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Visit the Cotswolds by train

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The Cotswolds AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is an attractive rural area defined by its rolling hills (the 'wolds'). Many buildings are constructed from the local honey-coloured stone making the villages and small towns especially picturesque.

There are few railway stations inside the Cotswolds AONB but with several stations around the edge and bus services through the the area it is not difficult to explore the Cotswolds using public transport. Just be aware that some bus services are infrequent with only a few journeys each day, so plan carefully and check the current timetables using Traveline or the operator links provided.

See below for links to stations and a map as well as the many attractions in the Cotswolds.

Cotswolds Discoverer ticket

A Cotswolds Discoverer One Day Pass covers bus and train travel within the Cotswolds. Please check bus routes and times with Traveline to ensure you have up-to-date information.

Cotswolds Day Tour

If you are looking for an organised day trip to the Cotswolds this Cotswolds Tour will give you a taste of the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages and towns, including some free time for lunch and shopping. The tour conveniently departs from Moreton-in-Marsh station so it is easy to make your own way by train from London (Paddington), Oxford and Reading (also from Windsor & Eton Central by changing at Slough).

Cottages in the Cotswolds

www.cotswolds.info | www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Discounts and offers

15% off late bookings on National Trust Holiday Cottages.

15% off English Heritage annual and gift membership with discount code EH2018 (expires 30 June 2018).

5% off everything from Ordnance Survey with discount code GIMME5 (expires 31 Oct 2018).

Accommodation in the Cotswolds

To properly explore the Cotswolds by train and bus it is well worth staying in the area for a few days. Somewhere with a station and bus services clearly makes this easier and I recommend Moreton-in-Marsh for the northern Cotswolds as it is a transport hub for the area with trains from London (Paddington) and Oxford plus buses to picturesque towns and villages nearby.

Accommodation in Moreton-in-Marsh (with distance from station):

White Hart Royal Hotel (¼ mile) Redesdale Arms Hotel (¼ mile) Swan Inn (½ mile) Manor House Hotel (½ mile)

For somewhere quieter, but still with the convenience of a railway station, I recommend Charlbury, a peaceful and attractive small town which feels almost like a village. There are buses to the Oxfordshire Cotswolds including Blenheim Palace and Witney, and it is less than 20 minutes by train to Moreton-in-Marsh for buses to other places.

Accommodation in Charlbury (with distance from station):

Bell Hotel (½ mile) Bull Inn (½ mile)

Other places to consider for accommodation are Oxford and Cheltenham (both well worth visiting themselves). For the southern Cotswolds the best base with a station is Stroud but Cirencester (bus or taxi from Kemble) and Bath are worth considering too.

Holiday Cottages in the Cotswolds

Snaptrip list many self-catering holiday cottages in the Cotswolds:

Holiday Cottages in the Cotswolds

I recommend carefully researching the location of a holiday cottage before booking as many rural locations in the area have no bus or train services.

Walking in the Cotswolds

Walking is a good way to explore the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages of the Cotswolds. The Cotswold Way National Trail runs just over 100 miles from Bath to Chipping Campden, following the Cotswold escarpment for much of the way. There's a good network of public footpaths throughout the Cotswolds as well as some minor roads with little traffic so there are many opportunities for walks of various lengths and difficulty. To locate public footpaths I recommend the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer maps as these show great detail. One map covers the central Cotswolds: OS map Cotswolds.

You can also subscribe to view and print detailed maps covering all of England, Scotland and Wales - excellent value if you plan to explore several areas and there's a 7-day free trial period: OS Maps Online

A selection of circular walking routes are shown in the Cotswolds Pathfinder guide, and for easier routes there's the Cotswolds Short Walks guide. Both guides include some walks that are possible by public transport with route descriptions and detailed Ordnance Survey maps.

Stations in or near the Cotswolds

Ashchurch Bath Spa Cam & Dursley Charlbury Cheltenham Spa Chippenham Evesham Gloucester Hanborough Honeybourne Kemble Kingham Moreton-in-Marsh Oxford Oxford Parkway Stratford-u-Avon Stroud Swindon

The Cotswolds are spread over several counties, most of the area is in Gloucestershire with a smaller but significant part in Oxfordshire. The map below shows railway lines and stations in and near the Cotswolds:

Cotswolds map showing railway lines and stations

Houses, Castles & Gardens

in or near the Cotswolds

Anne Hathaway's Cottage Ashdown House & Woodland NT Avebury Manor & Garden NT Batsford Arboretum Blenheim Palace Bodleian Libraries Botanic Garden, Oxford Bourton House Garden Charlecote Park NT Cirencester Amphitheatre EH Cirencester Park Coughton Court NT Gloucester Blackfriars EH Gloucester Greyfriars EH Hall's Croft Harcourt Arboretum Hidcote NT Holst Birthplace Museum Kiftsgate Court Garden Lacock Abbey NT Lydiard House and Park Mill Dene Garden Minster Lovell Hall & Dovecote EH Oxford Castle Unlocked Oxford University Colleges Painswick Rococo Garden Sezincote House & Garden Tewkesbury Abbey Woodchester Mansion Woodchester Park NT

National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays

Museums & Galleries

in or near the Cotswolds

Alexander Keiller Museum EH/NT Almonry Heritage Centre Ashmolean Museum Bate Collection of Musical Instruments Broadway Museum Charlbury Museum Chippenham Museum Chipping Norton Museum Christ Church Picture Gallery Corinium Museum Cotswold Motoring Museum Court Barn Museum Fox Talbot Museum NT Gardens Gallery Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery Gloucester Folk Museum Gordon Russell Design Museum Gloucester Waterways Museum Holst Birthplace Museum MAD Museum (The) Modern Art Oxford Museum in the Park Museum of Computing Museum of History of Science Museum of Oxford Nature in Art New Brewery Arts Oxford Bus Museum Oxford Univ. Mus. of Natural History Oxfordshire Museum Pitt Rivers Museum Richard Jefferies Museum Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum STEAM, Museum of Great Western Rly Swindon Museum & Art Gallery Tailor of Gloucester Museum Tewkesbury Heritage Centre Tewkesbury Museum Tolsey Museum Wellington Aviation Museum The Wilson Museum & Art Gallery Witney & District Museum Yelde Hall

trivago UK
trivago UK
trivago UK

Nature Reserves & Zoos

in or near the Cotswolds

All Things Wild Nature Centre Bird & Deer Park Birdland Park & Gardens Butterfly Farm Coate Water Park Cogges Manor Farm Museum Cotswold Falconry Cotswold Water Park Greystones Farm Nature Reserve John Moore Countryside Centre Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Transport & Industry Attractions

in or near the Cotswolds

Charlecote Mill Combe Mill Cotswold Motoring Museum Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Rly Gloucester Waterways Museum Gordon Russell Design Museum Oxford Bus Museum STEAM, Museum of Great Western Rly Swindon & Cricklade Railway Wellington Aviation Museum

Raileasy
Raileasy
Raileasy

Other Attractions

in or near the Cotswolds

Avebury EH/NT Bourton-on-the-Water Broadway Broadway Tower Burford Chipping Campden Chipping Norton Cirencester Coate Water Park Cotswold Water Park Dragonfly Maze Gloucester Cathedral Heelis NT Central Office Honeybourne Pottery Studio Lacock village NT Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water Nympsfield Long Barrow EH Shakespeare attractions Silbury Hill EH Tewkesbury Upper & Lower Slaughter West Kennet Stone Avenue EH Windmill Hill EH Witney Woodstock