Monday, October 23, 2017

UK ROADTRIP - WHERE WE'RE GOING

In a little over 4 weeks, I'll be swapping this California coastal cliff view for a different view - a windy clifftop in Scotland, with the cold sea crashing below. It's a trip I've been planning for a while, and it consists of a road trip starting all the way down in The Cotswolds, and will lead us all the way north into Scotland and back down. I've visited London before, but never ventured very far outside the city - so I need your help with suggestions. Scroll down to see the route.




So here's the plan - and the intended stops. But I need your help with what to do during the day, pitstops to make along the way, or tips for driving in the UK, as it will be our first time. Between each of these stops, we're looking to stop for lunches and chances to stretch our legs, so even if it isn't on the map, if it's along the way we're keen to hear about it!


The Cotswolds / Oxfordshire
We'll be starting out with landing at Heathrow airport, and immediately driving to the Cotswolds, stopping in Twickenham for a pint here. We're staying in Oxfordshire for a few days, and want to explore the area. Any recs?

Liverpool
After our two days in the Cotswolds, we'll be heading to Liverpool for a quick stop, and just one night. We want to do a museum and a lot of walking, and a lot of eating. Beatles, The Titanic - what exhibits, experiences, or pubs do you recommend?

Gleneagles Hotel
Ok, this part of the trip is pretty booked, as we will be staying at the Gleneagles Hotel (here), and doing activities centered around the beautiful property. Horses, falcons, scotch, and lots of baths. But on the drive from Liverpool, is there anywhere in between we should stop?

Fort Augustus / Loch Ness
After our two leisurely days at Gleneagles, we'll be headed further north to Fort Augustus, and staying in a castle-like Abbey for 3 days. We want to try to get out to Islay to do a scotch tour, but perhaps there are other day activities in the area? Let us know!

Harry Potter Studio Tour (here)
AH! I can't tell you how excited I am about this part. Because it has to happen on our last day of the trip, we HAVE to get to the area quickly after the castle. So we have an 8 hour drive down to the area, and then will stay nearby. Any tips for getting photos at the studio tour? Your favorite part? Or maybe a pit stop for a great lunch in between Loch Ness and this area?


 Map Illustration by Coast to Coast Studio

24 comments:

  1. In Liverpool skip the Beatles museum and take a Beatles taxi tour they are an incredible experience. Defiantly check out the Tate on the water and for good local food Spire is my favorite, it is literally next to to the barber shop on penny lane. For drinks any place on Hope street is great, or in the Baltic quarter.

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  2. You've not got much between Liverpool and Scotland I see - there is a stretch of mountain/moorland all the way from just north of Liverpool all the way up to Scotland, and I guess it depends if you are driving up the west or east of the country. If west I would do the Lake District and maybe somewhere like Lancaster castle, maybe visit a priory or something like that. For the east I would visit York and the North Yorkshire coast - robin hoods bay and Whitby perhaps. Enjoy!

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  3. As a fellow Harry Potter fan - DO NOT miss Edinburgh (Elephant cafe, where the first drafts of Harry Potter were written, and Victoria Street, the inspiration for Diagon Alley) or Alnwick Castle (HOGWARTS!). Also, Glen Coe is where a lot of the outdoor scenes around Hogwarts were filmed, including Hagrid’s Hut (which you can actually find on google maps!).

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  4. I'm so excited to see your pictures and Insta-stories from this trip!! You have to go to New College and Christ Church in Oxford to see where they filmed some of the Harry Potter scenes. You feel like you're in a real life Hogwarts! The Harry Potter Studio Tour is always ridiculously packed but I'm sure you'll manage to get some awesome shots.

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  5. Don't forget to visit the Isle of Skye! One of the most magical places I've already been to. There are also many lovely towns in the North, like Durham (they filmed some scenes from Harry Potter in the cathedral), Lincoln and York. Also agree with the tip about taking a Beatle cab instead of the bus tour, I went in 2011 and our guide knew everything about the beatles and had been a fan since a teenager, he had even been to a Quarrymen show.

