Trip Itinerary – Winter in England

We are spending January and February in a cottage in the Cotswolds!! Yes, I realize the weather will be cold, wet and damp, but I have purchased warm clothing! 🙂 Steve and I are both excited about this trip. We spent the fall and winter in England in 1988/89 and enjoyed a cozy cottage on the wet days and exploring the countryside on the good days. For the last few years, we have spent a month each year in England, either in May or September.

Itinerary Summary

  • January 1: Fly Albuquerque to Dallas to Gatwick, arriving in Gatwick at 7am local time the next day.
  • January 2: Car service meets us at Gatwick and drives us to Bath.
  • January 2 – 4: Haringtons Hotel in Bath, 3 nights (booked for night before early morning arrival).
  • January 4: Pickup rental car from National in Bath (booked through AutoEurope) and drive to Nailsworth (45 minute drive).
  • January 4 – February 28: Eight weeks in Eastview Cottage in Nailsworth, just south of Stroud, in the southern Cotswolds.
  • February 28 – March 4: Not booked yet.
  • March 4: Fly home (Gatwick to Dallas to Albquerque).

Flights

I booked our flights in October and got a good price on British Airways for Premium Economy. We used miles to upgrade to Club World (lots of space and the seats turn into flat beds). Our flight goes from Dallas and arrives in Gatwick at 7am (midnight on our body clock). I had to book a separate flight on American Airlines from Albuquerque to Dallas. I don’t like having two separate tickets because if the first flight is delayed, and we miss the BA flight, they will not rebook us. But, we have done this before. With BA, to book an upgrade, you have to book just the BA part of the flight and upgrade it. So, we are hoping for good winter weather on our flying day and no delayed flights (fingers crossed).

Arrival – Car Service to Bath

As we have done on two previous trips, a car service will meet us at Gatwick and drive us to Bath. I booked the same car service that we used before (Drive-U). The cost is £160 for a 2 hour 15 minute drive (about $320 – gas is expensive in England, so car service prices are high). Going into Bath on arrival gives us a couple of days to recover from jetlag before driving. We don’t want to get off the plane and into a rental car, then drive for three hours. Jetlag hits us harder than many other travelers. We usually sleep for several hours on the plane, but still feel tired and disoriented for a few days after arrival, so we always plan for an easy first few days. We could have gone into London, but we are more comfortable in a smaller town and the drive from Bath to the cottage is only 40 minutes.

I found a nice hotel in Bath (Haringtons) that we will go to on arrival. It is right in the center of Bath, near Queen’s Square. Last time we stayed at the Queensbury, but it was full for one of our dates. The time before that we went straight to an apartment in Bath for a week.

Since we should be arriving in Bath at 10am, I booked the previous night for the hotel so that we can check in early. They gave us a discount for that extra night. Otherwise we are taking our chances on a room being available and if it was not, would have to store our bags and then wander around town until 2pm.

Car Rental

I booked a car for 60 days from AutoEurope (read more about prices and booking in this post).

Cottage in the Cotswolds

I found a nice cottage in Nailsworth (Eastview Cottage) and got a good off-season price with an additional discount because we are booking it for eight weeks. We are renting directly from the owner. The cottage is an historic duplex, on the edge of a nice village in our favorite part of the Cotswolds. We can walk into town where there are tea rooms, shops and restaurants or we can walk straight out into the countryside on the public footpaths. The house is within walking distance of Woodchester Park, a National Trust park with walking trails.

We might do a few short trips from our base in the Cotswolds. I was thinking about a few days in Russia, but that is looking to be complicated (you need a visa). My current thought is to fly way up north to Inverness, but that is just because I watched a Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares recently about a restaurant in Inverness and the town looked great. We could take a train to Paris or fly to Amsterdam. We will think of something.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

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