Getting To Know The UK Roads: Top Destinations & Travel Tips
London, Oxford, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Belfast, Blackpool, Birmingham; to name just ten of the UK’s magnificent major cities all worth hiring a car and investigating. And then in between, the stunning scenic drives between less populated but more spectacular landscapes. The Lake District, Cornwall, Salisbury Plains and The Peak District all have walks and climbs to rival anywhere in Europe, and all are accessible on four wheels.
But throwing open the curtains on a land of such great choice without providing a few pointers just won’t do. Car rental is not hard to find in any major city, although do be sure to take the usual precautions against extra charges by checking your vehicle thoroughly for any signs of damage and be clear on the refuel policy before you set off. Otherwise, off we go...
Best British Landmarks
From Big Ben and Kew Gardens via ancient castles to the Angel of the North, the omnipresent Google Street View car has put the miles in to snap Britain’s best landmarks visible from the road. The mysterious and mind-boggling ruins of Stonehenge are a highlight. Built over 5,000 years ago and yet we still aren’t sure exactly how, or why. Don’t miss.
Like most major road networks, the UK system can become clogged as weekenders set off on getaways between 4 and 8pm on Fridays, and again at the other end of the weekend - especially if the weather has been good - on Sunday late afternoon (or Monday if a Bank Holiday weekend). There may not be a perfect science to ensuring a traffic-free journey, but these handy Twitter accounts can help you steer clear of congestion along the way. Follow:
@BBCTravelAlert • @TfLTrafficNews • @MotorwayTraffic • @Highways_Agency • @LondonTraffic
"From the Yorkshire Wolds to the Outer Hebrides and Ireland, the British Isles are a motorist's paradise. Here are some of our favourite routes," say Guardian writers Simon Hepstinstall and Benji Lanyado. This tidily put together collection of iconic routes includes Google Maps, historical spots to keep an eye out for and top tips for sleeping and eating...
If you’ve only ever driven on the right-hand side of the road, the UK can take a bit of getting used to. Handily, Ferne Arfin on About.com has provided some straightforward tips for making the transition as smooth as possible.
Even if you don’t have convenient navigation software on a smartphone, most car hire outfits these days will certainly have the option of paying an additional fee for a sat nav if the car’s dashboard doesn’t feature one as standard. There are however a few excellent websites worth bookmarking for additional peace of mind before you set off. Here’s our pick: 1. TomTom, 2. Mappy, 3. The RAC
Image Credits: Under Licence from Shutterstock:
LONDON - JULY 4: Typical London cab with Union Jack painting on July 4, 2012 in London. Cab drivers have to pass knowledge test of the geography of London streets, landmarks etc., Image ID: 132414437, Copyright: ZRyzner
Panorama of Derwentwater in English Lake District from Castlehead viewpoint in early morning, Image ID: 113469367, Copyright: Steve Heap
Idyllic Irish Landscape, Image ID: 130088723, Copyright: Pierre Leclerc
Sedbergh - small town in Yorkshire Dales National Park, Image ID: 122288242, Copyright: Capture Light
Sunset overlooking Mullion Cove Cornwall England UK, Image ID: 123366364, Copyright: ian woolcock