There's really no better way to get out there and immerse yourself in the natural escapes of the UK than by hitting the open road. We all can agree that the rolling green landscapes in the country are best experienced by car. Contrary to popular belief, road trips are actually fun as you get spend time together and bond. ❤️
If you're heading to the UK soon, how about switching things up a little bit and go on a road trip? ?
There is a lot to take into account before you decide to go on a road trip, so let us guide you through some important steps:
- Car rentals are available everywhere in the UK. We recommend Hertz or RentalCars.com.
- We suggest that you hire a car before you fly off to the UK to avoid price hike.
- When you browse through the selection of cars, make sure you choose the right car transmission (manual or automatic). We definitely recommend the latter ?
- When you hire a car, your rental agreement will usually include cover such as a Collision Damage Waiver. To be safe, we recommend paying extra.
- When you pick up your car, do check the tyres, windows and of course, petrol.
Once you've covered all these 4 steps, it's time to hit the road!
1. London – Cambridge (1 h 30min)
Best for: Families, History Buffs, Photographers
Credit: Punting Cambridge on Flickr
Home to one of the world’s top universities, Cambridge is only an hour away from London, and it’s definitely one of the few places that you can go for a day road trip. Cambridge is a treasure famed for its historical locations, beautiful architecture, fresh markets and quaint streets.
#HHWT Tip: There’s a couple of parking spots you can find in the vicinity of the small city. You can refer to Cambridge City Council for more information on the car parks. Once you securely park your car, the best method to explore the city is through bicycle, or even walking (like I did!).
Credit: Silvia Maggi on Flickr
One of the most memorable things you can do is by joining a punt tour along River Cam. It’s a little special when you do it in Cambridge as the punter will punt you along the popular colleges around (including Cambridge itself!). ?
#HHWT Tip: Not into tours? No problem, you can rent a boat and punt yourself. It’s a pretty good exercise too. ?
Credit: @cubotanicgarden on Instagram
Or you can always stroll around the city and check out the local markets or just basking in the sunny weather at the Botanic Gardens and have some picnic with your loved ones. ❤️
2. London – Brighton (1h 50 min)
Best for: Families, Beach Lovers, Foodies
If you’re after a picturesque countryside, then the answer’s definitely Brighton. ?
Now UK may not be known for sunny beaches but when the sun is out, it’s definitely the best time to go out to the beach! ? Brighton itself is just an hour away from London and it makes for a wonderful and relaxing seaside break. ?
Credit: @ashlynnsoongjolyn on Instagram
While you’re there, go on the ferris wheel or lay out a mat on the sandy beach and just take in the pleasant breeze or grab some fish and chips by the beach! It’s the UK after all.?
Credit: @ashlynnsoongjolyn on Instagram
Just drop by Halal chippy, BFC Fish & Chips that's located by the beachside and enjoy a plate or two! ?
Due to the short distance between the two cities, Londoners often flock to this side of the UK for that short getaway and it’s fast becoming one of the most travelled-to destinations for many. ?
3. London – Oxford (1h 30 min)
Best for: Families, History Buffs, Movie Junkies
Known as the ancient rival of Cambridge, Oxford is a larger cosmopolitan city while Cambridge is actually just a university town. Which means, Oxford offers more activities for visitors around! ?
Credit: Iris Lalang on Facebook
One of the activities you can consider is discovering a number of popular TV and film locations, like the New College Oxford which was famously featured in many of the early Harry Potter films.
Credit: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford on Facebook
Alternatively, you can visit historical museums. We personally recommend the Museum of the History of Science – the only place where you can check out the blackboard used by Albert Einstein during his lecture in 1931 as well as some of the UK’s greatest treasures from Jane Austen manuscripts to Shakespeare’s first folio!
Credit: @manshoribrahim on Instagram
Once you’re done taking in the sights and sounds of Oxford, unwind and perform prayers at the Oxford Central Mosque and have a meal at Oxford Kebab House which is only a stone's throw away from the mosque.
4. Oxford – Bicester Village (28 min)
Best for: Shopaholics, Families
Credit: Bicester Village on Facebook
Once you've had a fair share of the lovely British ambience in the shire, it’s time to go to the only Bicester Village from Oxford!
Credit: Kenji on Flickr
Shopaholics will find solace in this place as they can enjoy luxury shopping at more than 160 designer and fashion brands with up to 60% off the retail price! ? Look out for Dior and Ralph Lauren. ?
Credit: Puteri HD on Facebook
You can also find a range of Halal food around like the Mediterranean Chicken Wrap at Manja Street Food or simply have a cup of coffee at Rapha’s Café, all at the same location!
#HHWT Tip: There is a designated prayer room for Muslims so you don’t have to worry about cutting your trip short! ?
5. London - Stonehenge – Bath (2h 40 min)
Best for: History Buffs, Art Enthusiasts, Families
Bath is one of the most iconic places in the UK aside from London. With a rich history that takes you in Roman ruins and prehistoric standing stones, it’s definitely worth the 2 hour drive.
