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Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

USA
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Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

We are a husband and wife in our 20's who will be traveling through the Cotswolds area in mid-May. We will only have 2 days, plus part of a third. We are trying to figure out which villages would be most picturesque to stroll around, and the most scenic route to take between these places. We will have a rental car, and love country views with animals, pretty towns with flowers and old stone buildings with thatched roofs. Especially if they include a pretty waterway or scenic overlook. One of us is very interested in history, famous people and their homes, and British Royalty, but don't want to focus entirely on this for the sake of the other. :) Here are our thoughts so far, and we would be very appreciative of any suggestions anyone can give for our route.

Friday: Spend the morning in Bath, then start driving North after lunch. Possible towns to stop at: Castle Combe (heard this was featured in War Horse?), Bibury (Arlington Row). Cirencester seems a bit big/busy for us. Unless this is a definite must-see, we'd prefer spending the majority of our short time in smaller towns. Overnight somewhere near Bourton-on-the-Water. (We will probably not pre-book this night's hotel. It'll drive me crazy not having everything planned, but hubby likes to not have such a rigid schedule.)

Saturday: Lower Slaughter (Water Mill/Wheel and St. Mary's Church), Stow-on-the-Wold (visit a couple antique shops), Broadway Tower (for the scenic views), Chipping Campden (Almshouses. The Market Hall), overnight in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Sunday: We would like to spend the morning in Stratford, and see a couple of the sites connected to Shakespeare. We have booked a 5:15pm flight departing Birmingham Airport, and we will also need to return our rental car. Would we have plenty of time to make our flight if we left Stratford around 1:00pm?

Thanks for your help!!

1. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

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Plymouth
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2. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

Hello! If you have time, I think Burford is worth a short visit -it is a large village with beautiful buildings although the road through it is often busy. Stratford to Bham airport is about 40 minutes, allow a bit more for traffic

USA
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3. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

Thanks Diz! I have added the St. James Wool Church to our itinerary. I will talk with my husband about the accommodation to see what we want to do about pre booking, thanks for the tip. Aer Lingus website says to allow 2.5 hours for shorthaul flights (we are flying to Shannon, Ireland), but I was considering allowing at least 3 hours because of us needing to go through customs, etc. I would rather be safe than sorry. So if we allow 1 hour to drive from Stratford to Bham to allow for any traffic as Sandy mentioned, 1 hour to return our rental?, and 3 hours check-in, that puts us leaving Stratford around 12:15pm. Is that too excessive?

Sandy, thanks for the suggestion! Burford looks beautiful! I love that it is on a hill and I've penciled it into our travels! I found this article when I was doing a google search for the town, http://tinyurl.com/ccwyrp , and found it interesting that Burford was listed as the 6th most idyllic place in Europe. (though I thought the UK isn't technically Europe, but anyway...) Thanks again for the suggestion!

What do you guys think about Stanton? It doesn't look to be much out of our way if we are going to be at Broadway Tower and Chipping Campden. I know it is very small, but is it worth a drive through?

Hampshire, England.
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4. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

"(though I thought the UK isn't technically Europe, but anyway...) Thanks again for the suggestion!"

The UK definitely is in Europe (much to some peoples chagrin).

…wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_state_of_the_Euro…

Edited: 07 April 2013, 09:03
USA
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5. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

Interesting! Thanks for that link. Why is it then that when people talk about it, they say, "Europe, and the UK."? I don't understand why they don't just call everything "Europe". Or, more likely, maybe this is just a misunderstanding within the United States.

England
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for Peak District National Park
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6. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

It may be because we have not adopted the Euro as our currency and because we have not signed up to the Schengen agreement, which (amongst other things) allows people to travel between european Countries without having to stop and show their passport.

However we are still part of the European Union

P-t-B

Hampshire, England.
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7. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

"Why is it then that when people talk about it, they say, "Europe, and the UK."?"

Assumption, probably why some American's also call Tower Bridge, London Bridge. :-)

Edited: 07 April 2013, 20:50
Twyning, United...
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8. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

You wont need a three hour check in for Aer Lingus, particularly if you are staying in Ireland (you are not getting a connecting flight?). England and Ireland are classified as "Domestic" flights rather than international. You will need your passport at the Ireland end, but UK passengers do not need passports to go to Ireland. As long as you are not directly connecting to a US flight, you could leave check in to 1 hour, say 1.5hrs to be safe. Birmingham airport is not massive, and security is not arduous. You can get through in 20 mins normally. Immigration is quick (we don't mind you leaving, it's coming in that is the problem!) It would be shame to miss an hour in the countryside to just spend it sitting in a departure lounge surrounded by McDonalds! Stratford to he airport is at most 40 minutes, it is motorway (freeway) all the way. For Royalty, try Tetbury, and the Snooty Fox pub in particular.

USA
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9. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

Jeztwyning- Yes, we will be staying in Ireland for several days before going home. It's good to know that we won't have to allow quite so much time at the airport! We do want to spend as much time as possible in the countryside vs the terminal. :) You mentioned:

<(we don't mind you leaving, it's coming in that is the problem!)>

Just how hard of a time will they give us coming in at Heathrow?? My hubby has heard that pretty much all we need will be a passport and maybe driver's license, but I've read that we should have a letter from his work stating that he works there, bank statements, copies of our hotel reservations (which I do have!). Just how much of this is really necessary?

Thanks for the suggestion of Tetbury and the pub! I will check them out.

TX
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10. Re: Suggestions for only 2 days in Cotswolds please?

If you visit Bibury, consider having afternoon tea at The Swan. Lovely place. We were initially seated in the bar, but moved to a delightfully decorated lounge and could not have enjoyed this little treat more.

cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/property/the_swan…