Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

How to Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car: From Public Transport to Private Transfers

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

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Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

How to Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car: From Public Transport to Private Transfers

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

Share the love

If you’re planning a trip to the English countryside, you may be wondering if it’s feasible to visit the Cotswolds without a car. While a car-free itinerary will definitely require some additional planning and potential sacrifice, it is possible. After all, I did it myself!

Let’s uncover how to best visit the Cotswolds by public transport, utilizing a trustworthy car service, or joining a tour.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

FAQ for Visiting the Cotswolds Without a Car

Can I Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car?

Visiting the Cotswolds without a car can prove a bit challenging, but it’s definitely doable. That said, you’ll need to manage your expectations. This is because you likely won’t have time to see as many villages as you would with a car, since more of your time will be dedicated to traveling between towns.

Are There Ubers in the Cotswolds?

Unfortunately, the modern-day convenience of Uber has not yet been integrated into the historic Cotswolds region. Alternatively, you can arrange for a taxi or hire a private driver.

What Is the Best Way to Explore the Cotswolds?

The “best” way to explore the Cotswolds is subjective, as it will all depend on your personal preference, your budget, and how much time you have to dedicate to the area. If you have more wiggle room in your budget and you’d prefer a more luxurious/private experience, then hiring a driver or joining a private (or small group) tour will probably be your best bet.

(I would suggest this for a European babymoon or honeymoon, for example, if you’re planning to be without a car. That said, I personally think renting a car is the way to go for a romantic couple’s trip.)

On the other hand, if you’re looking to save some cash and don’t mind some additional waiting around and following set schedules, traveling by train or bus will probably be most suitable.

Deciding Whether to Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car

Before visiting the Cotswolds, you’ll first want to determine whether or not you’ll be renting a car or relying on an alternative means of transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Since you’ve landed on this blog post, I’m going to assume you’ve at least started to consider the option of visiting the Cotswolds without a car. While I ultimately think a car is the most convenient option for getting around, it isn’t always the best choice for everyone (including me).

Here are some potential reasons to forego driving in the Cotswolds:

  • You don’t have a driver’s license
  • You’re not accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road (this was the case with me)
  • You’re a new driver and don’t want the added pressure/responsibility of driving in a foreign place
  • You’re only planning a brief day trip to the region and don’t want to deal with the hassle of renting a car
  • You’d prefer not to have to worry about parking, particularly in some of the smaller villages like Castle Combe

While all of these reasons are perfectly legitimate, the truth of the matter is, getting around the Cotswolds isn’t quite so straightforward when you don’t have your own vehicle. In fact, many people don’t realize just how large this English region actually is!

FUN FACT: The Cotswolds region covers nearly 800 square miles and encompasses five different counties!

Frankly, the vastness of the Cotswolds is something I was unaware of until I got into the thick of planning my itinerary – at which point I started to panic a bit. I’d (falsely) assumed I could just hop the nearest train from London to the Cotswolds and easily bounce about the towns via train.

Unfortunately, however, that’s not the case! You really need to plan out which towns you’ll be visiting in advance, and, more importantly, which towns have the infrastructure to support a train station.

Spoiler Alert: The large majority of them don’t!

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into where to set up a home base while staying in the Cotswolds.

Where to Base Yourself When Traveling the Cotswolds Without a Car

If you’re planning to cover a lot of ground while visiting the Cotswolds without a car, then I suggest selecting a larger/more connected town as your home base. This will make it easier to get around to other towns by public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Some of the largest and/or most well-connected towns in the Cotswolds include:

  • Cirencester (the “capital” of the Cotswolds & largest village)
  • Chipping Campden
  • Chipping Norton
  • Moreton-in-Marsh (one of the rare Cotswolds towns with its own train station)

Public Transportation in the Cotswolds

If you’re not planning to rent a car while in the Cotswolds, chances are, you’ll need to rely on public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

(The exception to this would be if you choose to hire a private driver or join a tour, which we’ll touch on later.)

The main modes of public transport in the Cotswolds are bus and train. Both offer their pros and cons, so you’ll want to consider all aspects before making a decision.

Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus

Traveling by bus can be a convenient and inexpensive way to get around the Cotswolds – that is, if you know what you’re doing.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

One of the primary bus operators in the Cotswolds is Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd. This company provides bus services and day trips from Cheltenham to Cotswolds as well as excursions from Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Abingdon, Stroud, and Oxford.

Another popular Cotswolds bus company is Stagecoach Bus. They provide services from Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester, and more.

If you plan to travel by bus, I highly recommend checking out this helpful resource on bus travel in the Cotswolds. It includes the various routes throughout the region as well as some sample itineraries you can adopt.

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus:

  • Buses run through the main destinations in the Cotswolds, so you should be able to find one for most of the popular routes/itineraries
  • Buses can be a cost-effective means of travel and you can purchase your tickets directly on the bus for both one-time use as well as round trip routes

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus:

  • Bus service is operated by seven separate companies, which can make planning an itinerary by bus a bit confusing
  • Bus service is extremely limited (or even downright unavailable) on Sundays and holidays

Traveling the Cotswolds by Train

If you’re determined to travel the Cotswolds by train, then you’ll want to base yourself in a village that actually has a train station. Unfortunately, this list is incredibly slim!

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

The following are the Cotswolds villages that include a train station:

  • Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Kemble

There are also towns along the outskirts of the Cotswolds that are served by train and/or offer good transport links:

  • Ashchurch
  • Bath Spa
  • Cam & Dursley
  • Charlbury
  • Cheltenham
  • Chippenham
  • Evesham
  • Hanborough
  • Honeybourne
  • Kingham
  • Oxford
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Stroud
  • Swindon
  • Gloucester

That all said, the main train stations can be found at Moreton-in-Marsh, Kemble, Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, and Ashchurch. You can also reference this handy map of Cotswold area train stations when planning your trip.

My original plan was to select a home base in the Cotswolds with a train station, but it didn’t ultimately pan out that way. This was a case of heart winning out over head, as I ultimately chose two of the towns that interested me the most – Castle Combe and Bourton on the Water (neither of which has a train station).

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Since most villages don’t have a train station, you’ll want to instead focus on the bus option if you’re set on using public transportation and staying in a village without  a train.

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds by Train:

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds by Train:

  • Train routes don’t often link up in a convenient way, so you’ll likely spend more time waiting around
  • You may have the hassle of additional train connections, depending on your desired route

Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service

Another option for getting around the Cotswolds without a car is to hire a car service instead. This is the route I took and, while costly, it was ultimately the best choice for me.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

I was able to justify the cost by focusing on the aspect of gaining back time that I would have otherwise frittered away waiting around for a train or bus.

It was a combination of that and the fact that I was traveling in my second trimester. Given my unique circumstance, I didn’t want to deal with any excess travel or standing around on my feet for too long.

I used Nexus Transfers for both the initial trip from Gatwick Airport to Castle Combe and then for the return trip from Bourton on the Water back to Gatwick Airport. My chauffeurs were punctual, professional, friendly, and delivered great service.

The experience actually exceeded my expectations in terms of luxury as well. Not only was I greeted with a bottle of water and a variety of mints, I was also able to charge my phone after a long day of traveling at the airport. My driver was also gracious enough to offer to stop for bathroom breaks, should I need them along the way.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

While hiring a car service is the priciest of all the transportation options, I found Nexus to be (reasonably) fairly priced compared to some competitor services. That said, it was still a major part of my trip budget, so do take that into account when deciding whether to book.

My journey with Nexus wasn’t sponsored in any way; I genuinely enjoyed my experience and wanted to promote their fantastic service. 

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service:

  • This is the quickest and most efficient way of getting around the Cotswolds (outside of a self-driving journey)
  • You can enjoy traveling in luxury and comfort with all of your belongings safe and accounted for

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service:

  • This is typically the priciest option

Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour

If you’re only planning to visit the Cotswolds region on a day trip, then I’d recommend joining a tour. This is the best way to cover more ground without having to worry about renting a car or waiting around for public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

There are many, many tour options to choose from and it will largely depend on where you’re based (London, Oxford, etc). You’ll also want to consider whether you’d prefer a private tour (costlier) or if you’d prefer the group option.

