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Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
820 posts
38 reviews
Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Hello,

I'm arriving in Southampton via cruise ship July 12th. Spending 3 nights in the Costwolds (Dumbleton Hall), then have a conference in Oxford (Worcester) July 15th. Dates are not flexible. 2 people.

Does this make sense:

1) Taxi Southampton to Oxford (will have lots of luggage, could find no direct trains).

2) Rent car in Oxford (where???). *nervous about the 'other side of the road' driving, avoiding major highways, hence not renting in Southampton.

3) Drive rental car to Cotwolds hotel/villages.

Plan B would be taxi to Moreton-on-Marsh, rent car there.

Thanks for helping with this!

20 replies to this topic
Guildford, United...
Level Contributor
2,987 posts
83 reviews
1. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

There are normally direct trains from Southampton to Oxford every hour, unless they are disrupted by engineering work.

You could rent a car from So'ton Airport which has a fairly direct link to the Motorway and there are good roads all the way to Oxford.

London, United...
Level Contributor
789 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

I notice you've put Worcester in brackets after Oxford- where actually is this conference as they are two seperate places.

UK
Level Contributor
2,994 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

I’m guessing they are going to Worcester College in Oxford. This is actually a short walk from the train station and there isn’t much in the way of public car parks nearby, aside from the one on Hythe Bridge street which is often full during the day.

Cheltenham, United...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Please clarify your plans, is the conference on the Sunday? Dumbleton Hall Hotel is between Tewkesbury and Evesham, nearly 50 miles from Oxford; to be fair the train route Southampton to Evesham would be via Oxford. If using taxi then go straight to Evesham where there are car hire services. There is a direct train service Evesham - Oxford, so return hire car there and use train or taxi on to Oxford - the general wisdom is to avoid mixing Oxford with cars.

There are less frequent trains Southampton to Cheltenham which is an easier town to navigate in a car than Oxford, and in the "right" direction and an easy drive to Evesham, but no convenient public transport to Oxford on a Sunday.

There are no car hire facilities in Moreton in Marsh.

July 15th is a Sunday, this may have affect on travel plans (car depot not open, fewer trains, disruption due to maintenance). An unusual day for a conference, I think it will cause difficulty, Oxford Inspires is that week-end but no mention of Worcester College.

Not sure how you have researched your journeys, seems a strange mix of lack of knowledge ("no direct trains") and extraneous detail (Moreton-in-Marsh). Use these web-sites to check:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk

Greater Manchester...
Destination Expert
for Pollenca, Port de Pollenca
Level Contributor
12,298 posts
54 reviews
5. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

I don't think your point no 2 is wholly valid. You will have the same sort of driving challenges when hiring in Oxford as you would from Southampton.

My suggestion would be taxi for the few miles from cruise port to Southampton Airport and rent the car from there. It's an airport, open most of the time I think, and lots of choice of suppliers.

London, United...
Level Contributor
530 posts
6. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Normally there are direct trains from Southampton Central to Oxford but there is a major closure in the Oxford area during July: https:/…oxford2018

Cheltenham, United...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

KWUK is quite right about the arrival arrangements, it is the end (Sunday) that is problematic. The key to this is what is happening on Sunday? where are you staying Sunday night, what happens on Monday 16th? Where will you store luggage on Sunday? What time are you due in Oxford on Sunday morning? Are you both attending conference, or can the non-attender manage car arrangements on Sunday eg to conform with depot opening times?

Edit That's a really useful link John H, National Rail website doesn't seem aware, so apologies to OP if this is the cause of "no direct services". Also greatly complicates options on Sunday and Monday.

Edited: 10 June 2018, 14:58
Cheltenham, United...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Sorry me again. National Rail is flagging the route closures, it is the Travelinesoutheast web-site which doesn't notify.

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
820 posts
38 reviews
9. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

Wow, did you all come through! Thanks for your input.

To clarify - we are staying at Worcester College (dorms) for the Conference, which does start the 15th in the evening (a Sunday).

The National Rail site seemed to indicate 'possible disruptions', and when I searched from Southampton Central, there was always one stop. Rick Steves indicated there were car rental options in Moreton in Marsh - more privately run vs big names.

Upon further reflection for the inefficiencies mentioned above, would this be wiser:

1) from cruise terminal, taxi to Southampton airport

2) rent car there. Drive to Dumbleton Hall. Stay 3 nights/explore Cotswolds.

3) return car to Evensham

4) train Evensham to Oxford (is this direct? Again we'll have a fair bit of luggage)

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Cheltenham, United...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds
Level Contributor
3,369 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Southampton-Oxford-Cotswolds: Transportation help?

To return the car in Evesham you will obviously need to hire from operator with location in Southampton and Evesham. Then the Evesham depot has to be open on Sunday - I think that is unlikely, or late Saturday, but most places close a lunchtime in rural towns.

Will you be offered parking at Worcester College, it seems to me the best option would be to use the car to Oxford if you can guarantee parking. You are unlucky with the train disruption which affects Sunday as well, so counter to usual advice I'd investigate using car to Oxford on Sunday and returning on Monday (assuming that fits with the next stage). At least you have all Sunday to get there, the schedule would be close to impossible if had been the morning.

Can only repeat there is no car hire in Moreton, Enterprise will deliver and collect by arrangement, but this won't solve the problem on Sunday as Moreton is affected by the rail disruption.

I'm not familiar with Oxford, if no-one comes back on this post suggest you post another on Oxford forum asking for suggestions of parking near Worcester College.

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