England Itinerary in October

Old Jun 1st, 2008, 08:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 76
England Itinerary in October

I've posted before about my itinerary but it has changed a fair bit. What are the comments regarding this driving tour? The towns are where we will be staying overnight, the mileage & time is getting to that town - info from RAC. Some of the mileage/times may seem too long but I've included a few detours. The assumption is 30 miles per hour.

We aren't making any reservations. This is a rough guide to take in things we really want to see, but it's not set in stone.

Oct 3 - arrive Gatwick, stay in area until Oct 5

Oct 5 - Broadstairs Kent - 90 miles, 2 hr 25 min

Oct 6 - Hastings - 67 miles, 1 hr 5 min

Oct 7 - Portsmouth - 84 miles, 2 hr 17 min

Oct 8 & 9 - Wareham -61 miles, 1 hr 23 min

Oct 10 - Plymouth - 113 miles, 2 hr 58 min

Oct 11 & 12 - Penzance - 77 miles, 2 hr, 2 min

Oct 13 - Lynton - 125 miles, 3 hr 18 min

Oct 14 - Wells - 64 miles, 1 hr 54 min

Oct 15 - Stratford-upon-Avon - 103 miles, 2 hr 49

Oct 16 - Oxford - 39 miles, 1 hr 8 min

Oct 17 - Windsor - 39 miles, 1 hr 8 min

Oct 18 - Gatwick - 59 miles, 1 hr 45 min

I know it's a lot of one-nighters but the longest leg is 125 miles. The idea is to allow for browsing time. We always get up reasonably early and would be hitting the road by 9:00.
Joanne28 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2008, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Drivetimes in Britain probably mislead people badly.

Apart from the unpredictability of traffic generally, the RAC numbers make no allowance for time spent getting out of towns (where, by definition, traffic's much more unpredictable), time spent finding somewhere to park and time spent getting from the eventual car park to where you actually want to be.

As a general rule, add 30 mins for getting out of most towns, and 45 for getting in. And allow 50% longer than the RAC suggests for the actual driving: you may or may not need it, but you'll need something like it for about half your journeys.

The new "xx mins in good traffic: yy mins in bad traffic" feature on the RAC site gives a badly misguided sense of false security. On a 45 mile journey in your general area two days ago, we easily took twice as long as the RAC predicted.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2008, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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sorry - but 125 miles per day does not allow you much if any "browsing time".

All those one nighters will get VERY old very fast IMO.
janisj is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:31 AM
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I know it's a lot of one-nighters, but we have only 3 over 100 miles, with an average of 77 miles per trip day. The driving times are based on 30 miles an hour, with as few motorways as possible. With only 30 miles an hour, I'm hoping this works out.

If we were to base ourselves in one place, we would still be doing a lot of driving to see the things we "must" see. But we aren't making any reservations for the simple reason that we may drastically change/curtail our trip.
Joanne28 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It sounds as if you've already decided this is what you are doing, so there's really no point asking for comments on the driving portion. flanner and janisj have given you dead on advice - until you do it, you probably won't believe them, but you should.

Perhaps, you should be asking for sightseeing/accommodation suggestions instead. If that's the case let us know and we can give you some suggestions on that.
rickmav is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,703
One major difference between 1 nighters and basing in one place for 2 or 3 or 4 nights is you spend much more time packing, checking out, finding the next place, checking in, unpacking.

We think you are miscalculating things a bit. For instance - Oxford. By the time you park in the park and ride, catch the bus into the city (DO NOT try to drive in Oxford) you need to add about 45 mins to the Stratford > Oxford time. If you plan on staying IN oxford - then you have to deal w/ what to do w/ the car. If you stay outside of Oxford, then you have to deal w/ the extra time involved.

Drive times are one thing - but you are traveling in Oct and could face bad weather - or not. A rain squall can easily add an hour to a normal hour's drive.

For Kent - I would stay Oct 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the same place. Someplace near Tunbridge Wells or Hawkhurst would put you in the center of things and w/i easy commute to all of Kent/East Sussex.

janisj is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 12:13 PM
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Also, if you're driving in cities before 9 a.m. - rush hour traffic will add to the total time in many places.
Nonconformist is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Good points all around. I'll have to consider curtailing some of the trip - probably by knocking off the SUA and Oxford legs. I've been to both before but my husband hasn't. He says he just wants to go to Monkey World in Wareham so he doesn't care otherwise.

I really want to go back to Cornwall & will start figuring out a new, shorter itinerary.

I did do a similar, lots of one-nighters trip like this 5 years ago - but I used trains & buses. So I thought driving would be quicker than public transportation, with the advantage that we could get to out of the way locations more quickly.

Joanne28 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 134
Joanne -

I made the same mistake the first time I did a driving trip in England! (I didn't know about this site back in 2000.) I had my maps with mileage, had figured out delay times and had everything down pat, with B & Bs arranged every night. By day 3, I was hopelessly off schedule! The delays were not only because of the actual travel time, but also due to the perfect spontaneous delays you hope for in travel (ie market day with stalls full of fabulous finds; children's choir rehearsing in the Cathedral; having a picnic on one of the 'White Horse' hills.) Have a great - pleasantly paced- time!!
momofrajah is offline  
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