18 Day UK Car trip

Feb 5th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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18 Day UK Car trip

I am travelling around the UK for 18 days in a motorhome from april 19th until May 6th of this year and was wondering if anyone would like to comment on my planned itinerary.
Day 1 pickup MH in Sussex and drive to Bath via Stonehenge and Salsibury
Day 2 Bath
Day 3 Bath to York
Day 4 York
Day 5 York
Day 6 York to Edinburgh
Day 7 Edinburgh
Day 8 Edinburgh
Day 9 Edinburgh to Glasgow via Stirling and Loch Lommond
Day 10 Glasgow to Moffat (scottish borders area)
Day 11 Moffat to Chester
Day 12 Bus Day trip to Liverpool from Chester
Day 13 Chester to Northern wales
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Leaving the last 5 days free but was thinking of a trip through Wales or maybe spend some more time in the Borders or Highland area of Scotland make up the days.
Would be great to hear others opinions and ideas.
Many thanks
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 02:19 AM
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My - there's some long day's driving there.

If you have a motor home you don't have to plan in all in advance do you? Isn't that the point of having a home on wheels?

I find your itinerary manic - but then you are you and I am me.

I would suggest trying to go with the flow, and I can't imagine driving from the Borders to Chester without stopping off at the Lake District.

North Wales is pretty boring unless you take the less trodden paths in Snowdonia NP. Coastal attractions including the places with castles are overrun with tourists.

Yorkshire Moors and Dales much better value.

Happy trails.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 02:51 AM
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Thanks for your comments Fuzzylogic.
Yes you are right MH is usually for meandering but this our first trip to the UK and there are some things I really want to see. The driving doesnt bother me too much as I live in Oz and we are used to big drives between places.
I have tried to limit it to only 3 full days of driving which would be Bath to York, York to Edinburgh and Glasgow to Chester the trip from Stirling to Glasgow would be a slow trip as it is only 200 odd kms with plenty of stopping along the way. As i said we have also left 5 days at the end of the trip so maybe we would just drive directly from Chester and take 5 days to get back to Sussex to drop off the MH and spend more time up north. Can you tell me a little bit about the Lakes District?
Thanks again for your reply
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 03:07 AM
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Why do you need a motorhome - places like Bath, York & Edinburgh are bad enough for normal cars let alone MH's

If you were touring the countryside I would say that a MH is needed but you are doing what is effectively city touring where a MH is going to have lots of problems like narrow streets and height bars at car parks.

And WHERE are you going to stay overnight - you can't just roll up into someone's car park or outside someone's house and expect to park.

Frankly most of your tour doesn't even require a car and can be easily done by public transport
alanRow is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Thanks for your comments Alan.
We are using a motorhome because it works out cheaper than rail and hotels or even with a car and hotels because we can do our own cooking etc.
All of the cities I have listed have camping areas outside their city limits with either park and ride facilities nearby or good public transport links.
We dont intend driving into any of the cities listed as i am sure that would be a nightmare.
We may decide to just meander our way around and not even get to the places I have listed but i was just curious as to what others think of the places we have listed and whether or not they are worth visiting and if we would have enough time.
Thanks again for your comments
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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Why not go from Bath to Wales, as you are on the west side anyway, and head gently up the west side through the Lakes to Glasgow, then across and back down through Edinburgh and Northumberland to York. Or up to York then back down the west side to Bath. As it is you are criss crossinig a lot. It still gives you time to see everything but at a slightly less manic pace maybe.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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I won't address the possible false economy of a MH vs B&Bs/a car.

But your itinerary is really hectic by motorhome (and would be almost as difficult by car). There is absolutely NO comparison between driving long distances in OZ and driving long distances in the UK. From your responses it seems you are set on the places/mode of transport.

But just a few comments: Bath to York -- This would be a hell of a drive. Even strictly by motorway it woulld take an entire day - but you'd miss sooooooo very much in between

York to Edinburgh. Another killer day - and you would miss out on Durham, Hadrian's Wall and the Borders

When you are not on motorways you can only plan on doing about 35 mph so even your "short" days are long.

Why Moffatt? Other areas of the Borders (which you would have driven through on the way up) are much more interesting/scenic.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Bath to York & York to Edinburgh are both 4 hour drives for someone (like me) in a lightly laden car who knows the roads and is only interested in getting from A to B as fast as possible.

