a station-by-station guide for UK tourist attractions

Cheltenham Spa

National Rail | station code CNM

Gloucestershire near Cotswolds

The spa town of Cheltenham was developed as a pleasure and health resort for wealthy visitors in the Regency period and many of the fine buildings remain. The Promenade in the town centre has an avenue of trees and colourful bedding plants. Cheltenham Spa Rail station is 1 mile from the town centre and Royal Well Bus Station. The 'Honeybourne Line' is a signposted traffic-free route to the town centre along the old railway line to Honeybourne, look for the sign on the right as you leave the station building.

TI The Wilson. Tel. 01242 237431. | |

Buses to town centre: Bus D from Rail Station forecourt, 10 minutes journey, M-S every 10 minutes, Sun & BH every 30 minutes. Operated by Stagecoach.
Cheltenham attractions map

The Wilson 1 mile

Cheltenham's art gallery and museum with fine art, archaeology and local history, including an Arts and Crafts Movement collection. Exhibitions and events programme. Admission free. Tel. 01242 237431.
Open Daily 0930-1715.

The Gardens Gallery 1 mile

A community art gallery for local artists to exhibit their work. Admission free. Tel. 01242 575779.
Open Mar-Dec, Daily 1000-1700.

Holst Birthplace Museum 1½ miles

The Regency terraced house where Gustav Holst, composer of The Planets was born in 1874. As well as telling the story of the man and his music, the house also shows how people lived in the past with a Victorian kitchen, Regency drawing room and Edwardian nursery. Personal belongings on display include Holst's piano. Tel. 01242 524846.
Open Mar-Nov, TWThFS & BH 1000-1600 (1700 Jun-Sep). Also Jun-Sep, Sun 1330-1700.

Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway by bus then ½ mile

A 16 mile standard gauge steam and diesel railway from Cheltenham Race Course to Broadway (see below). Heritage Trail at Toddington. Events programme. Tearooms at Winchcombe and Toddington stations. Tel. 01242 621405.
Open please see website for operating days and train times.
Bus Bus D from Cheltenham Spa Rail Station forecourt and town centre to Racecourse Park & Ride, then follow ½ mile signposted route along Racecourse internal roads to Cheltenham Racecourse station. 20 minutes journey from Rail Station (6 minutes from town centre), M-S every 10 minutes, Sun & BH every 30 minutes. Operated by Stagecoach.

The Bird & Deer Park by bus

Set in the wooded valley of the 18th century landscaped Prinknash Park. Peacocks, waterfowl, pheasants and aviaries with exotic birds. Fallow deer and reindeer. Refreshments at the Visitor Centre. Tel. 01452 812727.
Open Daily 1000-1700 (1630 Nov-Feb).
Bus 66 from Promenade (1 mile from Rail Station) to Prinknash Park entrance on the right a few minutes after Brockworth (watch for sign). 25 minutes journey, M-S hourly, Sun & BH 2-hourly. Operated by Stagecoach. Buses also operate from Stroud.

Warwick Castle Breaks
Warwick Castle Breaks
Warwick Castle Breaks

Painswick Rococo Garden by bus then ½ mile

Planted as a flamboyant pleasure garden in the 1740s this is the only surviving garden in the English Rococo style, with long vistas, geometric patterns and architectural features. Restaurant. Tel. 01242 813204.
Open Feb-Oct, Daily 1100-1700.
Bus 66 from Promenade (1 mile from Rail Station) to Painswick (first stop in Painswick or Church) then ½ mile walk. 26 minutes journey, M-S hourly, Sun & BH 2-hourly. Operated by Stagecoach. Buses also operate from Stroud.

The Cotswold Way National Trail passes through Painswick.

Painswick map

Broadway by bus

A large Cotswolds village with a wide street lined with a picturesque mixture of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian buildings. It is known as the 'Jewel of the Cotswolds'. The Cotswold Way National Trail passes through Broadway.
Bus 606 (606S Sun & BH) from Royal Well Bus Station (1 mile from station) to Broadway High Street, about 55 minutes journey. Daily, infrequent, operated by Marchant's Coaches. Buses also operate from Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway operates to Broadway, see above.

Broadway map

Ashmolean Museum by bus

A branch of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, this museum has exhibits with connections to the local landscape and Broadway's history, including paintings, tapestries and ceramics. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01386 859047.
Open TWThFSSu & BH 1000-1700 (1500 Nov-Jan).
Bus see Broadway above.

Broadway Tower by bus then 1½ miles

Broadway Tower is a Capability Brown folly on an ancient beacon site. There are exhibitions on three floors and dramatic views from the roof, on a clear day you can see 16 counties. Restaurant. Tel. 01386 853390.
Open Daily 1000-1700.
Bus see Broadway above then 1½ miles uphill walk along the Cotswold Way.

Gordon Russell Design Museum by bus

The Museum celebrates the life and work of the designer Gordon Russell and his Company. The museum is housed in the original workshop and its furniture collection covers a range of styles including Arts and Crafts, Modernism and Utility. Tel. 01386 854695.
Open Feb-Dec, TWThFSSu 1100-1700 (1600 Nov/Dec/Feb)).
Bus see Broadway above.

Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway

See above.

Ordnance Survey Maps
Ordnance Survey Maps
Ordnance Survey Maps

Chipping Campden by bus

A small market town in the northern Cotswolds with an elegant High Street of historic buildings including the Market Hall built of the local honey-coloured stone in 1627. The Cotswold Way National Trail starts at Chipping Campden and passes Dover's Hill where there are good views over the Vale of Evesham, the viewpoint is 1¼ miles from the bus stops. Note that Campden is pronounced 'Camden'.
Bus 606 (606S Sun & BH) from Royal Well Bus Station (1 mile from station) to Chipping Campden High Street, 60-75 minutes journey. Daily, infrequent, operated by Marchant's Coaches. Buses also operate from Moreton-in-Marsh and Stratford-upon-Avon.

TI Tel. 01386 841206.

Court Barn Museum by bus

The story of the Arts and Crafts movement illustrated with many examples of the work of artists, designers and craftspeople of the northern Cotswolds. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01386 841951.
Open TWThFSSu & BH 1000-1700 (1600 Oct-Mar).
Bus to Chipping Campden.

Chipping Campden map
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays

Cirencester by bus

A busy market town known as 'The Capital of the Cotswolds', Cirencester was the important Roman city of Corinium. The Abbey Grounds include a section of Roman wall and the site of the demolished 12th century Abbey is outlined with paving stones.
Bus 51 from Promenade (1 mile from station) to Cirencester, 40 minutes journey. M-S hourly, Sun & BH 2-hourly. Buses return from The Forum. Operated by Stagecoach. Buses also operate from Kemble and Swindon.

TI Corinium Museum. Tel. 01285 654180. | |

Cirencester map

Corinium Museum by bus

The Corinium Museum has one of the finest and most extensive Roman collections in the country. Many exhibits are from Corinium (now Cirencester) which was Roman Britain's second largest city. Mosaics, coins, buried treasure, metalwork and other archaeological finds from the Cotswolds. The museum also covers Victorian Cirencester. Café. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01285 655611.
Open M-S 1000-1600, Sun 1400-1600, closes 1700 Apr-Oct.
Bus see Cirencester above.

New Brewery Arts by bus

A converted Victorian brewery housing a contemporary art gallery and craft shops with demonstrations. Café. Exhibitions programme. Tel. 01285 657181.
Open M-S 0900-1700.
Bus see Cirencester above.

Cirencester Park by bus

Home to the Bathurst family, the extensive Park is open to the public free of charge. There are several follies in the Park. Tel. 01865 511444.
Open Daily 0800-1700.
Bus see Cirencester above.

Cirencester Amphitheatre EH by bus then ½ mile

The massive earthwork remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain. Admission free.
Open Daily dawn-dusk.
Bus see Cirencester above, the Amphitheatre is ½ mile from the town centre.

Family and Friends Rail Card
Family and Friends Rail Card

Bourton-on-the-Water by bus

One of the most picturesque Cotswolds villages, Bourton-on-the-Water has several bridges over the River Windrush and is known as the 'Little Venice' of the Cotswolds.
Bus 801 from Royal Well Bus Station (1 mile from Rail Station) to Bourton-on-the-Water High Street. 55 minutes journey, M-S about every 1½ hours. Also summer Sun & BH, infrequent. Operated by Pulhams Coaches. Buses also operate from Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh.

TI Tel. 01451 820211.

Bourton-on-the-Water map

Cotswold Motoring Museum and Toy Collection by bus

Vintage cars and a large toy collection. Motorsports exhibition. Blacksmith's workshop. Tel. 01451 821255.
Open Mar-Nov, Daily 1000-1800.
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Model Village by bus

A small replica of the beautiful village of Bourton-on-the-Water built in local Cotswold stone. Tel. 01451 820467.
Open Daily 1000-1800 (1600 Nov-Mar).
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Birdland Park and Gardens by bus

A wide variety of birds including penguins, parrots, flamingos, owls and emus. Dinosaur trail. Play area. Café. Tel. 01451 820480.
Open Daily from 1000, see website for closing times.
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Dragonfly Maze by bus

A yew maze with a pavilion at its centre. As well as navigating the maze there are clues to solve to reveal a secret. Tel. 01451 822251.
Open please see website.
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Greystones Farm Nature Reserve by bus then ½ mile

This cattle farm on the outskirts of the busy village is a tranquil nature reserve with wildflower meadows and an archaeology walk. Tel. 01452 383333.
Open Any reasonable time.
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Upper & Lower Slaughter by bus then walk up to 2 miles

The attractive villages of Lower Slaughter (1¼ miles) and Upper Slaughter (2 miles) are a pleasant walk from Bourton-on-the-Water. Follow the path from Bourton-on-the-Water Church, passing schools, then left onto Station Road to the A429 junction. Cross at the traffic lights and walk a few yards to the right then left onto a surfaced path (the 'Warden's Way') to Lower Slaughter. The photograph shows cottages beside the River Eye in Lower Slaughter. Ordnance Survey Explorer map The Cotswolds covers the area in great detail - ideal for planning your own walking route.
Bus see Bourton-on-the-Water above.

Cottages in the Cotswolds