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  6. If you have time, head to Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire - super pretty little town to wander around! It's famous for the Henley Royal Regatta every July and rowing races between Oxford and Cambridge Unis. Have an amazing trip!

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  7. Liverpool has many things to offer! My absolute favorite spot is the Albert Dock. I love to get fish and chips while sitting at the docks. Bold Street has many food and drink options which are all fantastic. The best view, in my opinion, is on top of the Anglican Cathedral if you’re able to go up. The Philharmonic Dining Room on Hope Street is a beautiful spot for a pint that I love to go to. I would also recommend seeing the Central Library and going to the Picton Reading Room which looks straight out of Beauty and the Beast. There are two museums next to the library as well. The great thing about Liverpool is that everything is walkable! For Scotland if you can do a Highland tour go to the Isle of Skye.

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  8. You're missing the best part of the UK out by skipping from Scotland to Liverpool... YORKSHIRE! You absolutely have to visit York. Roman ruins, a thousand year old cathedral and the most beautiful old streets and shopping. Best city in England.

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  9. I am so excited for you. I absolutely love the Cotswolds and Oxford. Oxford Uni has such a rich history so I wouldn’t pass up a little bus tour! Cotswolds also has some of the best afternoon tea spots, you can’t go wrong with any of the places that offers it.

    I’d you are in London for a bit don’t neglect East London! I suggest going to some of the great markets like Brick Lane and Broadway Market. I can’t qait to see your adventure. I went to the HP Studio Tour when I was there last about two years ago and I cried about 4 times. There isn’t much around that area so I would def eat from where your going or pop into London after!

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  10. Hi Pretty Little Fawn. I hope you will find your trip to the U.K inspiring :) here are just a few little suggestions for some nice places near where you are staying ....If you are in Oxford there is a nice market town called Chipping Norton with lots of antique/vintage stores, also a protected village which was used in Harry Potter called Lacock with an adorable pub/inn named Sign of the Angel as well as an old Abbey where negative photography was invented!. Near to Oxford is Cheltenham- famous for horse racing! they have a sweet little boutique called Olive Clothing if you fancy some clothes shopping :) . Gloucester being only ten minutes away you can visit Gloucester Cathedral where some Harry Potter scenes were filmed and the Beatrix Potter museum. The city of Bath is very picturesque with original Roman Baths/Gardens/Promenade and a lovely Fashion museum and Jane Austen museum. Hay-on-Wye for lots of old bookshops or Stonehenge for a day out! On the way to Islay see of you can stop at Tighnabruaich and drive the Secret coast of Argyll from Dunoon to dine at The Kames Hotel or Inver Restaurant. You can travel on an old steamboat called The Waverley and have a go on the Corryvreckans whirlpools and see some wildlife along the way. Isle of Skye and Jura are wonderful, on Jura you can visit the house where George Orwell wrote 1984 at Barnhill, but its a bit of a walk! The Harry Potter Studio tour is truly magical! If you get to stay in London check out Seven Dials and Tate Britain or Tate Modern galleries. I hope you have a lovely time here in the U.K xx

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  11. If you go to Islay I have lots of suggestions! I live 5 minutes from Loch Lomond in Scotland, and we island hopped this summer, and Islay was one of my favourites. I wrote a blog post about it or feel free to drop me a message!
    Scotland has lots of incredible hidden gems, I hope you love it as much as I do ��
    Laura
    http://lauraoverthinksit.com/2017/08/beautiful-isle-of-islay/

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  12. Between Liverpool and Scotland you should definitely check out the Lake District! It’s so beautiful and has some wonderful views! If you want to see wild horses, pigs and other animals roaming around free in cute little villages then try and see part of The New Forest when your in the south! It’s a magical place with lovely scenery. If you wanted Halloween vibes I would particularly recommend Burley - a witch village! Enjoy your stay in our gorgeous country!

