply! We are considering all of these options. We are also thinking about just making a Cotswolds trip on its own and maybe doing Oxford then Birmingham on concert day. Thanks again!

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