My partner and I will be making our first trip to England this April. We've been so busy that we're only NOW planning the details of our trip. Our goal is to spend a total of 7 nights (3 or 4 nights in London and 3 or 4 nights in the Cotswolds). I'm not really worried about seeing all the tourist stuff in London in 3 days, but I am worried about setting just the right itinerary for the Cotswolds. I hear Burford and Broadway are both beautiful places to stay, but I definitely want to see Oxford and Stratford (well, Oxford more so than Stratford, to be honest).
Is it recommended to stay in bigger cities like Oxford and Stratford and take day trips into villages like Burford and Broadway or stay in the villages and take day trips to the bigger towns? I suppose my biggest concern is transportation. I assume trains go into the bigger towns and I'd need a car or tour bus to get around the villages. So if I'm going to the North Cotswolds with all of my luggage, I might as well stay in Stratford. Maybe?
Currently, the plan looks something like this:
SATURDAY - Arrive in London midday, Night in London
SUNDAY - London tourist stuff, Night in London
MONDAY - Day trip to Windsor, Night in London
TUESDAY - Either head out to Stratford or Oxford and spend the night in one of those cities or pass straight through to Broadway or Burford and stay there
WEDNESDAY - Tour Oxford/Burford/Woodstock or Stratford/Broadway/Chipping
THURSDAY - Maybe a Train to Bath if already in Oxford/Burford area or to Oxford if in Stratford/Broadway area
FRIDAY - Tour whichever area I've ended up!
SATURDAY - Train back to London, Fly back to U.S.
As you can see, my plan is far from ready. Should Oxford just be a day trip from London before taking a train up to Stratford? Any and all suggestions are welcome.
Oh, and my partner and I are two gay American men in our early 30's if that matters. I'd like to think these areas will be reasonably welcoming for friendly tourists such as ourselves!