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Traveling to London in Nov 24 to Jan 25

Hi visiting my Australian Paramedic Son in Nov 24 for Christmas. Also planning a rd trip to Scotland. This I will do solo. Has anyone travelled to the UK at this time of year? How difficult to hire a car and drive to Scotland and the highlands? Advise on good accommodation on Rd trip. Looking to stay in Pubs I love the atmosphere..... mostly or if its 2 night or more maybe Airbnb ?
Thanks in advance

Posted by
3 posts

I've booked and paid for my trip. Now the hard part. starting to work out what i want to see and do. I believe a lot of castles and places are closed over this time. So i will probably be limited to see a lot. That's ok really. the point of the trip is to spend tie with my son and his in-laws.

Posted by
419 posts

Having done this a few times bear in mind the following:

It's a nice time to be in the UK - lots of Christmas atmosphere, decorations etc. Obviously it's cold, but don't let that out you off. Bear in mind that unlike Australia, there's a complete shutdown or shops and public transport from early Christmas Eve until Boxing Day, but if you're with your son then, that doesn't matter.

Don't think of the UK like Australia - the train network is excellent and the traffic is terrible, so absolutely do not drive to Scotland. I would advise taking taking a train to Edinburgh from London, which is a comfortable journey, spend a few days there, and then hire a car for the highlands. We did something similar a few years back - Christmas in Edinburgh and then a week in the Cairngorms over new year. We stayed in a lovely pub called the Glenavon in the very small village of Tomintoul - roaring fire, great food and some nice walks. I have to say the locals thought we were nuts coming from Singapore, but we had a great time.

There are plenty of other places to stay nearby - Grantown-on-Spey is a bigger town with more.options, and Aviemore is a tourist town for skiers. We picked Tomintoul specifically because it is small - 2 pubs, a church and a village shop. You can also stay in a cottage on the nearby Balmoral estate, which would be pretty special.

Yes, it probably will snow. Yes, you do need to be careful driving due to ice and snow. And yes, it gets dark very early. But if you just want to chill, you will enjoy yourself - some amazing mountains. With a car you can take a few nice day trips. Also, when walking, just note the paths ice up, so tell someone where you're going be careful and take local advice or where/when to walk.

Obviously lots of other places you can go in the UK - York is lovely, and Durham is pretty amazing as well. Same train line from London.

Feel free to ask any questions.