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2.06.2018

The Ultimate UK Road Trip Itinerary - Driving Around England, Scotland, and Wales with the Family


Last summer the #FabFam had a journey to seek some family and personal history in the U.K.  This could only be accomplished by taking a two-week road trip around the UK.  We began in London, spent the weekend in the countryside in Devon with some good friends, drove through Wales to seek dragons and castles, spent a few days in Liverpool and Manchester, explored the Scottish Highlands (including searching for the mysterious Loch Ness Monster), spent one family-friendly day in Edinburgh, and then came back down the eastern coast to loop back towards London. 
 
Thank you for following along with our journey.  Today I am sharing the itinerary for a U.K. road trip, including recommendations on where to stay during a UK road trip, the top cities to see when traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales, what we found to be the best places to eat during a road trip through the UK, as well as reviews, recommendations, and tips for the best activities for kids during a family road trip from England to Wales and Scotland. 
 
Day 1: Arrive in London
Begin: London, England
End: London, England


See more specific reviews and recommendations for London in these posts:
 
 We flew into Heathrow airport.
  • Arrive in London in the morning (local time)
  • Collect rental car (Kia Optima Sportswagon
  • Check-into hotel (two nights):
    • 30-31 Kensington Gardens Square, Notting Hill, Westminster Borough, London, W2 4BG, UK
    • T:  + 442072292553
    • No parking available
    • Complimentary continental breakfast included
  • Morning: Misc. London sight-seeing: Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge
 




  • Afternoon: Kid-friendly Afternoon Tea at The Park Room (Grosvenor House, 86-90 Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN)

 

 


 

 
  • Dinner: Zizzi (several locations)


Day 2: London
Begin: London, England
End: London, England


See more specific reviews and recommendations for London in these posts:


 
  • Morning: Breakfast at Farm Girl (59A Portobello Rd, London W11 3DB, UK)
  • Shopping around Portobello Road and Notting Hill
  • Misc. London sight-seeing: Abbey Road


Our boys are named Sawyer and Grayson, so we had to take this pic!






  • Evening: Visit the world's largest toy store, Hamley's



Day 3: Drive to Devon
Begin: London, England
End: Devon, England

  • Visit Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey!).  Make sure you are aware of their closure dates before planning to visit.
  • Lunch: The 15th century Castle & Ball Hotel (High St, Marlborough SN8 1LZ, UK)

Meat pie lunch at Castle & Ball



Fish and chips lunch at Castle & Ball




 





  • Drive to Devon

Day 4: Devon
Begin: Devon, England
End: Devon, England


See more specific reviews and recommendations from our time in Devon in this post:


 
  •  Visit Devon






  • Lunch and sight-seeing in the seaside town of Lynmouth



  • Afternoon: Cream tea (and the best scones in England with traditional Devonshire clotted cream) at  Watersmeet House


 

 


Day 5: Drive to South Wales
Begin: Devon, England
End: Cardiff, Wales

  • Depart Devon
  • Lunch and sight-seeing in Bath
  • Drive to Cardiff, misc. sight-seeing: Cardiff Bay Beach (at Roald Dahl Plass).  Admission: free (activities extra).
  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • Wales 1 Business Park, M4 J 23A, Newport NP26 3RA, United Kingdom 
    • T:  +44-1633-749-999
    • Self parking: Complimentary
    • Complimentary breakfast included
  • Dinner at hotel restaurant

Day 6: Wales
Begin: Cardiff, Wales
End: Liverpool England
 

See more specific reviews and recommendations from our road trip through Wales in this post:

 



 

 






  • Drive to the city with the longest name in Europe (and second longest in the world): Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch on the island of Anglesey.  

 
  • Drive to Liverpool
  • Check-into hotel (three nights):

Day 7: Liverpool
Begin: Liverpool England
End: Liverpool England
 

See more specific reviews and recommendations for Liverpool and Manchester in this post:

 






  • Evening: Beatles history
 

  • Dinner: Hard Days Night Hotel (Central Buildings, North John Street, Liverpool L2 6RR, United Kingdom)



Day 8: Manchester
Begin: Liverpool England
End: Liverpool England
 

See more specific reviews and recommendations for Liverpool and Manchester in this post:

 




 
    • Old Trafford stadium (mecca for Manchester United fans) 
 
Day 9: Drive to Scotland
Begin: Liverpool, England
End: Helensburgh, Scotland


See more specific reviews and recommendations for the Scottish Highlands in these posts:


 
  • Depart for Scotland
  • Picnic lunch: Lake District National Park
 

  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • Rosneath Road, Nr Helensburgh, G84 0EN, United Kingdom
    • T:  + 441436810136
    • Self parking: Complimentary
    • Complimentary breakfast included


 
  • Afternoon: Loch Fyne
    • Drive by Dunderave Castle (the former castle of Clan MacNaughton)
 
 

 


Day 10: Drive to the Highlands
Begin: Helensburgh, Scotland
End: Aviemore, Scotland
 

See more specific reviews and recommendations for the Scottish Highlands in these posts:


 
 
Full Scotch breakfast at Mambeg Country Guest House

  • Depart for Inverness
  • Drive by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park
  • Visit Loch Ness


Hunting for Nessie at Loch Ness
 
 
  • Depart for Aviemore
 
 
  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • Hilton Coylumbridge - the most family-friendly hotel I have ever stayed!
    • Coylumbridge, Aviemore, PH221QN GB 
    • T:  44 1479810661  
    • Self parking: Complimentary
    • Complimentary dinner and breakfast included
 
Day 11: The Highlands
Begin: Aviemore, Scotland
End: Edinburgh, Scotland
 

See more specific reviews and recommendations for the Scottish Highlands in these posts:


  
  • Explore the Highlands, driving the Old Military Road through Cairngorms National Park









  • Drive to Edinburgh
  • Dinner: The Scran & Scallie (1 Comely Bank Rd, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1DT, UK)
  • Evening: Visit the dungeon or do a ghost tour (if your kids are old enough)
  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • Ingliston, Newbridge, Scotland, EH28 8LX
    • T:  +44 84 50727468
    • Self parking: Complimentary
    • Complimentary breakfast included

Day 12: Edinburgh
Begin: Edinburgh, Scotland
End: York, England


See more specific reviews and recommendations for Edinburgh in this post:


 
 

 


  • Depart for York
  • Misc. York sight-seeing

 
Clifford's Tower

  • Dinner: The York Roast Co. (several locations).  I had to have Yorkshire pudding while in York!
 

  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • Hilton York
    • 1 Tower Street, York Y01 9WD, United Kingdom
    • T:  +44-1904-648 111
    • Self parking available for a fee

Day 13: Peak District
Begin: York, England
End: Thetford, England
  • Drive to Peak District
  • Stanage Edge (Derbyshire / South Yorkshire) - have your own Elizabeth Bennet moment and take in an unbelievable view



 






 
 
  • Drive to Cambridge, visit campus
  • Drive to Thetford
  • Check-into hotel (one night):
    • The Crown Hotel (circa 1650)
    • 12 Crown Road, Mundford, Thetford IP26 5HQ, UK
    • T:  +44 1842 878233
    • Self parking: Complimentary
    • Complimentary breakfast included


 
 

Day 14: Return to London
Begin: Thetford, England
End: London, England
  • Visit Lakenheath, Suffolk, and surrounding area (I was born and lived in this area)
  • Drive back to London
 
This was the trip of a lifetime, and pretty easy to do with two children in tow!  Comment if you have any questions, and don't forget to pin this when you plan your own epic UK road trip!
 

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