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Old 22nd August 2016, 11:56   #1
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Default Road-trips in the United Kingdom - In & Out

Bhpian Samba did a wonderful job by creating a thread dedicated to West Bengal tourism (West Bengal - A treasure for tourists) and inspired me to write few travelogues on the road trips in UK. This thread will be dedicated to self driven road trips only. Instead of creating different thread putting everything in a single place will be better for anyone who wants information.

As I said before working in a IT industry has its own benefits. Some call it a paid vacation, but to me its a chance to see the world. Thanks to my parents who educated me and gave a chance to work in an IT company I do visit UK every year starting from 2010. While in the UK it took me some time to understand the rules and regulation. I was in the back seat in the first road trip and didnt drive at all. Despite having an Indian license (Which is valid till 12 months from the date you enter UK) I didn't take any chance. It was later 2011 when I started driving there. And once I was accustomed I did quite a few road trips.

Unlike India, UK is quite a small country. And if you keep driving you can cover from north to south in a day. But there are lot of beautiful places you can drive up to. There are beautiful world class beaches, natural parks, high peaks and mountains and lots of beautiful castle. And not to mention the amazing British and Scottish highways.

But before I start let me tell you few basic things about driving in the UK which one should keep in mind while preparing for a road trip -

On Renting a car-

1. You can drive there with your Indian License. A Indian license is valid for 12 months from date of entry.

2. Indian License is not point based, so in case you have received a offence notice from Traffic police you just have to pay (depending on the offence).

3. There are multiple rental companies available. I have usually booked from Enterprise Uk and Avis UK. They offer very professional service and are very helpful too. Their fleet of cars is quite large and you can choose any car you want. The rent ofcourse is depending on the size of the car and rented days.

4. If you book few weeks prior you might get the car at a very good rate. For example I have booked a Seat Leone for 5 days for 126 pounds, i.e. 25 pounds per day including insurance.

5. When you rent a car there is a excess of 1000 pounds. In case you want to reduce that you have to pay extra. I usually pay extra and reduce that amount and also pay extra for windshield and Tyre insurance.

6. Rental companies usually asks for a copy of identification proof (passport) and a residential proof (bank statement). Booking also requires a valid debit card.

7. GPS navigation is the only and best way to travel in this country. Unlike ours you literally cant stop at any place and ask people the route. If the car do not have navigation system ask navigation device from the rental company.


On Street rules-

1. No Honks. Honks are abusive.

2. Every streets and roads has speed limits. And there are cameras watching you. Most of the GPS navigation device informs you when you are approaching a camera zone. In case your navigation system isn't perfect please do not over speed.

3. In case you have over speed and a traffic camera caught you, you will receive a ticket at your address within 4 weeks. You have to either pay or visit the court as per your offence. The ticket usually comes if you have exceeded 10% of the limit. For e.g. If the limit is 70 you will be spared till 75-77, but after that you will be fined. This is purely my observation. The Govt says any speed above the limit is an offence.

4. The minimum penalty is 100 pounds to the traffic and 35 pounds to the Rental company. The rental company takes this money as administration charges.

5. Both Parking and Toilet is a huge issue in this country. You cant do both anywhere you want. So before going on a road trip please check the parking options where ever you are going to stop. Another easy thing is to depend on the navigation device. The navigation device can find suitable and nearest parking for you. There are both free and paid parking available. Please check posts before leaving your car at a parking.

6. Driving is pretty easy if you follow the rules. I would suggest you watch videos in YouTube or read some articles before driving for the first time. There are few complex areas such as crossing a round about which needs special attention.

7. Most of the rules are mentioned in their official website - The Highway Code, road safety and vehicle rules

8. Different types of roads are explained in Wiki. The speed limit also depends on the type of the road you are travelling on. The below picture explains speed limit on different type of roads for different type of vehicle

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On Refuelling-

1. Petrol pumps can be found using navigation devices.

2. Most of the petrol pumps are self service, which means you have to refuel yourself.

3. Most of the pump has a store which is run by the owner/manager. When refuelling is done you have to go to the store and pay there. They keep track of everything digitally. So please dont think you can refuel and run away because you cant see anyone around.

