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Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Charleston, West...
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Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

I'm debating on my mode of transportation from London to Oxford. There will be 4 adults going to Oxford on a Sunday in June. We plan to leave mid-morning 10:00 on Sunday and spend the day in Oxford. From Oxford we would like to visit the Cotswold Villages--several towns to the north, northwest of Oxford on Monday. We plan to leave the area early afternoon--13:00-14:00 on Monday and drive back to London Heathrow Monday night as our flight departs Tuesday. Am I crazy to even consider this?

London
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11. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Including Bath (if you mean to visit) is a bit ambitious time wise but the rest should be OK if a bit fleeting (and missing some of the better bits of the Cotswolds).

Your call re car rental - you'll have to cost out the options of (one way) hires vs to and from Heathrow since that is where you are ultimately dropping off, and train or bus to Oxford and one way hire from there.

Charleston, West...
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12. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

What towns would u suggest for the Cotswold? Also--if you had to chose between Bath/Stonhenge vs. Cotswold which would you pick? I think I'm trying to squeeze a 2 day trip into 1day. I see the Cotswold tours refer to north trips and south trips. Maybe a Monday trip to the northern towns and then back to LHR.

Bucks, UK
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13. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Burford is a Cotswolds village with an interesting history and the usual array of honey-coloured houses, tea rooms, interesting historic church and nice pubs, so, in your shoes, I would head straight for Bath, and to do Stonehenge on the way back - the visitor attraction is open till 7pm and you can see the stones from the road so, even if you arrive after then, it will still be light until 10pm and you can still see the stones. If you arrive at the summer solstice (20-21 June) you may even see assorted "Druids" and other fruitloops gathering to greet the dawn.

Personally, I prefer Avebury and Silbury Hill, which are also on your way back from Bath to London.

Richmond, VA
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14. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Google "the Cotswolds" and explore, see what appeals to you.

Here's just one sight of many:

www.the-cotswolds.org/top/english/intro.php

I've driven through the Cotswolds several times, and as in most cases in England, it's busier traffic-wise than I would have thought.

All these UK drivers zipping through some of the most historic and gorgeous countryside in the world! Slow down and look around!

But they never listen to me!

The Cotswolds area is nice but dare I say it? A tad over-hyped in my view. It's lovely but other areas can be just as nice/nicer. But if this is where you'd like to go, then by all means go.

I too like the Wiltshire country below the M4 along the A4, the old Bath Road. Avebury stone circle and village a particular favourite, and the handsome market town of Marleborough.

These might await you for another time though.

Edited: 12 June 2013, 15:55
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15. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

I would either pick several Cotswold villages, or just go straight to Bath. As you say, you are trying to squeeze 2 into 1 and trying to combine both would give you not enough time at either.

I'd say forget Stonehenge except as a drive by, if you spend the day doing this with an evening drop off at Heathrow, it will be closed by the time you get there but you'll be able to look at it from fairly close up anyway.

If you time it to get to Stonehenge for it being open, you'll miss more interesting sights in the Cotswolds and/ or Bath plus have a long evening to waste near Heathrow.

Oxford, United...
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16. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

You'll see all you need to see of Stonehenge as a drive-by, no need to factor in stopping time. Once upon a time we could walk amongst the stones but it's all fenced off now so no point paying to go not very close.

Bath and Cotswolds is ambitious. Try Bourton on the Water - we were there last Saturday and had a lovely cream tea at the Dial House Hotel. We find the best thing is to head in a general direction but take roads as they take our fancy and see what we come across on the way. There are some lovely surprise views to be found. The Cotswolds is not an area to rush and it is quite a large area. (Maybe not large in American terms however!)

If you're driving into Oxford on a Sunday, be aware that there is a lane closed on the A40 just after leaving the M40 for roadworks until mid August. If there is a lot of traffic heading for Oxford there will be delays. When I head back to Oxford from the M40 I leave at the Thame junction and go cross country through Stadhampton then onto the A4074 to pick up the ring road then come in Abingdon Road. It's a bit further but potentially much quicker, and the countryside is lovely.

Upper Coomera...
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17. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Is it difficult driving out of London St Pancras station to Burford? What's the best route?

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18. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Is it difficult driving out of London St Pancras station to Burford? What's the best route?

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I don't know what you mean by difficult. There may be a lot of traffic around but whether that makes it difficult, probably not, but could make it slow. The best route is the one your sat nav (yours or rented) advises.

Also next time start a new topic please, you'd have done better to post a new question rather than add on to what is essentially an irrelevant post to yours (and an old one) other than burford is mentioned in it. Avoids people reading through all those irrelevant and one year old previous posts before you ask your different question.

Upper Coomera...
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19. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

Oops, sorry. I haven't done this before.

London
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20. Re: Driving to Oxford from London--good idea?

If money is an issue, I can advise you on where to park in Oxford free of charge on the weekend, a short walk from the centre. On Saturday after 1pm and all day Sunday there's free street parking about 15 minute's walk away.