Credit: Arian Zwegers on Flickr
We recommend making a stop at Stonehenge before you can fully soak in the culture and history of Bath. The mysterious Stonehenge is one of Britain’s most famous landmarks and perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument too. While the history remains unclear, the monument still attracts thousands of visitors a day!
Credit: @lolalalame on Instagram
For a complete experience, simply stroll around the stone circle and appreciate the masterpiece, or even take a photo! ?
Credit: The Roman Baths on Facebook
Next up, Bath! It’s a 50-minute drive to the city and the first thing you should do is visit the famed bath complex, The Roman Baths.
Once you step foot into the bathhouse, opt for the audio guide that will bring you around the bathhouse with tales to tell.
#HHWT Tip: Bathing is no longer permitted in the steamy waters do make your way to the Pump Room and taste the famous spa water!
Credit: Photos by Clark on Flickr
Continue your trip by walking to the Royal Crescent. For art enthusiasts, you’ll definitely love this. Marvel at the iconic Georgian architecture landmark and be in awe of how it is arranged around a lawn overlooking the beautiful Royal Victoria Park and forms a crescent of terrace houses. You’ll want to update that Instagram feed of yours now! ?
If you're up for lunch, you can head over to Peri-Peri Sizzler, a halal restaurant specialising in chicken dishes. It's like Nando’s but a with a local twist. ?
6. London – Sheffield (3h 18 min)
Best for: Families, Nature Enthusiasts
Sheffield may not be the ideal place in mind when it comes to road trips, but it is definitely worth a try. Plus, if you’re heading to Manchester, it may be best to drop by this small city first as there’s more to discover than just the golden beaches.
Credit: @foxy_j3ss on Instagram
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Sheffield. Families with kids will absolutely love the Graves Park Animal Farm where they can meet several rare breeds of farm animals like llamas, alpacas and donkeys!
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And if that's not enough, there's also another must-visit attraction which is the Weston Park Museum. Here, you can discover the city’s amazing collections of beautiful treasures that are brought to life through fascinating histories and hands-on interactive. ?
The population in Sheffield is pretty diverse, so Muslim travellers can definitely experience Muslim-friendly facilities around like Halal eateries and mosques in the city.
7. Sheffield - Manchester (1h 29 min)
Best for: Football enthusiast, Families, Art Enthusiasts
What was once the industrial powerhouse of the north of England is now a melting pot of cultures that is fast becoming one of Europe’s buzzing and most creative hubs. For art enthusiasts, it’s an art paradise as every corner of Manchester lies a thriving art scene and home to hundreds of artists and designer.
Credit: Manchester Art Gallery on Facebook
You can choose to embrace art through public galleries or visit a working design studio and witness the magic happen! Start with Manchester Art Gallery, it’s a really cool place where you get to check out the many works of local and international artists. ?
Credit: @dom_whittaker92 on Instagram
Once you’re done, drop by Al Jazeera (no, not the TV broadcast ?) for a hearty Lebanese meal!
#HHWT Tip: Some of the workers can even speak basic Bahasa as a lot of Malaysian students love to pop by for a meal so it’ll be great to try and start a conversation with them! ?
Credit: Ian Middleton-Duff on Flickr
Continue your day by driving around the metropolitan borough and explore attractions along Manchester’s many iconic stretches of roadway, like the Old Trafford! If you’re an MU fan, you’ll know this ? It’s home to the Manchester United football team! ?
Credit: @rivaharahap on Instagram
Join a tour with a knowledgeable guide where you can go behind the scenes at Old Trafford and gain a real understanding of how the stadium and the team operate.
#HHWT Tip: Make sure to drop by the Megastore where you can get your hands on the original merchandises from shirts to scarves and mugs to keychains!
8. Manchester – Lake District (1h 28 min)
Best for: Families, Nature Enthusiasts, Adventure Seekers
Time to head over to Lake District, which is 1 hour away from Manchester! This scenic gem is the perfect place for outdoor adventures like hiking, cycling and even water sports.
With stunning landscapes, mountains, and lakes, it’s no wonder that this area became a prominent filming location for many major films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
Credit: Tania & Artur on Flickr
This region is also an idyllic destination for those who enjoy beautiful scenery. Everywhere you go, you'll find scenic drives with plenty of places of interest to stop at. Look out for cows and sheep, though! ?
Credit: Newby Bridge Country Caravan Park on Facebook
Chances are you’ll probably fall in love with this picturesque gem when you’re there, so we’d also recommend booking yourself into the Newby Bridge Country Caravan Park and making the most of your holiday. ?
#HWWT Tip: For the best place to catch the sunset, drive along the Ambleside hills and you'll be able to witness a panoramic view of the sun setting by the hills. ?
The UK has over 200,000 miles of road ready to explore and of course, we only covered a fraction of it. But that shouldn't stop you from trying ? Road trips may be long but the journey can bring a lot of fun and adventure! So if you ever feel like hitting the road for the first time, don't hesitate and just go for it ?