The Great British Road Trip

Today, my friend Yumi and her man Jae are flying out to the U.K. I swear, I’m not jealous. Honest. Okay, maybe a little. Okay, fine. I wish she’d packed me in her suitcase. Whilst they’re there, they plan to do a 5 day road trip from London to Edinburgh taking in as much as they can and to help with the homesickness, I offered to plan it for them. They had a couple of spots they really wanted to see but the rest was really up to me! You know planning this kind of things makes me way happier than it should so I spent ages putting together The Great British Road Trip – taking in as many spots as I could manage in just 5 days! Playlist at the ready? Here we go….

Day 1: London to Bristol

One of the first places they want to hit on their way west was The Yew Tree just outside Highclere Castle (the real life Downton Abbey). And who can blame them when it looks like this?!

I wanted to avoid the motorways as much as possible – I mean who wants to spend hours driving the same boring round when you have a whole country full of amazing views to see! So from Highclere, they’re headed south and then west. Past Stonehenge, into Bath and onto Bristol. Which, if you’re unfamiliar with looks like this:

Day 2: Bristol to Shrewsbury

There’s a total easy way to get from Bristol to Shrewsbury. It’s called the M5 followed by the M6. But it one of the most monotonous roads EVER. So instead, head over the Severn Bridge into Wales, turn north at Cardiff past Castell Coch (known to my family as the Fairy Castle) up through the Valleys up to Merthyr Tydfil then through the Brecon Beacons. Take a little stop of the Honey Cafe in Bronllys if you’ve time. This little cafe was always the halfway point for Rob and I on our way to and from uni in Aberystwyth and we still love it and try to stop in whenever we can!

From Bronllys, head back towards England and follow the border to Ludlow – also a must-stop! For you non-history folk, Ludlow Castle was home to the Princes of Wales until the Civil War – including Catherine of Aragon when she was married to Arthur, Prince of Wales. From here, it’s only a short drive to Shrewbury.

Day 3: Shrewsbury to Windermere

As much as I wanted to stay off the motorways, it’s unavoidable on this bit of the journey. It does, however, mean you get to the Lake District a heck of a lot quicker. And why wouldn’t you when it looks like this?!

So from Shrewsbury, you go through Chester until you hit the M6 and then drive north past Lancaster (I could give you another history lesson here, but I’ll refrain) and then turn off for Windermere and the Lakes! Make sure you walk up Orrest Head or Scafell Pike for the view before you head to a well-earned drink at the pub.

Day 4: Windermere to Newcastle

If you like dramatic views, this is where it gets seriously interesting because we’re about to cross the entire country! Luckily for you, it’s at one of the skinnier points so it won’t take too long! Plus, you get to look at views like this on the way through…

Follow the road across the top of the Yorkshire Dales to Bishop Auckland then turn north and drive into beautiful Durham… (HP fans will recognise the Cathedral!)

From there, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump past the Angel of the North into Newcastle!

Day 5: Newcastle to Edinburgh

This last leg is one of the shortest so take your time! Head north out of Newcastle into the wilds of Northumberland.

Don’t forget to stop in at Alnwick – home to the Dukes of Northumberland and Hogwarts (I kid you not!) – before you drive through the Scottish Borders and arrive in your final destination… EDINBURGH!

If you can tear yourself away and have enough time, please, please, please spend some time getting lost in Scotland. Or, at the very least, visit Stirling – Gateway to the Highlands!

So that’s it. 3 countries, 654 miles in 5 days.

Right, I’m off to work out how I can fit myself into Yumi’s suitcase!


Annéka xo

P.S If you’re planning a U.K Trip soon, you can download the entire road trip (with directions) here.