Travel & Maps
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 Cotswolds AONB website has a list of timetables and information on buses and trains. Click here to visit and start planning your journey.
Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds are at the heart of the British Rail network with main trains to the Cotswolds from London, the Midlands and the North and the South West of England.
Check train schedules to Cotswolds towns if you are coming for a visit or if you are planning to travel by train from London to the Cotswolds directly check out the schedules for these trains. In Gloucestershire & The Cotswolds there are main line railway stations at Cam and Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Kemble (serving Cirencester), Moreton-in-Marsh, Stonehouse and Stroud. Visitors including the county as part of a rail based holiday are recommended to plan accommodation within easy reach of these stations.
There are regular rail services through the county :
- Between London Paddington and Cheltenham via Swindon, Kemble, Stroud, Stonehouse and Gloucester
- Between London Paddington and Moreton in Marsh
- Between Gloucester and Cardiff
- Between Birmingham and Bristol via Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Dursley
The Stroud Special - Off Peak Train Ticket to Stroud
Stroud now has its own Off Peak Ticket available through First Great Western from London Paddington, Reading and Swindon stations. This is the first time a train company and a town have combined to promote a town. The aim of the service is to bring visitors, who might not otherwise have come to the area, right to the heart of the Five Valleys to see what there is to offer. Visitors must ask for a ‘Stroud Special ticket’ and will receive a free drink onboard and a leaflet listing discounts available from shops, cafes and a hotel in the town. Find out more at http://www.shopinstroud.com/news/index.html.
For detailed rail information and prices for rail travel please look at the following sites: National Rail
or The Train Line
The National Express network runs bus travel throughout England. It offers a rage of discount fares and trail 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. Click here for information on local buses in the Cotswolds.
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.
Another way to explore Gloucestershire is by car, there are many car rental companies to choose from to give you the freedom to explore at your own pace. For more information on car hire in Gloucestershire please visit Hertz and Avis websites, or the following:- www.budget-stansted.com or www.rhinocarhire.com who find the best deals from the leading suppliers.
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
Travelling via flight to Cotswolds couldn't be easier. The easiest airport for travelling to the Cotswolds is Birmingham, a 1 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.