Ultimate Road Trip from London to Edinburgh

An ewe and its lambs rest on the Isle of Lewis and Harris, an island off the northwestern tip of Scotland in the Outer Hebrides, Britain

There is no doubt that the United Kingdom is one of the most enchanting nations in the world. There are countless places for you to visit. However, if you want a genuinely magical excursion, you should enjoy London’s ultimate road trip to Edinburgh.

These are two of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, and driving between the two is filled with amazing wonders and surprises for you and your loved ones. On this trip, you are sure to enjoy the most excellent experiences and sights that Scotland, Wales, and England have to offer. 

Itinerary for your London to Edinburgh Trip

Day 1: London – Oxford

It will take you roughly 90 minutes to drive from London to Oxford. Ensure you start on time and hit the M4 and cruise your way to the Colne Valley Regional Park, where you can relax. After resting, step on the gas and make for M25 and then M40. 

If you are hungry, park at High Wycombe and get some snacks. You can also check out the Wycombe Museum. From here, drive to Oxford and quickly tour the Oxford Castle, stroll through the world-famous Oxford University campus, then branch at Oxford High Street for a relaxed dinner. 

Day 2: Oxford – Cotswolds

This leg of the trip takes about 80 minutes. Start from the A420 to reach Swindon, then switch to A419 and drive until you get to Cirencester, which will be your first point upon getting to the Cotswolds. For lovers of nature, stop at the Cirencester Park while history buffs should visit of Church of St. John the Baptist. If time is on your side, ensure you see Cotswold Motoring Museum and snap with vintage cars. 

Day 3: The Cotswolds – Stratford-upon-Avon

This ride is just about 45 minutes and as you leave the Cotswolds, enter A429 and exit to burst out on A3400 to reach Stratford-upon-Avon, which is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Stop to visit his birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Later, check out The Woodsman Restaurant for a nice meal. 

Day 4: Stratford-upon-Avon – Birmingham

Driving from the birthplace of Shakespeare to Birmingham will take you about one hour. You start from M42 and continue on A3400. As this is an urbanized zone, you can park at a campsite and then use a bus for touring the city. The main magnet for tourists and visitors is the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, while you can also visit the National Sea Life Center and the Cadbury World. This will be one of the most impressive parts of your road trip. 

Day 5: Birmingham – Manchester

It will take you a couple of hours from Birmingham to the iconic city of Manchester by road. Much of your driving on this stretch of your trip will be on the M6, and you continue on it and exit towards Manchester on the A556. 

Manchester is another massive city, so you can take some time to explore. Check out the Victoria Baths, Manchester Art Gallery, People’s History Museum, or even the Science and Industry Museum. There are so many inns, pubs, and restaurants in Manchester, and you will always have something good to eat and drink. 

Day 6: Enjoying the Peak District

Now you are on the sixth day of your trip by road from London to Edinburgh, and you can take the day off from driving. Instead of being on the road, take your time to wander through and experience the timeless magic of the Peak District National Park. You can also check out other places like the Dovedale Nature Reserve, Haddon Hall, or the breathtaking Alton Towers. Take time to sample the different tea brands in the various towns in the Peak District. 

Day 7: The Peak District – York

From Peak District, you will have to drive for almost 90 minutes before getting to York. You can branch by Leeds and experience the best of another British city. Sip a cup of coffee and do some shopping at Trinity Leeds before you continue your onward journey to York. While at York, make sure you enjoy the gastronomic delights of this ancient city. Check out the York Castle Museum and feed your curiosity. 

Day 8: Enjoying York

Now you are entirely in York, and you have all the day to explore the city properly. You can start your day with a great breakfast at any local restaurants before you head for the iconic city walls that have defied time. These walls have been standing since the Middle Ages, and they surround all of the city. It will take you a few hours though, to finish your exploration of York. 

Day 9: York – Yorkshire Dales

This segment of the trip will take about one hour. Enjoy the pristine air of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, then step on the gas on A59 to reach Bolton Abbey, where you can relax for a while. Visit the exquisite Parcevall Hall Gardens and be amazed by its stunning and exotic gardens with plants from various corners of the planet. While doing all these, take time to sample some of the finest delicacies in the local restaurants. Take your time to have a good night’s sleep for the next day!

Day 10: Yorkshire Dales – Newcastle upon Tyne

For this section, you will be on the road for a little over one and a half hours. By following A1 and A194, you will be on your way to Newcastle upon Tyne. This is a relatively long drive, so you can pump yourself up properly with some local coffee. 

When you get to your destination, stroll down the river at the Newcastle Quayside and observe the architectural wonder of bridges that this famed city is known for. Check out the Exhibition Park and taste some local brew at the Wylam Brewery before retiring for the day. 

Day 11: Newcastle upon Tyne – Edinburgh 

Now, this is a driving time of two and a half hours so you should start your day with a nutritious breakfast to have enough energy for the day. This is also your last stretch of the trip, so you have to make the best of it. Stroll through Newcastle upon Tyne once again and see the Victoria Tunnel if you have not done so earlier. 

With a good meal in your belly and all significant sights seen, you can head to Edinburgh. Burst onto the A1 on the coastline and enjoy the beautiful views of the water as you drive until you get to your destination – the timeless city of Edinburgh.

Once you are there, go to your campsite, inn, or hotel first to get some well-deserved rest. The next day, you can then savor all the delights of this ancient Scottish city. From the Edinburgh Castle to the National War Museum of Scotland to the Princess Street Gardens, Edinburgh is undoubtedly going to amaze you! 

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