4. There are few pumps which is completely automated and no one is around. In such pumps you have to pay first and refuel later. There are payment machine which accepts both cards and cash.

5. The nozzle/handle of a petrol fuel dispenser would be green, where diesel is black. Diesel nozzle are bigger than petrol nozzle, so you cant fill a petrol car with diesel.


Now lets jump to travelogues and photos -

Last edited by Uprasenjit : 27th August 2016 at 21:47.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 14:49   #2
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Lake District

Route -

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My colleagues convinced me to go on a road trip to Lake district. That month I had already spend more money than I should have. Despite all sorts of constraints when it comes to a road trip how could I say no. 14 people were interested including families. It was Thursday and I was given the responsibility to book the 3 cars next day. I booked 2 cars from Enterprise Cars and 1 car from Avis. None of the cars from Enterprise had GPS so we thought of using our mobile phones. We booked rooms from Travelodge. Travelodge usually has a lot of rooms at any of their hotels. On friday evening we picked up the cars and went straight to Asda to buy some food and snacks for the road trip.

On Saturday morning everyone was ready by 6 am. Everyone was super excited. Foods were distributed in 3 cars. We took a lot of water from home. Everyone was excited as it was going to be a great trip with so many amazing guys. Anindya da's car didnt have much fuel, so the first thing to do was to refuel our cars. We picked up Prashant(he arrived from a different location) from Cardiff station and went to the nearest refuelling station.

Incident 1- We looked at the manual but couldn't find anything regarding the fuel type of the car. My car was diesel and that I knew for sure. Anindya da said he heard the customer representative from Enterprise mentioning Diesel but was not too sure. So we didn't know what fuel would the car take. Asta 1.6 had both diesel and petrol engine. Confused and with everyone's consent I started filling diesel. The nozzle somehow was not going in the car properly, Prashant came down and confirmed its a diesel car. As the nozzle was not going in properly we had to hold it for the diesel to go in. We thought may be its a different kind of fuel station. The country always brings something knew, the other day I saw a touch and pay debit card, where you dont have to swipe or enter pin, you just have to touch the card on the machine and that's it. We are not aware of all such things. I took the fuel pump to be same as those, something new may be.. We took around 20 litres diesel. I didnt refuel the Kia which I was driving. And the journey started. Around after 5 minutes and 2 miles away from the fuel station the Asta 1.6 broke down. Anindya da stopped at a signal and the car refused to start after that. There was white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe and the engine was knocking to death. Bang. We did put the wrong fuel. I called the roadside assistance and they confirmed its a petrol car. Never in my life and all these years of driving I have ever imagined to experience this. It was like "What the hell just happened, how could we do this. We did something terrible and we didn't know if that can be fixed or not ?". We called the roadside assistance for help. Suddenly all the excitement and enthusiasm was lost and we were afraid that the trip might not happen. The AA guys told they can tow the car now, but cant come to repair before 12. Another hour to repair it. Some of us went to nearby stores to ask for help, but being a Saturday early morning every car workshop was closed. While we were looking for help the AA guy came with a truck to tow the car. The driver told it was very common (common? ) and he knew a place where it can be fixed. He also said the Enterprise would charge us more, also it wouldn't take much time in the garage. Well people are usually honest in this country, so we took his advise. He towed the car to Star garage. The technician after checking up the car gave an estimation of 150 pounds and 2 hours job. 10 pounds each is quite good than cancelling the entire trip. So the process of emptying the fuel tank started and we started praying. At that time we came to know that the nozzle for petrol is smaller than diesel, hence the nozzle was not going in. Late realisation....sigh !!!!

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Car being towed

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Mrinal asking the technician if he can rush, our car in the background, bonnet opened.