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  13. So I took almost this exact route on a trip to England last year and I explored all the nooks and crannies of the Cotswolds. My family and I stumbled upon a restaurant nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. It was called "The Mount Inn" in Stanton. It was a dream and situated on a hill so the views were breathtaking. One of the best memories of my life was sitting by the 17th century crackling wood fire watching the sunset over the horizon of the Cotswolds. If you are going to be near Stanton you would love it! Also, my favorite city that we visited was Bath. I did not see that on your itinerary but it truly was my favorite. The spa at the Royal Cresecent hotel was unreal! And the Roman Bath museum was the best museum I've ever been to in my life! (And I'm not even a museum person. Also the pump room in bath serves a high tea that is something to be experienced! Regardless, you will absolutely love your trip! Have an amazing time!

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  14. The Liverpool food scene is great! Two favourite restaurants have to be Maray on bold street (creative Mediterranean cuisine and great cocktails) and the second one is Neon Jamon, for spanish dishes (the ribs are amazing). Really hope you try either of these because they are simply incredible.

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  15. Liverpool is The Best. If you want to see the fanciest pub toilets in the known universe check out The Philharmonic Dining Rooms. Albert Dock is ace too, and it's super close to the Beatles Museum which I'm guessing you'll be checkin' the heck out, and there's also a Tate Gallery there which usually has some modern art stuff going on. Walker Art Gallery is neat as well, much more of an oil paintings and elaborate frames scenario. On your drive down from Loch Ness if you're heading down the M6/M62 it'd be rude not to squeeze in a few photos on the Yorkshire Dales or in the Lake District. So many little villages with old pubs I don't even know where to start. Regarding Harry Potter Studios it's pretty much all indoors tbh with unflattering lighting, but there is an outdoor section with the Night Bus and Privet Drive where you can get some decent photos if you go before sunset so keep an eye on the weather forecast maybe? Hope that helps! I can't wait to see your photos, you're going to have the best time ever <3

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  16. If possible, be sure to drive the road through Glencoe in Scotland. So majestic!

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  17. You should definitely pass through Bristol if you can! Bath is beautiful too, but Bristol is super cool. Both just below the Cotswold’s :)
    Http://saintsonaplane.com

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  18. Cotswolds (lived outside of Cirencester for 3 years): Villages worth visiting - Tetbury, Burford, Lechlade, Barnsley (Barnsley house hotel is a stunning country spa hotel). Favourite gastro pub is The Bell at Saperton (cosy traditional cotswold pub with open fires and dogs). Westonbirt Arboretum for stunning autumnal colours and beautiful walks through the tress. If you have time visit Bath as its a beautiful example of Georgian architecture with their honey coloured stone as well as great boutique shopping and roman spas.

    Scotland (grew up and lived on an island on the west coast) - Definitely drive from Fort Augustus down to Islay via Glen Coe (the most instagrammed place in Scotland!) then through Inveraray for stunning views, Scottish Castle and fresh oysters from the famous Loch Fyne. Be warned bring wet weather gear! Enjoy!

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  19. Also worth staying in on your way to Islay for a true Scottish castle experience with a contemporary twist! Kilmartin Castle
    https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/6049149

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  20. You should definitely visit the Peak District or Lake District!! Best part of England in my opinion!!

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  21. The Larder in Edinburgh is the sweetest little cafe for breakfast, tea, or lunch! You'll probably be sconed out by then, but their scones with jam and cream are delicious. So are the baked eggs!

    xx, Lana
    www.hikeinheelsblog.com

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  22. Come to Yorkshire!! I'm utterly biased but I'm certain you would love York. A beautiful walled city with a huge 13th-century Gothic cathedral, with overhanging timber-framed houses and traditional shopfronts of The Shambles (some of the oldest and most picturesque streets).
    The surrounding area is packed with attractions too: Castle Howard, one of England’s most impressive stately homes, or the weird and wonderful Brimham Rocks, an amazing collection of wind-weathered rock formations on dramatic moorland.
    But then a visit to Whitby Abbey on the coast is always a great idea.

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  23. You must take a day trip to Oxford, have a cocktail at Raouls, also head to Woodstock to see Blenheim Palace n the village is lovely. Try the Perch pub and the Trout Inn, both in Oxford.
    Bourton on the water, Stow on the Wold, Kingham, Cheltenham, Burford are cute Cotswold villages and towns. Stadhampton Crazy Bear hotel and farm shop are fab also x

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