Friday, 14 April 2017

3-day trip: Cotswolds, Forest of Dean, Wye Valley

Headed to the West of England this week with my wife for a short 3-day trip (Monday morning to Thursday afternoon). We based ourselves in Howle Hill, Ross-on-Wye for the evenings and hopped between the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley in the daytimes. Below is a full itinerary of our trip:
  • Monday morning – we caught the GWR train from London Paddington to Gloucester station. (We booked the train a month before the trip for £68 return trip for 2-persons.)
  • Monday afternoon – we picked up our car for the trip from the Europcar office which was a 20-minute walk from the station. (We booked the car a month before the trip for £50 for three days plus £10 for roadside assistance plus £12 for car insurance which we booked separately with iCarhireinsurance.) After picking up our car we headed to the Sainsbury's right nearby to stock up on all our food for the trip.
  • Monday evening – we settled in our accommodation (Ivy Studio) on Howle Hill in Ross-on-Wye and went for a short walk around the surrounding area. (We booked our accommodation a month before the trip via Airbnb for £172 for three nights inclusive of the £22 Airbnb service fee.)
  • Tuesday morning – we drove out from our accommodation to Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds. It was meant to be an hour's drive according to Google Maps but turned out to be over an hour-and-a-half. Longer than we would have liked.
  • Tuesday afternoon – we picked up our hired cycles from Hartwells Cotswold Cycle Hire (£14 per-bike for full day hire) and then cycled our circular route from Bourton-the-Water to Lower Slaughter to Upper Slaughter to Lower Swell and then back to our starting point. Our experience was that the area is better for walking than cycling. The cycle paths were non-complete and we found ourselves on the roads and footpaths more than we would have liked.
  • Tuesday evening – we drove back to our accommodation.
  • Wednesday morning – we drove from our accommodation to the Forest of Dean. This was a much shorter drive than the previous day. Just 30 mins.
  • Wednesday afternoon – we picked up our hired cycles from Dean Forest Cycles (£18 per-bike for full day hire) and followed the circular route suggested by them passing Cannop Ponds and New Fancy View along the way. This was a much more enjoyable cycle ride than the previous day. The cycle path was clear, well-connected and well-signposted all the way through.
  • Wednesday evening – we stopped off at Symonds Yat on the way back to our accommodation for a beautiful view of the Wye Valley. Well worth the stopover.
  • Thursday morning – we drove back to Gloucester from our accommodation and returned our car.
  • Thursday afternoon – we walked to the train station through Gloucester town centre and caught the train back to London Paddington.
I've uploaded some pictures of the trip to my Flickr account here.

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