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Going Car-Free in the Cotswolds

Fancy giving the driver a rest and enjoying a car-free break in the Cotswolds? Tour the picturesque Cotswold villages, take in the region’s plethora of riverside pub gardens and perhaps make a day trip to the Cotswold Distillery. So many tourist attractions in the Cotswolds can be easily accessed using the region’s outstanding network of public transport.

The Romantic Road

This is just about the prettiest road in the Cotswolds and has been featured in The Telegraph as one of the Great British Drives. The route takes you through the idyllic Cotswold stone villages and towns of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, Blockley, Broadway, Snowshill, Stanton and Winchcombe, before returning to Cheltenham. There are many private taxi hire companies in the Cotswolds offering this romantic tour, as well as many that can create a bespoke tour just for your party. Try Cotswold Adventures who offer a tour for up to seven guests in a luxury MPV, or how about travelling in style with a classic car hire or treat your friends and family to a chauffeur-driven luxury taxi. Try the London-based Executive Car Service Cotswold Tour and choose from a range of luxury cars including a Tesla, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls Royce or Range Rover.

Rolls Royce Phantom Chauffeur

Off the Beaten Track

Moreton-in-Marsh was once one of the chief coaching towns in the North Cotswolds and today is still a traveller’s hub due to its easy transport network. Indeed, Moreton-in-Marsh is serviced by the main line railway from London Paddington, making it a great weekend getaway destination. From here, many visitors are keen to escape into the sleepy villages that are scattered around the North Cotswolds. Popular villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden and Broadway are within ten miles and a private taxi hire is the most relaxing way to visit them.

Several taxi firms run from Moreton-in-Marsh train station including the local Stow-on-the-Wold firm TA TAXIS (07565 521833) which covers transfers from Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh train stations, and offers bespoke Cotswold tours, as well as airport transfers. Andy’s Taxis (07399 722777) is another local Moreton-in-Marsh taxi provider which offers local and short-distance services, and many of Andy’s clients enjoy his local knowledge. Whether it is a pick-up from the Lavender Fields at Snowshill or a wedding shuttle, Andy is efficient and friendly. When planning a visit to the Cotswold Distillery we’d recommend pre-booking a taxi with one of the following firms; Shipston Taxis 01608 661592, Castle Cars Banbury 01295 270011 or Excelsior 01608 643721.

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Self-Guided Cycle Tour

Bainton Bikes, based in Moreton-in-Marsh, offer a first-class 24/7 self-service cycle hire, simply book and pay from your phone and unlock your bike via their mobile app. Cycle hire lets you really escape off the beaten track to some of the true hidden gems of the Cotswolds. There are lots of traffic-free cycling routes in the Cotswolds where you can take in the quaint market towns and rolling countryside, enjoying a pub lunch as you go. Click here to see some of our favourite cycling routes in the Cotswolds.

Bainton Bikes are available to hire in the following locations: Cheltenham, Cirencester, Cotswold Water Park, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Eynsham Hall, Kingham (railway station), Moreton-in-Marsh, Northleach, Oxford, Charlbury, Tetbury and Whichford.

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Local Chaperone

Some of the more popular villages have become coach-free to preserve the quintessential village atmosphere, like Bourton-on-the-Water, and if you can go car-free it does make for a more relaxing break as well as maintaining the peace and quiet of the famous historical villages of the Cotswolds. With Bourton-on-the-Water’s Tour Gems, visitors can pick from a variety of day tours for up to seven people with Genny, who works on her own to provide a personal service. Genny will tailor her pre-planned tours around your interests; photography or gardens for example. Whilst Genny is passionate about preserving her home country for future generations, she is happy to break the silence for a good natter about all things local, of which she knows a thing or two.

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Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

If you’re planning a trip to Cheltenham Races, look up the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. It is a steam heritage line whisking ladies in fancy hats from Gotherington, Winchcombe, Hayles Abbey Halt, Toddington and Laverton to a day of flutters and fizz. A ride on the circular route between the racecourse and Broadway is a wonderfully relaxing way to take in the scenic Cotswold countryside without having to take the car. For groups, a quintessential English fish and chip lunch can be pre-ordered and enjoyed with a few glasses of the local ‘Rail Ale’ from Donnington Brewery. Alternatively, the 1950s style buffet carriage can serve up an afternoon tea of tempting baked treats and toasted tea cakes.

We’d love to help you with any further travel advice that you may need for getting the very best from your car-free Cotswold break.

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