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Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

Springwood...
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Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

Hi there

We are a family of six and are travelling around Inverness and Durness by car as my husband's ancestral connections are around here. We think we have worked out that it is cheaper for us to keep the car and drive down to the south of England (900AU) than to hire a car in Inverness, fly and hire another car in Bristol to drive to Tintagel. We will be leaving Edinburgh on the 25th July later in the afternoon....say at 3pm. How far could we reasonably expect to travel south on the 25th. We have the next day to drive to Tintagel. We have two drivers, I am used to driving on the left and have driven on French motorways in summer (ok but did experience traffic) From forums I am getting the feeling that travel times can blow out due to traffic? Travel times and good stops would be good.

Suggestions really appreciated :)

Karin

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Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

10 hours of non-stop driving. Obvious place to stop would be Chester which is a lovely walled city dating from Roman times. But do divert through the Lake District rather than thrashing down the M6. On the 2nd day take a route via Bath

You could also check the price of flying to Exeter with FlyBe and saving much of that time or taking the Caledonian Sleeper to London (check Bargain Berths) then day train to Exeter (book when the cheap tickets become available which is a MAXIMUM of 12 weeks before date of travel). Also check Family & Friends Railcard to see if it's worthwhile in your case.

As for car - I hope you've hired a car in the Ford Galaxy people carrier class as you'll need it with 6.

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Springwood...
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2. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

Hi Alanrow

Is that 10 hours to Tintagel? Yes it is a long way in the car. I've done my head in trying to find flights that will work for us on our dates and because we are six cheap tickets of 40 pounds become pricey.

I will check out Chester as I have seen that mentioned in other posts. It seems from your post that it is doable in two days even if a not that pleasant.

Thanks

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3. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

It would be possible to drive the 500 miles from Edinburgh to Tintagel in about 10 hours, and setting off at 3pm or a little later would mean you avoid the worst of the evening rush hour on the busiest section of motorway from Preston to below Birmingham.

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4. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

Crikey, you must be a glutton for punishment! I've driven that far in the UK, but not over 2 days. I think the longest I've done is about 8 hours' travelling time, including stops (Chester to Keith in Scotland - half the journey was in blinding rain, luckily the latter half so there wasn't much traffic). I didn't have any children with me to worry about though.

Accordingly to the AA Route Planner, Inverness to Tintagel, via Chester, is just short of 13 hours' driving time (1117.4km) ie 7.25 hours from Inverness to Chester and then 5.5. hours from Chester to Tintagel. If you leave Inverness at 3pm, you're not likely to be in Chester until after 10pm and that's not allowing for stops along the way ("stop, revive, survive"), so I think you need to either stop for the night sooner than Chester and then have a long drive the next day, or do it over 3 days (ie having 2 overnight stops along the way - you'll be listening to a lot of "are we there yet?" from the back seat, remember).

I know that 13 hours is only the equivalent of say Newcastle to Melbourne, but there's much more traffic on the roads in the UK than here and 13 hours' of driving in the UK is a different kettle of fish to here.

I've no idea of what flight costs are like, but maybe flying from Inverness to Newquay (if there are flights from Inverness to Newquay) and then picking up another hire car in Newquay might be worth considering - you'd all get to Cornwall quicker and you'll be considerably less stressed and tired :-) Just a thought :-) Sometimes the benefits outweigh the cost ...

Have a great holiday - you're going to love it there :-)

edit: silly me - didn't see you'll be leaving from Edinburgh, not Inverness, but it's still a long drive. I'll consult the trusty AA Route Planner again and post again:-)

Edited: 17 February 2012, 11:26
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5. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

OK - Edinburgh to Chester - 4.5 hours. Edinburgh to Tintagel 866km, total driving time just under 10 hours.

You'll still need to stop a couple of times between Edinburgh and Chester, adding at least an hour or so to the journey and that's not allowing for heavy traffic around major centres.

If it was just adults, I'd say drive and stop at B&B's where it takes your fancy (depending on time of year and how busy it is, of course) but with children in tow, I'd still be trying to budget for flying instead :-)

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6. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

Bluemountains, hello!

