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Things you need to know if planning a trip around Britain

Written by Fiona

April 04 2021

With many of us still feeling the constraints of lockdown, planning a trip around Britain has never looked more appealing. From going off the beaten track on the North York Moors to striding along a beach in Norfolk to stand up paddle boarding on the Caledonian Canal in Scotland, there is so much to discover in Britain.

The British Isles is bursting with historic landmarks and has some outstanding areas of natural beauty that you can’t find anywhere else.

If you are not sure where to begin, here are some of our favourite things to see and do on the British Isles:

Before you set off

You can travel by car, bus or train, or even by bike or on foot. If you are driving your own vehicle, it’s sensible to service your car before heading off. Make sure you check:

  • Window wipers and screen wash – it’s annoying to have a smeary screen.
  • Oil levels and engine coolant – ensure your oil and coolant levels are enough to avoid your engine overheating and avoid breakdowns. 
  • Tyre pressure – refer to your car service manual for exact pressure. Your tyres need to be prepared for the country roads of Britain
  • Tyre tread depth – worn tyres can seriously affect your journey. Make sure the tread has a minimum depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters by using a measuring gauge. You may want to replace your tyres if your tread is between 1.6mm and 3mm.
  • Lights – essential for safe travel, make sure you check all your front and rear lights. Replace any bulbs that aren’t working.
  • Wash your car – visibility is important for any journey you take, so make sure all windows and mirrors are clean.
  • Fuel – if you are going on a long journey, it’s worth filling your tank to avoid any unnecessary stops. Hybrid and electric vehicle users – make sure you have enough charge to get you to your next charging point.
  • Emergency supplies – first rule of being a scout is “always be prepared!” Make sure you pack a torch, GPS or map, a warning red triangle, spare oil, spare clothes and a blanket. 
  • Snacks – don’t leave home without them.

Not sure your vehicle is up for the journey? You can find affordable short term or long term leases or even completely upgrade your car with finance to make your trip as stress free as possible. 

Step back in time

Ancient castles, fortresses, hill forts and more dot the countryside of the UK. From the towering ramparts of Edinburgh Castle to the Arthurian Tintagel Castle on the Cornish coast, you can follow the paths of ancient civilisations that helped make Britain. 

Wander up the road and you will discover stone circles, imposing Tors and places of myth and legend in the rugged Dartmoor National Park. There you will discover some of the country’s rarest wildlife and even find a bronze age relic embedded in the rich earth. 

If you want to throw in a spot of sightseeing along the way, London is the epitome of British culture. You can take a walk down Drury Lane, see where the Great Fire ripped through the city up to the Roman Walls and wave at royalty. 

Find unique experiences

Whether you hunt for seashells on top of Mount Snowdon, gaze at the enduring stones of Stonehenge or solve the mystery in one of the UK’s top escape rooms, you won’t struggle to find a unique, memorable experience. If you’re on a solo adventure or taking a trip on the wild side with the whole family, there is something for everyone. 

Kayaking, for example, is a great choice:

  • Scotland – home to thousands of miles of coastline, with a never ending supply of kayaking opportunities. With its calmer inland lochs and lakes like Loch Ness, Loch Lomond and Loch Awe, it’s the perfect palace for kayak fishing. If you want to go further out towards Orkney or the Isles of Skye, you might even spot one of the resident Orca pods.
  • Cornwall – with its hidden coves and smuggler spots, Cornwall is one of the most popular kayaking destinations in Britain. A surfers paradise on the north coast and a paddling dream in the likes of Kynance Cove, there’s a lot to get excited about.
  • The Lake District – bursting with spectacular scenery and rare wildlife, it’s the perfect area for a spot of family kayak touring. Settle down for the night in one of the lakeside campsites for an extra treat.

Have a spot of tea

We Brits love a cup of tea. It’s one of those cultural stereotypes that tends to fit the bill.While road tripping around Britain it would be rude not to dip into the afternoon delights the country has to offer. 

Discover some of the best afternoon teas in the land in the Roman city of Bath. With its quirky independent cafes like Sweet Little Things, and the city’s oldest Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House, you can feel like a queen as you take in the city sights. When you’re done, walk around one of Europe’s best preserved Roman baths and enjoy a thermal spa to finish off your day. Sounds dreamy. 

Next stop, explore Exeter in the heart of Devon. Like Bath, you can still walk along the ancient Roman walls of the city. You can stand feet away from the infamous Bideford Witch trials at Rougemont Castle, walk along the Medieval Bridge in Exe Bridges before sitting in the shadow of the Cathedral while sipping a brew from Tea on the Green. 

Ready to experience Britain? With its rich countryside, hidden coves and ancient castles, there is a lot to enjoy from your front doorstep. Where will you visit first? 

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