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Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

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posts: 18
Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

My daughter is attending a summer program in Cambridge and would like to take a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Any advice on the best (and most economical) way for her to do this would be much appreciated!

I’ve checked the train journey, but I was wondering about the possibility of a coach trip instead.


Cambridge, United...
posts: 2,961
reviews: 16
1. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Hmm. The National Express coach doesn't look like much of an option - you have to change at Birmingham or Coventry and the times of the coaches make a day trip basically impossible. I suppose you could probably do it going through London which would give you more options with the times, but would take an absolute minimum of 5 hours. Mind you the train must take at least 4...!

Off the top of my head I can't even think of a sensible coach / train combination either. I wondered about the X5 bus service run by Stagecoach from Cambridge to Oxford and then another bus from there, but I haven't been able to find out what! And the X5 takes 3 1/2 hours anyway, so it's still probably no quicker than the train. It's a long way for a daytrip... (well, it's not THAT far, in miles, but thanks to the way our transport systems work, it's not easy to get across the country 'horizontally' ;))

posts: 18
2. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Thanks, Vicki!

It looked to me like the shortest trip on National Express would be through Coventry, at 4.5 hours. They will be spending one night in Stratford-upon-Avon so the travel time isn’t too bad. They would be leaving on Friday and returning on Saturday. The Saturday return is even longer at about six hours due to a long layover in Coventry. Oh well, they have youth on their side! ;-)

The journey by train would be about four hours, five for the return. Lots of changes though. She hasn’t taken the train yet so it might be fun for her.

I’ve sent my daughter loads of links to everything I could find. I hope she can figure it all out!

I leave in just a little over a week from now myself to fly over to spend some time with her in Cambridge. My nerves are really beginning to kick in. I keep trying to focus on the fun we will have once I get there, and not the flight over!

Sydney, Australia
posts: 2,788
reviews: 25
3. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

I hate to say it, but the easiest way to get there is probably via London

Trains from Cambridge to London Kings X (if you pick the right one) take only 45 minutes, then a 10 minute trip on the Circle Line to Baker Street has you within 5 minutes walk of Marylebone station, the terminus for service to Stratford - and I think they take about 2 hours

No easy way unfortunately. The coach should offer one, as the journey by car isn't difficult at all (straight up the A14 for the most part). But they don't.....

posts: 10,202
4. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

We've a friend who does this occasionally, and it's an inconvenient journey without a car. There is a rail service from Birmingham to Stansted Airport which calls at Cambridge, but it takes forever trailing across the East Midlands - and you have to change stations in Birmingham, though it's well signposted and a nice stroll through the shops ;-) The faster train trips are through London - and it's worth knowing that Chiltern do cheaper tickets (£15 return from London) if you travel off-peak, *but* you need to check any week-end train travel as there is sometimes engineering work and you end up on a bus anyway :-( Check the Chiltern website anyway, as they're currently offering Buy One Get One Free on trips to Stratford.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 2,961
reviews: 16
5. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Oh, sorry, I just assumed (why? who knows?!) that she just wanted to go there for a daytrip, and when I looked at coach times it didn't seem like it would work out. If she's staying overnight then the coach via Coventry would be fine. I only suggested via London because it seemed to give you more options for getting back in the evening.

The train probably is still quicker, but more expensive (I would assume, anyway, I haven't actually compared prices on particular journeys) and not necessarily easier, given the changing in London and the fact that the train station in Cambridge isn't very near the centre (whereas the coach station is). National Express coaches aren't usually too bad.... !

posts: 10,202
6. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

If your daughter will have some time in Coventry, suggest she strolls up to the Cathedral www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/welcome.html

It was built in the 1950s after the original medieval cathedral was destroyed during WW2 - it's not everyone's style, but it's interesting with an Epstein sculpture and Sutherland tapestry amongst other things. Lots of thought-provoking ideas about peace and reconciliation too.

There is also a cafe :-)

posts: 18
7. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Thanks so much for all the responses!

I was talking to my daughter and we were both practically pulling our hair out trying to figure this out. Then it hit me…why not post! I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. The members here are the greatest! I have never belonged to a forum where everyone was so helpful, and it never takes long at all to get a reply to a post.

I’ve passed along all of the information, now it’s up to her! I’m working on trying to get together much simpler journeys for the two of us to take together once I get there. ;-) …journeys, I must say, taken from suggestions posted on this forum.

Thanks again!

Cambridge, United...
posts: 2,961
reviews: 16
8. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Learning2Fly, am I remembering right - was it Christ's College your daughter was staying at? I hope she's enjoying herself! There are LOTS of summer program students in Cambridge at the moment - they've taken over my college too, and they all seem to be having fun! Did you sort out some accommodation for yourself in the end?

Have a great time when you come over, I'm sure you'll love it :)

posts: 18
9. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Yes, you are right, Vicki, she is staying at Christ’s College. And I will be too!

I had more or less decided to just get a room at a nearby Bed & Breakfast when my daughter sent me an email saying that her professor mentioned that rooms were available at Christ’s for an extremely reasonable rate. She wanted to know if I would like her to reserve one; I was going to make my reservation at the B & B just that day. The timing was perfect!

She is also going to send me detailed instructions about getting the coach at Heathrow and making my way to the college from the station. That will be a big help to me as I’m a horrible navigator.

I’ve gotten in touch with a friend who lives up around Newcastle and I’m going to take the train to see her for a few days too. I leave a week from today and will have ten days to fit everything in once there! What is it everyone says…I will need a vacation after my vacation!

My daughter loves it in Cambridge. Her first email closed with this…” Love you and miss you already, but it's freaking gorgeous over here! :)” I’d say that about sums it up. I asked her if she is taking lots of pictures, but she said she really doesn’t take her camera around. That’s okay; I’ll make up for it when I get there. ;-)

posts: 9,623
reviews: 6
10. Re: Cambridge to Stratford-upon-Avon?

Learning2fly: Do post your photos and trip report on your return. And have a great time!