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Getting to the Cotswolds from London

London journey times map.
With careful planning, most of the Cotswolds are accessible by public transport - bus or rail. If you intend to explore the Cotswolds using public transport we recommend that you gather and plan the necessary information travel times and destinations in advance.

This section describes ways of getting to the Cotswolds from London.

Our Cotswolds by Public Transport section has more ideas for those coming to the area for more than a day visit.

It is perfectly possible to visit the Cotswolds from London just for the day, but we recommend that you plan to stay at least one night in the Cotswolds for two reasons. Firstly, you will need time to enjoy the area and, secondly, early morning and evening are the most romantic times in the Cotswolds, often with glorious sunsets and beautiful early morning birdsong. In popular villages, you will also avoid the crowds and have more chance to meet local people. Our hotels and B&Bs are great value compared to London.
The area is an excellent base for touring, ringed by Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
By Air: London Heathrow is the UK's largest international airport, but the Cotswolds can also be reached easily from regional airports at Birmingham and Bristol.

If travelling from Heathrow to the Cotswolds by train they will travel via London Paddington in central London. National express coaches do operate connections from Heathrow to various places in the Cotswolds.

By Car: Car Hire is available from Bath, Cheltenham, and Oxford, or London.
The cost is about £60 per day, and you will need to present an International Driving Licence to the car hire company.
To drive from London to the Cotswolds will take about 2 hours, using well sign-posted major roads: the M4 motorway provides easy access to Bath, Castle Combe and the South Cotswolds, the M40 motorway to Oxford and Stratford and the North Cotswolds.
See also our section
Driving in the Cotswolds

By Train: Our map shows the location of rail stations that serve the Cotswolds.
All services from London depart from Paddington Station which has it’s own London Underground station.

To travel to the Cotswolds from London by train takes about 1 1/2 hour and trains run every hour, 7days a week. The cost is about £20(this price is based on booking a week in advance).
There is a direct link from Heathrow Airport. Trains from London depart from Paddington Station.

Although services do not cover the whole of the Cotswolds it is possible to travel to and from Bath, Cheltenham, Stratford, Chippenham, Gloucester, Kemble, Moreton-in-Marsh, Kingham and Oxford.

Visitors exploring the Cotswolds by rail are recommended to plan accommodation within easy reach of these stations.

For timetable and fare information visit the following web sites

Coach Travel to the Cotswolds The National Express network  runs coach travel throughout England.
It offers a range of discount fares and trail passes. The main route to the Cotswolds from London starts at Victoria Coach Station, takes about 3 - 4 hours and costs about £17. Coaches run regularly from London to the Cotswolds, although there is no service on Sundays.

The main coach stops in and around the Cotswolds are at Bath, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham, Chippenham, Gloucester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Northleach, Oxford, Stow-on-the-Wold, Stratford-upon-Avon, Stroud.

Further information is available from local
Tourist Information Centres - they will be able to help you with printed timetables and advice.

Taxi Hire in the Cotswolds If you are travelling to the Cotswolds by train or coach you may need to use a taxi to get from the station to your accommodation and places of interest. There are local taxi companies in the Cotswolds and your accommodation will be able to help you with contact details. Unless you are catching a taxi from a train station or a large town, you will need to book one in advance. Some taxi companies are able to take you longer distances, such as from London Heathrow to the Cotswolds, although this may seem expensive compared with travelling by train or coach.

Rail Station Best for Taxi Company
Bath Bath Bath Taxis
Tel: 01225 484488
Burford & Charlbury Witney, Charlbury Station and Stow-on-the-Wold Witney Shuttle (minibus hire)
Tel: +44 (0) 1993 705993 or
Freephone 08000 43 46 33
Cheltenham Cheltenham Starline Taxis
01242 250250,
Chippenham Castle Combe, Lacock Easys Taxis
Tel: 01249 655471
Gloucester Gloucester Central Taxis
Tel: 01452 382020
Hanborough Woodstock Angela's Taxis
Tel: 01993 771092
Kemble Bibury, Cirencester, Tetbury A2B Taxis
based in Cirencester.
Tel: 01285 655651
Kingham Woodstock, Chipping Norton PH Taxi
based in Chipping Norton.
Tel: 01608 643808
Stroud Painswick AA Taxis
based at the station in Stroud.
Tel: 01453 767777
Moreton-in-Marsh Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water,
Upper Slaughter
E & S Cars
based in Lower Slaughter.
Tel: + 44 (0) 1451 820215
All rail services depart from London Paddington.
There are other Taxi companies: those listed are usually the largest.

Here are some sample itineraries to show typical day visits from London.
Rail and bus times are correct at the time of writing – please check before starting on your journey!

There are plenty of other options with rail services from London to Bath, Kingham, Kemble, Stroud, Cheltenham and Gloucester.