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:
- Book your air ticket 6 months ahead to secure a cheaper deal
- Book your car from car rental online
- Plan your routes in UK
- Plan or book your hotel in Agoda.com or Booking.com
- Bring Poncho and umbrella as in UK always rain
- Bring some instant noodles 🙂
UK Self Drive Routes
My 12 days 9 nights itinerary will tell you :
- where we go
- where to park the car rental
- what we eat
- where we stay
Day 1 Itinerary
- Singapore – Heathrow Airport, London
Day 2 Itinerary – Salisbury, Stonehenge & Bath in England
- 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).
- 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.
- Place for public bathing but that was 2000 years ago.
- Best preserved Roman remains in the world.
- Arrival at Heathrow Airport in the morning 6 am.
- Pick up car rental at Sixth Car rental
- Salisbury Cathedral
- Parking in Salisbury Cathedral : Old George Mall – Address: 6 New St, Salisbury SP1 2PH, UK
- Lunch at Salisbury : Fish & Chips & Chicken Burger
- 2000 Years Roman Bath
- Parking at Bath : Avon Street Car Park – Address : Off Avon Street, BATH, Bath, BA1 1UE
Day 3 Itinerary – Cardiff in Wales
- Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attraction of 2,000 years of history.
- 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.
- Cardiff Castle
- Take away lunch at Cardiff Indoor Market
- Cardiff Indoor Market Address: St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AU, UK
- ST Fagans Museum Cardiff
- Dinner : Chinese Sichuan Cuisine – Papa Panda
- Papa Panda Address : 112 St. Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1DX, Wales
- Holiday Inn Cardiff City
Day 4 Itinerary – Gloucester & Stratford in England
- Where to stay – Holiday Inn Express Warwick – Booking
- 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.
- voted as one of the prettiest village in England
- Hometown of Shakespeare
- Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester – Flash back Harry Potter Scene.
- Parking at : Eastgate Shopping Centre, Gloucester
- Eastgate Shopping Centre Address : 22 Eastgate St, Gloucester GL1 1PA, UK
- Lunch : KFC
- Bourton on the Water-voted as one of the prettiest village in England.
- Tea break at English Tea House in Bourton-on-the-Water
- Shakespeare’s Stratford – Hometown of Shakespeare
- Park at : Windsor Street Shoppers Car Park
- Address at Windsor Street Car Park : 21 Windsor St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6NL, UK
- Dinner : Harvester Warwick – Western Menu : Pork Ribs & Steaks
- Address at Harvester Warwick : Stratford Rd, Warwick CV34 6RB, UK
- Holiday Inn Express Warwick
Day 5 Itinerary – Liverpool & Windermere in England
- Beatles Hometown
- Largest Lake in England
- Liverpool in England- Beatles Hometown
- Cuban Lunch : Revolución de Cuba Liverpool
- Restaurant Address: Albert Dock, 22 Edward Pavilion, Waterfront,, Liverpool L3 4AF, United Kingdom
- Windermere Lake District – Largest Lake in England.
- Dinner at The China Boat – Cantonese Cuisine
- Castle Green Hotel in Kendal
Day 6 Itinerary – Edinburgh in Scotland
- Where to stay : Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh Waterfront
- Edinburgh Castle is very famous and considered an iconic landmark in Scotland!
- Edinburgh Castle
- Parking at NCP Car Park Edinburgh Castle Terrace
- Address: Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EW, UK
- Lunch : Mexican Buritos
- Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh Waterfront
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.
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.
3. York in England – York Minster
- York is an old city with its cobbled streets and beautiful architecture, about 4 hours drive from London.
- English-Scottish Border & Jedburgh in Scotland
- Newcastle in England
- Lunch at Korean Japanese noodle at Newcastle Haymarket
- York in England – York Minster
- Park at Qpark at Shambles
- Address Qpark at Shambles : Address : Garden Pl, York.
- Dinner at Wagamama – Japanese inspired Asian fusion food
- Address at Wagamama : 201 – 202, York Designer Outlet, St Nicholas Ave, York YO19 4TA, UK
- Holiday Inn York
Day 8 Itinerary Lincoln & Cambridge in England
- Where to stay : Holiday Inn Express Cambridge – Booking
- 2000 years of history & heritage in England
2.Cambridge University in England
- Lincoln -2000 years of history & heritage in England
- Cambridge University in England
- Lunch at Wasabi Cambridge
- Address Wasabi : 23 Petty Cury, Cambridge CB2 3NB, UK
- Dinner : Pho – Vietnamese cuisine
- Address : 1 Wheeler St, Cambridge CB2 3QB, UK
- Holiday Inn Express Cambridge
Day 9 Itinerary Oxford & Windsor in England
- Where to stay : Leonardo Hotel in Heathrow, England – Booking
- Leonardo Hotel in Heathrow – Hotel Review
1. Oxford in England
- University Walking tour
2. Windsor Castle in England
- Current home for Her Majesty, the Queen Elizabeth II
- Oxford in England – University Walking tour
- Lunch at Thaikun Oxford – Thai cuisine
- Address at Thaikun : 36 George St, Oxford OX1 2BJ, UK
- Windsor Castle in England
- Return rental car to Sixth Car Rental at Heathrow
- Leonardo Hotel in Heathrow, England
Day 10 Itinerary London in England
- Exploring London with London Pass and bus and train.
- Follow my list to spot the top 15 artifacts in British Museum. You would see world treasure in this museum. Really bizarre.
- London Free & Easy – with London Pass
- British Museum
- Lunch at British Museum : Pizzeria in British Museum
- Dinner at London China Town : Chinese Cuisine Young Cheng Restaurant
- Address of Yong Cheng : 22 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BY, UK
- Dessert : Bubblewrap Waffle – must try! Most popular!
- Address of Bubblewrap Waffle : 24 Wardour St, London W1D 6QJ, UK
- Leonardo Hotel in Heathrow, England
Day 11 itinerary – Heathrow Airport to Singapore
Things to take note of when self drive in UK :
- 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.
- 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 🙂
- Stay away from Bus lane – we got our fine ticket for driving in bus lane in Cardiff!!
- 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!
- 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 :
- Self Drive in Kyushu Island Japan (Fukuoka, Beppu, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Miyazaki)
- Self Drive in Central Region Japan (Gifu, Takayama, Shirakawa-go,Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Matsumoto, Mt Fuji, Nagoya)
- Self Drive in Taiwan Round The Island
- Self Drive in Thailand (From Bangkok to Chiang Mai)
You may like to explore other part of Europe :
I have affiliate program with the following booking website, so please click at your preference booking website here to check the hotels or airbnb you like to stay for your UK trip.