In a van add at least 50% onto those times & if you want to see anything in-between (like Stratford, Warwick, Durham, Captain Cook country) an overnight stop will be required or some very early starts / late finishes.

If you are so worried about accommodation costs then look up the Travelodge chain - FAMILY ROOMS from £15 per night. You have to forage for your own breakfast though
alanRow is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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"North Wales is pretty boring unless you take the less trodden paths in Snowdonia NP. Coastal attractions including the places with castles are overrun with tourists."

I disagree completely. We found North Wales to be very interesting and scenic and none of the castles were "overrun with tourists". At Beamaris for example there were SIX other people when we were there. And the OP will be travelling in April and early May - hardly the height of the tourist season. I liked the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales but found them more full of tourists than North Wales. Personally I think any of these areas are lovely and worth a visit but since I like castles I preferred North Wales.
semiramis is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Thanks for all of your comments.

As i stated earlier the itinerary posted may or may not happen and going from most of the comments here it's looking more like may not!

The only three places I definately want to see are Bath, York, and Edinburgh. So basically we have 18 days to travel from and in between these places.

London to Bath
Bath to York
York to Edinburgh
Edinburgh back to London.

Surely even with the UK road system being as bad as stated here, it would be possible to comfortably travel between these places and stop and see things in between in 18 days?

Viamichelin shows the distances as such travelling on motorways as:

London to Bath 148kms
Bath to York 390kms
York to Edinburgh 310kms
Edinburgh to London 700kms
That is a total of around 1500kms

Surely even with the difficult driving conditions in the UK, 1500kms in 18 days could be done comfortably and would be possible?

If so I would be interested in any recomendations and ideas of stopovers in between these three pivotal points to fill the 18 days.

I am already committed to the MH so I dont have an option of car and B and B so thanks for the alternate suggestions but they are no longer an option.

What I really need to know now is the best places to fill in the gaps between Bath, York, Edinburgh and back to London over the 18 days.

Thanks again for all of your comments and I look forward to any further ideas.

trip2006 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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The motorways are fine - though often very congested. But you do not see any sites on/from the motorways.

I think you misinterpreted our comments - the roads aren't bad -- they are quite good actually. They just are not wide, straight, or fast. There is a LOT to see even if you just want to hit those few cities. It isn't like in parts of OZ or the western USA where you drive 4 or 6 or 8 or 10 hours between places simply because it is that far to the next interesting bit.

If I was in a sports car and was doing London > Bath, Bath > York, York > Edinburgh, Edinburgh > London -- I'd want 3 or 4 weeks or more because there is sooooooo very much to see along the way.

In a MH you are talking about 5 full days drives just to get between your major stops. That leaves you 13 days for side trips/touring Bath, York/Yorkshire, Wales, the Borders and Edinburgh -- not much time for all that.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for the reply Janis.
Ok so let me run this by you.

Say you had 18 days in a MH and you HAD to see Bath, York and Edinburgh.

Obviously from your posts you would not do this trip but if you did, how would you or any other posters tackle such a trip?

Thanks again for your comments.

trip2006 is offline  
Feb 5th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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trip2006 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:05 AM
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Ah - Trip - I didn't say I wouldn't do it. I was just taken aback by the regimentation of a trip with an MH.

It is certainly wise to remember that 300kms in the UK is not the same as 300kms in Australia.

If you are on a motorway you should be OK if there are no roadworks, and you are not on the M25 around London (where even with 5 lanes in either direction in some parts it can still be bumper to bumper).

North to south is best served. Once you want to go across the country east-west or v.v. - the roads are good (hey - no dirt!!) but ... but ... you may be travelling on good dual carriageway roads for a lot of the time - but there will be places where the 2 lanes disappear, and there's roundabouts and villages/towns to negotiate. 50km an hour is a good average.

It is a very densely populated island. You will see what I mean - honest!!

I would take your 18 days ard your must sees, and try not to cram anything else in.

