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Help us plan our driving tour, please!

San Antonio, Texas
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648 posts
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Help us plan our driving tour, please!

So we have a private driver booked for eight hours this Sunday, leaving out of and returning to Oxford.

We would like stops for:

- a couple of nice pubs (preferably with fires, given the recent weather)

- one town with good souvenir/antique shopping

- at least one cool old church

- a pretty drive

- one stop "off the beaten path" if possible

Any suggestions on how many towns & what towns to visit? Do you think we would have time to make it to Warwick Castle or Blenheim palace for a one hour stop, or will that eat up too much of the day?

1. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

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Removed on: 4:11 pm, December 10, 2015
San Antonio, Texas
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648 posts
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2. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

Oops,

I just realized we will be there on a Monday, not a Sunday.

Diz - we don't really have a guide, just a driver, so doing our own itinerary.

So I'm guessing the pubs won't be as busy on a Monday, do you still think we need to reserve a table if we want lunch somewhere? I'm also guessing some of the places may be closed on Monday.

Do you have any favorite pubs you would like to recommend, for lunch or just for a pint?

I will also look at the website link for ideas. Thanks for your help.

Basingstoke, United...
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3. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

Monday sounds a better bet for pubs and churches.

Blenheim and Warwick need several hours each. It is fairly easy to get to Blenheim on a different day when you are not paying for the services of a private driver.

Suggest going to Witney and then taking the back roads to Burford (via Old Minster ruins and Swinbrook). On to Northleach (detour to Bibury?) and through villages to Bourton on the Water, Stow, Broadway tower (good views), Broadway.

Any local driver will know this kind of route.

San Antonio, Texas
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4. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

WWW -

That's funny, I was just looking at that exact route, except finishing in Chipping Campden instead of Broadway. And definitely want to see the church at Northleach.

Regarding Broadway Tower - do you know what the steps are like - are they very narrow or steep? If they are wide and not too steep, we could do them. Otherwise, is there a decent view from the ground level of the tower?

I still would love to hear if anyone has suggestions for a pub or restaurant for lunch that might be cozy and have a nice fireplace. If we take this route, I'm guessing it would need to be around Northleach or Bourton-on-the-Water.

Basingstoke, United...
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5. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

There is a good view without going up the actual tower.

Lots of little cafes in B on the W. Also a pub in Bibury where they do food.

Most of the trip will be through nice countryside - particularly when you get off the main roads. You should pass through many unspoilt villages too.

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

Thanks, good to know about the tower.

In Bibury, are you referring to The Catherine Wheel? I also saw one called Duke of Wellington in Bourton that looks like a nice enough pub with a few good ales.

Basingstoke, United...
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7. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

Can't remember name of the pub in Bibury but it is right in the centre near the bridge.(Swan? most Cotswold pubs seem to be called that!)

The Barringtons and Slaughters are pretty little villages also worth a look. You can sometimes see deer in the park at Barringtons.

I am not sure about pubs in B on W, but there is a fish and chip shop and some cafes for teas. It is a bit of a tourist trip but worth a quick visit and it shouldn't be too busy on a Monday unless it is a bank holiday. There are quite a few interesting little shops and the model village is popular.

TX
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8. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

Yes, that is the Swan Hotel near the bridge. They do a lovely afternoon tea.

9. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

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Removed on: 4:13 pm, December 10, 2015
Gloucester, United...
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10. Re: Help us plan our driving tour, please!

The Swan is more hotel than pub and somewhat lacking in character on my last visit. We tend to use the Catherine Wheel because it is a proper pub, not just some chain outlet where they re-heat a standard menu.