The Cotswolds are the beautiful heartland of England. But how do you explore this picture-perfect region?
The Cotswolds are easily accessed via a number of transport options. There are regular trains from Paddington Station in London to Moreton-in-Marsh, which is in the heart of the Cotswolds. This journey by train takes 1 hour and 39 minutes, and it covers a distance of 73 miles. First-class and standard carriages are available on the route. Another train option from London is to take the direct service to Kemble Station, which is located just south of Cirencester (the quickest route is 1 hour and 16 minutes). Both lines are operated by First Great Western. From here many local bus services are available to the neighbouring Cotswold villages. There is also a Cross Country Trains service from Plymouth to Edinburgh which calls at Cheltenham Spa, which is another central location in the Cotswolds. Similarly, the Cross Country route from Nottingham to Cardiff also makes a stop at Cheltenham Spa.
If you’re travelling by car the Cotswolds are also well connected. The M40 provides access to the heart of the region, and the M5 is found to the west — connecting the Cotswolds with the southwest of England and the West Midlands. The M4 motorway provides swift access to Cirencester and Bath Spa.
The nearest airport to the Cotswolds is Bristol Airport, which is 45 minutes away by car or taxi. The closest international airport is Birmingham International, which receives flights from across the world. Birmingham International Airport is only 50 minutes by car from the stunning Cotswold village of Broadway.
For those flying into London airports, the region is best accessed from Heathrow Airport. This 65-mile drive will take around 90 minutes to complete. The journey from Gatwick airport is approximately 2 hours.
Getting Around The Cotswolds
Driving a car is the most convenient means of transport in the Cotswolds. Many visitors choose to hire a classic car, which gives every journey a magical feel. Many licensed taxis and private hire vehicles also operate in the Cotswolds. Friendly drivers will be happy to take on the burden of driving if you so wish.
If you enjoy taking local buses, you should note that the main regional bus stations in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds are found at Cheltenham, Gloucester, and Stroud. From these transport hubs, you can take buses to many towns and villages throughout the Cotswolds. The region is easy to get around, with many local services linking the stunning towns and villages you’re hoping to explore.
Of course, the most fun way to explore the Cotswolds is on foot. To experience the region’s unspoiled beauty, incredible landscapes, and world-class views, you can walk The Cotswold Way. This 102-mile-long walking route is an incredible way to enjoy the spectacular scenery and thriving market towns that the Cotswolds have to offer. The route runs between the city of Bath Spa in the south and the town of Chipping Campden in the north of the Cotswolds.