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Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

Sydney, Australia
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Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

I'd like some advice if I may. We'll be in Oxford for 4 nights in early Oct 08 and will be arriving and leaving by train.

We are very interested in visiting the Cotswolds as well as a day trip to Stratford upon Avon.

The Cotswolds

I understand that buses run to the Cotwolds and looked up a site mentioned in a previous thread, but that bus company seemed to do "organised" tours and we'd prefer to amble along taking our time.

(a) Do public buses run regularly between Oxford and the Cotswolds, and,

(b) do buses run regularly between either the Cotwolds or Oxford to Blenheim Palace?

(c) I understand that lots of people walk between the villages in the Cotswolds - are these relatively easy walks ?

(d) are there "day rover" or "day ranger" tickets for travelling between these three places ?

Stratford upon Avon

We know that we can get a train from Oxford to Stratford upon Avon, however the train timetables I've seen show that a change is required and that all up it takes about 1 1/2 hours.

(a) is there an easier / faster alternative of getting to Stratford upon Avon from Oxford return?

(b) would hiring a car for the day be a better option?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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1. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

There is a bus to Blenheim from Oxford every half an hour on week days. I think it's number 20 (to Woodstock - this is the village where Blenheim is. it stops outside the palace gates though. The village is also a nice place for a pub lunch and a stroll). The bus stops at the central bus station and outside Borders in Oxford. I think the bus goes on to Chipping Norton as well - also a nice place to visit. blenheim wille asily take up a whole day. it has huge grounds which include a maze and a butterfly garden thing inside a glasshouse.

I don't think there is any faster way of getting to Stratford than the train. Driving might be faster, but I don't know what parking is like in Stratford (and it's non-existant in Oxford. You would probably need to use the park and ride).

In general, if you want to visit small villages in the countryside a car is a good option (but a nightmare in Oxford itself unless your accommodation provides parking). Public transport can be few and far between, not to mention unreliable, in rural areas. Walking in quite a popular activity in britain in general and if you wanted you might be able to join an organised walk. Or get a map and plan your own following public footpaths. The Cotswolds are hardly mountainous and an Olympic level of fitness is in no way required (though a rain jacket may be). In my opinion, one day of car hire would make your day easier and more enjoyable, but I wouldn't use a car to explore Oxford or Stratford.

A few years ago me and my dad saw an adder, the only poisonous snake in Britain, on a style near Culworth, Oxfordshire. Quite an rare thing to see but I see you are from Austrlaia, so this would probably make you feel at home!

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2. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

The change of trains required for journeys from Oxford to Stratford Upon Avon is usually at Banbury but occasionally at Leamington Spa. Both are small stations and change is easy - if I recall correctly it may well be on the same platform where you just await a following train.

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3. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

Thank you very much for your advice Akkarin and Hubbert's Peak - it’s really helpful to have some local help “on the ground” before we leave home.

Another question if I may – what about driving from Bath via the Cotswolds for the day and dropping the car off in Oxford – is that feasible do you think? I think we’d be looking to stop at the villages closer to Oxford but am happy to take on board your recommendations.

And one other thing Akkarin, let me tell you, no amount of snakes, crocs or creepy crawlies could make me feel at home – just sun, flies and gum trees !! On the other hand, I believe that both snakes and crocs make very nice shoes and handbags – but I still wouldn’t want them.

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4. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

Driving from Bath to Oxford - I don't see why not. I don't know anything about hire cars though. Obviously you will need to find a company that will let you pick up the car in Bath and drop it off in Oxford.

I've never seen any crocs in Oxfordshire, yet....

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

Will investigate the car hire and while we're in the Cotswolds, will keep an eye out for Crocs too.

Thanks again for your help

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6. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

One other thought it's possible to go to Stratford by bus - route goes through Woodstock and Chipping Norton. Not very frequent and a tad slow, but reasonably priced and a way to see the countryside. Details: www.mkdayout.btinternet.co.uk/route_50.htm

By the way we do have wallabies in Oxfordshire!

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7. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

Thanks pcw12kcox - I think I might have to do a bit of a combo between car hire, train and bus - all I need is a plane and I'll be set - that is, apart from seeing strange sites in Oxfordshire. Wallabies I can cope with - the furry kind, not the footy kind.

Thanks again

Eastbourne, United...
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8. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

There are crocs in Oxfordshire too. Also rhino and 'gators!

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

That's OK - I'll bring Rolf Harris' wobble board and maybe something of Dame Edna's, play them REALLY REALLY loud, and they'll probably run for their lives !!!

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10. Re: Public transport to Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon

I always change at Leamington to get to Stratford. If you are in a hurry or the train is delayed you can always get a cab from there to Stratford - its only a few miles and costs approx. £25. You'll cut half an hour off the journey time as its only 40 minutes to Leamington from Oxford.

Traffic in Stratford can be pretty disastrous if you decide to drive, but there is a reasonable size multi-storey carpark in the city centre. Driving would also make it a lot easier to get out to Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's house if you are planning to visit those as they are not in Stratford itself.