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17 day roadtrip through UK: Need suggestions

Hi friends. We are a couple (30 yrs and 27 yrs) traveling to UK in June (to and fro London). We are planning to take a car from Heathrow airport and travel through Wales, England and Scotland and return the car in Edinburgh and go back to London by train.

We are avid drivers and would love to cover some really scenic routes and are very comfortable with driving up to 4-5 hours daily. Our main interest is to drive throughout the country and see some amazing scenery on the way (and a few castles here and there). We normally cover a 5 hour journey in 10 hours as we take multiple stops on the way to enjoy the sights and so we have kept the entire day for driving when doing long distances.

We have chalked up a rough itinerary as follows. Request you to share your views on it.

9th June 11:30 AM - Arrive at Heathrow airport, take a car and proceed to Bath. Visit Stonehenge on the way. Overnight at Bath.

10th June - Drive from Bath to Llandudno/Conwy. Planning to take the M4 into South Wales and catch A470 near Brecon and then onto North Wales through Snowdonia. Planning to reach Llandudno/Conwy by late evening (with multiple stops on the way) and staying there.

11th June - Local sightseeing in North Wales. Visit to Great Orme and Conwy Castle (is it worth a visit?). Stay overnight.

12th June - Drive from North Wales to Lake District (Keswick). Will take the A591 from Kendal via Windermere to Keswick.

13th and 14th June - Explore Lake District

15th June - Onwards to Scotland!! Drive towards the Western Highlands through Loch Lomond National Park (A82). Reach Glencoe by early evening and explore. Overnight at Glencoe.

16th June - Spend the morning in Glencoe / Fort Williams and proceed towards Skye by afternoon. Reach Glenfinnan viaduct for the afternoon Jacobite crossing (around 3 PM?) and then take the last ferry from Mallaig to Armadale (6 PM). Reach Portree by night.

17th and 18th June - Explore Isle of Skye

19th June - Portree to Edinburgh through Skye bridge (A87) then via Spean Bridge to A9. Reach Edinburgh by evening and return the car. Is there a better route than this considering that we would have already covered the Glasgow - Fort William A82 route on the way to Skyy.

20th June - Explore Edinburgh (Edinburgh castle)

21st June - Half day in Edinburgh and take an afternoon/evening train to London

22nd to 25th June - London

Posted by
7175 posts

Putting it bluntly, the first 2 days of your plan are not really workable. I would suggest that with the possible effects of jet lag, you may even find them a physical impossibility.

Given your wish list and a 17 night time constraint I would suggest a more realistic construct ...

Bath & Stonehenge (2 nights)
North Wales (3 nights)
Lake District (2 nights)
Scottish Highlands (3 nights)
Edinburgh (3 nights)
London (4 nights)

Posted by
17 posts

We are coming from India and the flight timings are quite decent for us - departure 6:30 AM India time and arrival 11:30 AM UK time so hoping not much jetlag to be there. Also we drive on the same side.

One option is to drop Stonehenge and take a bus/train from Heathrow to Bath on the first day and take the car from there the next day to Northern Wales. Does that make more sense?

Also is it advisable to take off one day from Lake District and add it to Glencoe / Fort Williams area?

Posted by
5964 posts

It doesn't make much sense to drive all the way to Bath or take public transport there to not have enough time to see the city, as you will have to leave the following morning to drive to north Wales. Allow an extra day for Bath or, as it is out of the way, drop it.

You aren't likely to be out of the airport before 1/1.30 after hiring a car. You may have jetlag and a long drive on crowded roads isn't advisable.

You are going to spend too many hours looking at tarmac IMO and not enough time visiting places. The previous suggestion for a more curtailed itinerary is sensible.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for the advice Jennifer!

We are also feeling that we have packed too much into too little time so we are thinking to cut North Wales out and focus more on our priority areas (Lake District and Skye).

Also we had mainly put Bath as it was a shorter drive from London and was on the route to Wales. So with Wales gone, we can remove Bath as well.

So we are thinking of flipping the itinerary and take a train to Edinburgh on Day 1 and then move onwards to Skye, Lake District and finally London. So the plan goes like:

Edinburgh (3 nights): Travel by train from London so no need to drive for the first three days of the trip. Then take a car on the fourth day and proceed towards Skye.

Portree (3 nights)

Glencoe (1 night): As a pit stop between Skye and Lake District

Lake District (4 nights)

Then we can drop the car in one of the main cities nearby (Liverpool or Manchester or any other?) and take a train to London.

London (5 nights): We can do one or two day trips from London as well through public transport.

How does this look now?