Top Ten Tips for Driving in the UK!

The vast majority of our guests here at adeo Travel choose a driving-tour of Britain; it is the simply the most flexible and convenient way to explore the countryside, villages and historic sites of England, Scotland and Wales at your own leisure. Driving on the “wrong” side of the road can come with its own concerns – but worry not, most of our clients tell us they get used to it remarkably quickly and with our extra tips you’ll be taking to driving on the left like a fish to water!

10. Book an Automatic Car

The vast majority of people here in Britain drive manual transmission (or stick) vehicles; for this reason automatics are more rare with rental agents and carry a supplement. We’d recommend an automatic transmission for overseas visitors – not having to change gear gives you one less thing to think about when adapting to driving on the other side. Simply request one and we’ll include it in your proposal.

9. Bring a GPS

Basic road directions to each of your overnight accommodations are included in your travel pack as standard on any adeo Travel driving tour, however using a GPS (or Sat Nav as we call it here in Britain) can give you that extra reassurance when navigating. GPS systems can be hired from the car rental desk on arrival but can be costly, so we recommend bringing your own device – just don’t forget to download maps for the UK in advance of your trip.

8. Embrace our Roundabouts

Here in Britain we share most of the same rules of the road as in North America and Australia; but one thing often noted by our clients is that we have many more roundabouts (or road-circles / rotary junctions). They may seem confusing at first but they actually work well to ensure a smooth flow of traffic; you simply have to heed or “give-way” to vehicles already on the roundabout (coming from the right). When it’s clear you can proceed on to the roundabout system and continue clockwise until you reach the exit you need. The beauty of a roundabout is that you can continue round as many times as you like until you find the right exit.

7. Stay Left, but not too much!

Here in Britain we drive on the left so don’t forget to stick to the correct side of the road! However, when you’re sat in the opposite side of the vehicle it can sometimes feel a little like you’re erring too much in to the middle of the road; obviously you don’t want to be driving towards oncoming traffic but fight the urge to hug the hedgerow or curb too much – you don’t want to scrape the left-hand wheels or clip anything in the verge.

6. Don’t go for the smallest vehicle

Our roads here in Britain can be smaller and narrower than many in other parts of the world, especially once you get off the beaten track and in to the country’s more rural areas. It can therefore be instinctive to go for an economy (smallest) class of vehicle. But we would recommend something larger like a compact model (Ford Focus or similar). We find this size of vehicle is better for touring offering greater luggage room and more power for the highways, whilst still not feeling too large to handle on our country roads.

5. Take your time

The beauty of England, Scotland and Wales is our wonderful natural landscapes; however roads that traverse rolling hills and through historic villages are inevitably slower than flat straight highways! Give yourself plenty of time to take your daily journeys so that you can travel at a comfortable pace for yourself. And of course, you’ll want to have plenty of time to make sightseeing stops en route!

4. Understand your car

When picking up your vehicle you may be eager to get on the road to start exploring, but taking your time at the rental office can save time and concern later. Make sure you fully understand the vehicle; where are the headlamp and windshield wiper controls? What type of fuel does the vehicle take? And how do you operate the Air Con? Ask lots of questions to the rental agent or if need be, take a drive around the parking lot to get used to the particular model. Either way, ensure you’re comfortable before heading out on to the open road.

3. Buy a Highway Code

The entire rules of the road in the UK can be found in one book – the Highway Code. This little book can be picked up in any bookstore here in Britain for just a couple of pounds or can be purchased in advance by ordering online or in any good bookstore in your home nation. Either skim read ahead of time or use as a handy reference during your travel just to clarify if there are any road-signs or markings that you’re not sure of.

2. Use your Road Map

GPS units are great for detailed directions when you’re in a town and searching for a particular address, but they will always give you a most direct route, the beauty of a driving-tour of Britain is taking the quieter backroads or more scenic routes. When booking a self-drive tour with adeo Travel we always provide an overview driving map in your travel pack perfect for advance planning, plotting potential sites or routes and gaining your bearings on your daily itinerary.

1. Know your speeds and Distances

Unlike pretty much the entire rest of Europe, here in Britain we measure our distances in miles, and therefore our speed limits in miles-per-hour. This will be natural for some of our overseas guests and not so for others. Speed-limits are usually clearly signed but if in doubt it is generally 30mph in

Self Drive Tour Scotland
Self Drive Tour Scotland

built-up areas, 60mph on country single-carriageway roads and 70mph on our motorways (highways).

Hopefully now any doubts you had regarding driving in Britain have now been allayed and you’re raring to go on your driving tour of the UK. However, if you do have any questions about driving, there is plenty more information on our website here or simply rest-assured that your experienced adeo Travel agent is on hand to offer their expert advice. So why not let us know which areas you want to explore and we’ll help you put together your perfect driving tour itinerary for your trip to Britain!

