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3 Month road trip around UK

Melbourne, Australia
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27 posts
12 reviews
3 Month road trip around UK

Husband and I plan on arriving in UK September 2019 for a 3 month touring holiday (self-drive). Will start in Scotland (while it's still a little mild), then Ireland, Wales and finish in England. We will be staying in self-sufficient holiday lets for a week at a time at strategic spots, and using them as home bases for day trips, rather than spending days driving from one spot to the next. Has anyone done anything like this? Looking for suggestions on key towns to stay, reliable hire car companies, tips, advice, etc.

11 replies to this topic
Dingle, Ireland
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for Dingle
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1. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

Do you intend visiting the Republic of Ireland as well as the UK?

You will need to double check that they allow the rental car abroad, should be ok as you are intending to take it back, I know Hertz, for one, do allow it. September and October should be ok,but once the clocks change at the end of October the short days really do impact, and a lot of places close for the winter.

I would be planning to ditch the car and be in London by November.

Amsterdam, The...
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for Amsterdam
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2. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

Do you really need to start this in September? The weather will only get colder and the days shorter.

The Republic of Ireland is not in the UK so you need to ask stuff on that forum relating to there.

If you are doing major cities like London and Edinburgh a car will be more of a hinderance than anything else. For longer term car rental look at Hertz28.

UK
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for Chester
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4,092 posts
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3. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

It is unlikely that you will be able to take a hire car over to Ireland and even if the hire company allows it the ferry fares are expensive. Better to visit Ireland first or last using a different hire car.

Good to see that you plan to stay in an area for a week at a time rather trying to be in the road all the time. Do remember that even for day trips you will need to be very conservative in your estimate of how far is feasible. Driving in to the UK is very different from Australia. Our major roads and motorways are clogged with traffic and subject to frequent delays (it took me 1h 40m to drive 24 miles into Manchester two days ago; no accidents or roadworks, just volume of traffic and heavy rain). In country areas roads can be narrow and winding and one farm vehicle or caravan can hold traffic up for miles.

Let us know what your interests are- countryside, hiking, cities and nightlife, castles and stately homes, Roman/ medieval towns and cities , market towns or whatever and we can advise you better

Edited: 22 September 2018, 16:31
Guildford, United...
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5,449 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

Given that car hire is going to be a major part of your costs, get a quote from this well-respected south-east company:

https://www.kendallcars.com

The price they quote is genuinely what you pay. They have a 150 mile a day limit, but over three months you will probably not hit that. Don’t know what they say about going to Ireland.

Cardiff, United...
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for Cardiff
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5. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

" get a quote from this well-respected south-east company:"

South east company not much good if OP is starting in Scotland ;)

Would echo others - hiring one car for the whole trip and paying to ship it back and forth across the sea is unlikely to be the best plan. Therefore, you may wish to segment this in to different chunks.

Fly into Scotland - if you plan on spending time in Edinburgh, you don't want a car then, but it would definitely be a good idea for going further north. Leave the car at a Scottish airport and fly to Ireland. Hire a car for getting around (but also ask questions in the appropriate forum for that part of the trip).

Depending where on wales you are going would give you different options for the next part and also where in England you want to go.

Exeter GB
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1,018 posts
36 reviews
6. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

What a great prospect!

Thinking about your English section, If I were doing this in spring or summer I think I'd stay mostly in or close to smallish old towns which are interesting in their own right but within driving distance of a variety of interesting places. You've asked for suggestions, so some favourites of this kind, for me, are Great Malvern (Worcestershire); Kirkby Lonsdale (Cumbria); Woodbridge (Suffolk); Totnes (Devon); Ludlow (Shropshire) and Sherborne (Dorset). Other people of course will have other favourites.

But because of the timing in the year you might be better staying in or close to larger places: big towns or small cities with theatres, museums and more to do in the evening. With that in mind you might consider, for instance, Norwich, Chichester, Cheltenham Spa and Exeter.

For big cities in darker days, of course, nothing beats London, although Liverpool and Newcastle on Tyne are two truly characterful cities with lots to see and do and with transport links to others (eg to Chester from Liverpool and Durham from N/C.). You could spend a week exploring Oxford and surroundings.

Dingle, Ireland
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for Dingle
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7. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

I think I would stick with the original plan of one car for the trip. We have travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles in our own car, It gets to be a home base, in the context of a three month trip a couple of £100 ferry trips arent that much .

Manchester, United...
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7,264 posts
82 reviews
8. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

<<reliable hire car companies>>

do not include Green Motion (see numerous threads across the UK and local forums). General feeling seems to be that in the UK you're more likely to be charged for the slightest damage than in some locations (eg US) so you may wish to ensure you've got no excess insurance included.

<< anyone done anything like this>>

If you look through the touring trip reports thread and other local reports you may find reports from places you'd like to visit and some combinations of places that appeal:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186…

General - as others have said by late November daylight hours are short - link for London November 2018:

https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/uk/london…

and by then most deciduous trees will have shed their leaves, so the scenery isn't as "green" as earlier. Also, there's a school half-term break at the end of October in England and Wales and after that some places (eg stately homes, rather than big London museums) either close for the winter or reduce their hours significantly. If September to November is a must then I suggest looking at this year's opening times for anywhere that's a "must" for you.

Caveats apart, this looks to have the potential for a great trip!

London, United...
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6,203 posts
77 reviews
9. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

Probably the most highly rated car rental company in Scotland is Arnold Clark. I used them from Inverness airport last summer and their customer service was excellent. Our base for a week was near Ullapool and that would be one possible for you. If the weather is kind to you the scenery on the west is great.

Guildford, United...
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5,449 posts
28 reviews
10. Re: 3 Month road trip around UK

Not much use if OP is starting in Scotland.

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Oops! Well spotted...

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