Here are some tour options from London to consider:

Here are some tour options from Oxford to consider:

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour:

  • You can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time
  • You’ll have the expertise of a knowledgeable guide to provide historical context and introduce you to places/things you may have overlooked

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour:

  • You may not have as much time to explore a given area as you’d prefer
  • You won’t have as much opportunity for self-exploration

Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot

Frankly, I saved this one for last as I don’t really consider walking to be a viable option for visiting multiple Cotswolds towns in a short time period.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that the gorgeous Cotswolds region is known for its beautiful circular walks.

However, I think it makes much more sense to infuse your itinerary with these walks at your leisure as opposed to being beholden to them for getting from place to place. Remember – the area that encompasses the Cotswolds is much larger than it seems at first glance, and you may quickly be in over your head if you’re relying exclusively on your legs to carry you.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot:

  • You can spend more quality time outdoors
  • You can save money by getting around on foot
  • You’ll likely cross paths with some lovely folk – and their four-legged family members, too!

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot:

  • You’ll likely tire quickly by taking long walks between towns
  • You’ll have to haul your luggage from town to town
  • You won’t be able to cover as much ground on foot as you would with a more reliable form of transportation
  • You’ll be exposed to the elements which can become problematic in this rainy region

As you can see, there are fortunately a number of ways to get around the Cotswolds without a car. I’d strongly encourage you not to let your lack of interest/ability in self-driving deter you from visiting this beautiful English region!

The key is to plan your transportation logistics in advance to avoid hiccups and enjoy the most streamlined, stress-free experience possible.

After reading this guide, how do you plan to get around the Cotswolds? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to start planning your Cotswolds itinerary? Check out my other guides:

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip
Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip
Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

If you’re planning a trip to the English countryside, you may be wondering if it’s feasible to visit the Cotswolds without a car. While a car-free itinerary will definitely require some additional planning and potential sacrifice, it is possible. After all, I did it myself!

Let’s uncover how to best visit the Cotswolds by public transport, utilizing a trustworthy car service, or joining a tour.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

FAQ for Visiting the Cotswolds Without a Car

Can I Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car?

Visiting the Cotswolds without a car can prove a bit challenging, but it’s definitely doable. That said, you’ll need to manage your expectations. This is because you likely won’t have time to see as many villages as you would with a car, since more of your time will be dedicated to traveling between towns.

Are There Ubers in the Cotswolds?

Unfortunately, the modern-day convenience of Uber has not yet been integrated into the historic Cotswolds region. Alternatively, you can arrange for a taxi or hire a private driver.

What Is the Best Way to Explore the Cotswolds?

The “best” way to explore the Cotswolds is subjective, as it will all depend on your personal preference, your budget, and how much time you have to dedicate to the area. If you have more wiggle room in your budget and you’d prefer a more luxurious/private experience, then hiring a driver or joining a private (or small group) tour will probably be your best bet.

(I would suggest this for a European babymoon or honeymoon, for example, if you’re planning to be without a car. That said, I personally think renting a car is the way to go for a romantic couple’s trip.)

On the other hand, if you’re looking to save some cash and don’t mind some additional waiting around and following set schedules, traveling by train or bus will probably be most suitable.

Deciding Whether to Visit the Cotswolds Without a Car

Before visiting the Cotswolds, you’ll first want to determine whether or not you’ll be renting a car or relying on an alternative means of transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Since you’ve landed on this blog post, I’m going to assume you’ve at least started to consider the option of visiting the Cotswolds without a car. While I ultimately think a car is the most convenient option for getting around, it isn’t always the best choice for everyone (including me).

