Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: UK road trip

  1. #1
    sonix777 Guest

    Default UK road trip

    Hi im thinking of taking a road trip in the uk for about 2-3 months, im thinking of visiting places like france, italy, spain and a few other places, for people that have been on trips like this would you be able to give some advice to how much money i would need? I want to try and keep costs down as much as i can, sleeping in the car is no problem. also can anyone tell me what are the mostimportant things that i will need for a trip?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default North America Trips

    Quote Originally Posted by sonix777
    Hi im thinking of taking a road trip in the uk for about 2-3 months,
    This forum primarily focuses on road trips in North America. But, roadtrippers are a funny breed and I am sure you will get plenty of tips here.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-19-2005 at 01:30 PM.

  3. #3
    essexgirl Guest

    Default

    Hiya, I noticed your message and as I live in England thought that I might give you a little bit of advice. Petrol (fuel) here is really expensive. At the moment the price is coming down a little, but it is about $1.80 per litre. (about 3.5 litres to a US gallon). Driving on the left side of the road can be challenging if you haven't done it before (like when we are in almost any other country and we have to drive on the right) and people from abroad can have big problems with our roundabouts (sorry, don't know what you might call them in the States). Our roads here are NOT like in the US. Much smaller, and in the urban areas, can easily become gridlocked. That said, you will notice that most drivers are courteous and well mannered to each other (waving to thank each other for a small curtesty is normal, offering to wait at a junction while the car opposite pulls out first etc) and if you are aiming to spend time driving AWAY from the cities, you will find pleasant, usually well moving roads opening up to beautiful countryside. I think that on the whole our road signs score a 10 out of 10, so getting from AtoB is usually good. If you drove from one end of the country to the other, on a motorway, it would probably only take about 10-12 hours (with a couple of stops), but there is a lot to see inbetween. Driving in France, Italy etc. is rather different. First, you can't understand the road signs, there are toll roads (especially through the mountain passes), fuel is a bit cheaper, and road manners are a bit ruder! How much money to take? You could probably stay in a half reasonable bed and breakfast (not 5*, but clean and adequate) for about £30 per night or a motorway hotel for about £45.00 - £50.00 per night, without breakfast. Sleeping int he car would not be an option for me (I like my comforts) but I suppose you could do that. Bring a blanket, England is damp at night, even in summer usually. Don't know if any of this helps, but good luck anyway.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I stand corrected

    Quote Originally Posted by essexgirl
    Hiya, I noticed your message and as I live in England thought that I might give you a little bit of advice.
    Thanks for the driving intel -- I guess I should never underestimate the resourcefulness of this forum's participants. I have driven in Germany (autobahn) -- that is fun, although a little unnerving for first-timers.

    Mark

  5. Default An Arizonan's two-cents worth

    And about what it's worth!

    I think the most important things you'll need for the trip are a good attitude and time. Relax, enjoy the experience, and make sure you take the interesting side roads you see -- just like you would here in the States!

    I have been to the UK once -- and I absolutely loved the time I spent roadtripping there (in Scotland). Traffic in the cities was too intimidating for a person used to driving on the right side instead of the left (and traffic moves very fast even when things are congested) -- but the country roads and highways Essexgirl mentions are magnificent and great fun.

    I LOVED the roundabouts (yes, we call them that here too) and once I went through a couple, found they are great for keeping traffic moving -- no waiting at signal lights! Wish we'd install more of them in the USA but it seems most folks don't even want to give them a chance here.

    I never got lost, and only got confused once. The rest of the time (about 3 or 400 miles of driving) was an absolute delight, from the scenery to the people we met along the way.

    If you get up into Aberdeenshire and along the North Sea coast in that area, may I recommend the drive out to Old Rattray (there's an offshore lighthouse there and a great secluded beach),

    and Eck's Fish and Chips in Fraserburgh -- best fish and chips I've ever had! I also wanted to try Ratty's Tea House at Old Rattray, but it was closed the day I was there. Bob
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-19-2005 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Add some photos

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    When I travelled in Europe, I enjoyed doing it with a RailPass. It was great to see things from the train, have an opportunity to meet and visit with other travelers, and it made catching a few winks easy. Of course, I can sleep anywhere so YMMV. I would definitely look into BritRail and EuroRail passes instead of driving. I believe you'll find it cheaper, too.

    I LOVED the roundabouts (yes, we call them that here too) and once I went through a couple, found they are great for keeping traffic moving -- no waiting at signal lights! Wish we'd install more of them in the USA but it seems most folks don't even want to give them a chance here.
    Had to chuckle at this, Bob. We have some towns around here with roundabouts. I hate them. Hate is a strong word but very accurate in this case. I will purposely try to go other routes to avoid them. I have seen numerous fender-benders happen in them. In bigger ones with more than 4 streets merging into them, I have actually gotten lost, i.e. while driving along on a street (without knowing the name of the street I was on), I have gotten confused and left it at the wrong street. I have found that if you are familiar with the area you are in, they are tolerable. But if you're driving in unfamiliar territory, they just add to the confusion. I have rarely gotten lost in all my years of driving. I have gotten lost several times due to bizarre roundabouts. This irritates the heck outta me. Anyway.....you can take my roundabouts, please!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Roundabouts

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Had to chuckle at this, Bob. We have some towns around here with roundabouts.
    Better get used to them. I have found them in just about every major city in America. I have my own "war stories" about them -- I think the biggest problem is that most American drivers seem to lose all their brain functions when they enter one. Concepts like yield seem to disappear from their driving expertise. Personally, I really enjoy them -- but I have gotten "spit-out" in ways similar to your own experience from time to time...

