UK Road Trip

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HEPZIBAH
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UK Road Trip

Post by HEPZIBAH » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 am

I got back home yesterday afternoon from a UK Road Trip I took myself on. I should have done this a month or so back but had to delay it because I'd been fighting an ear infection for weeks, nay months! I felt that I'd been a bit of a wimp at the time, but having now done the trip realise I'd made the right decision. I went from Winchester in the South to the west coast of Dumfries and Galway, Scotland. Then across the Pennines and to the Lincolnshire coast in the east, before returning home via a visit to the Midlands.

10 days; 9 nights; 5 b&b's; 1,447 miles; 3 National Trust properties; very irregular meal times, often eating on the move, other than more cooked breakfasts than I've had in years; catching up with friends and family I've not seen or had much contact with for decades; meeting up with friends I have regular contact with but have never met before; welcoming a new(ish) babe; celebrating an 80th birthday and a Golden Wedding; adventures with Thomasina (my new SatNav who seems to know that I like 'interesting' routes and that I should learn to trust (most of the time).

I was very tired when I got back, and went to bed at 9pm, but all in all a good way to spend a holiday, doing what you want, when you want, and spending time with people you care about - even if the miles (and life events) normally keep you apart. (This afternoon might involve a little nap too! :-) )

Living on the job can make you become a bit institutionalised. Finding the escape hatch is good for my mind, body and soul. I'm already wondering what my next adventure could be - before they batten down the hatches and hide the key again.


Image Experience is not what happens to you;
it is what you do with what happens to you.
-Aldous Huxley

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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Horus » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:23 pm

Glad you enjoyed your break Hepzi :up all too often we may feel that in order to enjoy a holiday we must travel abroad, so many interesting things to see and do in the UK if the weather is clement and for once we seemed to have had a good Summer.
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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by HEPZIBAH » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:53 pm

I was very fortunate with the weather. It was 33deg C when I left Winchester on the Friday afternoon - far too hot for me in the UK. As I travelled north it became much more manageable, although very humid some days, but I only experienced one day of rain and I had to accept that we needed it and it didn't really stop me doing anything as I was in Kirkcudbright (sp?) visiting the Arts and Crafts Festival so in and out of exhibition rooms/shops, and of course coffee shops too, most of the day.

I had and interesting drive between a couple of small towns in Dumfries and Galloway, when Thomasina decided to send me up a single track road, grass growing up the middle, that wound it's way up and over a mountain. Well it was a mountain to me but probably only a big hill to locals. There were no pull ins or passing places until the top by they radio antennae (or whatever they were), but there was a very thick mist which descended almost immediately I started the route. That was a little eerie and scary at times.

I've not used a SatNav before, and I had checked out my main journeys on maps first before setting up my specific destinations such as my B&B's into the gizmo later to be named Thomasina. As we travelled I found myself talking to Thomasina. 'Are you really sure about this?' 'Is this really the route I should be on?' 'Have I wasted my money on you?' were frequent questions, but she always got me to my desired destination - eventually. There were times when I expected her to shout back at me and admonish me for not trusting her.

Some of the scenery I saw was amazing but for me, apart from meeting up with my friends who are scattered at strategic parts of my route, it was very much an opportunity to take some trips down Memory Lane, especially in Lincolnshire. It has been far too many years since I visited there, and I needed to see some places before they become totally unrecognisable to me, or do not exist any more.

Horus, you are right. It's all too easy to only think of a holiday in terms of going abroad. We Brits, have so much wonderful and varied scenery, sights and sites of cultural or historic interest, etc here in the UK and yet it is easy to overlook them for somewhere more 'foreign' or 'exotic'. I'm sure that can be said for those from other countries too. There were so many places on my route that I would have loved to have stopped and spent time at but I needed to keep to a tight schedule because of wanting to meet as many of my friends as possible and needing to be in Lincolnshire for the Golden Wedding Celebration. I was one of the few guests that was at, and remembers, the actual wedding because I was a bridesmaid on the day.
Image Experience is not what happens to you;
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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Winged Isis » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:50 pm

We're a long time dead and there's no pockets in shrouds. Clichés for sure, but still very true.

I'm glad to hear you're making the most of your better health after all the worrying issues you've had over recent years. You are obviously fully appreciating the opportunity to get the best out of life.

I hope you are planning your next adventure already. :wi
Carpe diem! :le:

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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Major Thom » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Next time go a little higher up Hepzi, to Glencoe, Rannochmoor and Skye. Also look at Plockton (Famous for Hamish McBeth) all on the West Coast. Then go to the top passing Lochinver, Golspie and up to Laxford Bridge and the Caves of Smoo. Its like being in another World, nice and remote with stunning views if you keep to the coast roads.

Skye alone is much bigger than people expect and you need a good three days to explore, on the North West of the Island visit Dunvegan and Glendale where you can look out over the sea to North and South Uist with the Dark Island of Benbecula nestling between, in the North visit Flodigary, have a great seafood meal at Uig. Central Skye visit the capital Portree and visit the harbour with its bright painted cottages, in the South visit the Aird of Sleat with the Clan Donald Centre, on the way visit the Red and Black Cullin Mountains. Good views over the mountains from the Sligahan Hotel and restaurant.

