My Great Britain trip, Helpful Suggestions on Google Groups
Some helpful suggestions:
craig_352 Pro User says:
I’ve used this site quite a few times:
It gives a wide range of places throughout the UK for a wide range of
In terms of calculating routes and distances, I find the AA route
planner at http://www.theaa.com/ gives reasonably accurate driving
times for the UK outside London, so long as you bear in mind that
these are best possible times and don’t include either any times for
taking a break along the way, or delays due to traffic.
One other important point for the original poster: plan for short
daylight hours in November: it will be dark just after 4pm in London
when he is travelling and signficantly earlier in Scotland, which will
limit the scope for sightseeing, and mean that he may be doing a lot
of driving after dark
For day trips to Windsor, Oxford or Cambridge, for example, don’t
drive… it will take you hours to find your way in the Town Centre and
then expect problems with parking (in Oxford, maximum 2 hours).
Why don’t you use one of the mapping programs to check out driving times and
distances–like www.multimap.com. But you’re going to spend all your time in
> Can anyone name some good discount car hire sites in the UK?
You could try http://www.holidayautos.co.uk/
I was think of this:
11/19 Arrive, London (Ealing stay)
11/20 Drive A1 North to Leeds, York (York stay)
11/21 A59 west, stop at Harrogate, Clitheroe (small unknown Lancashire
market town), Blackburn or Preston (for typical Lancashire towns) (Stay
at outskirts of Liverpool or Manchester)
11/22 If weather permits, then drive West to Caernarfon Castle, then
round south to drive by Snowdonia and come back East to meet M6. If
not, then I can stay in Liverpool for a day. (Stay at same outskits of
11/23 Manchester, then South to Cardiff.
11/24 Cardiff. (2nd night)
11/25 Bath, Stonehenge, Winchester (stay at Winchester)
11/26 Winchester, Oxford, London
11/27 Leave London in the morning.
Unless you have very specific reasons for visiting Leeds
I’d suggest heading straight up the A-1 to the A-64 turn off
and then go East into York and avoiding the city
That said the Royal Armouries in Leeds is well worth a visit
I’d suggest staying in Chester rather than Manchester/Liverpool.
Its a much nicer small walled city with a good selection of restaurants
and is small enough to walk around.
(This isn’t the first comment about skipping Leeds 😛 What’s up with all the Brits dissing Leeds?)
How about taking a train to York and hiring a car in York, when you
have finished seeing York.
Visit Ripon and Fountains Abbey.
>11/20 Drive A1 North to Leeds, York (York stay)
4 hours, why Leeds?
I understand Harrogate is nice.
>market town), Blackburn or Preston (for typical Lancashire towns) (Stay
>at outskirts of Liverpool or Manchester)
I don’t know Clitheroe, Blackburn or Preston other than as names.
Are you interested in what real everyday England is like, as
opposed to the interesting bits? (these places may be
interesting, I’ve never been).
From school geography that’s the area of the old water powered
wool industry, later other industry.
A tourist site says:-
“Preston is on the River Ribble, and developed from a market town
to a centre of the textiles industry then into an engineering
centre, with large industrial plants. Its growth is reflected in
its buildings, including Winckley Square with its large houses
built on the profits of the Industrial Revolution.
The Guildhall, its arts and events centre, is being restored.
Preston North End, one of the oldest football clubs, now has the
National Football Museum.”
I don’t know what you are looking for, is that it?
Preston Caernarfon 3 hours max
The castle is good, so is the one at Harlech
>not, then I can stay in Liverpool for a day. (Stay at same outskits of
In November you should only get snow on the “tops” if at all,
(hill summits), its after Christmas most snow falls, but you
never know. I have visited Snowdnia in January for 20 years or so
and have only known the low roads with snow on once. I’ve seen
flooding though on several occasions.
Why not stay in Snowdonia rather than Liverpool suburbs?
I have never visited the Liverpool suburbs, wont it just be
After checking the weather forecast you could drive through
Snowdonia, Llanberis pass next to Snowdon IIRC (A4086 rather than
A5) then to Betws y Coed and out.
I would rather stay in the Pen y Gwydd half way up Snowdon than a
Liverpool suburb. but that me, not you.
>11/24 Cardiff. (2nd night)
>11/25 Bath, Stonehenge, Winchester (stay at Winchester)
I would stay in Bath rather than Cardiff. I would probably cut
out Cardiff and have a bit of time around Bath, maybe the
Cotswolds or the Wylie valley and meander to Winchester and
Oxford on backgroads.
>11/27 Leave London in the morning.
If it was me I would ditch half the big towns/cities and go for
some smaller places in scenic areas, but that’s just me.
Photos of both “http://www.lawn-mower-man.co.uk”
So you don’t intend to see anything of London? Lots to see there. Also lots
to see in Bath and environs. I assume day 11/26 is dedicated to Oxford,
otherwise again you’re doing too much that day. In general, cities, whether
big or small, offer more sight-seeing options in off-season (rainy, dark,
Like (the other) Martin I’d be inclined to go to Leeds and York by
train and then pick up a car. Both have good train services to London
and within both cities you don’t need a car. York in particular is
best seen on foot. Why not see if you can arrange a one-way car
rental to pick up in York on the morning of 21st and to drop off at
Heathrow on your departure? A bonus is that you’ll be getting used to
driving on the left outside London and (hopefully) once you’ve slept
off your jet-lag.
I’d second Keith W’s recommendation to stay in Chester rather than
outskirts of Liverpool: easy access to Liverpool in one direction and
North Wales in the other, plenty of accommodation, and a nice place to
visit in its own right.
Cardiff is a pleasant enough city but, given how tight your schedule
is, seems an unlikely choice for a two-night stay. Bath or Bristol
would have more to offer a visitor, or you could explore a rural area
in south Wales such as the Brecon Beacons, or the Wye Valley right on
the English/Welsh border
Winchester is a lovely cathedral city, but so is Salisbury, which is
very close to Stonehenge and for that reason alone would be a better
choice for a stop.
I still think it’s a lot of driving, though much less excessive than
your original plan, and I still think that the dark evenings are going
to be a bigger constraint on travelling outside cities than severe