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? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

rocky mtns
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? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

Hello Everyone,

I'm planning a trip to the UK in late August/Early September (firming up plans actually). I plan to have a rental car, and after spending a few days exploring places in the vicinity of Bath/Bristol, drive to Edinburgh. I'm not exactly sure yet how many days in the Bath area, however.

As an inexperienced UK driver, should I make it a point to avoid having to drive the entire distance in a single day? I see, according to Google maps, that it is around 380 miles. Here in the US, that's not a difficult one-day highway drive. I drive that distance frequently although I don't stop for sightseeing. I have a 5-day maximum window in the area of Bath and would have to make the drive to Edinburgh on day 6 if I stayed all 5 days. But I could have the option of leaving on the 4th day and taking 2 days for a more leisurely drive. Should I really plan to take only 4 days around Bath, or is it not a big deal to drive it in one day? I'm assuming the likelihood of some sort of adverse weather affecting the trip is pretty low (you don't have early September blizzards or anything, do you?)

I also should probably ask... what is a good highway map? One with detailed insets of major towns showing parking areas, etc would be preferable, if available.

I will appreciate any advice you may have.

Thank you in advance for your replies.

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?


On another post today, a Californian is planning to drive from around there to the north of Scotland in one day. Its normal, apparently.

What I know is that it is not like driving on long straight highways, where the most difficult task is to decide which radio station to listen to.

The traffic is usually fast, and close.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

I would break the journey for at least one night because otherwise you'll be missing some beautiful countryside as you pass by it on the motorway. The Yorkshire Dales are a little over half way; you could take a detour off the motorway to somewhere like Settle (about four hours drive from Bath).

If you have two nights, you could explore the Dales the next day and spend the night in the Lake District (another beautiful area) in a town like Keswick. Make sure you take the A591 which takes you through the heart of the Lake District. The next day you could drive to Edinburgh via Hadrian's Wall (taking the A69), turn off after Hexham on the A68, which takes you through Jedburgh, Scottish Borders.

This way you'd get to drive through some great scenery and have time to do some sightseeing along the way. You won't be disappointed.

You can buy a street atlas from a petrol station when you get to the UK and combine this with a Sat Nav which my partner and I found very useful on our driving tour of the UK (from London to the Isle of Skye).

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3. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

what is your actual date? this has some bearing on travel plans.

You might be able to drive this distance at home, but the problem here will not be the weather but other traffic, think of 380 miles, mostly in slow moving traffic where it is unsafe to gaze out of the window for fear of hitting someone.

rocky mtns
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4. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?


Thank you for your replies. This helps.

It sounds like allowing 2 days might be prudent. I don't need to make the trip in one day. I have rarely driven long distances in heavy traffic (California does come to mind, however). Heavy traffic is common in cities where I drive but traffic can be fairly sparse on the highways (motorways, I guess). Secondary highways can be downright deserted. So, I wouldn't want to be overly optimistic given the unfamiliar roadway and vehicle conditions.

I would be making the trip during the week, right after the August bank holiday, incidentally.

Thank you very much for your replies.

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

< Secondary highways can be downright deserted. >

Whereas in the UK they can be busy, full of slow moving traffic with no opportunity to overtake and with frequent curves - as I said yesterday if you find a straight road in the UK then it's either a runway or was built 2000 years ago by the Romans

Go on the theory that 200 miles in the US = 100 miles in the UK as regards effort (and even travel time)

Cardiff, United...
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6. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

The drive is doable, but driving on US highways is far less stressful than driving on UK motorways (and that's speaking as someone familiar with UK motorways...).

Much nicer to do it in two days, and the second one will be reasonably scenic. If you take the A702 into Edinburgh that's a nice drive.

There are plenty of places in between Bristol and Edinburgh that would make good stopping off points. Various towns in the lake district or Yorkshire Dales as suggested above would be ideal. Last time I drove from the South West to Scotland we stayed in Kirkby Lonsdale which is very nice with a great selection of places to stay and pubs/restaurants.

7. Re: ? About one-day drive from Bath/Bristol area to Edinburgh ?

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