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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Dusak » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:43 pm

Thats why we never traveled abroad, far too much to see in the UK. Loved following the map,[she read out] on small ''B'' roads and little tracks We ended up all over the place, finding some excellent little known about finds, except by those living in the area. Sat nav is good, but kills the spirit of adventure.
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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by HEPZIBAH » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:05 pm

I do tend to avoid motorways when I can, and much prefer to do scenic routes when time allows. I had initially planned my routes to combine various grades of roads, to fit in with my time and distance constraints. I then bought the SatNav and programmed all my known destinations in to it before setting off. What I hadn't realised was that there are various settings that include things like Fastest Route; Avoid Motorways / Toll Roads; Scenic Routes; Economic Driving Route. I've since discovered that mine was auto set at EDR which by default became Scenic Route because of my locations. I vowed I'd never have a SatNav, being perfectly capable of reading maps and planning ahead, but I came to the conclusion that as I was doing a lot of driving in unknown territory for me, and the fact that I know I don't retain so much information these days, that I would buy one and hope it would be an investment and not a waste of money.

Many of my journeys in the past have been pure adventure, with no real destination - 'there and back to see how far it is' as my father would say, but sometimes it really does help to have some idea of where you are or where you are going to next. I appreciated Thomasina's help, but she won't be in control of all my journeys.
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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Major Thom » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:19 am

Sometimes you can just set off at random and enjoy going places you come across on your route.

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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by John Landon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:11 am

Its true about Sat Navs, if you follow it you never learn a route.
I am proud to say that I can navigate myself anywhere in the UK without even having to consult a map, this was put to the test when my mate wanted to go to Peterborough one evening after work to collect a car.
I offered to take him and we were there in 4 hours.

I bought a top of the range Jaguar XF recently and the sat Nav is utter crap. I even bought the latest 2018 -2019 Update with maps and latest firmware, and still it insists on taking the shortest possible route, which is no good for overall MPG and time.

Its odd, but just about everybody I know has been up to Scotland in the last few months. We had a week in Glasgow in the glorious June Sunshine visiting our old haunts form when we lived up there, and touring about.

My Son had a week on Skye and thoroughly enjoyed it. And yes, Glencoe is a truly soul moving experience which can bring a tear to the eye when you turn into the valley and lay eyes upon it for the first time.
last time I felt that was when I was about 5 gazing up onto Fremmington Edge from my little old farmhouse in the Dales in Reeth.

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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Dusak » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:41 am

Some of my most memorable times as a young lad was going out in the car, an Austin A40, then his Ford Consul down to Devon for two weeks. Fantastic adventures, although my father did not like the long and narrow roads you see a lot of in Devon countryside. There was only one stretch of motorway he used and I remember it being nearly deserted. Now, every body is in a rush to get there as quickly as humanly possible. I remember it used to take eight hours from home to get to Bovey Tracey, the home of their favorite hotel with at least a half hour stop off for the picnic lunch. Last time I did the same journey I was in Bovey in 5.5 hours. One day we were driving over some hilly country when we suddenly came across hundreds of hippy's. He had to drive slowly as the road was narrow and he got quite uptight as they kept sticking flowers under the screen wipers and throwing them through the open windows. Days lost forever.
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Re: UK Road Trip

Post by Major Thom » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:49 pm

If you like peace, quiet, the wilderness, with absolutely stunning views try this route.

M6 to Carlisle, then M74 and M8 to Glasgow

Folloe M8 to Erskine Bridge

Over the bridge turn left to Dumbarton A82, Continue on A82 along Lomondside all the way to Crianlarich, turn lef at Crianlarich again on A82 follow signs to Tyndrum, go past Bridge of Orchy, Through Rannoch Moor and Glencoe on the way to Fort William.

At Fort William with Benn Nevis on the right stay on the A82 signed (Inverness) to Invergarry, At Invergarry turn left signed Skye Road Bridge. Over the mountains to the end of the road (Tee Junction) Turn left signed Skye. When you get to Dornie turn right and pick up the road to Achmore and Strathcarron.

At Strathcarron pick up the road signed to Achnasheen, head onward to Achnault, Lochluicart and Garve.

At Garve turn left to Garbat, continue to Braemore on the way to Ullapool.

At Ullapool look for the signs to Drumrunie, Elphin, Ledmore Stronchrubich and Inchnadamph. Follow the road with Loch Assynt on the left and pick up signs for Lochinver

Just before Lochinver pick up the coast road to Drumbeg.

Keep following the road to Kylsku, then on to Laxford Bridge and Rhichnich Pick up then signs for Smoo Caves the Northerly most point on the West Coast and Sutherland. Reverse to return.

Warning when you get beyond Fort William make sure you keep an eye on your petrol, we used to carry a 10 litre Jerry Can in case of low levels.

This is a really good route not very often crowded once beyond Fort William, you will travel through wilderness country, past still Loch's high mountains and stunning views out to sea, especially the Drumbeg coast road.. When we lived on Skye we would often travel this route to both relax and chill out.

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