A good news came at around 10:30 that the car is now fine and the engine has cranked successfully. 4 hours wasted is nothing compared to the joy we had that time when we knew the car is fine and we can still make this trip. The third car in the mean time had almost crossed Birmingham.

Saturday Afternoon- Winderemere was the first location we were to visit in Lake District. Lake district is a national park so at some location post codes doesnt work properly and sometime post code can take you to barren places. When you have spent almost the entire day driving and sitting and you have not visited a single place you can get mad at any thing. After a series of phone calls and missing proper turns and wrong routes we 3 car met at Lakeside in the afternoon. Everyone was so happy to see each other. We had lots of plan for the day but all got cancelled due to the incident. But we couldnt let the day go wasted and decided to take the boat ride. Its an hour ride on the Winderemere lake, not much exciting but there was nothing else to do. Even the weather played a spoil sport here and we couldn't stand on the deck for long.

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Saturday Evening - You cant call it an evening actually, the sun doesn't sets before 8:30. After the boat ride we headed towards hotel, which was an hour drive. Everyone wanted to be at the hotel, no more drives and fun. The hotel we booked was in a town called Barrow-in-furness. Irish sea was on the right of Barrow. While entering the town the weather became so clear that we could the sun coming down. We also saw hundreds of wind mills. Its like "Wow..we have something to see now, we can watch a brilliant sunset, lets go there, lets make the end a beautiful one". So we drove towards the beach. The beach was full of pebbles and hard sand. And we could see those wind mills far away in the sea. The sun looked brilliant and the day didnt go wasted. The other 2 cars followed us and enjoyed the same view. We did spent some time there until it was dark.

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We were staying in a Travelodge at Barrow. Usually food is very important to me. And after such a hectic day I always need good food, which means rice. I know I might sound like one who cannot stay away from rice and dal, no I am not like that. But at that moment I wished to have rice. Barrow is a small town with very less population hence all the restaurants were closed by that time. The next Indian restaurant was 8 miles away Yes, I drove to that restaurant with 2 others and brought food for all of us.

Sunday Morning to Evening- We were so happy to see such a beautiful morning. We completely forgot yesterday's disaster after seeing the sky and the weather. We started as early as possible and headed towards Derwentwater. Derwentwater was another lake, equally beautiful and large.

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After spending some time over there we headed towards Keswick for lunch. Keswick is again a small town with a small city center. This time we had a proper British meal -

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Next we went to Buttermere and Honister pass. We even did a small trek on the honister mines. The day was being spent really well. Good weather all the time and the drive was beautiful too. What more can we ask for after a exhaustive saturday. And then it was time to return home. At 6 we gathered together after honister pass. Our plan was to start at 6 so that we can be in Cardiff at 11pm.

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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:06   #3
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Lake District Continued -

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Incident 2- When we thought everything was over and its time to return home and we did spend a nice time in Lake district there was a thud sound from one of our cars. Abhijit da stopped in the middle of the road. Other vehicles stopped too. We got down from the car to check what happened and found both the tyres on the left side were punctured. There was a bus coming from the opposite end, and to give that bus space Abhijit da moved too right and his tyres hit few stones. A first we were not at all worried, it was mere puncture and I have fixed so many flat tyres before in my life. Then we realized the gravity, 2 tyres were punctured, a car doesnt have two spares. It was 6 pm in the clock. The incident happened 10 miles before Keswick and just after Honister pass. I later googled and found the place was called Seatoller. At first we placed the spare on the front wheel. The spare wheel has a limited speed, 50 mph, so we decided we will need to go to any service on the M6 and then fix the tyres, because you cant drive to Cardiff on the spares. But, where do we find another spare ? The other cars Asta and Creed had different size. Later we realized we were struck there. The problem worsened when we discover that no one had network in their mobile phones. So we were struck somewhere in the middle of a national park with no network coverage, there were families and a kid and no localities around.

