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post #1 of 15 Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 5:00 am Thread Starter
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Trip info - UK drive

Hi gents.
My wife & I are doing a short 5-day driving holiday from Edinburgh to London before heading over to Europe for 3 weeks travel through France and Italy.
Would be great if anyone can pass on suggestions for "must see" locations or historical buildings or sites in UK on our planned route for the GB driving section.

Day 1 - we arrive in Edinburgh on Sunday 23 March, and stay there 1 night. Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile is on the list.

Day 2 - Monday 24th, we drive east around the coast to Blythe and South Shields where my grandparents originated from, before heading west to Carlisle. Wanted to see the Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields but its closed... so is there anything of Hadrians Wall along our route that we could check out?

Day 3 - Carlisle to Bowness-on-Windemere... heading via the west coast then circling back down to the Lakes to stay for the night.

Day 4 - Bowness to Stratford-on-Avon.... The Bard beckons....

Day 5 - Stratford to Heathrow via Stonehenge... we'll have to book tickets for a specific time, which seems to be pretty awkward to estimate the arrival time but we're estimating a 2 hour drive to get to Stonehenge.

So that's the itinerary so far... look forward to hearing some options for stops along the way!
cheers guys

Chris
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post #2 of 15 Old Jan 24th, 2014, 8:28 am
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

... and then for day 6 till 27??? Any rough schedule?

Have a nice day!
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post #3 of 15 Old Jan 24th, 2014, 7:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

yeh, the rest of it is a couple of days each in, or en-route through: Paris, Toulouse, San Sebastion, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Florence, Milan, with a couple of side trips (Mumm factory... yumm), then back home...

Its mainly driving through UK I need some more ideas about.
Wish it was on the bike, but the only driving part is UK.


BTW, we did a little of Switzerland on our previous trip about 4 years ago... loved it.. and would have loved to have the bike there!

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post #4 of 15 Old Jan 29th, 2014, 6:43 am
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Hi,

If you want Historic sites and castles, then check out the English Heritage web site, lists all things on their records. Has 'maps' of various regions of the UK so easy to break down sites of interest in the areas you're heading. I personally was dissappointed with Hadrian wall sites, but that's just my opinion and others may disagree.

If you're around South Shields you could have a look at he Beamish mining museum near Chester-le-street. Has it's own website.

Route wise, if you don't head for Hadrians wall, from Beamish I'd head south west through Stanley, Lanchester, Satley and Walsingham and then pick up the A689 and head west for Alston. The A689 is Englands highest road (peaking at Stanhope). It has many twists and turns and amazing views over the moors but mind the sheep!! Altson, is Englands highest Market town. Very pretty, cobbled main street, little shops and tea rooms. There's also a steam railway there which may be of interest.

From Alston you could then carry on to Brampton and into Carlisle or turn left from Alston onto the A686 towards Penrith and visit the Hartside cafe. This is a 'bikers' cafe and is very very busy on a good weekend and again offers amazing views over the country side. Be warned though that whilst it's setting is fantastic, it's very big inside and it's food good, it is quite a no frills cafe so don't expect table cloths and silver ware ! But worth a visit for the road to and from it and the view whilst there.

If you did Hartside you can drop into Penrith and then head north to Carlisle or head into the Lakes from Penrith.

Regards the Lakes District, you really can't go wrong. the A591 and A592 are the main roads north to south through The Lakes, beautiful lakes and scenery. If you want a testing drive, check out Wrynrose and Hardknott Passes. Very twisting, narrow and rugged, you'll not forget them in a hurry.

Most if not all the places I've mentioned can be looked at via the web so have a look. Not quite the same in a car as it would be on a bike but worth it all the same.

Hope some of the above helps and whatever you decide I hope you have a great time and the UK offers you a warm welcome.

Ian
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post #5 of 15 Old Jan 30th, 2014, 12:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Ian, thats the type of info I was looking for, thank you very much.

I'll plug the GPS back into Basecamp and check out the roads you've listed compared to what I've already plotted.
Tips on towns and sites is much appreciated... I have some homework to do tonight!
best
Chris

Chris
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post #6 of 15 Old Feb 1st, 2014, 4:33 pm
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

I agree with the Beamish visit there are some remains of the Roman forts that are worth visiting on the Hadrians wall route you could Google them, also a visit to York would be interesting but if you do use the park and ride bus service. Have a nice holiday.
Cheers Bren
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post #7 of 15 Old Feb 1st, 2014, 6:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Thanks Bren,
Looks like Beamish Museum is closed on Mondays, which is when we'll be passing through that area.
Googling shows me that a lot of the wall/fort sights are up around the B6318 road north of the A69, so we might detour up that way.

I'd love to have the bike over there touring.... so many great roads to explore!

cheers guys

Chris
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post #8 of 15 Old Feb 22nd, 2014, 3:50 am
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Beamish is a great site but it really needs a couple of days to see it all properly so if you're strapped for time it may not be your best bet. If you want to see some of the Roman remains in and around Hadrian's Wall I can recommend Vindolanda (http://www.vindolanda.com/), which is under contnuning excavation and has revealed some of the most amazing finds. You won't believe the wooden tablets with notes and personal jottings.

