We're planning a visit to the UK and want to do a 3-day drive from Edinburgh to London with stops in the Lake District and Whales to see the sights and countryside. Any thoughts as to the best scenic route and stops along the way?
It's going to be hard. Using freeways (which will give you a spur into Keswick and another into Caernarvon - - back-tracking for each to get back on the fast highways) you're looking at about twelve hours of road time with only quick gas stops. The scenery stinks since you're just looking at highways. For scenic, the best you can hope for is a right at Carlisle, head into the Lake District abeam Aspatria, push through Keswick to Kendal, use the freeways to Caernarvon, work down to Dolgellau through Porthmadog, thence Welshpool and on to Shrewsbury where you can start picking up freeways again and haul butt. That's something like fifteen or sixteen hours of road time and it doesn't lend itself into evenly divided days. Fuzzy guesses are that it'd be four hours to Keswick, six more to Caernarvon, seven more into London (maybe eight depending on where you're going and how you hit the stinking traffic). I know it doesn't add up, but it's about the best I can do. You won't get to see much. A couple of days each is really rushing through both Keswick and Caernarvon and there's a million other places to spend a day or two along the way. I'd pick one or the other: Wales for castles and mountains, and the Lake District for little towns and minor walks.
I agree with Ed. Pick one or you will do nothing but drive.
Perhaps we should identify a few key sights in each area. Any suggestions? Would taking the train to a key city in each area be a better option before ending-up in London? We're spending 3 days in Edinburgh first - and ending-up with 4 days in London.
I drive. All I know is that neither Caernarfon nor Keswick have rail lines into them. Conwy does, but it's not so great except for the castle. Penrith is about as close as you can get to Keswick. Somebody else will have to connect those dots for you.
Have you seen York or Chatsworth? If you haven't I would drive down M6 (substitute adjacent scenic roads)from Edinburgh to Lake District spend one night at farm B & B visit dead poets houses, then drive across to York visit Minster and Railway Museum spend night , Visit Chatsworth take M1 to London. Visit Wales another time as it should take at least a week.
I would suggest night one in the Lakes District. Spend the next day enjoying the Lakes and a leisurely drive to York. Spend night two in York. Next day, enjoy York, return the car at the train station, and take the train to London. If you want to have another day of driving, Lincoln and/or Ely would be interesting stops between York and London.