Check out our driving tours here.

Driving in Britain not for you? We offer a range of rail, traditional coach tour or small-group itineraries, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise on what tour would be best for you!

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Castle Hotels “An authentic night with a difference”

Castle Hotels “An authentic night with a difference”

Celebrating something special? A wedding anniversary, honeymoon, birthday milestone, retirement, maybe celebrating your children passing their exams or just looking for a vacation with a difference? What ever your special moment, why not consider experiencing a night in a castle hotel in the UK, which could be the perfect way to mark the occasion!!

With the vast history the UK withholds, castles built in previous eras can be found sprinkled around the whole of the England, Scotland & Wales. Frozen in time, these castle hotels stand regal, often set within beautiful gardens engulfed in breath taking surroundings. Even in this day they have the most original features still intact, as you enter you feel like your back in time…hidden in the walls of legends passed this creates a truly fascinating & authentic experience!

Here at adeo Travel, we pride ourselves on presenting our guests with the most charming and original accommodation possible, and believe that a castle hotel stay can really enhance a guest experience in Britain!!

Below are some of the great Castle stays we offer here at adeo Travel, take a look at our Castle & Manors of Britain, and Castles & Manors of England/Scotland & Wales tours on the self-drive tours section of our website to find out more and submit your request now to receive your very own, tailored itinerary, customised to your needs!!

Dalhousie Castle, near Edinburgh

Dalhousie Castle is situated in the parish of Cockpen, which can be found about eight miles south of Edinburgh. Dating all the way back to the 13th century, it still demonstrates many original features with, and even the ancient vaults remain today.

Most of the present structure was built around 1450 from the red stone quarried from the opposite bank of the South Esk River, on which the Castle stands.

Renovated into a castle hotel, it now has 29 individually and charming bedrooms, all themed around famous historical figures. You will find the decoration is faithful to Scottish design fabrics such as tweed, tartan and twill. Hard not to be enchanted with the details you’d expect from a building of this age you’ll enjoy its period features including furniture, rugs and carpets which harmoniously work together to create a warm, relaxing and fabulous overnight stay.

 

Sherbrooke Castle, near Glasgow

Sherbrooke Castle, became a hotel in just before World War two. It was originally built as a home or villa for its contracter John Morrison in 1986, a respected contractor of the time, built a baronial villa for himself in Pollokshields, namely, Sherbrooke Castle, designed by Thomson and Sandilands.

 

It is a good example of the type of house built by the middle class in the rather decadent late Victorian period and has a number of unusual features. The rooms are arranged around three sides of a large hall and staircase. The external Baronialism is, in some ways, an added romantic touch.

The hotel has luxury bedrooms and suites, a lounge bar & great restaurant

At the Sherbrooke, they have combined traditional grace with modern efficiency. Prestige with convenience that is enjoyed by many a guest.

 

Augill Castle, Cumbria

Augill Castle, was originally built in 1841 as a Victorian gentleman’s country residence, has all the fairytale romance of a turreted hideaway. Augill Castle is not just a hotel, but a country house in its truest sense.

Set in the Upper Eden Valley, it stands in open country and has had little changes for centuries. Set in the dramatic back drop of the North Pennines, you will find luscious gardens opening out to views of the nearby Yorkshire Dales and the Lakeland Fells beyond.

This is a great family run hotel with a rich history and a great experience for any visitors.

 

Ruthin Castle, North Wales

Ruthin Castle, was created by Dafydd, brother of Prince Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, for King Edward I of England in 1277 who gave the fort (that was present on the site) to him in return for his treacherous help during the invasion of North Wales that year. Dafydd also had castles at Caergwle and Denbigh.

It was originally known by the Welsh name of Castell Coch yn yr Gwernfor or The Red Castle in the Great Marsh.

In the early 1960’s The Castle was purchased at auction and converted into an hotel. One of its most notable guests since was HRH Prince Charles who stayed on his way to his investiture as Prince of Wales (the 21st Prince of Wales since the new title began in 1301).

Now, Ruthin Castle is a beautiful retreat; interesting in its history and nestled in acres of parkland beside the Clwydian Range in North Wales. Here you can indulge yourself with exquisite dining,& unwind in their distinctive spa. Enjoy the renowned Medieval Feasts and luxurious accommodation!

 

Thornbury Castle, near Bath & the Cotswolds

Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, built the castle during the reign of Henry VIII, though he wasn’t able to enjoy it for long. After being betrayed to the king by a disgruntled servant, Stafford was arrested for high treason and executed on Tower Hill. Henry claimed the castle for himself, spending ten days here while on his honeymoon tour with Anne Boleyn. It remained royal property until the death of his daughter Mary I, when it was returned to the Duke’s descendants.