After a lot of trouble and funny incidents we were able to contact the AA once again. AA sent a truck to carry the ford focus back to Cardiff. While the women and children and few of us drove back to Cardiff that night, Abhijit and 2 others came back in the truck. We started from Keshwick at 10pm and with few stops we reached Cardiff at 6am in the morning.

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Last shot at Keshwick, while I was driving alone

There is always something you can learn from each moment. We were on a road trip for fun, but one must not go one a road trip without proper arrangements. It was our fault that we mistakenly pour diesel in petrol car, but when the puncture happened we worked together and made it to Cardiff safely. So when in trouble you must stay together is what we learned this time .


Hotel - We booked rooms from Travelodge in Barrow. We paid 45 pounds per day for a double bed room. But this changes based on location and time. I have found travelodge to be very similar across all location and quite good too. However Barrow was a little far from Lake district, but as we had our own car and there was no other B&B left that distance didnt matter.

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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:30   #4
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Scotland-

The road trip to Scotland was already penned down here - Scotland Travelogue. (Scotland - Driving through mountains, lakes and the sea) Hence I will only post few pictures along with the route map and lodging details.

This was my second road trip to Scotland, first one was done in 2011. This time as I was staying in Cardiff I literally drove all the 3 countries. To pick up 2 friends I had to travel to London first and then straight to Edinburgh. Car was booked from Enterprise UK. Initially I was looking for a B class car, but when they offered the Seat Leone I didnt look further.

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Day 2 was spend roaming around Edinburgh.

Day 3 we moved to Isle of Sky - the best feature of Scotland to me

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Day 4 s plan was to come down, visit Fort William and stay at Glassgow. But due to sudden change in plan we drove straight back to London.

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Scotland is always my favorite. But more than the place what I love those beautiful Scottish highways. It doesnt matter if it rains or if it is sunny, it is always fun to drive there. In Summer many bikers take the route from Edinburgh to Isle of Sky. The road from Isle of Sky to Inverness and Fort William is Scotland's answer to Route 66. Scotland has more or less the same rules as England but if want check this link to know more about rules and other things - Driving in Scotland

Hotels -

Edinburgh - SYHA Central, 16 gbp per person. This is a youth hostel with a proper kitchen facility. Link to website.
Isle of Sky - This is my favorite hostel - Dun Flodigarry youth hostel - 20 gbp each. Trip Advisor review here.
Glasgow - Euro Hostel - 32 gbp for 4 person. This one was the worst, but Euro Hostel has suite facility and other brilliant rooms. We didnt know before. Euro Hostel site link.

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Old 23rd August 2016, 16:08   #5
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Isle of Wight

In the year 2012 I was living at a place called Watford. Watford is only 30 mins from Central london and the last London Overground station. We planned to go to Isle of Wight because it was nearby. But instead of taking public transport we decided to hire a car. This was one of my earliest road trips in the UK. Out of many Bengali staying with us only 1 agreed to join me.

Isle of Wight was not far from Watford, hardly 4 hours drive. So a weekend would be sufficient to visit this place. Isle of wight is the southern part of England and is a separate island. Covered with sea the place is mostly popular for beaches and natural beauty. This place attracts a lot of tourists when the weather is sunny. There are ferry available from 2 different ports which carries people and vehicle to Isle of wight. Other than these ferries there are no roads. Famous things and places to visit is listed in Trip Advisor.

We planned to make it short and simple. Only visit few places and enjoy the drive. For lodging instead of staying in a hotel we decided to stay in a B&B. Few days back one of our seniors went there and he advised a good B&B. Weston Manor Bread and Breakfast. I emailed the owner and he confirmed the booking of a twin bed room asap. I will write more about the B&B later in this post.

