Many visitors wonder if it’s possible to get around the Cotswolds without a car
“Yes”! It is possible to get around the Cotswolds without a car. But, it’s not straightforward, and you’ll need to do some careful planning. Timetables can be confusing, and transport options can be limited.
Today (22nd April) is Earth Day, so we’ve written this article to explain the benefits of planning a trip to get around the Cotswolds without a car. If you find it useful, then please leave us a comment below!
5 reasons to get around the Cotswolds without a car
1. Do your bit for the climate
Climate change remains a serious issue. But, taking shared transport – like our minibuses, or trains or public buses – can considerably reduce the number of cars on the road. And the amount of pollution generated.
Go Cotswolds is a member of Good Journey, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes car-free tourism in the UK. If you join our tours without using a car, we’ll buy you a coffee! To claim this offer, all you need to do is quote ‘Good Journey’ when you book direct through our website.
2. Reduce traffic
One reason visitors like you are attracted to the Cotswolds is because it looks so quiet and peaceful. Yet, during peak times, some parts of the Cotswolds can get very busy.
This causes traffic jams, parking problems and can create issues with local residents.
By taking a tour in one of our 16-passenger seat minibuses, we potentially take up to 16 cars off the road. And, since there is designated minibus and coach parking in the popular Cotswold towns, we never have a problem finding a parking space!
3. Meet new people
When you travel in your own car, you tend to isolate yourself from other people. For us, meeting people is what travel is all about!
Our tours are designed for solo travellers, couples and small groups. Our friendly guides try to get to know everyone on the tour, and we encourage you to get to know each other too. We’ve seen some wonderful friendships form between our tour passengers over the years. We have even visited some of our customers in their home towns, too!
Having a local tour guide means you can ask questions, find out more, and get our personal recommendations to really enhance your trip.
4. Eliminate stress
For many international visitors, left-side driving can be scary! Rental companies do offer automatic transmission vehicles, but most people in the UK drive manual (‘stick shift’) cars, which can be stressful if you’re not used to it!
Taking public transport, or one of our tours, means you can sit back, relax and let someone else handle the driving, the parking, and navigating the narrow country lanes here in the Cotswolds.
5. Discover public transport
When I was little, I used to love riding the bus into town! Here in the Cotswolds, you might not get anywhere quickly by public bus, but that means you can enjoy the scenic routes and watch the countryside roll by the windows.
Most major towns and cities are connected by rail. In fact, you can take a direct train from London, passing through Reading and Oxford, to arrive in Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds in under 2 hours. Then, you could take one of our guided tours – we pick up right from outside Moreton-in-Marsh station. We pick up from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon too, so if you’re taking a day trip to the Cotswolds from Birmingham, our pick up point is just a short walk from Stratford-upon-Avon station.
It’s not always possible to reach the smaller villages in the Cotswolds by public transport though. To really get off the beaten track, you’ll need a private taxi, or a tour of course. Uber is not readily available in the Cotswolds.
Help make it the ‘norm’ to get around the Cotswolds without a car
It’s very easy to join a Go Cotswolds tour without using a car. We offer a pick-up service in Stratford-upon-Avon from a location that is walking distance from most accommodation providers. As mentioned, we can also collect you from Moreton-in-Marsh station, too.
As members of Good Journey, we hope that car-free travel will become more normal. Other Good Journey members in the Cotswolds include Blenheim Palace and Westonbirt National Arboretum – please support them!