We Did It!

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A three-week self-driving tour of England and Wales was an ambitious undertaking, but we did it! It’s something we have wanted to do ever since our first visit there. When Great Britain opened its doors to unrestricted travel (and since we aren’t getting any younger), we decided now was the perfect time.

The middle of May into early June was ideal – not too hot, not too cold, not too crowded. Well, except for being in London during the Queens Platinum Jubilee! Talk about crowded! But we loved everything about the trip apart from the driving.

We knew that driving would be a challenge. After all, they drive on the left side of the road instead of the right like we do. But that wasn’t the issue… it was the roads! They were either narrow and winding, or eight lanes going 90 MPH! And I swear there was a roundabout every few miles! There was actually a time when the GPS told us to continue for 14 miles and we couldn’t believe we could drive that far without a roundabout!

We returned the rental car before spending our last four days in London where we relied on public transportation. I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when we turned the car in at Heathrow – and I wasn’t even the one driving! I will post photos soon of some of the amazing places we visited, but for now we are just happy to be driving on familiar roads again!

15 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m impressed and so happy you all did this fun trip. When we traveled to Australia some years ago that was the most freaky thing was driving on the wrong side. We took public transit or walked most places and never rented a car. I think you’ll know my favorite photo is those two horses on the road!! Love big horse butts!!! Hahaha! ❤️🐴❤️

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  2. A fabulous trip- and great timing! Funny you say about the roads. I passed my test in the UK and four weeks later, shipped out to Germany where I happily drove for two years. Moved back to the UK and getting back to grips with roundabouts almost broke me- so I hear ya!

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  3. You could be talking about Ireland here as well. As part of a wedding anniversary trip we spent several days in Dublin, followed by several more days on the road exploring the rest of the country. My wife served as a “double-check” for my driving decisions, every time we came to a stop or intersection or roundabout. It was utterly unnerving to be driving on the “wrong” side of the road, let alone the wrong side of the car. But it was a wonderful adventure and so much better than a group tour. I remember that feeling when we finally returned the car as well. “We did it!”, yes, and also “Thank goodness – we survived!” 🙂

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    1. Oh, I totally agree… relieved that we survived and that the car was fine too! I did much the same as your wife did. The GPS in the car was not very reliable, so I was in charge of navigating from my phone much of the time. We would never do it again, but it really was the perfect way to see and do exactly what we wanted. We were in total control of the agenda – a huge advantage over a tour group for sure!

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  4. Wow, sounds like you had a wonderful trip! The roundabout is a common feature on Irish roads, too and sometimes it feels like every driver has a pet roundabout that they just hate. They are generally installed to make a junction safer and keep traffic flowing. They do, however, require extra care and attention in approach. I am looking forward to reading more about your trip. Aiva xx

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    1. It really was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to share photos of some of the stunning places we were able to see. We have roundabouts here too, but only in cities – not usually on highways and country roads. Drivers there do a great job – we didn’t see a single accident during the three weeks we were there, thank goodness! Have a great week, Aiva!

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