I get the feeling from your posts that you are a sensible group, and realise that driving Edinburgh to Tintagel isn't going to be the most pleasant 2 days of your life, but may be the most cost-effective option. I think that is bottom line - it is doable, but won't be a bundle of fun!

Although, it won't be as bad as a 20-odd hour flight from Aus to UK!

How about leaving Edinburgh just before 3, head down to the M6, then leave the M6 at Penrith - at around 5pm ish, for a look around the Lakes. Have some dinner, and rejoin the motorway after the rush hour clears, 7-8ish. Pop down to the Travelodge at Lancaster, reach there 8-9ish. Spend the night, and then leave after rush hour in the morning, 9-10ish.

It is about a 6-7 hour drive (traffic permitting) from Lancaster M6 to Tintagel, so you would arrive before evening rush hour (even with a lunch stop somewhere).

I suggest the Lancaster Travelodge because it is right on the motorway and perfectly pleasant, and you can get really really cheap deals there, as cheap as £15 for a room for 3 of you. I have done the first day of my suggestion (Edinburgh, Lakes for dinner, drive to Travelodge Lancaster), and it worked really well for avoiding the traffic, getting south, and getting some interest out of the trip as well!

Abs :)

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7. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

PS - if you are considering a one way car rental, remember to factor in one way rental supplement. Also check that the rental company doesn't mind you racking up thousands of driving miles - some put a cap on what they allow. And the cost of petrol isn't to be sneezed at - currently £1.31-1.38 per litre for petrol (diesel about 10p/litre more).

Abs :)

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8. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

I've done this trip (or equivalent) a couple of times. If the route planner says 9 hours then also add another 2 - 3 hours on to that for rest stops and and traffic delays. If you break it into two days then it will be much more manaeable.

when I was young and poor and had a company car I drove the family on one of those Sun bargain breaks (anyone remember those) and stopped off in a Travelodge in Crewe.

Remember though that this is over 500miles and with fuel prices the way they are in a large people carrier that could be nearly £100 worth of fuel. Suppose it will be cheaper than flying for six though but try to get a diesel car.

Springwood...
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9. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

I love this forum because you get the great fun of choosing from fantastic options. I really appreciate all your input and experience because we can then at least make an informed decision and if we stuff it up at least it won't be a shock to the system.

I have not replied sooner because yesterday we went to a travel expo in sydney gathering info. Met a young women who lived in Edinburgh for a while and who was able to give us a bit of guidance as well on driving times.

Thank you abs 140 for your excellent suggestions on where to stop as this was concerning us. Our kids are a bit older than "kids" 18, 17, 14, 10 but they still need to EAT (big boy appetites) and stretch the legs and have a breather from each other.

This may be useful to other big families wanting to drive in UK:

We've hired a 9 seater minvan with a co here in Australia called Driveaway Holidays for 940 AU for 7 days inclusive of second driver, unlimited mileage and no one way fee. We need the 9 seater as our kids are fairly tall and solid, Because we are from Aus will have a bit of luggage as this is one part of a 6 weeks trip all over europe (crazy Auzzies!!! :). The 7 seater peoplemovers, we've been told, would not be able to fit us and the luggage. When we take into consideration the flights from Edinburgh to Bristol (approx 50 pounds x 6 = 350) and the need to then rehire a minivan in another city (approx 1100 AU for hire in Inverness plus hire from Bristol with Europcar) and the freeze that the car co's place on your cc as a bond, in this case 800p each time you hire a minibus and the incidental cost of transfers to airports, high cost of snacks at airports and the waiting around to check baggage etc we reckon we'll save about 500AU.

On the down side is the cost of extra hotel accommodation and the long driving. But all in all I think i would rather be looking at the scenery as opposed to the inside of an airport lounge and have the flexibility to stop and get out along the way. And for us we have to multiply every cost by 6 so ultimately the $$$ wins out....oh to be wealthy and not to worry about such things.

Looking forward to our crazy family adventure in the UK. I am sure I'll be asking many more questions from you wonderful fellow travelers.

Karin

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10. Re: Driving from Edinburgh to Tintagel

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