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8 Tips for Planning a Family Road Trip in the UK

8 Tips for Planning a Family Road Trip in the UK

Guest Blog Series – We’ve asked travel experts to offer their tips and tricks to planning the best European road trips. This guest blog post is written by Marco of the popular travel blog Thinking Nomads. Read on to learn how to plan the perfect family road trip in the UK.

There are few greater feelings in the world than that of enjoying a spectacular UK road trip. This country is jam-packed with history, towns, countryside and lots of things to do. So how will you make the most of this amazing trip with your family?

1. Do Some Research

Despite being relatively small in size, the UK has an incredible amount crammed into it. If you don’t do any research then you run the risk of missing out on some great moments.

At first the sheer volume of attractions might make it seem difficult to work out where to start. However, after some research you should hopefully have a list of the places you are most interested in visiting.

2. Have a Plan

At this point, you should be able to pull together some sort of rough plan for your UK road trip. The extensive road network means that planning a route should be easy and can even be good fun. Get the kids involved by having them highlight your route on a map.

If you want to see places that are far apart – like the Lake District, Loch Ness and Snowdonia – then it is only by doing some planning that you can work out whether this is feasible.

3. See As Much as You Can

English Countryside

English Countryside. Picture courtesy of Thinking Nomads.

A mistake that many people make is to only spend time in and around London. However, if you are going on a British road trip then you should be thinking about seeing as much of this glorious country as you can.

From the magnificent solitude of the Scottish Highlands to the scenic Welsh mountains and valleys, there are plenty of sights to be soaked up and adventures to be had in the UK. You can even take your car on a ferry across to Northern Ireland for wonderful attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway.

4. Be Open to Making Changes

Longleat Safari Park

Monkeying around at Longleat Safari Park. Picture courtesy of Thinking Nomads.

Of course, you will also want to approach this road trip with an open mind and a flexible attitude especially when children are involved. There is every chance that you will come across interesting attractions that cause you to change your plans along the way.

Historic landmarks and tourist attractions are clearly posted in the UK, so at some point you will see a sign pointing you towards a castle, palace or other location that gets the family excited.

5. Head for the Coast

Dorset Coast

Dorset coast, England. Picture courtesy of Thinking Nomads.

The UK is famous for having one of the planet’s longest and most interesting coastlines. You will find everything here from isolated beaches to historic castles, spectacular coastal walks to fishing villages and surf towns.

You will never be far from the water on a British road trip and it definitely makes sense to follow the coast as far as you can. The famous Antrim Coast Road in Northern Ireland and the coast of Cornwall in England are a couple of fantastic examples.

6. Sample the Towns and Villages

Villages of the UK

Exploring the small village of the United Kingdom. Picture courtesy of Thinking Nomads.

There is no doubt that the UK’s biggest cities are fascinating places. London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast are all very worthwhile tourist destinations.

However, one of the main pleasures of a road trip in the UK is the chance it gives you to get out to smaller towns and villages. Places like Fort William, Torquay, Abbotsbury, Bude and Chepstow are all going to linger long in your memory afterwards.

7. Get Off the Motorway

Wiltshire Countryside

Picture courtesy of Thinking Nomads.

To be honest, probably the worst thing about a British road trip is the motorway. While the motorway network offers a fast and efficient way of getting around, it can be a bit dull to travel on them.

Thankfully, there are numerous smaller and more interesting roads to check out. A-class roads are sometimes fairly busy routes but the B roads that reach out across the country are usually quiet and are often incredibly scenic roads to travel on.

8. Don’t Rush It

Finally, if there is one time in your life to relax and take your time then this is it. Don’t be fooled by the size of the map into thinking that you can whizz around this little country in a week or less.

Instead, you need to take your time and spend as long as you can doing this. You won’t regret a single day of your trip if you just unwind while you discover the beauty and diversity of the UK.

Pin now and start planning your next family road trip!


Thinking Nomads Logothinking nomadsThinking Nomads travel blog to share, inspire and advise anyone who is interested in independent travel everything from how, what and where. We have picked up bit of travel wisdom along the way and want to share it with anyone that is interested. In our eyes traveling is a form of education that opens the mind to new cultures and teaches valuable life skills.


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