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Cotswold Village selection for 5 week stay

#1
I plan on spending 5 weeks in the Cotswolds next summer after a 3 week stay in Oxford. Id like to base myself in a cottage on the outskirts of a small village. I will not be renting a car so Id like to be close to a town with bus or train service and a library but not inside the village proper. I would like to be in the countryside ( quiet and detached but not completely isolated- I will be travelling alone and having family visit intermittently). I am becoming overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. I'm looking at a cottage now in Little Barrington, 3 miles from Burford. I am thinking of buying a bicycle on my way out of Oxford . Does anyone have any suggestions for a small quiet village with a grocer that I could base myself near for a quiet trip featuring walking in the Cotswolds?
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#2
Have you been to the Cotswolds before? Even the market towns like Burford, Chipping Campden, Broadway, Winchcombe are rural feeling. IMO you would do better in a market town. The villages are not as well served by buses and may not have shops. I would choose Burford instead of Little Barrington. From Burford you are out in the countryside in a couple of blocks, yet you have shops and restaurants close by.

I spent 6 years living in the Cotswolds and did many trips before that to the area. I lived in the south Cotswolds in Painswick, a small market town. I had a car and could not easily have lived there without one. If you want to be in a small village or rural you will need a car.

Basing yourself in a market town you can use buses, but be aware that bus service is not good in the Cotswolds. The train goes from Oxford to Moreton in Marsh, and that is it.

Check the bus routes to see how often they run. Some are only once or twice a day. Services have been seriously cut in the last few years.

I have a small website with some info on the Cotswolds - www.cotswolder.com.

Use street view on google maps to see what I mean about the rural aspect of the larger towns.

For walking, I think the best market town is Winchcombe. There are many trails from town.
 
#3
I was going to suggest somewhere on the edge of Moreton, because it has train service (main line to London, Oxford only about 40 mins away), which Burford doesn't, and has plenty of shops and services. I agree that if you don't intend to drive, basing yourself in a village for five weeks is very limiting. The bus service in the Cotswolds is pathetic.
 

Kathy

100+ Posts
#4
You might want to consider Chipping Campden. We spend a few weeks there most years (a month in 2016 and 2017), and it's a lovely village surrounded by countryside. I would be very happy there for three months, though we have a car and enjoy that flexibility. Although there are tourists, there are few bus tours passing through, and there's a vibrant community of year-round residents. The village includes a grocery store, a butcher shop, a wine store, library, pubs, tea shops, pretty much everything you need for daily life. We love our time there.

There is bus service, though limited in where you could go.... still, if you got to know the schedule, you could manage around it. There's also a community bus called the Hedgehog, and you might splurge on a pre-booked taxi occasionally. I think biking might be a bit difficult on the narrow country lanes, but people do it. The walking in the area is excellent, with footpaths heading off in various directions. It's the beginning (or the end) of the Cotswold Way. You'd be close to the lovely gardens at Hidcote and Kiftsgate.

Lots of cottage rentals in the village... I'm not so sure about cottages in the countryside, though there are much smaller villages (Broad Campden, Ebrington, Paxford) within a few miles. The Leysbourne area of Chipping Campden (at the end of the High Street) is residential and might be worth considering. We rent a cottage on one of the lanes that parallel the High Street.

Good luck! Keep us posted on what you decide.
 
#5
I agree with Kathy, and recommend Chipping Camden for anyone without a car. We are now afraid to drive on the left, but have stayed in CC for weeks and never missed having a car. The few times we felt the need, we hired a taxi.
 
#6
We also stayed in Chipping Campden without a car, though only for a week, and were fine. We took the train to Moreton-in-Marsh and then the bus to CC. We hired a car service for a couple of things (Hidcote and Winchcombe) and otherwise used the bus. They were definitely tricky to figure out and not very flexible, but we managed to see Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Stow-in-the-Wold, Bournton-on-the-Water and the Slaughters via a combination of hiking and bus. That was back in 2012 so schedules may have changed, of course. Good luck!
 
#7
We would recommend Chipping Campden of course and much has already been said but we do see a lot of guests staying in our cottages without having their own transport. The bus service isn't fantastic I agree but we do find guests see this as part of their travel experience and quite like the planning and the waiting around!

Buses run between Chipping Campden, Moreton In Marsh, Stratford Upon Avon, Broadway, Cheltenham, Pershore and Evesham.

Cheltenham buses run via Moreton In Marsh or Broadway.

Stratford / Moreton buses run via Broadway or blockley

There is a bus which runs close (ish) to Hidcote manor Gardens however this does also require a walk across a field / footpath or two!

bustimes.org will tell you all routes / options, including the local Hedgehog service previously mentioned.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire steam railway now runs from Broadway following a few years of raising money and extending the track which previously started at Toddington. There are return shuttle buses into Cheltenham town centre from the racecourse where the line ends.

Trains from Moreton In Marsh run to London Paddington in one direction (taking in Oxford & Reading) and Worcester / Hereford the other (also stops at Evesham / Pershore). Not all trains run to Hereford.

gwr.com will tell you routes / options.

Good luck!
 

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