Beware of planning too many miles in the Lake District. It isn't heavily developed and the roads tend to follow valley bottoms so what's a short distance on the map can be a lot more on the ground. The roads are mostly narrow and it's easy to get stuck in traffic in the summer around the more popular places. It's worth looking for the Wrynose and Hardknott Passes. The views are worth it and there's a small Roman fort on top of the second.

Depending on what time of day you're travelling south, you may want to consider the toll motorway around Birmingham, although it is far from cheap. That whole stretch of the original M6 is a well-known nightmare at peak times and the by-pass will let you miss the worst of it. https://www.m6toll.co.uk/

Stratford on Avon is a tourist trap. Parking is an expensive nightmare and you'll pay through the nose for most things. It's certainly pretty but, rather than all the Shakespeare hoo-hah there, I'd look at a couple of attractions not far away: http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit-...p-gardens.html and http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit-...dens-farm.html. They'll be quieter for a start.

I'd allow three hours to reach Stonehenge if you have to buy a timed ticket. The M40 is often slow and the A34 round Oxford and down to Newbury can get busy at times.

Keith


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post #9 of 15 Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 4:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Thanks for the great info Keith. Looks like Vindolanda is open when we are due go past, so will be on our stopping list.
I could see on Google maps that there were Roman ruins all along that road, but had no idea about info on any of them.

For all the trip I'll be using my own Garmin GPS and UK/Europe map card I bought about 5 years ago for our last trip. Hopefully nothing has changed too much in the way of tollways etc.... everything I've mapped out so far seems to work with the latest Basecamp software... guess we'll just have to suck up the tolls as we come across them.... not too different to down here.

cheers guys, 4 weeks and counting down!

Chris
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post #10 of 15 Old Mar 6th, 2014, 6:02 am
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Hi Chris,

ich hoffe sehr, daß Du genug Zeit haben wirst auch bei mir hier in Deutschland einen Stop zu machen wenn Du nach Frankreich übersetzt! Sind nicht viele Kilometer!
Würde mich sehr freuen, Euch Beide wieder zu sehen!
Auch einen lieben Gruß von Tom!

Hartmut der Smutje

mit Monique der Glücklichen
www.Hotel-Bleeker.de
[email protected]


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post #11 of 15 Old Mar 6th, 2014, 4:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

(thx to Google translate, I hope!)
Hallo Hartmut, tolle, von Ihnen zu hören! Ich hatte gehofft, durch Ihre schöne Gegend und besuchen Sie sein, aber der Wunsch meiner Frau, nach Florenz nach einem Besuch in den Süden von Frankreich und berühren in Spanien zurückzukehren hat uns mit wenig Zeit noch zu tun, ein anderes Land zu verlassen!
Ich bin auf jeden Fall gehen, ein Reiturlaub etwas Zeit denke ich planen, zu haben!
Meine besten Wünsche für Sie und Monique, und einem herzlichen "G'day" Tom!
Ich hoffe, Sie sind in bester Gesundheit und immer noch beide genießen Reiten.

freundlichen Grüßen
Chris & Kerry

Hello Hartmut, great to hear from you! I had hoped to be able to come through your beautiful area and visit, however my wife's desire to return to Florence after visiting the south of France and touching into Spain has left us with little time to do yet another country!
I'm definately going to have to plan a riding holiday some time I think!
My very best wishes to you and Monique, and a hearty "G'day" to Tom!
I hope you are in excellent health and still both enjoying riding.

kindest regards
Chris & Kerry

(somehow stupid Bing translate thinks I want to go horseback riding... hahaha.... NO :-( )

Chris
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post #12 of 15 Old Mar 14th, 2014, 5:16 pm
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

National Motorcycle Museum is worth a look. Near NEC Birmingham. I've also attached a gpi file of biker cafes.
Attached Files
File Type: zip biker cafes.zip (13.5 KB, 16 views)


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post #13 of 15 Old Mar 16th, 2014, 12:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Thanks Axamax. Not going into Birmingham, but will check out the biker cafe locations for coffee spots while on the road.
best
Chris

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post #14 of 15 Old Mar 16th, 2014, 5:49 am
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Chris,
When you are in Tuscanny, there are a number great sites to see. Lucca is a about 35 minutes from Florence on route to Pisa. Pisa I would give a miss if you have seen it before.
Carrara is famous for marble and worth a visit. Not the same direction, but from memory over looks the Bay of Poets. From the sea they look like snow capped mountains.
If you have the time, drive up some of the side roads, get lost, and have your own Italian experience. Some of my best memories of Europe.
Brian

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post #15 of 15 Old Mar 17th, 2014, 8:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Trip info - UK drive

Thanks Brian.
Not sure what we'll be doing in Florence. (duh.. let me guess... shopping?)
Doubt the missus will let me drive anywhere.. haha.
We rented some scoots last time and she was scared shitless... so wont do that again.
Pisa we've done... I'll check out the other places you mentioned on the maps.. thanks mate!

Chris
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