As the drive was not long we decided to go to Seven Sister's cliff first and then to Portsmouth. Seven Sisters is a series of chalk white cliff standing side by side. This cliff has been featured in many Hollywood movies including "Man of Steel" and an east-facing photo of the Seven Sisters is included as one of the default landscape wallpapers packaged with MS Windows 7. There was no point missing such a beautiful cliff. So the final route we took was like this -

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Day 1- On Friday evening we picked up sacks, cold drinks and water for the road trip. We started very early so that there is minimum or no traffic on the roads. As this was one of my first road trips I was quite nervous. We rented a small hatchback - Nissan Micra. It looked similar to the one available in our country. By 9 am we reached Seven Sister's cliff. South England is always windy and in the month of February it was quite cold. Without gloves it was very difficult even to press the shutter of the camera.

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The next stop was Portsmouth where we were suppose to take the ferry. The route from Seven Sister to Portsmouth was almost single carriageway. Single carriageway has a variable speed limit from 30 mph to 60 mph. The ferry at Portsmouth was already booked. We reached Portsmouth before time and waited at the city center. When the time came at Portsmouth port we were asked to show the ticket and wait in a row. We were the first one to avail that ferry, other cars started lining up behind us. The ferry timetable can be found here online.

The vehicles are loaded first onto a small ship. Then the passengers hops in. There was a huge sitting space inside with small cafe. There was also a upper deck for anyone who wants to enjoy the sea. But in February the upper deck was almost empty.

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The ship leaving the jetty

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Portsmouth harbor

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Upper deck for passengers

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We reached Isle of wight around 1 pm. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes. We drove towards our B&B. Once we reached the B&B we found out that we were the only tourists that weekend. That place was a small village with very few people living. The place was covered with green and very near to the sea.

Then the B&B was too good. The owner came and welcomed us at the parking. He looked at our reservation and gave us a room upstairs. The B&B was not a regular B&B. From Google -"Weston Manor was built in 1871 by William George Ward and his wife Francis Mary Ward. Situated on Moonshill Weston Manor boasts its own private Chapel listed as a heritage site by the national trust. Decorated in the medieval style of A W Pugin the chapel is the only example of its kind in England."

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We had already had our lunch in a McDonalds in Portsmouth. So we started roaming around. The owner of the B&B advised us to visit a nearest cliff and told us if the weather permits we would see a wonderful sunset.

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We came back to our hotel post evening. There was nothing much to do after the sun is down. The West manor B&B do not serve dinner or lunch, hence we went to the nearest and only pub available - High Down Inn

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Day 2 (Sunday) - We woke up early and asked for breakfast. The owner himself cooked full English breakfast. After that we bid farewell to the owner and headed towards Needle point. This was again not far from Weston manner. The weather was not up to the mark though.

When we reached Needle point tourist spot it was drizzling. It was 1 mile walk from the parking to the needle point. On top of that heavy wind made the walk difficult. We somehow reached the needle point and had a hot cup of coffee at a coffee shop. The Needle was a site for military use, so you can see old military items. The place also has a watch light house which is automated since 1994.

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Old 24th August 2016, 10:22   #6
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Isle of Wight Continued-

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The walk from parking to needles point

More information about Needles can be found here.

As we planned to keep our trip short the next stop was extreme east of the island - Shanklin Beach. We took the below route to Shanklin as this one was the most beautiful one. This route passed through villages and coasts. We stopped at one place after seeing a man selling burgers and hot dogs in his caravan.

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Shanklin beach a public parking right opposite to the beach. Parking fee was 2 pounds per hour as far as I remember.

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Shanklin was the last beach we visited in Isle of wight. But due to the famous British weather we couldnt stay longer. Our return ferry was booked at 4pm from Fishbourne. We reached there almost an hour early (once again) and waited. The administrators at the ferry allowed us to catch the previous ferry. Thus saving one hour of time we reached home by 8pm.

This being one of the first road trips we were more than happy that we had a beautiful road trip and came back safely

Hotel- Weston Manner B&B. The rate was 40 pounds per person at that time. Might have gone up.

