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UK Road Trip Tips

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UK Road Trip Must Knows - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

UK Road Trip Tips

Are you about to embark on the ultimate road trip adventure? Whether that be in a motorhome around Chile, a tiny camper in Iceland, a Jucy van in New Zealand or in the United Kingdom? If it is a resounding YES, have you actually considered what you need to know for a road trip and specifically for this post – UK road trip tips?

Do you know what the United Kingdom entails? Does it include Ireland, Northern Ireland or none of the island that is Ireland? Do you know what side of the road to drive on? Have you thought about your mode of transport for the trip? Will it actually ever be sunny and will that effect your mood? Are dates important to consider? Are people friendly? How wide are the roads? Are there extra costs at caravan parks? I mean what do you really need to know for a road trip from London?

WOW, so many questions! All we encountered during out UK road trip. We, therefore, thought it was pivotal to share our UK road trip tips to help the next adventurous souls embarking on a road trip around the UK.

Table of Contents

Thank you to Spaceships Campervan Rentals UK for the epic wheels to enjoy the UK in.

DISCLOSURE: We were given a discounted rate for our road trip but all opinions of Spaceships Campervan Rentals are honest and our own. 

Should You Worry About Going to Northern Ireland?

Not a bad site while travelling around #NorthernIreland hey? The #GiantsCauseway is like nothing I have seen before!

A post shared by Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo (@ljojlo_trvlblog) on

Ok, so let me clarify what the United Kingdom encompasses. Simply it is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You will find England, Wales and Scotland all conveniently located on the same island, however, Northern Ireland is a short ferry ride away and should not be missed. In saying that visiting Scotland, England and Wales is also worth it. There are several ferries to Northern Ireland a day and you can bring your car so you can continue your UK road trip there.

So, what is there to do in Northern Ireland? Well for starters there is Belfast. There are many a things to do in Belfast so be sure to check it out. Moving out of the city there is  the Giant’s Causeway. Not to mention the Game Of Thrones sites everywhere and for these reasons, Northern Ireland exceeded my expectations. The Causeway Coastal Route, which obviously runs along the coast, with its beautiful landscape and stunning blue water is a must. Also, a great little spot we found was the Tollymore Forest Park, which was a gorgeous place to spend a night or explore on foot.

Then there is the question of should you visit Wales? Just like Northern Ireland, OF COURSE YOU SHOULD! Snowdonia National Park and climbing Mt Snowdon are certainly highlights. 

While you are at it you should also visit the Republic of Ireland. Check out this 2-week Itinerary on the Emerald Isle.

What about Wales? Check out how to road trip in Wales.

What Side of the Road do you Drive On?

You must drive on the LEFT in the UK. As obvious as that seems to the many people who explore the UK we as Aussies still needed reminding. Being from Australia driving on the left is second nature. However, after spending considerable time in Chile, The United States of America and Iceland on road trips where you drive on the right, the left became weird to us. I will never forget the sinking feeling as we entered the first roundabout convinced we were travelling the wrong way. However, never fear because after a few hours of driving on the left again it became simple and second nature.

Car of Campervan as your Mode of Transport?

Obviously, your preferred style of trip will determine this. We were lucky enough to experience both. A campervan from Spaceships Camper Rentals while travelling through the UK and a car rental while in the Republic of Ireland, which is another whole story. Stay tuned for that one!

If I am honest, I prefer the freedom and fun that comes with a campervan. Being able to cook for yourself and immerse yourself within nature are lovable aspects of campervanning. Enjoying stunning caravan parks with the locals are other reasons why hands down I would choose to road trip in a campervan.

What is the Weather Like?

UK Road Trip Must Knows - Causeway Coastal Route - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

I mean I am not going to lie and say it was sunny all the time because it certainly was not. It rained probably every day, and on some days it rained more than it didn’t. However, this didn’t dampen (see what I did there?) our spirits and I enjoyed the beauty that came along with rainy conditions just as I did during the sunny times. My only suggestion would be to have good rain weather gear so you can still enjoy the UK no matter what the weather.

