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Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Canberra, Australia
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Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Hi, planning travel for Feb/Mar 2015 for myself and two adult daughters. We like driving and have driven often in Australia and USA and with work I drive 6 hours return every two days. Understand that there is lots to see so maybe only driving a maximum of four hours a day with plenty of time then for stops.

This is purely the start of our planning so nice constructive feedback is welcome.

Arrive London and have approx 18 days for England, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, England before 10 days in France

We are using this trip as a "snapshot" planning trip for a five month holiday in 2018

Any tips on itineraries, accommodation, car hire, must sees would be greatly appreciated.

First time to UK, Ireland and France so please don't leave rude or nasty comments

Thanks

Sharon

Canberra, Australia
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21. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Thanks @joeintheuk :)

Wales, United...
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22. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

I don't see a lot of bullying in this thread. What I see is consistent and good advice about the reality of a driving tour in the UK during Feb and March.

I would suggest that abetter idea than driving tour with 4 hours on the road every day, would be to base yourselves in a few places for 2-3 nights and travel between cities by train or coach wherever possible, as this will be a more comfortable and relaxing mode of travel in late winter time here. It might be a good idea to rent a car to explore the local area.

I would consider the following or something similar:

Day 1 Arrive and travel to Bath, Bristol or Cardiff for three nights

Days 2-3 Explore the area

Day 4 Take the train to Chester

Days 5-7 Explore Cheshire and North Wales

Day 8 Train to York

Days 9-11 Explore Yorkshire

Day 12 Train to Edinburgh

Days 13-15 Explore southern Scotland

Day 16 Fly to Dublin

Day 17 Enjoy Dublin

Day 18 Fly to Paris

23. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

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Tenterden, United...
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24. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Certainly not the time of year I would want to traipse around the country unless I had to. I live in the countryside and February is my least favourite month of year. It is mostly cold, wet, dark with brown bare trees and plants dormant until April. Personally I prefer to batten down the hatches and stay by the log fire from January to March.

Canberra, Australia
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25. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Thanks marg001

Somerset
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26. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

I agree that it is my least favourite time of year but it does mean that you won't find crowds. March to April they usually mend the roads before the summer rush creating long hold ups and diversions.

Unfortunately this doesn't apply to cities which are your probable destinations. They are still difficult to drive round and parking is still expensive

So travel by train in the winter can be the way to go. You avoid hours of driving on a motorway with no view but the back of other cars and the hazards of the weather. You usually arrive in the middle of a city or town and there are bus connections from a train station. Also from a train you can see countryside and towns in comfort if you are doing research. You will also arrive refreshed. Booking ahead of time when the prices come out can get you some good deals.

Sometimes in the winter, should we get some sun the countryside can, I think, be beautiful with the wet bare trees like black lace against the bright spring green grass. Looks great from a coach or a train ;-)

england
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27. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

I think some people have missed your remark about a snapshot planning trip for a 5 month holiday - but I would still have to join the chorus of this is not the way to do it, sorry. You'd do better to stay home, read these forums, look at google street view and then ask some questions.

Not sure if you would be looking for one room or two but if male you may get some strange looks sharing with two adult females. The travelodge chain has rooms for 3 adults and while I couldn't recommend them last year they are upgrading the double bed from dreadful to just about bearable for a night. The sofa beds still look disgusting. I usually look at trivago for hotel rooms as they cover several booking sites. Premier inn is a reasonably priced chain, Holiday inns usually comfortable but check the reviews and find the small local places.

Our roads are often slow and as traffic is heavy roadworks are quite common. At the moment there are still quite a few potholes left from last winter's floods. If we don't get snow we will have rain, sleet, black ice and fog in February and you may not be used to the fog. Speed cameras are common, can be well hidden and some will catch 100 motorists a day. You don't necessarily have to be going very fast to be sent a fine, some cameras are in 30 mph areas. Fixed penalty fines are 60 pounds. Public transport between cities is good and in cities can be excellent. Unless you are disabled a car is a liability in London as parking is expensive and you may be charge a "congestion" fee each day. Almost everyone uses public transport, I've seen a government minister on a bus by Westminster.

For a short stay in February you might want to focus on London and perhaps the West Country (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset) as this will give you an idea of what rural England can be like. It's much better in summer.

South Pole
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28. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

I'd hazard a guess that the snapshot view you get on such an itinerary will put you off ever wanting to visit these shores again rather than inspire you. This could be a complete waste of time & money which would be better spent on good research & the surplus held until 2018 when it can be a boost to what could be a truly memorable trip, for all the right reasons. This has the makings of a memorable trip that will make you shudder in years to come.

Stick to cities, a few days based in one place and IF the sun shines rent a car on the spot & go explore the wider locality. Planning a busy road trip in winter here is folly - you could end up stranded, watch pouring rain for mile upon mile of tedious motorway with the tedium only broken by roadworks hold ups or accidents in fog or on ice.

Somerset
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29. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Dragonfly, have a think. You are going to arrive jetlagged after a 22hr trip.

You have 15 days to do 4 countries. Take out travelling and you have 3 days per country. Is it worth it or should you concentrate on say England & Wales? You will still be pressed for time but will get to see a bit.

Scotland is likely to be snowbound in the countryside.

France will be easier with straighter roads and more direct routes.

Canberra, Australia
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30. Re: Driving England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales in 18 Days Yes/No

Thanks suebovington, buzzard2000 and tsipouro.