Lying slightly to the west of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Regency town of Cheltenham (pronounced “Chelt-num”) – or Cheltenham Spa, to give it its full name – is popular for its festivals, including annual Science, Literature, Music and Jazz festivals, as well as the famous Cheltenham Festival of (horse) Racing.
If you’re staying in Cheltenham and want to explore the Cotswolds, it’s possible to join our Go Cotswolds Day Tour by meeting us at Moreton-in-Marsh. Here is everything you should need to know…
On Wednesdays, Thursdays*, Fridays** and Saturdays*:
- We recommend you take the 801 bus (operated by Pulhams) from the Cheltenham Royal Well bus station at 07.30. The bus arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh rail station at 08.57.
- The tour departs from Moreton-in-Marsh rail station at 09.45.
Alternatively, you can take a train from Cheltenham Spa station at 07.25, which arrives at Worcester Shrub Hill at 07.53. At Worcester Shrub Hill, change trains and take the 08.35 to Moreton-in-Marsh, which arrives at Moreton-in-Marsh at 09.21. The tour departs from Moreton-in-Marsh station at 09.45.
You could also take a taxi from Cheltenham. The journey time is approximately 50 minutes. We recommend you book a taxi in advance – your hotel or the Visitor Information Centre on Clarence Street in Cheltenham should be able to help you with this.
- There are no buses or trains from Cheltenham that will get you to Moreton-in-Marsh in time for our tour.***
- Therefore, to join our tour you will need to drive/take a taxi to Moreton-in-Marsh station. The journey time is approximately 50 minutes.
- On Sundays, the tour departs from Moreton-in-Marsh rail station at 10.00am.
Returning to Cheltenham
On Wednesdays, Thursdays*, Fridays** and Saturdays: The 801 bus passes through Bourton-on-the-Water, and since this is the last stop on our tour, we can leave you at Bourton-on-the-Water at the end of the tour. We get to Bourton-on-the-Water at approximately 3.30pm, and there is a bus to Cheltenham at 17.10.
On Sunday tours: We recommend you take a taxi from Bourton-on-the-Water (journey time approximately 30 minutes), or we can drop you off at Moreton-in-Marsh station to take a train to Cheltenham Spa via Worcester Shrub Hill.
On any tour date, we can also drop you off at one of our other free drop-off points (Moreton-in-Marsh station, 5.00pm; Stratford-upon-Avon, 5.30pm; or Leamington Spa, 6.15pm) if you prefer. It’s no problem if you have luggage – we have a large luggage storage space on our minibus, so you can bring it with you!
These times are usually the latest times we will return to these locations. In case of heavy traffic or other unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we can never 100% guarantee to be back on time, but it’s not usually a problem.
Bus times and fares
The timetable for the 801 bus (Monday–Saturday only) can be downloaded here.
In our experience, bus timetables in our area can be less precise than trains because of traffic, roadworks and other possible delays. Therefore, we recommend you arrive at the departure bus stop well before the scheduled departure time.
Apart from weekly, monthly or annual travel passes, bus tickets cannot be bought in advance – just pay the bus driver using cash. It is usually much cheaper to buy a return ticket (there and back) than two single (one-way) tickets.
Train times and fares
Up-to-date information on timetables and ticket prices across the British rail network can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website: www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Train timetables can occasionally change – for example, because of planned or unplanned engineering works, public holidays or special events – so please ensure you double check the train times before you travel.
In the UK, train seats do not sell out, but tickets generally get more expensive closer to the date of travel. Please check the price of the train fare before you book your Cotswolds Day Tour.
Need help joining a tour from a different location?
If you need help joining our tour from a different location, check our other help pages for journeys originating in: Bath, Birmingham, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bristol, Chipping Campden, Coventry, Gloucester, Guildford, Leamington Spa, London, Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxford, Reading, Southampton, Stow-on-the-Wold, Stratford-upon-Avon, or Worcester.
If you plan on driving to one of our pick-up locations, please see here for more information: https://www.gocotswolds.co.uk/drivingdirections/.
Please check our FAQs page, but if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just send us an email and we’ll be pleased to help! You can reach us at email@example.com, or use the contact form here.
The information we have provided here, in good faith, is correct at the time of writing (updated: November 2019). Ultimately, it is your responsibility to reach the pick-up location at the stated time. In the event of delayed or cancelled public transport, we at Go Cotswolds will do our utmost to make sure that you can still join the tour, even if it means you join a little late. However, in line with our terms and conditions (which you must agree to when you book a ticket with us), Go Cotswolds accepts no responsibility, and will provide no refund or compensation for tours missed through no fault of our own, including delayed, cancelled or missed public transport. We recommend that you take out suitable travel insurance to cover you in this eventuality.
*Tours operate on Thursdays and Saturdays between May and September only.
**On Good Friday (in 2020 this falls on Friday 10th April), bus 801 operates a reduced, altered 801 timetable. On this date, there will be NO bus 801 from Cheltenham that will get you to Moreton-in-Marsh in time for our tour departure. There is, however, still a bus from Bourton-on-the-Water back to Cheltenham, departing from Bourton-on-the-Water High Street at 17.10 and arriving at Cheltenham Royal Well Bus Station at 18.06.
***Between May and September there is a limited ‘Summer Sunday’ 801 bus service, but there are no buses that will get you to Moreton-in-Marsh in time for our tour departure time of 10.00am.