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Old 24th August 2016, 17:06   #7
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Snowdonia-

Snowdonia is a national park in the country Wales of United Kingdom. Its in the northest part of wales. The English name for the area derives from Snowdon, which is the highest mountain in Wales at 3,560 ft (1,085 m). I have planned for this part of Wales before but couldnt make it. My wife arrived in UK to visit me and the first road trip I planned was to Snowdon.

Seven of us was ready to go on this road trip. I booked a people carrier (7 Seater) this time from Enterprise the previous day. Snowdon has range of mountains and beaches. We planned to cover as much as we could within 2 days. First day's plan was to cover everything else except the trek/train to Snowdon peak and on the second day we would only visit the highest peak in the UK. Many of us were already excited about the trek/train. I will give more details in day 2 log.

Route Map -

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Entire route map from Cardiff

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Route map within Snowdon

As usual we started early in the morning. The route was not Motorways (M class) but were major roads (A class). A class roads has very few services. Hence the chances of getting a MacD or a KFC was very less. We reached Bala Lake and had breakfast in a cafe there.

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After spending some time and clicking some roads we were back on the roads again. On the way we found a Board with "Waterfall" written on it. We stopped immediately and found a nice cafe there. Went and spoke to the owner of the cafe and he showed us the way to a waterfall. That was Conwy waterfall. Location on maps here. There is a entry fee of 2 pounds per person to visit that.

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In may the sun doesnt set before 9pm, so you will have enough time to spend outside. We took this as advantage and planned to go to the northern part of Snowdoina to Conwy Castle. But unfortunately the castle closes at 5pm everyday. We were extremely dissapointed as this castle was one of the world's heritage sites.

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With heavy heart we turned around to go to hotel. While coming back it just came to my mind that I booked the hotel only after looking at the location. The location of the hotel was superb, it was a small village with a river flowing just in front of the hotel. I drove quickly towards hotel and wanted to spend some time by the river side. When we reached the hotel we still had daylight left. We checked in as soon as possible and went outside. The hotel didnt have a parking but there was plenty of free parking all around the village. Our hotel was also very near to Snowdon mountain.

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The was a proper welsh village and people here have their dinner at 7pm go to bed by 9pm. At 9pm when were were looking for food then almost every restaurant was closed. Our hotel had their own restaurant and that was the only one open in entire area. They was also serving chicken tikka and chicken korma with rice. We had our dinner there and went to our rooms.

Day 2- We had a plan to visit tje highest peak Snowdon that day. Snowdown is a famous trekking spot and every year thousands of tourists trek to Snowdon summit. 3 of us showed interest in trekking. There are several paths for this trek and they chose the one with medium difficulty. This path was also close to our hotel.

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Courtesy Google

Our guys took the Snowdon Ranger path. Breakfast was complimentary in our hotel. We had our breakfast and I dropped them to the starting location of the trek at 9 am,. They started their trekking and I came back to hotel. We decided to meet at the top of the peak at 12 pm. It would take them around 3-3.5 hours to reach the top.

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Rangers path starts from here

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Route to Snowdon Railway station

You must be wondering why I came back and how am I suppose to go to the top if I was not trekking with them ? There is another way. For the people who doesnt like walking or cant there is this Snowdon mountain railway. Its more or less like the train we have in Darjeeling. Its a mountain train which will take you to the top of Snowdon.

Tickets for this train are available online. There is traditional diesel which is cheaper and Heritage steam which is costlier. We booked the tickets on last Friday before we came here. Each ticket costs 29 pounds for return journey on traditional diesel train. We booked the train at 11pm. It takes 1 hour to go to the top. We got ready and left the hotel and reached the train station at 10:30. At the ticket counter we showed them the booking print outs and they gave us proper train tickets.

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Last edited by Uprasenjit : 25th August 2016 at 13:08.
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Old 25th August 2016, 10:18   #8
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Snowdonia Continued-

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This is where Vivek Oberoi and Aishwarya Rai shot the song "Aao na" from the movie "Kyun ho gaya na"

Snowdon is amazing and I am sure after seeing the pictures you will agree too. The weather was good too. Snowdon is a must if anyone is planning to visit Wales.

