Please sign in to post.

How to get laundry done during a whirlwind 2 week trip: Cornwall, Wales, Midlands

My family (2 adults, one child... travelling with several other families) is going on an intense whirlwind trip in August; we won't be staying anywhere long enough for a normal wash/dry/fold service to work, but we also don't want to lose an evening sitting at a laundromat, and we'd like to pack reasonably and not smell terrible by the end. Any clever solutions or advice for where in our itinerary we could pay someone to do our laundry on a really tight turnaround? Ideally have someone pick up at one location and drop off at another? Here's our itinerary:

Day 1- Land at LHR, drive to/overnight in Dorchester (in Dorset)
Day 2- Drive to/overnight in Exeter
Day 3- Dartmoor, Mevagissey, overnight in Falmouth
Day 4- St Michael's Mount, overnight in Falmouth
Day 5- all day Poldark tour, overnight at Jamaica Inn
Day 6- Tintagel, overnight in Boscastle
Day 7- Drive to Wales, Caerphilly Castle, overnight near Hay-on-Wye
Day 8- Book shopping in Hay, drive to/overnight in Dolgellau
Day 9- Mt Snowdon train, Caernarfon Castle, overnight in Llandudno
Day 10- Conwy Castle, drive to/overnight in Liverpool
Day 11- Drive to Pendle Hill for hike, overnight near Preston (Samlesbury Hall)
Day 12- Overnight in Alderly Edge
Day 13- Overnight in Nottingham
Day 14- Drive to LHR for evening flight

I checked Laundrapp, but they don't seem to service Cornwall or Wales. This must be a problem other people have solved, though! Also, I am aware that our itinerary is ambitious, we've taken the kid over to England the past couple of summers, so we at least know he travels well and we know we are in for a few punishing days of road travel.

Also willing to take any family-friendly food recommendations for any of those places! We are not foodies, good pub grub suits us fine, especially if the pub has a good ghost story!

Posted by
12618 posts

I'm guessing you don't want any comments on your itinerary but, with apologies, I'm going to make comments anyway.

I've been to Jamaica Inn, dropped by for a quick snack, and while it's fine it's pretty touristy. I might go for 2 nights in Boscastle (which is also very tiny but has a neat rocky harbor area) but not sure if there is a laundry there. I had a lunch there so wasn't looking for laundry. There are some neat Neolithic sights near Jamaica Inn so perhaps you'll also see them on your Poldark tour if that's of interest.

Tintagel will not take you all day - just a couple of hours at the most. Maybe there is a laundry drop in the village of Tintagel that you can use. I know the castle is closed while they work on the new footbridge (really needed, in my opinion, but understand the locals were not happy about it) so be sure you check to see if it will be open by the time you are there (and you may already have done so). This is early in your visit so maybe you won't be ready for laundry yet.

I also thought Llandudno was kind of a tired seaside town. I DID enjoy going in to the Great Orme mine there and I am so NOT a mine tour person. This one dates back to the Iron Age which I found fascinating.

Falmouth has some nice restaurants. I enjoyed a Thai meal there since I'm vegan but there are tons of seafood offerings.

Posted by
279 posts

Yes, this is an extremely ambitious schedule to add laundry to the schedule. Two nights in one place would work much better. I would contact the various places where you are staying for suggestions. We had laundry done in a hole the wall (literally) place in Caernafon.

We tend to schedule down days for things like laundry. A day in Caernafon would give you a chance to get your laundry done, visit the castle, Take the train to Portmadog or explore Anglesey Island.

Posted by
7786 posts

I get my pants heavily starched at the laundry, and they still look fine after wearing several days. I take 7 shirts with me. After I've worn them (7 days), I start the rotation all over again. For 2 week trip, a launderette is not mandatory.
That's a tough itinerary for 3 people, much less traveling with other families. We try to stay in one place 3-4 days and take day trips out of there.

Posted by
884 posts

I normally use the "Nearby" function on Google to find things near where I'm staying. I enter the address of the hotel, pop up it's Google map, then use Nearby to locate whatever I'm looking for.

You might also email the place you're staying and ask them if there are laundry facilities or services nearby.

Posted by
1316 posts

That’s a brutal and far too ambitious itinerary. I’d suggest doing the laundry when the inevitable mutiny occurs.

Ok, that was sarcasm, but I’d seriously suggest slowing down that itinerary and give yourself a bit more time in the places that matter the most. I can not see any way you can coordinate multiple people over that many days with that hectic of a travel schedule. There’s no room in your itinerary to buy a forgotten toothbrush, much less do laundry.

It wouldn’t make financial sense for any company to pick up your laundry in one city and deliver it to another.

Posted by
1075 posts

One strategy that I've used to make laundry work is time it with a meal. Eat at a casual restaurant or pub next to the laundromat and let your clothes wash and dry while you eat. If you're eating next door, it's really easy to pop back and forth. Also, do any of your hotels have washers/dryers? Also, some unsolicited advice, on your next trip, I would avoid switching hotels every night; that will really wear you down. Rick recommends staying at least 2 nights in a given hotel, and day-tripping on the second day to avoid the hassle of unpacking so many times.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks everyone (and keep any tips / advice coming)! The idea of timing laundry with a meal is clever and I would not have thought of that, thanks!

I totally understand and appreciate the comments on our itinerary, but it's all booked and pre-paid, with everyone's full understanding that we are not going to be doing any relaxing on the trip... but with 5 kids under 10 in the group, relaxing isn't really in the cards anyway, this way the kids will be tired at the end of each day! We're going into this with our expectations calibrated and our senses of humor ready for mishaps.

