The historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh has been holding markets since 1227, and still has a busy Tuesday market today. As one of the few Cotswold towns on a direct train line from London, it’s a great base for a weekend break. And it’s easy to take day trips from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds, with popular destinations like Broadway and Stow-on-the-Wold within easy reach.
Although the simplest way to visit the Cotswolds from Moreton-in-Marsh is by car, it’s also possible to explore by public transport. Bus and train services mean you don’t need to hire a car. But they don’t always run very often or connect well, so you need to choose the right place to visit.
We’ve picked out 10 destinations in and around the Cotswolds which you can easily reach by public transport on a day trip from Moreton-in-Marsh, from small villages to world-class cities.
Most of them take less than an hour to get to from Moreton, meaning you can easily travel there and back in a day. And none of them involve coordinating multiple connections. Services on some routes are limited though (and often don’t run on Sundays), so make sure to check timetables.
If your favourite village isn’t on the list, we’ve also rounded up other places in the Cotswolds which you can reach by public transport from Moreton-in-Marsh at the end of this post. But these involve more complicated connections or run infrequently, so may be better for a longer trip.
Map of day trips from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds
10 easy day trips from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds without a car
With the broad High Street that gave it its name running though the centre of the village, Broadway’s charms have made it popular with artists. One of them was William Morris, who used the Broadway Tower – a hilltop folly south of the village which you can reach on a 4.4-mile circular walk – as an artists’ retreat. It’s still a fashionable place, with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants.
You can visit the Gordon Russell Museum dedicated to the local furniture designer, learn about local history at the Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, have a drink in the Lygon Arms Hotel which once hosted Oliver Cromwell, or enjoy a delicious fish and chip supper from Russell’s.
How to get there: Broadway is 10 miles northeast of Moreton-in-Marsh. The Stagecoach 1/2 bus runs from Moreton train station to the Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway. It takes around 25 minutes but there are only three services a day in each direction, and none on Sundays.
The village of Blockley is one of the Cotswolds’ lesser-known scenic spots – unless you’re a fan of BBC TV show Father Brown, about a crime-solving priest in the 1950s. Blockley is one of the show’s main filming locations as the village of Kembleford, with the Church of St Peter and St Paul becoming the Catholic St Mary’s Church and the vicarage becoming Father Brown’s presbytery.
You can also see pretty stone cottages built for silk workers on Northwick Terrace, visit Mill Dene Gardens and call into the community-run Blockley Village Shop and Café for tea and cake.
How to get there: Blockley is four miles northeast of Moreton-in-Marsh. The Stagecoach 1/2 bus stops in Blockley on its way to Broadway, with the journey taking 13 minutes.
3. Chipping Campden
Chipping Campden has a long association with the Arts and Crafts Movement, and you can find out more about it at the Court Barn Museum or buy crafts from today’s artists at the Old Silk Mill. There are also some beautiful buildings along the High Street, including the 17th-century Market Hall, quaint thatched cottages and the 14th-century Grevel House, the town’s oldest building.
How to get there: Chipping Campden is six miles northeast of Moreton-in-Marsh. It’s also linked to Moreton by the Stagecoach 1/2 bus, which stops at Chipping Campden Town Hall. It takes 40 minutes with six services a day (some bypass Broadway but stop here), excluding Sundays.
The hilltop market town of Stow-on-the-Wold grew prosperous due to the wool trade, with 20,000 sheep once changing hands here. You can visit St Edward’s Church with its Yew Tree Door that’s said to have inspired Tolkien, browse the town’s antique shops, have afternoon tea at Huffkins or call in to one of Stow’s cosy pubs – the Porch House is thought to be the oldest inn in England.
You could also combine two destinations in one day by visiting Stow then walking to Bourton-on-the-Water on our 4.2-mile walk, and catching the bus back to Moreton from Bourton.
How to get there: Stow-on-the-Wold is 4.5 miles south of Moreton-in-Marsh. You can get there using the Pulhams 801 bus from Moreton train station to Stow’s Market Square, which takes 20 minutes. There are several services a day, but Sunday services only run May–September.
5. Upper and Lower Slaughter
Visiting the neighbouring villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter (collectively known as The Slaughters) is like taking a step back in time, with no building work taking place in either since 1906. The villages sit on the banks of the shallow River Eye, connected by a 1.5-mile path.
You can walk along Copsehill Street, voted the most romantic street in Britain, and have lunch at the Slaughters Country Inn in Lower Slaughter. Or paddle in the ford, see carved tombs at St Peter’s Church and have a drink on the terrace of the Lords of the Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter.
How to get there: Upper and Lower Slaughter are seven miles south of Moreton-in-Marsh. The Pulhams 801 bus continues on from Stow and stops at Slaughter Pike on the A429, a 10-minute walk from Lower Slaughter. And from there it’s another 20 minutes on to Upper Slaughter.
With its picturesque setting of stone bridges over the River Windrush – leading to the nickname ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ – Bourton-on-the-Water is one of the most popular day trips from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds. You can explore the village in miniature at the Model Village, visit the Cotswold Motoring Museum, see the birds at Birdland, or get lost in the Dragonfly Maze.