All of us met at the train station at 2pm. Next was to look for a good eatery. Our guys was too much hungry after such a lengthy trek. Navigation device and mobile offline maps helped me to find a pub which has a good rating. After having our lunch at Pete's Eat we started for home.

I drove a Citrozen Grand C4 and a seven seater for the first time and believe me its fun to drive despite being a large car.

Hotel- Hotel was booked from Expedia site. Prince Llewelyn Hotel was a typical welsh inn. We booked this hotel because we wanted to stay near Snowdon railway or any trekking path. The hotel allow pets.

Last edited by Uprasenjit : 25th August 2016 at 17:53.
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Old 26th August 2016, 09:51   #9
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Tenby Beach and Rhossilli Beach-

Wales has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Before I wife returned to India I promised her to take to some wonderful beaches. Luckily I was staying in Cardiff at that time and the beaches are very close. This time I booked a small car from Avis and they gave me a Skoda. The day was Saturday.

We planned to cover 2 beaches that day Tenby and Rhossilli. The weather was good but the month was not at all a beach month. It was still cold and people usually do not visit beaches other than summer. Tenby was the farthest among the two so decided to go there first.

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We started at 10am from Tudor Street. There is nothing else to tell about the roads in UK. By now you must have known that UK has the smoothest of road and they are maintained periodically and properly. Being a Saturday the traffic was also less. After reaching Tenby we found a a parking which was near to the beach.

Tenby is a small town mostly crowded with tourists. There are few markets which sells amazing fish 'n chips. There are many small beaches in Tenby. All of them are sand beaches and small. We started walking from South beach and then to Castle beach.

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We ended up at harbour beach at last. As the name suggest this beach is also used as a harbour when there is enough water. Next we went to the market and had a coffee. Because we were not hungry we decided not to have food here and go to Rhossilli.

Rhossilli was not too far. However we didnt know that unlike Tenby Rhossilli is not even a town. After starting from Tenby we reached Rhossilli within an hour or two.

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When we reached Rhossilli we found out that it is a village with no one around. There wasnt any single person at that time. There was a single coffee shop and that was closed too. Also once you reach there by car you have to walk further down 1 and half mile. Cars arent allowed further. If someone is on wheel chair then I am afraid the beach isnt accessible to them. Also because its a long walk you shouldnt be carrying too many stuffs. But the walk is worthy once you are on the beach.

We were hungry at that time but as there were no shops around we returned. We drove 7 miles back to a eatery to have some food.

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Chips Ahoy is take away. After having food in our car we headed back to the beach. There is a large paid parking near the beach where we parked. Rhossilli is one of the most outstanding beaches in the world. The view of the beach from the cliff top was also amazing.

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In summer people from all around the world visit this beach. But in May the beach was almost empty. There isnt much to do either other than walking on the beach. Sadly in India we dont find such empty beach anymore.

The day tour was almost over and it was time to go back home. That was my wife's last day in the UK so there was lot of packing to do. We headed towards home and had a lovely dinner at a fine restaurant in Cardiff.

To be continued..

Last edited by noopster : 29th August 2016 at 14:16. Reason: Small typo- corrected!
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Old 29th August 2016, 06:48   #10
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th August 2016, 12:35   #11
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Prasenjit, really enjoyed the picturesque sceneries and the excellent narration of your eventful trip!

Driving outside India can be quite a challenge for those driving for the first time. When I drove in the US, I realized that it is virtually impossible to go around without a GPS. You can't just 'stop and ask' for directions like you do in India. Firstly there aren't many people on many roads and secondly you can't 'simply pull over' wherever you like. If you take a wrong turn, you can't just 'do a U turn', especially if you took a turn that took you to a Freeway! You simply have wait and take the next exit!

