The Cotswolds by rail from London (suggested itinerary)

The glorious Cotswolds region and many of its beautiful towns and villages can be visited by public transport. There are also many excellent tours in the area so you can base yourself in one of these lovely towns and do a few fun day trips to smaller villages. We’ve put together a suggested itinerary for you!

Please get in touch for your accommodation, rail and sightseeing bookings at  We’re looking forward to helping you get the most out of your trip.

This itinerary visits Oxford, Cirencester, Gloucester, Cheltenham, and Moreton-in-Marsh (with suggested day trips to villages like Bourton-on-Water, Stow-on-Wold, and Chipping Camden if required).

TIP! The Cotswolds is phenomenally popular in summer. If you’re planning on visiting during the peak times of May to September, we strongly suggest booking several months in advance.

Train from London to Oxford: Start your journey in the morning at London Paddington and sit back for the 1-hour ride to the magnificent university town of Oxford. Watch the scenery unfold as the countryside rushes by.

We recommend a hop-on hop-off bus to get the lay of the land and a friendly guided walking tour of Oxford to get to know this lovely city better. A bustling and attractive city, the university town is packed with things to do and surrounded by gorgeous countryside.

You’ll definitely want to visit the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral, and university precincts, particularly if you’re a Harry Potter film fan – the Bodleian Library, New College Cloisters and Christ Church Cathedral itself all have their place in the films.  And don’t forget to pop in at Alice’s Shop – the real shop Alice Liddell visited as a child.  

1 night in Oxford

Train from Oxford to Kemble then taxi to Cirencester: Just over 1 hour with a change at Didcot Parkway and you’ll be in the pretty little village of Kemble at the head of the River Thames, just 8km from Cirencester.

Kemble station, built in 1882, is an attractive listed building and the spire of All Saints’ Church Kemble can be seen for miles around so, if you have time (and not too much luggage), visit the town or even spend the night. Or, take a taxi or local bus straight to your next stop: the gorgeous market town of Cirencester, ‘capital of the Cotswolds’.

Wander the winding cobbled lanes, visit St. John the Baptist church, see Roman mosaics at the Corinium Museum, and do some shopping at the historic Corn Hall and Arcade. Stroll up Cecily Hill to Cirencester Park and, once you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in a traditional Cotswolds cream tea at one of Cirencester’s many cafés. Consider staying a few extra nights and doing a day trip or two – it’s a great base from which to explore the surroundings.

1 – 2 nights in Cirencester

Train from Kemble to Gloucester: Taxi back to Kemble, for a half-hour train ride to Gloucester.

Gloucester is a port town with hidden treasures galore. We recommend a walking tour and a visit the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral, the arched cloisters of which were a filming location in the Harry Potter films. There’s plenty to do, from an urban art trail and refreshing green spaces, to museums like the unusual National Waterways Museum, quaint Beatrix Potter’s House of the Tailor of Gloucester and fascinating Museum of Gloucester.

We also recommend a visit to the Gloucester Docks to see the restored late-Victorian warehouses, enjoy some good shopping and restaurants, and visit the peaceful Mariners’ Church. On sunny days, you could even take a boat trip on the River Severn from the Waterways Museum.  

1 – 2 nights in Gloucester

Train from Gloucester to Cheltenham Spa: Just 10-minutes train ride from Gloucester is the beautiful Regency-era town of Cheltenham Spa.

After the 1716 discovery of mineral springs, this became a popular spa town, leading to the building of gorgeous villas, pump rooms, and more. The springs are no longer there (although there are plenty of excellent spa hotels around) and it is now renowned for its racecourse and the annual Cheltenham Festival. Steam train enthusiasts will enjoy the volunteer-operated Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Steam Railway which runs on selected days in peak season. Unwind in this attractive town, which is easily explored on foot.

1 night in Cheltenham Spa

Train from Cheltenham to Moreton-in-Marsh: The train to Moreton-in-Marsh takes less than an hour with a change at Worcester Parkway and goes through scenic landscapes.

Spend the day relaxing in this pretty market town. Enjoy the ancient buildings, including 4 inns dating back to the 1600s. If you enjoy rambling or cycling, you’re in the right place, with several walking trails though the gorgeous countryside. The nearby arboretum and falconry makes for an interesting nature visit. This is another great option as a base for a few nights, so you can take some day tours out to nearby Bourton-on-Water, Stow-on-Wold, and Chipping Camden.

2 – 3 nights in Moreton-in-Marsh

Train from Moreton-in-Marsh to London: Head back to London Paddington on the 1-and-a-half-hour rail journey.

Sadly, all good things come to an end but you’ll leave with fantastic memories of some of the most beautiful places in England. And, hopefully, you’ll be able to visit again soon!

To book your rail or car hire, accommodation, and tours, please get in touch at or call 021 975 2047. We’re looking forward to assisting you!

This itinerary has been written by British TIPS with the aim of inspiring and assisting you in planning your next trip. All information is correct at time of writing. However, things can change so, before visiting, it is always important to check. We are happy to assist!

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