How to get there: Bourton-on-the-Water is eight miles south of Moreton-in-Marsh. The Pulhams 801 bus stops in Bourton next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. The journey from Moreton takes around 35 minutes (Sunday services only available from May to September).
Located off the main Cotswold tourist trail, Northleach has kept an unspoilt feel. It’s best known for the impressive Church of St Peter and St Paul – the ‘Cathedral of the Cotswolds’ – which was built using the proceeds of the wool trade. It also has medieval cottages and half-timbered Tudor houses, a maze of alleyways leading off the market square, and a former prison-turned-café.
How to get there: Northleach is 13.5 miles south of Moreton-in-Marsh. It’s also on the route of the Pulhams 801 bus but not all services stop there. There are two services a day (none on Sundays at any time of year) in each direction, which take 50 minutes and stop in the market square.
Kingham in Oxfordshire was once voted ‘England’s Favourite Village’ by Country Life magazine, and is a peaceful spot with a village green and 17th- and 18th-century stone cottages. It’s also a favourite with food-lovers, with two acclaimed gastropubs – The Wild Rabbit and The Kingham Plough. And it’s only a 40-minute walk away from Daylesford Organic with its restaurants, deli and spa.
How to get there: Kingham is 10 miles southeast of Moreton-in-Marsh. It’s easy to reach as it’s on the direct train line from Moreton towards London, which only takes seven minutes.
Just outside the Cotswolds, the historic city of Oxford also makes an easy day trip from Moreton-in-Marsh. Oxford University dates back to 1096, with alumni including 30 British Prime Ministers. You can tour many of its colleges, including Christ Church, Magdalen, Balliol and New College.
Oxford is also home to the Bodleian Library, Ashmolean Museum of art and archaeology, Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You can climb up to the top of the Church of St Mary the Virgin for great views over the city, or take a punt ride along the river.
How to get there: Oxford is 29 miles southeast of Moreton-in-Marsh. It’s on the same direct train line as Kingham, with hourly services from Moreton to Oxford taking 35 minutes.
Stratford-upon-Avon is another place just outside the Cotswolds which is easy to visit from Moreton. This Warwickshire city was famously the home of William Shakespeare, and you can visit his birthplace, the church he was baptised in, his school and his wife and mother’s houses.
You can see performances of Shakespeare’s works as well as other plays at the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. There’s also the MAD (mechanical art and design) museum, the Stratford Butterfly Farm and boat trips on the River Avon.
How to get there: Stratford-upon-Avon is 16.5 miles north of Moreton-in-Marsh. The Pulhams 51 bus runs from Moreton station to Bridge Street in Stratford in 50 minutes. There are five services a day, Monday–Saturday. You could also take the slower Stagecoach 1/2 bus to Stratford, which takes 65–90 minutes (excluding Sundays) depending on how many stops it makes.
How do I get to…?
Is your favourite Cotswold town or village not listed above? We’ve included the main destinations you can reach easily on day trips from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds without a car. But if you don’t mind a slower and more complex journey with more changes along the way, this is how to visit:
- Bibury: Pulhams 801 bus to Bourton-on-the-Water, then Pulhams 855 bus to Bibury (one service a day in each direction – change at Northleach on the return journey).
- Burford: Pulhams 801 bus to Northleach then Stagecoach S2 bus to Burford. Or train to Oxford, then Stagecoach S2 bus to Burford.
- Chipping Norton: Train from Moreton-in-Marsh to Kingham, then Villager 19 bus to Chipping Norton (once a day). Or train to Oxford, then Stagecoach S3 bus to Chipping Norton.
- Cirencester: Train from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cheltenham (with a change at Worcestershire Parkway), then Stagecoach 51 bus to Cirencester.
- Painswick: Train from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cheltenham (with a change at Worcestershire Parkway), then Stagecoach 66 bus to Painswick.
- Winchcombe: Train from Moreton to Cheltenham (with a change at Worcestershire Parkway), then Stagecoach W or Pulhams 606 bus (or GWSR steam train) to Winchcombe.
Do double-check timetables as services and connections are limited, especially at weekends.
Cotswolds tours from Moreton-in-Marsh
If time is tight and you want to visit several places around the Cotswolds in one day without hiring a car, another option is to take a guided day tour from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cotswolds. There are a few different tours available, which vary in duration and in which destinations they visit:
- Cotswolds Tour:* 7-hour minibus tour from Moreton train station which visits Dover’s Hill, Chipping Campden, Snowshill, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bibury and Bourton-on-the-Water.
- Cotswolds Walks and Villages Guided Tour:* 7-hour minibus tour including walks to the Broadway Tower, Broadway village, a walk through the Windrush Valley and Burford.
- Hidden Gems of Cotswolds:* 6-hour private car tour for up to four people, including Chipping Campden, Broadway, Snowshill, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury.
Save for later
* This site contains affiliate links, where I get a small commission from purchases at no extra cost to you.