Getting To & Around The Cotswolds
It is perfectly possible to visit the Cotswolds from London just for the day, but we recommend that you plan to stay at least one night in the Cotswolds for two reasons. Firstly, you will need time to enjoy the area and, secondly, early morning and evening are the most romantic times in the Cotswolds, often with glorious sunsets and beautiful early morning birdsong.
In popular villages, you will also avoid the crowds and have more chance to meet local people.
The area is an excellent base for touring, ringed by Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.
Public Transport Information
Getting around the Cotswolds by Public Transport is easy. The Explore the Cotswolds by Public Transport Guide produced by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, and online timetables, are an invaluable information resource for travelling around the Cotswolds by bus and train. Alternatively, pick up a guide at one of the many visitor information centres in the and around the Cotswolds.
Why not take advantage of the Cotswolds Discoverer Scheme? This one-day or three-day travel ticket will help you save money while you enjoy the best that the Cotswolds has to offer.
Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds are at the heart of the British Rail network with main line trains to the Cotswolds from London, the Midlands and the North and the South West of England. There are main line railway stations at Cam and Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble (serving Cirencester), Moreton-in-Marsh, Stonehouse, Stroud and Ashchurch (for Tewkesbury).
There are regular rail services through the area:
- Between London Paddington and Cheltenham via Swindon, Kemble, Stroud, Stonehouse and Gloucester
- Between London Paddington and Moreton in Marsh
- Between Cardiff and Cheltenham via Gloucester
- Between Birmingham and Bristol via Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Dursley
For detailed rail information and prices for rail travel please look at the following sites: National Rail, First Great Western or The Train Line
The National Express network runs bus travel throughout England. It offers a range of discount fares and travel passes. The main route to Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds from London starts at Victoria Coach Station.
The main bus stations in Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds are at Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud. The Cotswolds is easy to get around by bus with many local bus services linking main towns throughout the area, including the RailBus services linking to the Cotswolds & Malvern’s Line trains.
For further information:
Download the Explore the Cotswolds by Public Transport Guide
or visit www.traveline.info or Gloucestershire County Council - transport and travel pages
The Cotswolds is served by excellent links to the M4, M5 and M40, providing easy access to and from London, Birmingham and the national motorway network.
Gloucester and Cheltenham lie at the heart of the county, linked by the A40 and either side of the M5. There are good connections to the south west via the M5, to the north via the M5/M6 and M42 , Wales using the A40 and the M4 and to London and the south-east using the A40 and the M4. The Fosse Way runs through the county north to south taking travellers from Cirencester to Stow on the Wold and Moreton in Marsh.
Typical journey times from Gloucester by car & train would be:
Bristol - 45 minutes to 1 hour
London - 2 hours to 2.5 hours
Cardiff - 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
Birmingham - 55 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes
Manchester - 2 hours 40 minutes to 3 hours
Coach trips to the Cotswolds are hugely popular due to the easy access that the M4 and M40 provide to Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds from London and the South East. Cotswolds bus tours also take advantage of the easy access and for car tours Cotswolds provides the M5 which is a direct link to Birmingham, England's North Country and the Counties of Devon and Cornwall.
Travelling via flight to Cotswolds couldn't be easier. The easiest airports for travelling to the Cotswolds are Birmingham and Bristol, approximately 1 to 1.5 hour drive away. Of the two London airports, the region is best accessed from Heathrow. The 65 mile drive should not take more than 90 minutes. Gatwick airport is 2 hours’ drive away. Gloucestershire Airport is just 10 minutes from the centre of the beautiful Regency town of Cheltenham Spa and the Roman city of Gloucester. You can fly from Belfast, the Isle of Man and Jersey, and the airport is also used for chartered flights.
London Heathrow, Birmingham International and Bristol Airport's are also within close proximity - enabling international visitors easy access to the area.