Here are some potential reasons to forego driving in the Cotswolds:

  • You don’t have a driver’s license
  • You’re not accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road (this was the case with me)
  • You’re a new driver and don’t want the added pressure/responsibility of driving in a foreign place
  • You’re only planning a brief day trip to the region and don’t want to deal with the hassle of renting a car
  • You’d prefer not to have to worry about parking, particularly in some of the smaller villages like Castle Combe

While all of these reasons are perfectly legitimate, the truth of the matter is, getting around the Cotswolds isn’t quite so straightforward when you don’t have your own vehicle. In fact, many people don’t realize just how large this English region actually is!

FUN FACT: The Cotswolds region covers nearly 800 square miles and encompasses five different counties!

Frankly, the vastness of the Cotswolds is something I was unaware of until I got into the thick of planning my itinerary – at which point I started to panic a bit. I’d (falsely) assumed I could just hop the nearest train from London to the Cotswolds and easily bounce about the towns via train.

Unfortunately, however, that’s not the case! You really need to plan out which towns you’ll be visiting in advance, and, more importantly, which towns have the infrastructure to support a train station.

Spoiler Alert: The large majority of them don’t!

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into where to set up a home base while staying in the Cotswolds.

Where to Base Yourself When Traveling the Cotswolds Without a Car

If you’re planning to cover a lot of ground while visiting the Cotswolds without a car, then I suggest selecting a larger/more connected town as your home base. This will make it easier to get around to other towns by public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Some of the largest and/or most well-connected towns in the Cotswolds include:

  • Cirencester (the “capital” of the Cotswolds & largest village)
  • Chipping Campden
  • Chipping Norton
  • Moreton-in-Marsh (one of the rare Cotswolds towns with its own train station)

Public Transportation in the Cotswolds

If you’re not planning to rent a car while in the Cotswolds, chances are, you’ll need to rely on public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

(The exception to this would be if you choose to hire a private driver or join a tour, which we’ll touch on later.)

The main modes of public transport in the Cotswolds are bus and train. Both offer their pros and cons, so you’ll want to consider all aspects before making a decision.

Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus

Traveling by bus can be a convenient and inexpensive way to get around the Cotswolds – that is, if you know what you’re doing.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

One of the primary bus operators in the Cotswolds is Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd. This company provides bus services and day trips from Cheltenham to Cotswolds as well as excursions from Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Abingdon, Stroud, and Oxford.

Another popular Cotswolds bus company is Stagecoach Bus. They provide services from Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester, and more.

If you plan to travel by bus, I highly recommend checking out this helpful resource on bus travel in the Cotswolds. It includes the various routes throughout the region as well as some sample itineraries you can adopt.

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus:

  • Buses run through the main destinations in the Cotswolds, so you should be able to find one for most of the popular routes/itineraries
  • Buses can be a cost-effective means of travel and you can purchase your tickets directly on the bus for both one-time use as well as round trip routes

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds by Bus:

  • Bus service is operated by seven separate companies, which can make planning an itinerary by bus a bit confusing
  • Bus service is extremely limited (or even downright unavailable) on Sundays and holidays

Traveling the Cotswolds by Train

If you’re determined to travel the Cotswolds by train, then you’ll want to base yourself in a village that actually has a train station. Unfortunately, this list is incredibly slim!

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

The following are the Cotswolds villages that include a train station:

  • Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Kemble

There are also towns along the outskirts of the Cotswolds that are served by train and/or offer good transport links:

  • Ashchurch
  • Bath Spa
  • Cam & Dursley
  • Charlbury
  • Cheltenham
  • Chippenham
  • Evesham
  • Hanborough
  • Honeybourne
  • Kingham
  • Oxford
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon
  • Stroud
  • Swindon
  • Gloucester

That all said, the main train stations can be found at Moreton-in-Marsh, Kemble, Cam & Dursley, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, and Ashchurch. You can also reference this handy map of Cotswold area train stations when planning your trip.

My original plan was to select a home base in the Cotswolds with a train station, but it didn’t ultimately pan out that way. This was a case of heart winning out over head, as I ultimately chose two of the towns that interested me the most – Castle Combe and Bourton on the Water (neither of which has a train station).

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Since most villages don’t have a train station, you’ll want to instead focus on the bus option if you’re set on using public transportation and staying in a village without  a train.

