UK Self Drive Itinerary Covering England, Wales & Scotland, the entire Great Britain!

If you have  a group of 4 and you wanted to see more of UK, not just London, then self drive is a very good choice to explore the whole UK.  Driver seat is on the right hand side which is same as all the commonwealth countries.

Things to prepare before your trip:

  1. Book your air ticket 6 months ahead to secure a cheaper deal
  2. Book your car from car rental online
  3. Plan your routes in UK
  4. Plan or book your hotel in Agoda.com or Booking.com
  5. Bring Poncho and umbrella as in UK always rain
  6. Bring some instant noodles 🙂

UK Self Drive Routes 

My 12 days 9 nights itinerary will tell you :

  1. where we go
  2. where to park the car rental
  3. what we eat
  4. where we stay

Day 1 Itinerary  

  • Singapore – Heathrow Airport, London

Day 2 Itinerary – Salisbury, Stonehenge & Bath in England

1. Salisbury Cathedral

  • tallest tower (404 feet) in England.
  • The Salisbury Cathedral was built from 1220 to 1258, only about 38 years, quite short I suppose as the stone building was extremely huge. It also has the oldest working clock  in Europe (1386).

Salisbury Cathedral

2. Mysterious Stonehenge

  • From Salisbury to Stonehenge is only about 20 mins drive.
  • This is the most mysterious place in the world, the stones was laid out in concentric ring and horseshoe shapes on the Salisbury Plain. People believed the age of the stones are 4,000 years old.

Stonehenge

3.  Roman Bath -2000 years old

  •  Place for public bathing but that was 2000 years ago.
  • Best preserved Roman remains in the world.

Bath Museum UK

Day 3 Itinerary – Cardiff in Wales

1. Cardiff Castle

  • Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attraction of 2,000 years of history.

Cardiff Castle UK

2. St Fagans Museum Cardiff

  • St Fagans Museum is located a bit outskirt of Cardiff city, about 15 mins drive. The museum is popular among the local tourists, especially for families with young kids and school excursion.
  • There are 40 buildings including some farmhouses, together with sheep and cows, barns, watermill, school, an 18th century Unitarian chapel and shops.

St Fagans Museum Cardiff

Day 4 Itinerary – Gloucester & Stratford in England

1. Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester

  • The 1,300 years old Gloucester Cathedral is really grand as it is one of the shooting place for Harry Potter.  In fact two of Harry Potter films were filming here.

Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester

2. Bourton on the Water 

  • voted as one of the prettiest village in England

Bourton on the Water

3. Shakespeare’s Stratford 

  • Hometown of Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Stratford - Hometown of Shakespeare

Day 5 Itinerary – Liverpool & Windermere in England

1. Liverpool England

  • Beatles Hometown

Liverpool in England- Beatles Hometown

Windermere Lake District 

  • Largest Lake in England

Windermere Lake District - Largest Lake in England

Day 6 Itinerary – Edinburgh in Scotland

1. Edinburgh Castle

  • Edinburgh Castle is very famous and considered an iconic landmark in Scotland!

Edinburgh Castle

Day 7 Itinerary – Jedburgh in Scotland, Newcastle & York in England

Where to stay : Holiday Inn York – Booking

1.English-Scottish Border & Jedburgh in Scotland

  • Sitting at the border between Scotland and England has it downside, Jedburgh Abbey was partly destroyed because of the fight between these two borders in the early days.

English Scottish Border

2. Newcastle in England

  • Newcastle is about 103 miles south of Edinburgh but 277 miles north of London. You can explore the city and the castle and the University.

Newcastle in England

3. York in England – York Minster

  • York is an old city with its cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, about 4 hours drive from London.

York Minster in England

Day 8 Itinerary Lincoln & Cambridge in England

1. Lincoln 

  • 2000 years of history & heritage in England

Lincoln Cathedral in England

2.Cambridge University in England

Cambridge Trinity College

Day 9 Itinerary Oxford & Windsor in England

1. Oxford in England 

  •  University Walking tour

Oxford University

2. Windsor Castle in England

  • Current home for Her Majesty, the Queen Elizabeth II

St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

Day 10 Itinerary London in England

1.London Free & Easy – with London Pass

  • Exploring London with London Pass and bus and train.

Westminster Abbey London Free & Easy with London Pass

2.British Museum

  • Follow my list to spot the top 15 artifacts in British Museum.  You would see world treasure in this museum.  Really bizarre.