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Better get used to them. I have found them in just about every major city in America. I have my own "war stories" about them -- I think the biggest problem is that most American drivers seem to lose all their brain functions when they enter one. Concepts like yield seem to disappear from their driving expertise. Personally, I really enjoy them -- but I have gotten "spit-out" in ways similar to your own experience from time to time...

    Mark
    I know they are starting to become popular here. Dang it anyway. Everytime I enter one, I feel like I'm in some bizarre demolition derby.

  9. #9
    Spokey Guest

    Default

    Driving in the UK:

    I would steer WELL clear of driving in urban areas, especially London. Every time I drive in London, I have to take a week off to recover! Birmingham and Manchester are pretty hideous too!

    If you need to get from A to B as quickly as possible, the motorways can be very effective, if rather dull. I once drove down to Devon and Cornwall taking the shortest route, all twisty roads and country lanes. It took two full days to get there. When I drove back, I took the motorway, and was fairly stunned when it only took me about 5 hours to get home! (But it was dull as dull can be!)

    If you want to see the UK, I can strongly recommend certain stretches of road -- but it would fill up pages and pages if I went into any detail. If you want to PM me or email me, I'd be happy to share ideas and routes with you and post up some summaries.

    Some quick ideas include:

    1. The A4 from Reading to Avebury, then down to Stonehenge.

    2. The A39 (a very inappropriately named "Atlantic Highway")

    3. Castell Coch to Llandrindod Wells and thence along the A44 to Worcester

    4. The A6 from Derby to Buxton

    5. Anywhere in the Lake District

    6. The A68 from Darlington to Edinburgh

    7. The Road to Nowhere (Glen Etive in Scotland)

    8. Inverness to Fort William to Oban to Glasgow

    Some other tips:

    1. Get as small car as you can -- the roads can be very narrow in places, and you will thank me for this at least once. (Also when you fill up!)

    2. It's worth considering English Heritage or equivalent visitors' passes -- there are tons of things to see (if that's your bag) and it's well worth the effort.

    Driving in Europe:

    Watch out for the police, in general, and be aware that some countries have different rules about what you must have in your car.

    France:

    Some wonderful drivers -- outside of Paris. Paris is like London, but the drivers sound more romantic when they curse you.

    The roads are generally in excellent condition, and outside of towns, traffic is generally negligible. Watch out for speeding, especially on peages.

    Can't really recommend any roads, as all my driving has been to get somewhere. Also, the country is HUGE. However, the A75 down to Montpellier passes over the highest bridge in the world, I believe, and from Montpellier, it is a short drive to Barcelona, which is a place to spend a couple of days in!

    Belgium:

    Avoid.

    Luxembourg:

    Ditto.

    Germany:

    Ahhhh ... heaven! But be aware that you catch up to slower moving cars extraordinarily quickly when travelling at the speed of light. They don't have many accidents, but when they do ...

    I can strongly recommend driving ANYWHERE in the Eiffel region. And while you're there, you have to do a lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

    You may want to look into a special offer I heard about, where you fly into Frankfurt airport and you can then hire a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 for $200 a day. It's not at all far from Frankfurt to the Nurburgring, hint, hint! Apparently it applies to flights into Munich as well.

    I have driven in Munich in rush hour, and it's lovely compared to London on a Sunday afternoon!

    Elsewhere:

    I haven't driven anywhere else in Europe, but I would LOVE to see Switzerland, and Lake Garda in Italy.

    Hope this helps!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Roundabouts

    Roundabouts, aka Rotary(ies) here in New England, are probably my least favorite road "feature". In fact, near the Bourne bridge to Cape Cod, the roadway is being realigned with one of the key features being the elimination of the rotary. When I think of all the rotar...,er, roundabouts I've driven in, I'm reminded of the following:

    Misaligned or missing signage
    Poor drainage, potholes
    Center lane debris collections
    Arbitrary lane closures for construction
    Lanes that exit with an immediate traffic signal, backing up traffic into the rotary
    ad infinitum

    I think they'd be more useful in areas with less dense population. This has been discussed exhaustively on roadgeek forums.

    Nurburgring - I would absolutely love to drive that! I watched a show a couple of weeks ago about it, and it looked like a heck of a lot of fun.

    And the comment about not understanding the road signs - perhaps there is some sort of guide online about that. I'm picturing a sign of a horse with an exclamation over it, on a purple octagon. What's that mean?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 23
    Last Post: 07-11-2006, 02:37 PM
  2. Planning a two month road trip and seeking advice
    By ChepandJen in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-09-2005, 03:38 PM
  3. Bid Daddys Road Trip: The Results are In!
    By Big Daddy in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-17-2004, 09:08 AM
  4. 4-month solo road trip
    By Krista in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-28-2004, 06:53 PM
  5. Road trip report - Seattle to Yosemite
    By S in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-26-2004, 07:46 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES