User Content > Road Trips

England and Scotland, March 2020

(1/4) > >>

cl94:
While most people my age are heading down to the beach in March, I have a different type of Spring Break trip in mind. I'm heading northeast across the Atlantic to Great Britain and taking a weeklong Great British Roadtrip. My hotel nights are set, but the big thing I need to do is decide on routings.

Day 1: Heathrow Airport (get in a little after 9 AM) - Telford. Don't want to do TOO much driving this day, because I doubt I will sleep on the plane, but I'm definitely seeing Ironbridge
Day 2: Telford - Glasgow. Planning a stop at Hadrian's Wall near Carlisle, possibly with a detour through the Lake District. This will be the biggest driving day of the trip.
Day 3: Glasgow - Inverness. The drive along Loch Ness is a must.
Day 4: Day trip from Inverness. Thinking about heading up to John O' Groats.
Day 5: Inverness - Edinburgh. Probably swinging through Aberdeen to see where the Scottish side of the family is originally from.
Day 6: Edinburgh - Hull. Main activity for the afternoon will be the railway museum in York.
Day 7: Hull - Slough. Yes, I'm crossing the Humber Bridge.
Day 8: Slough - Heathrow. Car is due back in the morning, so driving will be limited.

Does anyone have suggested routes or things to see between these locations? Daily distances are much lower than I'm accustomed to in the US and that's on purpose, because I know I will be driving slower and making random stops.

1995hoo:
In case you are not aware, the UK makes wide use of speed cameras, and they also use something called "average speed check," most often in motorway work zones. "Average speed check" is designed to combat the well-known habit of motorists slowing to pass a speed camera and then speeding back up. The system uses two or three cameras spaced some distance apart, all of which read your number plate. The system then calculates how long it took you to pass the cameras. Because they know the distance between cameras and the speed limit, they can determine whether you were speeding.

If you have not previously driven a right-hand-drive car, it's not a bad idea to try to drive on the airport roads a little bit before heading to the motorway. Bear in mind the bulk of the car is on the opposite side than you're used to, so you will be positioned much further to the right in the lane, and bear in mind the rearview mirror is to your left. I found driving on the left easy enough after the first few miles, but the rearview being on the left required overcoming years of muscle memory and parking in indoor car parks with pillars and such was a little tricky. Operating the manual gearbox with my left hand was a non-issue, no difficulty at all.

USE YOUR BLINKERS at roundabouts. This includes indicating a right turn if you're going more than halfway around, then indicating left when you're going to exit. The right indicator tells people waiting to enter that you will remain on the roundabout and they need to give way to you. The left indicator tells them you're exiting.

Currency tip: Note that Scottish pound notes are issued by a number of banks in Scotland and may or may not be accepted in England. Bank of England notes will be universally accepted. If you have more than a small amount of Scottish pound notes when you're preparing to head back south from Edinburgh, it might not be a bad idea to stop at a bank and ask to exchange them for Bank of England notes. I was once at dinner with a group of friends near Bristol and they all put down cash towards the bill. Then I realized since my American Express card gave me miles based on the dollar value, it made more sense for me to charge the whole bill, so I picked up all the cash and charged it. Some of the people I was with were from Scotland and had put down Scottish banknotes. When I tried to use one of those the next day at the Clifton Suspension Bridge gift shop, the shopkeeper wouldn't take it (good thing I had plenty of Bank of England notes). The currency exchange at Heathrow will take the Scottish notes if you still have them at the end of your trip.

With that said....

If you like Scotch whisky, obviously there are lots of distilleries. If you go to John O' Groats, you'll pass right by the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain. That might be the most convenient one to visit. There is also a good whisky shop at Heathrow, Whiskies of the World.

If you're into golf, make the pilgrimage to St. Andrews. It's not too far out of the way on the drive from Aberdeen to Edinburgh.

The Museum of Flight in East Fortune is an interesting stop and you can tour the interior of Concorde G-BOAA.

US 89:

--- Quote from: 1995hoo on January 30, 2020, 04:46:38 PM ---In case you are not aware, the UK makes wide use of speed cameras, and they also use something called "average speed check," most often in motorway work zones. "Average speed check" is designed to combat the well-known habit of motorists slowing to pass a speed camera and then speeding back up. The system uses two or three cameras spaced some distance apart, all of which read your number plate. The system then calculates how long it took you to pass the cameras. Because they know the distance between cameras and the speed limit, they can determine whether you were speeding.

--- End quote ---

Who knew calculus had a real world application.

cl94:
Speed cameras...yeah, well aware. Thankfully, UK speed limits are a bit more reasonable than I'm used to in the Northeast US. 70 on dual carriageways and 60 on two lane roads seems to be the standard. Most jurisdictions have a 10% + 2 MPH tolerance and I will be using Waze constantly like I do in the US, but I don't expect to be going much (if any) above the limit. The hardest thing might be remembering that flashing headlights to warn of a cop/speed camera is punishable with a hefty fine.

The Museum of Flight was indeed something I looked at, but it's only open on weekends this time of year. Since my flights in and out are on Sunday, it's sadly not doable.

I might need to stop by a distillery. I have a checked bag, so as long as I remain within customs limits...

1995hoo:

--- Quote from: cl94 on January 31, 2020, 01:00:53 PM ---....

I might need to stop by a distillery. I have a checked bag, so as long as I remain within customs limits...

--- End quote ---

You can also carry on your liquor if you buy it at an airside shop (such as the whisky shop I mentioned), though if you have to connect once you reach the USA the TSA may or may not make you put it in your checked bag then. I know the regulations on whether they'll honor the sealed bags from EU airside shops have changed multiple times over the years and I don't know what the current rule is.

I can tell you from experience that whether CBP will enforce the import limits is highly dependent on the individual inspector. The most important thing is to declare it regardless of whether you think it'll put you over the limit. A lot of the time they don't want to be bothered, but you don't want to risk getting in trouble for submitting a false declaration.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version