For two centuries, the castle was unoccupied, falling into ruin. In the 1850s, it was saved and turned into a family home. Its more recent occupants have included the Howards, the Clifford family, Kenneth Bell MBE and the Baron and Baroness of Portlethen

Today, visitors can enjoy Thornbury Castle at its best. Tudor style meets modern excellence, with comfortable four-poster beds, magnificent open fireplaces, a dungeon dining room and a grand hall for balls, feasts and parties.

 

 

So, why not take a step back in time, treat yourselves like the Royals, and enjoy an evening to remember with a night in a castle hotel! You can find these fantastic examples aswell as many more in our self-drive section of our website under Castle & Manors of all Britain, Scotland,England & Wales . Request your own personalised tailor-made self drive tour today with adeo Travel, your Britain Vacation Experts.

 

Driving in Britain Tips

One of the more frequently raised topics regarding our self-drive tours here at adeo Travel are concerns about driving in Britain, namely about operating a vehicle on the left-hand side of the road during your time here.
This blog should help quash some of your fears about driving in our country and make you feel a little bit more relaxed before your Britain vacatioCar on country roadn.

When you enquire for a self-drive tour here at adeo Travel, as standard we will include a rental car with an automatic transmission. Although the majority of cars here in Britain are of manual transmission, we feel that having an automatic car will give our guests a smoother transition into driving in Britain.

Although we give you directions to each of your hotels in your travel documents that you will receive prior to travel, you may still wish to consider including a GPS navigation system with your car rental. If you have a GPS system instruct you on where you are going, this will allow your focus to be on getting used to the differences in our road systems – you also have less chance of getting lost which is always a bonus!

Driving on the other side of the road to what you are used to may seem fairly daunting at first, but feedback from our past guests tell us that it is easier to get used to than you would think! The fact that the driver’s seat is on the opposite side of what your brain is used to will straight away make you aware that something is different, which makes it much easier to adapt. If you do wish to go exploring the backroads here in Britain, our country roads can often be as narrow as a single-lane anyway, so there really is no need to fret!

Another key difference of British roads are roundabouts (or traffic circles). Roundabouts may appear daunting on paper, but as long as you remember to get into the correct lane for the direction you are heading and give way to the right then you will have nothing to worry about.

There is no ‘right on red’ equivalent here in Britain. Instead, we have filtered traffic lights. Do not proceed forward unless the light is green and there is no traffic or the designated filter is green for the direction you wish to go.

This blog has covered some of our frequently asked questions about driving in Britain – if you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist.

A variety of our self-drive tours can be found on our website, each quote will have car hire included as standard. We look forward to hearing from you!

When Should I Travel in Britain?

Here at adeo Travel, we are always here to help if you have any queries before, during or after travel. One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive is to do with when to travel in Britain. This blog should help answer some of the questions you might have.

If you are a fan of hot weather, our temperatures reach their peak in July & August so consider enquiring for these months if you want to attempt to catch a tan while on your travels (the heat here may not be as intense as where you are from!).
Certain events such as the Edinburgh Tattoo only occur in August so if you are interested in being immersed in Scottish culture then this month is definitely for you.

For those of you that wish to avoid the crowd, perhaps consider travelling in May or June. In these months we still have pleasant weather, but sights and attractions will be less busy due to schools still being in session. There is also likely to be enhanced availability for accommodations and tours during these months which may benefit you.

If weather isn’t a concern to you, why not consider travelling in winter? Travel in December will see you be able to visit the famous markets of Bath and York. There is also the potential of snow which will get you right into the mood for Christmas.

If you are after an authentic experience in England, Scotland or Wales, you could consider aligning your travel dates with the days of the patron saints. For travellers in England, St George’s Day is April 23rd, St Andrews Day in Scotland is November 30th and St David of Wales’ day is March 1st.

Another important thing to bear in mind when enquiring for your Britain vacation is that we have a set of Bank Holidays throughout the calendar year. On these days, most attractions will be closed and demand will be fairly high due to most of the population being off school and work. Below are the scheduled Bank Holidays for 2017 in Britain:

Monday 2nd January – New Year’s Day (substitute day)
Friday 14th April – Good Friday
Monday 17th April – Easter Monday
Monday 1st May – May Day
Monday 29th May – Spring Bank Holiday
Monday 28th August – Summer Bank Holiday
Monday 25th December – Christmas Day
Tuesday 26th December – Boxing Day

Hopefully this information has helped you in deciding which dates you would like to visit our country. Enquire today and we will happily send you a no obligation tailored quotation – we look forward to hearing from you!