British Museum Free Admission

Day 11 itinerary – Heathrow Airport to Singapore 

Things to take note of when self drive in UK :

  1. Some roads have very limited space in UK eg city of Bath, especially with the parked cars at the side of the road.  What you can do is slow down and give hand signals or flash lights to communicate with the opposite side driver to give way.
  2. Roundabouts – As you know UK is the country of roundabouts.  It may be quite confusing and scary at first as some roundabouts are so huge and has many exits.  Rule of thumb is always stay in land and give way to vehicle on the right. It can be quite dizzy also 🙂
  3. Stay away from Bus lane – we got our fine ticket for driving in bus lane in Cardiff!!
  4. Parking – always standby plenty of coins to insert into the ticketing machines. Most parking in UK accepts only coins.  Remember to pay before you leave your car and put the ticket back to your front window!
  5. Parking in Hotel : Not all parking in hotel is free.  Remember to tell the front desk about your vehicle number when you check in.  Normally the front desk will ask you to input your vehicle number into an notepad/their system.  We had our lesson paid on the last day in UK, we parked into the hotel car park, thinking of just unloading our luggage as we have to return our car after we checked in the hotel.  Thinking it was just less than 15 mins, not overnight so we thought there is no need to inform the front desk of our vehicle number. When we reached home, we received the penalty!  Once the car vehicle entered the car park, there is a CCS to track the car number plates.  Unlike car park in Singapore, once you entered,  there is a ticket given to you by the machine at the gantry.  With the ticket we then can either pay the ticket or inform to the front desk so that we can use the ticket to exit our way. Without the ticket at the gantry it is very likely to forget especially when you are in the hurry!

Total Cost for our 12 days 9 nights UK Self Drive Tour – SGD $8,500 for 3 pax 

  • Flight Taxes & Fees + Travel Protection – SGD$3,000 for 3 pax – You can get cheaper air ticket than this if you book earlier as we booked quite late, about 3 months before the departure.  I know people who book 6-9 months earlier can get cheaper deal.
  • Hotel – SGD $2,000 (Depending on your budget – you can book cheaper hotel or more expensive hotel depending on your needs and budget.  Our hotel cost about SGD $200 + per night.  Most of the nights we stayed is Holiday Inn throughout UK. Note : Most hotel breakfast need additional charges and the breakfast is exactly the same every morning.  You may want to consider eating out, either at Mc D in the morning or prepare your own, either buying or get ready the night before.
  • Car Rental + Protection – SGD $1,000 – Depending on your budget and needs.  Our rental car is Mercedes Benz for 8 days.  There are cheaper or more expensive cars available.
  • Other Expenses – SGD $2,500 (including SGD $300 traffic fines) 🙁  Expensive lesson learnt!
  • This is just a rough estimation guideline.  Depending on your personal needs, you can go higher or lower budget.  🙂

Appreciate different cultures, try new things, to be more curious and see beauty in every small things. I truly believe that world travel is the best education you can get. 

You may also like other self drive destination :

You may like to explore other part of Europe :

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32 Replies to “UK Self Drive Itinerary Covering England, Wales & Scotland, the entire Great Britain!”

  1. wow, you saw many beautiful buildings through the UK. Thanks for sharing this post and making my home country look great. Being from the UK, I always overlook the beauty. Thanks for reminding me that there are great places to visit there. Glad you had a wonderful time.

  2. You covered so much and I want to see it all too! I dream of visiting England and Scotland, so I hope to make it there soon. I love all the castles and I like the Beatles Statue. Definitely a roadtrip I would consider.

  3. I’m actually looking for something like this as I plan on visiting the UK next year. You’ve taken a whole lot of planning for me and your photos make me excited for my trip. So many wonderful places to visit in this part of the world, and I think you’ve covered all of the ones I want to see.

    1. Dear Kristine Eva,

      Really glad to hear that! Hope the itinerary can act as a little reference for your future travel in UK!

  4. Hi fellow Singaporean! 🙂 Nice to see that you did not just focus on the touristy region of London but rather incorporated other less known regions in the UK as well – comprehensive guide!

    1. Dear Nathan,

      Thank you for your kind comment. The UK round the Island trip has cover not just London and Edinburgh only but other small town as well. UK has so much to offer!

    1. Dear Dana,
      How lucky you have stayed in London and study there. It is such a beautiful place full of old architectures. Love every corner in London but my stay in London is too short.

  5. This is such a motivating post! Teh majestic castles and old school charm has definately lit a fire under me to get out to the UK and explore! I had no idea that Roman Baths made it all the way north to the UK…just fascinating! Thanks!! Xo Evelyn, Path of Presence

  6. This is such a great itinerary for seeing all that the UK has to offer! And thanks for sharing your tips on driving in the UK – super helpful!

  7. Wow what an amazing amount of the UK you covered in your time here! I have to admit I’ve never managed to make it to that many places in such a short time and I live here! Beautiful memories.

  8. Holy smokes I am dizzy just reading about how much is packed into each day – you must need a vacation from your vacation. But so many amazing places to see!

  9. What a wonderful trip! You explored so many great places and I like that you covered places to eat and to stay. I would love to book this trip right now!

  10. Sounds absolutely ahhhhmazing. This is a great ost, and a great guide for a trip like this. You have thought of everything.

  11. I have been living in the UK for over 5 years and I am still yet to do a proper road trip around the country. Fun fact, I actually had a coffee at that Tea House where you sit in front of the Salisbury Cathedral just a week or so ago. I have also stayed at Leonardo Hotel, in Heathrow, quite a few times when I had early flights. Such a coincidence! 🙂

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