Planning a UK family road trip
It’s pretty common that this time of year people begin to think about their summer holidays. Maybe it’s the miserable winter weather or the post festive blues? In previous years we have done the package deal. With young children I’m a big advocate of keeping things simple and as easy as possible. The least amount of organising is preferable. This year however, we decided to be a bit more adventurous. We wanted to do something different. We’re up for a challenge (I think).
This year we are planning a road trip! I know what you’re thinking, children in cars for more than an hour at a time! We must be mad! We’ve never done the road trip thing before and this year we are going to go for it. We are trying to keep it simple by sticking to the UK. At the moment we are looking for ideas, places and types of motorhomes.
We’ve always wanted to explore Scotland, but the long journey up there has put us off every time we considered it. So what better than to break up the journey by staying in various places along the way. That way no leg of the journey is more than 3-4 hrs in a day. The fun bit is we want to hire a motorhome. Now I know that idea may seem like the complete opposite to fun for some, but we think it’ll be an adventure with so many memories to be made…good memories I hope.
Pre-children we’ve always loved being in the outdoors and we tried to do a couple of camping trips each year too. The way we see it, young children don’t need spectacular amusements on holiday. Lets face it they’re happy playing with sticks and stones, getting muddy, having picnics and making dens!
Last week we decided to draw up some rough plans.
- First stop, the gorgeous Grasmere in the lake district for 2 nights. I love Grasmere, in fact I love the lake district. It is truly beautiful and only a 2 hour drive from home. We’ve been recommended Allan Bank – a National trust property. It’s described as a home from home with plenty to entertain children.
- Then a 3 hour drive up to Loch Lomond for 3 nights. I believe this is another beautiful site to see. I quite like the idea of staying close to the shores. Waking up each morning with views across the Loch.
- Then a 2 hour drive to somewhere near Pitlochry for 3 nights. We’ve been recommended this area by our friend who lives nearby. I have to say the photos look amazing.
- Down to the outskirts of Edinburgh for 2 nights (via Queensferry to catch up with a very good old friend I haven’t seen for years). This would take us about 1 ½ hours. This way we get to see Edinburgh.
- Then a 2 hour drive to Alnwick to see Alnwick castle and possibly the Farne Islands. We would stay here for 2 nights. Alnwick castle is steeped in history and has been used repeatedly for filming, most famously Harry Potter, Elizabeth and Downton Abbey. The Farne Islands are reached by boat, during which it’s possible to see grey seals and puffins.
- A 2 ½ hour drive we see us to Bolton Abbey for 2 nights. We have been to visit Bolton Abbey once before and we found it so gorgeous. There are fabulous walks and obstacle courses and things for kids to do along the way.
- Journey home via halifax for a fun day at Eureka – The National Children’s Museum. I went here as a child and found it amazing. That was ahem, a long time ago. I’m sure it’s gone from strength to strength since. I have had many recommendations.
Then we thought Edinburgh with a motorhome and 2 young children may not be much fun. Better kept for a rare adult night or two away I think.
- First stop, the gorgeous Grasmere in the lake district for 2 nights.
- Up to Loch Lomond for 3 nights.
- Then to somewhere near Pitlochry (southern Cairngorms) for 3 nights.
- Travel to Alnwick (via Queensferry to catch up with the very good friend I haven’t seen for years). Stay near Alnwick for 3 nights. This would increase the travelling that day to 3 ½ hours but it would be broken up by the stop to see our friends.
- Travel down to Bolton Abbey for 2 nights (journey broken up to see friends in Whitley Bay)
- Journey home via halifax for the fun day at Eureka.
I’m very excited about this trip and we are only at the planning stages. So if anyone has any ideas, tips, must see places along our way then please let us know. Any seasoned family road rippers out there with excellent advice?
Check out the post trip diary here