June 30, 2023

Destination: Cotswolds


In this article

How to Get from London to the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, with its charming villages and beautiful countryside, is a popular destination for visitors to the UK.

If you’re staying in London or flying into one of London’s airports and looking to explore this picturesque area, there are several options available to you.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different ways to get from London to the Cotswolds, including by train, taxi, and more.

Where are the Cotswolds?

The Cotswolds stretches across six counties, including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Somerset.

The Cotswolds are within easy reach are the historic cities of Bath, Oxford and Birmingham, as well as Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon to the north, Blenheim Palace to the east and Stonehenge to the south.

Basing yourself in the heart of the Cotswolds will allow you to fan out on all sides to visit some of England’s most iconic hotspots and places of interest.

So, the great news is that getting to and around the Cotswolds is both easy and environmentally friendly. With that in mind, let’s drill into the detail, and look at how you make your way there in style and comfort.

There are some major roads in the Cotswolds, but most - even in towns are small and often quiet. Image: Ben Arthur

Flying into London Heathrow

If you land at Heathrow Airport early in the morning, you’re most likely to head straight to London for a couple of days. This will allow you to recover from the jetlag. We offer guided walking and cycling tours in London, if you’d like us to show you around our capital city.

To get to London, use the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and, from there, get a taxi, take the London Underground or walk to your accommodation of choice.

Cotswolds from London by train

By far the quickest way to get to the Cotswolds is by railway, and British trains are generally pretty comfortable.

Trains leave Paddington Station roughly every half hour, and you have several options available to you.

1. London to Oxford (to Moreton-in-Marsh)

Trains from London Paddington to Oxford take just one hour. You might decide to stop in Oxford and take a look around this beautiful University city and perhaps even try a bit of punting along the River Cherwell.

Alternatively, you can stay on the train and go onwards towards Moreton-in-Marsh in the heart of the Cotswolds.

2. Paddington to Swindon to Kemble

In just over an hour you’ll be in Kemble, right in the heart of the Cotswolds and near the source of the River Thames.

3. Paddington to Bath

It’s around 75 minutes direct to Bath, sitting on the southwestern corner of the Cotswolds. Public transport around the Cotswolds from Bath is relatively easy, either by train or bus.

For more information on train times, check out: National Rail, Great Western Railway or The Train Line.

Cotswolds by Taxi

To get to the Cotswolds, you can book a taxi or private car either directly from Heathrow Airport, or from London if you’ve chosen to stop here first.

It’s more tricky to gauge journey times via taxi, because the main arteries from London, the A40 and M40, tend to get very busy during the week and particularly at rush hour.

  • To Oxford: around 1 hour
  • To Bath: around 2 hours

To the centre of the Cotswolds (Tetbury or Stow-on-the-Wold): around 90 minutes.

In summary

If you’re flying into England from North America, then the Cotswolds are a brilliant way of seeing a snapshot of the country easily and quickly. The Cotswolds with its history, heritage and stunningly beautiful countryside, are within easy reach of the capital, making it a go-to choice for any visitor from abroad.

Not only that, but the Cotswolds itself is a good place to base yourself while you pan out to visit other areas slightly beyond the Cotswolds boundaries: Bath and Bristol, Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Blenheim and even across to Wales.

And there are no two ways about it, as soon as you set foot in the Cotswolds, it’ll have your heart.

For guided tours in the Cotswolds, we offer you a range of walking and cycling options.

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