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds by Train:

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds by Train:

  • Train routes don’t often link up in a convenient way, so you’ll likely spend more time waiting around
  • You may have the hassle of additional train connections, depending on your desired route

Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service

Another option for getting around the Cotswolds without a car is to hire a car service instead. This is the route I took and, while costly, it was ultimately the best choice for me.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

I was able to justify the cost by focusing on the aspect of gaining back time that I would have otherwise frittered away waiting around for a train or bus.

It was a combination of that and the fact that I was traveling in my second trimester. Given my unique circumstance, I didn’t want to deal with any excess travel or standing around on my feet for too long.

I used Nexus Transfers for both the initial trip from Gatwick Airport to Castle Combe and then for the return trip from Bourton on the Water back to Gatwick Airport. My chauffeurs were punctual, professional, friendly, and delivered great service.

The experience actually exceeded my expectations in terms of luxury as well. Not only was I greeted with a bottle of water and a variety of mints, I was also able to charge my phone after a long day of traveling at the airport. My driver was also gracious enough to offer to stop for bathroom breaks, should I need them along the way.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

While hiring a car service is the priciest of all the transportation options, I found Nexus to be (reasonably) fairly priced compared to some competitor services. That said, it was still a major part of my trip budget, so do take that into account when deciding whether to book.

My journey with Nexus wasn’t sponsored in any way; I genuinely enjoyed my experience and wanted to promote their fantastic service. 

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service:

  • This is the quickest and most efficient way of getting around the Cotswolds (outside of a self-driving journey)
  • You can enjoy traveling in luxury and comfort with all of your belongings safe and accounted for

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds with a Car Service:

  • This is typically the priciest option

Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour

If you’re only planning to visit the Cotswolds region on a day trip, then I’d recommend joining a tour. This is the best way to cover more ground without having to worry about renting a car or waiting around for public transportation.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

There are many, many tour options to choose from and it will largely depend on where you’re based (London, Oxford, etc). You’ll also want to consider whether you’d prefer a private tour (costlier) or if you’d prefer the group option.

Here are some tour options from London to consider:

Here are some tour options from Oxford to consider:

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour:

  • You can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time
  • You’ll have the expertise of a knowledgeable guide to provide historical context and introduce you to places/things you may have overlooked

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds on a Tour:

  • You may not have as much time to explore a given area as you’d prefer
  • You won’t have as much opportunity for self-exploration

Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot

Frankly, I saved this one for last as I don’t really consider walking to be a viable option for visiting multiple Cotswolds towns in a short time period.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that the gorgeous Cotswolds region is known for its beautiful circular walks.

However, I think it makes much more sense to infuse your itinerary with these walks at your leisure as opposed to being beholden to them for getting from place to place. Remember – the area that encompasses the Cotswolds is much larger than it seems at first glance, and you may quickly be in over your head if you’re relying exclusively on your legs to carry you.

Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip

Pros of Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot:

  • You can spend more quality time outdoors
  • You can save money by getting around on foot
  • You’ll likely cross paths with some lovely folk – and their four-legged family members, too!

Cons of Traveling the Cotswolds on Foot:

  • You’ll likely tire quickly by taking long walks between towns
  • You’ll have to haul your luggage from town to town
  • You won’t be able to cover as much ground on foot as you would with a more reliable form of transportation
  • You’ll be exposed to the elements which can become problematic in this rainy region

As you can see, there are fortunately a number of ways to get around the Cotswolds without a car. I’d strongly encourage you not to let your lack of interest/ability in self-driving deter you from visiting this beautiful English region!

The key is to plan your transportation logistics in advance to avoid hiccups and enjoy the most streamlined, stress-free experience possible.

After reading this guide, how do you plan to get around the Cotswolds? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to start planning your Cotswolds itinerary? Check out my other guides:

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Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip
Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip
Exploring the Cotswolds without a car may have its challenges, but it’s definitely doable. Discover how to best explore this gorgeous English region by public transport, private transfer, or by joining an organized tour. #cotswoldsengland #cotswoldsfromlondon #cotswoldsdaytrip