I learnt that the hard way
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Old 29th August 2016, 20:30   #12
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That's a great initiative Prasenjit.
The pics are awesome.
The writing is informative.
The pointers on self driven car rentals will be really helpful for people like me to plan up there future trips.
Thanks a lot for sharing and rated a well deserved 5*.

Hope this thread will be updated time to time and other bhpian's will also pour in with there valuable inputs, so it can really become a mini guide book for UK travelers.

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Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
Bhpian Samba did a wonderful job by creating a thread dedicated to West Bengal tourism (West Bengal - A treasure for tourists) and inspired me to write few travelogues on the road trips in UK.
I was in state level, you went international!

Last edited by Samba : 29th August 2016 at 20:40.
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Old 30th August 2016, 09:39   #13
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Boy, what a great thread to start. I have driven extensively in the UK and we desperately needed a thread like this. Once posts start pouring in, and perhaps some pictures on the road manners and driving, who knows, we might just be able to make that slight difference in the way we drive on Indian roads.

But first of all, a great post, and some beautiful pictures. Cross country driving in the UK is a beautiful experience, with good clean roads, systematic and predictable behavior from motorists with everyone following the rules/law, consideration towards fellow drivers, no encroachment on other motorists rights, right of way diligently followed means no unnecessary traffic jams (yes, you will be surprised, all our jams on intersections are because the champion Indian drivers do not follow the right of way principle), and above all, a mesmerizingly beautiful countryside.

During my first visit to the UK in 2003, we were holed up in Ashridge castle for a convention- our peers in UK asked us over supper what we liked about UK best, and all of us, in unintended unison, replied that it was the driving. You could keep your eyes closed and drive such is the road discipline (but no, please don't take this literally).

For those who have driven on our own Yamuna Expressway from Noida to Agra or the other way round, you would notice that generally there is good road discipline. The trucks are mostly on the inner lanes, whereby motorists in the overtaking lane move to the fastest lane if they see another car approaching from behind in the overtaking lane to give way to the faster car, and barring a couple of instances, I have not seen cars driving on the white lines, or haphazardly changing lanes, etc. I don't know whether I imagine that road discipline is on work here, or whether it truly is, but imagine 100% road discipline in all roads in the UK at all times, be it the motorways, or the A roads, or the city roads. People follow rules, and are considerate at all times, period!

Then following traffic signals in non-negotiable. In China too, I was surprised with the taxi drivers waiting at red signals at 330 am in the night, that too when there was not a single cop for miles around! How is that for our fellow Indian drivers, particularly the commercial vehicle drivers who get paid for their time behind the wheel, to jump every signal they think they can get away with. Especially vehicles which attempt to tailgate behind the last vehicle after the traffic light has long turned red.

And then lets us not forget the reverence given to pedestrians and cyclists. If you as much as set a foot beyond the pavement, the entire traffic will screech to a halt asking you to cross the road while they wait patiently, whether it is a big truck or a 600 cc car, they will all stop, invariably. And the Indian motorists, will swerve around small terrified school children holding hands together and attempting to cross roads, fear writ on their faces, without breaking speed. Shameful!

Oh, if only a small percentage of road sense would prevail in India, I would be so proud to say from the heart that I love driving in India too!
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Old 30th August 2016, 10:06   #14
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Was in the UK earlier this month and driving on the M4 is not that great. They have too many congestion delays and speed traps that one cannot really enjoy the drive. They also have far fewer rest areas than possibly India too. Also saw a horrific crash where a car had rear ended another which had spun and gone off the road. The top was flattened out and it was being cut to extract someone. A two hour drive became three and a colleague missed his flight from heathrow due to this. I agree on the rules bit etc but there is better infrastructure and road quality in many other countries far surpassing the ones in the UK. No offense just my personal experience.
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Old 31st August 2016, 12:16   #15
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Your log is rich with valuable and practical inputs for everyone wishing such a trip. Do these rental agencies insist on medical insurance prior to handing over the vehicles
?
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