How to Get to Costwolds from London

Do you want to visit the beautiful Cotswolds region on your trip to the British capital? I'll tell you about the different ways to get there from London.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

8 min read

How to Get to Costwolds from London

Cotswolds | ©barnyz

Plans that include a visit to the areas near London are also one of the best proposals for your trip to the British capital if you have enough time. And the Cotswolds is an excellent destination.

Check out the different options for getting to the Cotswolds from London and choose the one that best suits you and your budget. Different means of transport, but the same destination, choose the one that best suits your interests.

Enjoy an organised excursion, the best option

Bus in the Cotswolds| ©Elliott Brown
Bus in the Cotswolds| ©Elliott Brown

The best way to ensure that a trip to a new destination is a real success is with the help of a guide who specialises in the history and geography of the place. And that's what you'll enjoy when you book a Cotswolds tour.

The tour is in an air-conditioned vehicle to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, and you'll be accompanied by a professional guide who will take you through the historic villages of Burford, Bibury and Bourton-on-the-Water.

  • Prices: from 123 euros per person
  • Duration: A tour like this usually lasts 10 hours on average.
  • Benefits: An excellent alternative for those interested in getting to know the Cotswolds quickly and in detail.

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Take a tour of the Cotswolds, with a stop at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace| ©jonathan
Blenheim Palace| ©jonathan

If you're looking for one of the best day trips from London and think a guided bus tour is the best way to visit the Cotswolds, consider one that includes a visit to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and a stop in Bampton, the village where the famous TV series Downton Abbey was filmed. Plus, of course, a tour of the Cotswolds' pretty stone villages.

  • Prices: Adults usually pay around 94 euros.
  • Duration: Typically around 10 hours.
  • Benefits: You'll get to see Downton Abbey Village, Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds in detail.

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Be dazzled by the Cotswolds and Oxford

And if you want to experience another of the UK's most stunning locations, you can book a Cotswolds and Oxford tour from London and join an expert guide to learn all the secrets and history of the prestigious Oxford University and admire the stone architecture of the beautiful towns of Burford and Bibury.

  • Prices: Adults typically pay around 101 euros.
  • Duration: Typically around 10 hours.
  • Benefits: You will get to see Oxford and the Cotswolds in detail.

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See the Cotswolds with an unguided tour

This type of transfer does not have a private guide as in the previous alternative, but is similar in that it departs from an accessible point in central London, usually from Victoria Station. From here the journey begins and will take you to various villages in the region, including Burford with its medieval aesthetic and Bibury with the historic church of St Mary's.

Other small communities such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-in-the-Wold can be part of the itinerary, but it all depends on the tour you choose. Some of these services include main meals such as breakfast and lunch, while others may offer a typical English snack and tea at some of the end points along the route.

  • Prices: Typically around 150 euros per adult.
  • Duration: 10.5 hours.
  • Advantages: With a tour like this you can get a more comprehensive look at the towns that make up the Cotswolds region, but bear in mind that the bus conditions are not as luxurious as the best London tour buses.

Book a Cotswolds tour

Get to the Cotswolds by train - a quick option

Train to the Cotswolds| ©Matt Buck
Train to the Cotswolds| ©Matt Buck

Excellent public transport is one of the UK's great strengths and, specifically, the train is the most convenient mode of transport. For this reason, taking a train from the city centre to visit some of the Cotswolds' most picturesque villages is the next option on this list.

There are a number of different routes you can take, but the most direct and convenient of all is the Great Western Railway. This route takes you from Paddington station, located in an area full of London's finest museums, and then drops you off at the small railway station of Moreton-in-Marsh.

The journey itself is quite a special experience, taking around an hour and a half and passing through a number of natural settings worthy of a film. If you intend to spend the night in the Cotswolds, you could also take advantage of a stopover in Oxford to experience this university town on your own terms.

  • Prices: Train ticket prices vary greatly depending on the time of year and the time of day you plan to travel, ranging from around 20 to 40 euros.
  • Advantages: Frequency of departures is every hour of the day from pre-dawn to 10.50pm. So it's entirely feasible for you to visit the Cotswolds and return the same day and then join some of the best things to do in London at night.

Book a Cotswolds tour

Get to the Cotswolds by private car, a flexible alternative

Cotswolds| ©gee_leonard
Cotswolds| ©gee_leonard

If you don't feel uncomfortable driving the English way, i.e. with the steering wheel in the right-hand seat and driving in the left-hand lane, then you can hire a car for a route along the national motorways that would also take you to Moreton-in-Marsh or the neighbouring community of Stow-on-the-Wold.

With a private car you'll have a much more intimate experience with your family and you'll also be able to travel through a larger number of towns in a single day. This is provided you know where to find your way around using digital geolocation tools.

The M4 and M5 motorways will take you to the major population centres of the Cotswolds. For this reason, I advise you to choose a car rental agency that is close to these roads, as leaving central London in traffic can delay all your sightseeing planning.