Are Dates Important?

This aspect slipped our mind when we booked our camper to collect in London. We were lucky enough to collect our van, Agent Smith (‘Smithy’ for short), on Sunday, however, originally we didn’t realise this Sunday was the Bank Holiday Sunday, a long weekend while we were in the English countryside.

Having friends we wanted to catch up with in Cotswolds, a region of England, north of London, we wanted a single night in a caravan park before travelling further north. I soon went into panic mode on realising all caravan parks require a 3-night minimum over the Bank Holiday long weekend. After sending quite a few emails and making countless phone calls one beautiful caravan park was able to meet our needs for one night. How we managed to do this, I am still not sure, however we were forever grateful for the single night stay considering we only had our van for seven nights.

Also, touristy areas are crazy, and I mean, crazy busy over long weekends. We, unfortunately, did not get to enjoy the Lake District as we hoped due to the overload of people.

Are the Citizens of the UK Friendly?

Of course!! With a caravan park allowing us to stay one night, when they didn’t need to, shows the generosity and friendliness you will find everywhere in the UK. Everywhere people were friendly. From owners of caravan parks within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to workers in petrol stations and even the staff helping us board our campervan onto a ferry, everyone was helpful and friendly.

They are so friendly you should totally spend more time in the UK and London is a great place to do it. To help with that check out this 4-day itinerary

How Wide Are The Roads?

Entirely dependent on where you are and where you want to drive. If you enjoy highway driving, which we certainly do not, you will find yourself on beautiful motorways and national highways with ample space, however, at times lots of traffic. If you want to explore the magical countryside and get the real feel of the UK, driving windy roads through villages is a must. However, this does come at the cost of concentration as the roads are much narrower and at times are barely wide enough for one car. This becomes super exciting when the roads go both ways too. However, don’t let this put you off. We tackled these routes, and if you are sensible and slow, you will have no issues.

Are there Extra Costs when Staying in Caravan Parks?

Yes, there are which we were not accustomed to. An obvious additional expense is electricity. However, this cost is often inclusive within the promotion of an electric site. Other extra costs we came across included:

  • Awnings – if you want to use an awning, which you often do due to the rainy weather in the UK you must pay a little bit more to allow this structure to be put up.
  • Pets – There is often an extra charge if you wish to bring your dog along, unfortunately.
  • Extra car – we didn’t have to worry about this one, but this extra cost was there.

Caravan parks don’t interest you? Looking for more luxurious accommodation? Check out these secluded UK getaways.

What are the UK National Speed Limits?

The speed limit varies a lot depending on where you are and what kind of vehicle you driving. Most towns have a speed limit of 30 mph or 48 km/h. On major roads it varies from 50 mph to 70 mph. If you need more information on the UK speed limit, click here to read the rules on the UK government website.

Where can we Park our Rental Car?

If you are renting a car, you will most likely be staying in a hotel. Hotel parking may or may not be free. It also may be expensive to park in the hotel parking lot.
So, where do you park?! You can park your rental car on the street, but there are rules you should be aware of when doing so. You should find road markings and signs indicating the rules. Double yellow lines mean no parking and no waiting ever. Single yellow lines mean no parking or waiting during the times shown on the sign. Yellow zig zag lines indicate restricted parking so check the sign. White zig zag lines indicated a pedestrian crossing and you should never park there. Never park on the sidewalk or block someone’s driveway. 
Need extra help with your road trip? Check out – How to Stay Safe on your Road Trip in Summer

So there you have it! Questions answered to make your road trip around the UK a little easier. Now if you want to enjoy a UK road trip from the comfort of your own home and check out our silly antics feel free to check out our adorable UK road trip video below. However, if you don’t like videos hit play and enjoy Bloodstream, by Ed Sheeran instead.