I'd skip North Wales on a time versus benefit basis. Instead - as you are travelling York to Edinburgh, I would look at meandering on that part of the route. Don't just take the direct way. You could go to Whitby (home of James Cook) and maybe instead of approaching Newcastle (which is a great town) directly, you could take some back roads. You need to get a map. Off the top of my head - from Whitby go back to the main road north, then detour off again - check out Barnard Castle, and how to get to Durham (an absolute DON'T MISS) and then go the back way from there via Street and Hexham to Newcastle, and back on the A1 North to Edinbugh.

Durham is one of my most favourite places - beats York hands down any day.

On your way south - the Lake District - you will have to google this. It is very touristy but it is also very beautiful.

To reiterate - 18 days is fine. Get yourselves a really good road map and consider. Get yourselves an OS map of areas that appeal - that way you can choose the back roads, but not those that have such a steep gradiant that a MH mighr struggle.

I could go on.

Enough. Hope this helps.

fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:50 AM
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Thanks for your informative post Fuzzy.
This is exactly the kind of info I am after.

I know what I would like to see in the main areas but really have a limited idea of what is in between and thats the kind of info I need.

I take your word for it on traffic conditions in the UK thats why I am asking these questions. We can do long distances in Australia but bear in mind that the only serious dual carriage way we have is from Sydney to Melbourne where you have 2 lanes going each way. Just about everywhere else except close to the main cities we have 2 lane blacktop, and when you get to the more remote parts of the country you get dirt. So I am used to single lane and 2 lane low quality roads. Generally it would take around 4 hours to travel 300kms in a MH on these roads travelling an average of 80kms/50mph. I would reckon from the posts here that same 300kms would take 5 or 6 hrs on a UK Motorway is that right? Say from Bath to York using only the Motorway?

I have driven a fair part of Australia and I have a Toyota 4wd. Road situation I would figure is better in the UK but of course we only have traffic in built up areas. Once you leave the larger cities it is not such a problem and i have been to places in the north where you can drive all day and see maybe 5 or 6 other vehicles so the traffic aspect will be one we will need to deal with.

We have no intention of taking the MH into cities like York, Bath, or Edinburgh, and all have nice camping areas outside the main city areas, reasonably close with either park and ride facilities or good public transport links.

Could you tell me a little more about Durham?

Thanks again for your post.
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Just did a quick search for Durham and it looks like a great place.
These are the sort of places we are looking for in between the main centres.
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 03:39 PM
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I would get a motoring atlas of the UK, which you will want to have anyways if you do this, and follow your routes and see just how dense the country is, before settling on this plan.
fnarf999 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the post and the tip Farnf.

I have an AA 2006 Road Atlas which I purchase here in Australia and use the viamichelin site for routing.

I dont use the viamichelin times i just divide the kms by 80kph which i figure would be the best i could do on the motorways.

I see the built up areas around the cities we will travelling to and through but also notice that most have either ring roads diveriting around these built up areas or motorways running through them. Are these the areas that will be banked up with traffic?

The general experience here in oz is that all of our major cities have either ring roads or diverting roads which do not go through the middle of the city so that you can travel past a city without going into it if you dont want to. These roads are generally ok traffic wise except during peak times as some use them to get from one side of the city to the other, or of course if there is some kind of delay like an accident or roadworks.

Is this not the case regarding these UK cities and because of the high volume of traffic, even these motorways get clogged at all times,(not just peak) therefore reducing the effectiveness when travelling on them?
Thanks again for your post.
trip2006 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 09:58 PM
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We did a trip similar (in a way) to this some years ago in a car with two youngsters over a 21 day period leaving from Wigan up to Scotland and back down and visted Wales and most other tourist destinations North of England.

I found driving to be easy until we got to London. We then offloaded the car and used public transport around London.I found the drivers to be probably the most courteous I have encountered.

Places not to miss in my opinion;
Wales - Port Merion
There are some fantastic castles around Wales and Scotland.

There was a castle near a particular Loch on the way to Scotland, freezing cold and misty with a man in full scottish attire playing bagpipes standing at the highest point on the castle.Fantastic!
Another time at a castle in Wales with a guy playing the Hurdy Gurdy.
Edinburgh Castle was also great.
zzzoz is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 10:26 PM
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Thanks for your post ZZZon,
Did the 21 days include your time in London? Or was it 21 days touring?
trip2006 is offline  

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