Posted by
10317 posts

but with 5 kids under 10 in the group, relaxing isn't really in the cards anyway, this way the kids will be tired at the end of each day

The kids will wait until the 'end of the day' to be tired? And ready to go the next day?

Light weight quick dry fabrics for the shirts so you can do a quick sink wash if necessary, is best I can suggest on the laundry front.

Posted by
2278 posts

Some thoughts:>
D2 try and visit the coast at Durdle Dor & Lulworth Cove - not far SE of Dorchester. See map:>,-2.3450763,16729m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e1
Lyme Regis is also worth a look as is Beer.

D3 If time, add Fowey.
D4 If time, add St.Ives.

D7 Boscastle to Hay is a long trip. Good though Caerphilly Castle is, I would delete it as it means going into a congested part of south Wales. As an alternative, consider crossing the Severn via the M48 bridge & coming off at the first junction on the Welsh side. Then follow A466 up the Wye valley to Monmouth - stopping at TINTERN ABBEY (ruin) on the way. At the western end of Monmouth - follow B4233 to Rockfield & then B4347 to Grosmont - taking a short detour to see the ruin of SKENFRITH CASTLE. Anyway, back on B4347 heading NW you eventually reach ABBEY DORE. Go and have a wander inside this ancient Abbey. (Park by side of road). Continue to Vowchurch & then B4348 to Hay. If you want better roads for this leg - use M49 & cross Severn on M4 bridge. Leave M4 at J24 on east side of Newport - then A449 to RAGLAN & A40 west to Abergavenny and Crickhowell. Raglan has a ruined Castle - if visiting - beware of how you get back onto westbound A40. You must turn L from drive and then L again and loop around the triangular island at centre of this map >,-2.8417853,873m/data=!3m1!1e3
From Crickhowell take A470 towards Talgarth (visit TRETOWER COURT)? before reaching Hay.

D10 - try & see CHESTER.

Posted by
13820 posts

My advice on doing laundry will not work on an all one night stay trip. So all I can say is "good luck".

Posted by
7005 posts

We did a four week drive tour of South Wales and England in 2017.

We found a website that shows all the Launderettes in the UK. We did laundry twice in the four week period.

Launderettes are great, they have an attendant that will provide change for the machines and give assistance as needed. Also, for a small fee they will do your laundry for you.

We found that we could go all our laundry, fold, etc. in about two hours.

Regarding your itinerary. I suggest that you pare it down a bit. There is a lot more to see in South Wales, like Cardiff Castle, the Museum of Welsh Life. Tenby, Wales is a great seaside town and more castles are nearby. Also, closer to the English border there is Tintern Abbey.

Here are the details of our drive tour.
28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home

Here is

Posted by
791 posts

Would you consider sink washing? Do it when you get to your hotel, wring out in towel. I put wet clothes out on towels, not in bathroom to dry overnight. Final drying in car. Bring fast drying clothes.

Posted by
5028 posts

Underwear is the primary issue personally, so for me I would pack the lighweight Under Armour boxers that dry very quickly and can be washed in the sink. Jeans can take a week or two before washing unless they get particularly dirty (I understand that some people never wash their jeans), likewise the same pair of shorts can be worn on a number of occasions. Kids, unless they get dirty can get away with wearing the same clothes for days at a time, at their age perspiration and BO is not an issue. I would consider it only necessary to do one load of laundry during the two weeks unfortunately I cannot offer any advice for any laundrettes in the areas you mention.

Posted by
3943 posts

Personally, I rather enjoy a couple of hours' break in an unfamiliar coin laundry/laundrette/laverie, especially if there is a pub/brasserie next door. Most cozy one ever was in Berlin, with its own snack bar. Most ramshackle and tuneful was at Place d'Aligre in Paris, where the machines were clunky but the terrace next door let the staff play their own favorites in soul and other pop genres. If you want to meet the locals, they're there, although rarely in a jolly mood while dispensing soap.. Hence the need for pub etc.
On your itinerary, being forced to sit in a chair that is not moving might be a relief since your whole itinerary seems centered on seeing things through a moving car window.

Posted by
3975 posts

I know you didn't ask for ideas about your itinerary, but the museum of Welsh Life near St. Fagan's would be a hit with the kids because they could run around outside. I've been to Caerphilly and with other castles being on your itinerary, I would skip that one in favor of the museum of Welsh Life.

Posted by
5697 posts

If all else fails, handwashed items that don't quite get dry can hang on the car back seat until the heat of the day takes care of them. One advantage of car trips!

Posted by
5028 posts

If all else fails, handwashed items that don't quite get dry can hang on the car back seat until the heat of the day takes care of them.

Heat of the day? You do realise much of the journey is through Wales!

Posted by
1271 posts

My strategy is to start the new day in the afternoon - at least from a dress point of view. I.e. I shower, handwash, and put on fresh clothes before I go for dinner. Then use the same clothes the next day.

That way the wet clothes have the afternoon, evening and all night to dry - and then after-dry in the car. Even if Wales is cold, I suppose your car will have a heater.

See Doug Dymont's description of how to handwash: The use of a towel before hanging the clothes makes all the difference.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks, everyone! I just bought one of those portable washers, at least we'll have clean socks and underwear with that! Found mention of a laundrette in Tintagel that is a good lunch & laundry option.