Driving in U.K.

Driving in U.K.

Unless you come from Japan, Australia or one of the few other countries that use left hand drive, getting used to life on the road in the UK takes a bit of adjustment. The rues are not all that different, but everything is backwards. This means that oncoming traffic is always seen coming from the right. Also you have to remember that right-turning traffic must cross oncoming traffic and traffic on roundabouts goes clockwise. It may seem easy enough, but it does take a little getting used to.

This is especially true if you are driving your own car from Europe. In the U.K., vehicles have the driving seat on the right. If you are coming from the continent, yours will be on the left. While it is possible to drive a car like that, it does present challenges. For one thing, trying to overtake someone is nearly impossible. You simply can’t see oncoming traffic unless you are hallway into the other lane. That is a fairly dangerous idea. You will also find that driving a right hand drive in a left hand country is confusing, and you’ll often feel like you should be on the other side of the road. Be careful. .

Fortunately, all of this can be avoided by renting a car. Once you get behind the wheel of a left hand drive, it all seems pretty natural. Except for the fact that you will shift gears with a different hand. But once you get the swing of it you will relax completely. .

London or Birmingham is the best place to rent a car if you want to explore the Midlands, Wales and the South. For the north of England and Scotland, you would be better off choosing Glasgow as your starting point. While distances aren’t as big as America or continental Europe, use could end up using a lot of time getting from one part of the country to another and spend a lot of time on major highways if you don’t plan accordingly. .

The south of England has a lot of fantastic things to see. London is notorious for bad traffic, high parking fees and central city congestion charges. If you start off here, rent your car when you are about to leave and explore the countryside. You will find plenty of motorways across the country but there is little to actually see along the way. They are however useful if you want to get from A to B quickly…

If you start in London, you might want to think about driving east to the quaint seaside resort town of Southend. With it’s massive pier, amusement park and other attraction, you could easily while away a day there. From there you could just meander along the coastline in a westerly direction, taking in the towns of Brighton. Poole and Torquey. A little further on and you reach Cornwall, a fascinating part of the country steeped in history. During summer it gets quite busy here, and that’s because it is simply stunning. There are amazing little beaches everywhere and craggily coastline with fantastic views.From there perhaps head north and discover the natural beauty and endless abandon ancient castles in Wales. The further north you go, the wilder the countryside gets. And you will literally find a ruin of a castle, abby or manor around every corner. While driving here, or anywhere else in the countryside for that matter, you will often come across roads only as wide as one car, with Either a ditch or a steep hedge on either side. It’s a little frightening at first, but chances are that you won’t see another car. .

Birmingham is the place to set off from if you want to explore the Midlands, lake District and Peak district. It is easy to set out first for Shropshire, full of quaint little villages and then into Wales. You can easily spend a couple days wandering between castles and abbeys. A good idea next is to head up the coast in the direction of Liverpool and Manchester. If you want to get some shopping done and pay much less than in the London High streets, then this is the place. Just north of there is Cumbria and a visit to Windermere is a fantastic idea. This is the largest natural lake in England and all around the area you will find fantastic natural beauty. Head east and you’ll come across Yorkshire Dales and the Moors. Both areas have huge national parks with views that go on for miles. In every little valley you will find little villages and towns. In spring, the area blooms with wildflowers. Here is another place that you will find the ruins of castles from long ago. With the stark natural beauty of the countryside, it makes for quite a scene. .

Scotland is and entity all it’s own. While fiercely independent, the have been a part of the UK forever. If you choose Edinburgh or Glasgow as a starting point, simply drive north on the East coast before swinging back around and heading back south on the west. You could easily spend a week or more touring Scotland. There is something to see everywhere, whisky factories, quint little inns and ancient lochs. You will find ancient castle and stretches of kland that seem to go on forever. The Scots are a very welcoming people as they are very proud of their country. If you ask a local, you’ll be sure to find hidden secrets that the guide books don’t mention. .

Driving in the UK is a pleasure. You can find gas, accommodation, wifi and food almost anywhere yet still have the feeling that you are miles away from civilization. The roads are well kept and safe and if you need breakdown service there is always someone not far away. What kind of trip you take, simply depends on what kind of time you have. Choose a pace, drive at your leisure and just pick small inns along the way…

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