Rowdy crowds of tourists, monotonous guides, constant rush have a negative impact on the sightseeing impressions. It’s better to rent a car and drive to the most beautiful places at your own pace. And today we are going to Britain!
The British Isles are not just about top hats, monocles and five o'clock tea.This is also about an incredible landscape, ancient castles and mansions, stunning nature. The compactness of the country allows you to visit a huge number of places in just a few days. We will start our journey from London, as it’s the best place to find a car for rent, and immediately go North.
Alnwick castle is located in the North of England in the County of Northumberland. This is the first keypoint on our route. The distance between London and Alnwick Castle is 510 kilometers, the travel time is about 5 and a half hours.
Even if you have never seen it in reality, you will definitely recognize these donjons, walls and towers. The historic structure regularly appears in films of various genres: scenes from "Harry Potter", "Transformers" and "Downton Abbey" were shot here. Originally a fortification, Alnwick grew with centuries became the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, whose descendants still live here today.
The castle itself is residential and is inferior in size only to Windsor. You can get inside only in the summer as part of an excursion, but you can walk around the surroundings and inspect the majestic walls at any time of the year. Sometimes this walk is enough for those who prefer to watch and reflect on their own.
Portmeirion is a small village in the north of Wales. It is notable for its unique architecture, copying the Mediterranean style. We go here from Alnwick Castle. Travel time is also about 5 hours, distance is 463 kilometers.
The village is also called the corner of Italy in Wales. All this became possible thanks to the architect Clough Williams-Ellis, who founded and rebuilt Portmeirion from 1925 to 1975. In half a century he was able to create one of the busiest tourist centers in modern Britain. After the death of the architect, the management of the village was transferred to a charitable foundation. Today, a visit to Portmeirion costs £ 7.50, while the village itself is filled with cafes, souvenir shops and restaurants. Up to 250 thousand tourists come here a year, so take advantage of the moment while the number of visitors has decreased.
A tiny village, which, however, is one of the most famous places in the country. The reason for this is quite simple, but not obvious. The fact is that a photo of one of the streets, Arlington Row, is on the inside cover of a UK passport. It is not surprising that every visitor tries to reproduce this picture so that he has a piece of British citizenship at home. We also recommend visiting a trout farm. For just a few pounds, you can fish here, and then stay for lunch and taste the local dishes.
From Portmeirion to Bibury there're 300 kilometers, which can be overcome in 4 hours.
50 kilometers from Bibury is Castle Combe, another notable village in the Cotswold. It was named after the nearby castle. By the way, the appearance of the village has not changed at all since the 14-15 centuries. The locals are incredibly welcoming and benevolent, and the houses look like they were specially built for filming a movie, but they are real and people live in them. Despite the population of only 300 people, there is a pub, cafe and even a hotel. So, if you get tired, you can safely stop for the night. Before the lockdown, the flow of tourists was simply terrifying, so hurry up until the restrictions are completely lifted and visit the temporarily empty streets.
The drive between Castle Combe and Bibury takes only a couple of hours, so you can relax and enjoy the idyllic scenery outside your window as you drive slowly.
The last but not least point of our journey is the main town of Somerset County, Bath, located on the Avon River. It is separated from Castle Combe by a frivolous 23 kilometers, so it is quite possible to visit them in one day.
Bath owes its name to four hot springs, the existence of which was known even before the arrival of the Romans. The average water temperature is 46 ° C. No wonder the area immediately became a place of medical pilgrimage. From the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries Bath was considered the summer residence of the aristocracy and social life of England. It’s also mentioned in many literary works of that period.
The main attractions of Bath are the Abbey, the three-arch Pulteney Bridge over the Avon, and the unique Royal Crescent Mane, a residential street of 30 houses built into the above-mentioned figure.
The British Isles route covers 1,345 kilometers. We specially laid it through Alnwick Castle as the point farthest from the start. While you are still full of energy, it is better to go there, while the route from Bath to London takes much less time. The route passes through many other small towns and villages where you can find something interesting for yourself and then share your impressions with family and friends.
1) Toll roads. The average cost of toll roads in Britain ranges from € 5 to € 8 depending on the day of the week and time of day. Cheapest travel on weekends and at night (from 23:00 to 05:00)
2) Fuel. Petrol will cost € 1.5, diesel fuel - € 1.3 per liter.
3) The cost of an overnight stay in different regions can vary dramatically. Rental services like Airbnb can help you save money.
It is not necessary to follow the route up to a centimeter. Remember, the best adventure is the one you create yourself!