  • Prices: Prices for a daily car rental in London range from 19 to 45 euros.
  • Advantages: Having a car at your disposal can be a good escape from the heat on a sunny day. For this reason, this alternative means of transport to the Cotswolds is one of the best things to do in London in the summer if you're interested in getting out of the city in favourable conditions.

Book a Cotswolds tour

Experience the comforts of a trip to the Cotswolds in a luxury car

Burford High Street in the Cotswolds| ©bongo vongo
Burford High Street in the Cotswolds| ©bongo vongo

Exclusivity is fun and if you can afford it, you're likely to be interested in the benefits offered by private tours of the Cotswolds villages in a luxury car from your hotel in London.

Without beating about the bush, these are a tour where you hire a chauffeur to drive you from your hotel to the villages you're most looking forward to seeing. It's almost always a luxury vehicle, such as a Mercedes, as air-conditioned seats and a comfortable cabin are expected to be a minimum requirement of the experience.

It's a good plan to include in your list of things to do in London with children because in the privacy of a private car you won't have to limit their behaviour and they have Wi-Fi connectivity that allows them to be entertained while you enjoy the sights around you.

  • Price: it does not usually go below 600 or 700 euros.
  • Disadvantages: You must take into account that food consumption is usually completely forbidden and it is a plan that only 4 people can join.

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Get to the Cotswolds by bus - an economical option

Bus in the Cotswolds| ©Tony Monblat
Bus in the Cotswolds| ©Tony Monblat

The final alternative available to you is to take advantage of the UK's public bus system to reach other parts of the Cotswolds at low cost. These buses also depart from Victoria Coach Station and depending on the destination may be a much longer or shorter journey than other options.

For example, the route to Moreton-in-Marsh remains between an hour and a half, while the route to Gloucester or Cheltenham can take up to three and a half hours to drive.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that this alternative is the most complicated of all if you take into consideration the fact that it is almost a must to stay in Cotswolds accommodation if you wish to visit more than one village on the route.

  • Prices: F ares tend to be very similar to rail travel and are also adjusted according to the date you choose and the time you buy your ticket. You will end up paying between 40 and 60 euros for a round trip.
  • Advantages: These buses are also air-conditioned and generally just as comfortable as the other alternatives if you leave out the luxury bus of the first excursion.

Book a Cotswolds tour

Tips for visiting the Cotswolds

Cotswolds| ©Elliott Brown
Cotswolds| ©Elliott Brown

Here are some tips for your visit to the Cotswolds:

  • Assess your own needs: travelling alone or as a couple is not the same as being on a family trip with more than 10 people.
  • Stay: The Cotswolds is a fairly large geographical area that can offer you much cheaper entertainment than other countryside areas outside London. There are hundreds of small hotels that will allow you to extend your visit if you feel like it, interesting if your trip to London is long enough and if you have opted for one of the public transport alternatives.
  • Rainfall: As with the rest of the country, there is a relatively high rainfall rate, so it is advisable to bring waterproof coats, even if you are visiting on a summer's day.
  • Sunscreen is a must: The Cotswolds itinerary runs through rural and nature areas, always outdoors, and it is advisable on both sunnier and cloudy days that you need to protect yourself.

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How busy is the Cotswolds?

Cotswolds| ©gee_leonard
Cotswolds| ©gee_leonard

As you've read, once you've enjoyed all the things to see and do in London, the Cotswolds is a good suggestion for your trip. It's generally a well-visited part of the country, but at the same time it's so vast that it doesn't feel that way.

So chances are that no matter what time of year you visit, you'll never encounter a scenario where you're unable to enter a church or historic establishment because it's too crowded.

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Compare the different options

  • Tours
  • From £94 per person
  • Pros: An excellent choice for those who want to see the Cotswolds in detail.
  • Disadvantages: the most expensive option
  • Train
  • 20-40 depending on the time of day you travel
  • Advantages: Frequent departures and very convenient
  • Disadvantages: other means of transport are necessary to travel around the area.
  • Private car
  • 10 or 20 € depending on the time of year and time of day.
  • Advantages: You will enjoy a much more intimate experience and also have the possibility to visit a larger number of villages.
  • Disadvantages: Driving on the left side of the road can be a somewhat uncomfortable experience for the driver.
  • Luxury car
  • Hire between £600 and £700 includes a driver who is a specialist in Cotswolds history.
  • Advantages: Quite an exclusive and comfortable experience, where you'll learn more about the history of the Cotswolds.
  • Disadvantages: Only 4 people can join and no food is allowed.
  • Buses
  • 40 or 60 depending on time of year and time of day.
  • Advantages: The cheapest alternative and offer great comfort.
  • Disadvantages: You will only be able to visit one or two villages, unless you wish to spend a few nights in the area.