Cotswolds Travel & Transport

The transport system covering the Cotswolds offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire, coaches and ferries.

Local bus services in the Cotswolds provide services to local areas and towns, with a number of routes covering the city of Gloucester, Cheltenham and a number of other towns and villages in the Cotswolds including Cirencester, Stroud, Swindon, Brockworth, Tewkesbury, Hereford, Wootton Bassett, Chippenham, Marlborough and Pewsey.

Details of local bus services and timetables can be found at Stagecoach Bus that provide bus services in Gloucester, Cirencester, Cheltenham and other areas. Pulhams Coaches offer services in the Cotswolds area including day trips to Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Abingdon and Oxford.

Trains in the Cotswolds serve a number of routes across several English counties. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services. Gloucester Station has services to London Paddington with a journey time of approx 2 hours. There are services to both local areas and further including Cheltenham, Stroud, Reading, Cardiff Central, Great Malvern and Swindon.

Train services are provided by First Great Western and Cross Country and Arriva Trains Wales

Other railway stations in the Cotswolds include Kemble, Stonehouse, Stroud, Cam, Dursley and Moreton-in-Marsh

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

The Cotswolds Discoverer ticket offers a good, cost effective way visitors can explore the Cotswolds by public transport including train and bus. Visitors can by a one of three day ticket offering travel to a number of top local attractions, historic houses and buildings and scenic towns and villages, see Cotswolds Discoverer for more information

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Cotswolds that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars.

The Cotswolds are connected to the road network via the M4, M5 and A40. London to Gloucester by car via the M4 is a drive of approx 2 hours 30 minutes depending on traffic and time of day. Other major roads around the Cotswolds include the A429, A433, A46 and A4.

Parking in Gloucester city centre includes a number of pay and display and pay on exit car parks. Major car parks in and around the city centre include Castlemeads, Hare Lane North, Hare Lane South, Kings Square Multi Storey, Westgate, Station Road, St Michael’s Road and Hampden Way.

There are Park & Ride schemes in operation in Gloucester at various sites including Silk Waterwells and St Oswalds where drivers can park in designated areas in the outskirts of the city centre and get a bus in to Gloucester city centre. There is also a park and ride scheme in Cheltenham. For more information please see: Gloucester Park & Ride

Drivers should note there may be driving restrictions in and around the city and town centres. It is recommended visitors ensure they fully understand the local parking rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

The Cotswolds location in South West England makes it accessible from the south coast. Condor Ferries offers services from Jersey in the Channel Islands to Poole, located approx 110 miles (2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours drive) from Gloucester.

Brittany Ferries offers services from Cherbourg in France to Poole. There are from Portsmouth both France and Spain, Portsmouth is approx 115 miles from Gloucester with a journey time of 2 hours 30 minutes by car.

Cotswolds is accessible by coach with regular coach services available to Cotswolds from London Victoria coach station; the journey time from London to Cheltenham Spa is 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the service, time of day & traffic. There are also services from London to Gloucester, Stroud and Cirencester. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Megabus has services from London Victoria coach station to both Cheltenham and Gloucester, with a journey time of 3 hours 20 minutes to 4 hours.

Whilst travelling by coach to Cotswolds is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

Birmingham Airport is located a 1 hour drive from Gloucester via the M5. The airport has domestic and international flights.

Bristol Airport is located 45 miles from Gloucester, with a journey time of 1 hour by car.

From Heathrow and Gatwick airports, the Cotswolds are approx a drive of 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours away.

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