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Road Trippin’ On A Budget

Customer’s Pick: Top 3 locations to take a road trip this winter

Get to see the stark beauty of Britain during the cheapest time of the calendar year with our customer favourites.

  1. The Scottish Highlands

    Our most popular UK destination for visitors is the Scottish Highlands which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering its’ astounding scenic beauty, cosy little accommodations and friendly locals.

    Mum of 3 boys and regular Easirent hirer, Cheryl Dunne (38) says:
    We always like to escape at Winter, looking for snow and making the most of the half-term holiday with the boys. It works out much cheaper for us to hire a bigger car than ours so that we can fit everyone in and all our luggage and the camping equipment. Plus the fuel economy on these modern 7 seaters makes sense for our long trips. Easirent have branches at the airports in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen but we’re lucky to live by the downtown Edinburgh branch in Leith.

    Loch Lomond is an absolute must-see when it’s snowed which we always take countless breathtaking photographs of for our family Christmas cards. You can take a good long walk around the lake and there’s a lot of wildlife to be spotted around there, like grouse and deer in the bushes.
    They grit the roads regularly so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in the slush and ice down the winding country lanes, especially if you’re in a 4 wheel drive vehicle as we often get given. Along the route to Oban on the west coast, you’ll get to see much of Scotland’s snowy mountain scenery which is nothing like you’ve seen anywhere else in the British Isles. Recommended places to stop off at are Inverary Castle, St Conan’s Kirk or the shores of Dunstaffnage Castle before reaching Loch Linnhe.

    If you’re staying in a hotel, there are so many brilliant (and inexpensive!) options along the coastal towns but we always hunker down in our 6-man Outwell Clarkston tent. We cook everything ourselves on our trusty camping stove but sometimes we’ll treat the kids to a cooked breakfast at a local pub or hotel restaurant to get the day off to a good start. The food in the highlands is hearty and well-portioned out so you can expect the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties but what really struck me was how they incorporate alcohol into so many dishes. Pies with rich ale gravy and beer-battered onion rings, for example. The scots are definitely proud of their local produce, and rightfully so!

    The drive to Glen Coe is truly magnificent, with its wild expansive scenes that could rival the Alps of Europe. You can drive for hours through various viewpoints and attractions and there are numerous sweet little towns to stop off for a wee cup of tea or a slice of cake.
    If you’re brave enough, head further north to the Cairngorms and Aviemore for incredible never-ending snowy mountains, pine trees, reindeers and frozen lakes. You can take the Mountain Railway train and go skiing if you fancy it or simply go for a soft snowy walk in your hats and gloves to build a snowman (or entire snow family in our case).

    Loch Ness, Glen Shiel, Fort William and the Isle of Skye are on the list for next winter for sure. I couldn’t recommend the Scottish Highlands enough for a cheap, fun, family-friendly and most of all beautiful road trip destination.

  2. The Yorkshire Dales

    A common choice for solo-travellers is the picturesque valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. Walking around the English countryside in wet and grey weather isn’t typically a holiday in many people’s minds but if you’re a lover of the outdoors then this is the perfect back-to-nature adventure for those dreary winter months.

    Enthusiastic hiker and dog-owner, Andy Wilson (43) says:
    Recently divorced and living in Yorkshire, I’ve been taking long road trips every weekend to get fit and explore new trails on my doorstep. One of my favourites is the round trip from Skipton up to Grassington then across to Ripon and down to Harrogate and back again. I have stayed in some wonderful and very reasonably priced log cabins which comes fully equipped like an apartment. Perfect for a weekend getaway and warm enough for the cold winter nights.
    I hired a standard Focus-sized car from the Easirent branch in Leeds where the manager recommended some dog-friendly cafes for my two black labs Mike (7) & Molly (3).

    Starting in Skipton, I’d highly recommend visiting the local daily market for some wicked cakes, cheeses and fresh veg. The locals are incredibly friendly and happy to advise on the local trails. One elderly lady told me how she and her husband used to trek across the Moors in search of rare birds and what species I should look out for this time of year. Setting out north from Skipton, you’ll find yourself in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by miles and miles of farmland. Be prepared to slow down often as you come across narrow passes and sharp bends.
    As you climb through the Nidderdale Valley towards Pateley Bridge you’ll be able to get a great vantage point as long as it’s a clear day. Take your photographs here guys, it’s simply stunning. I like to venture quite far north with the dogs and let them off their leads for a while as it’s quite gentle terrain and you can see plenty far ahead.

    Driving from Pateley Bridge to Ripon, you can take in the beautiful Brimham Rocks which is an amazing collection of weird and wonderful natural rock formations in North Yorkshire, managed by the National Trust. The main attraction in Ripon has to be the historic Cathedral that has been around for many centuries. An architectural masterpiece, Ripon Cathedral offers North Yorkshire a vibrant hub for the local community and surrounding region to explore their Christian faith.

    As you move away from the rural communities of the North Yorkshire Moors, you head south to the town of Knaresborough which is infamously known in the area as being home of Mother Shipton’s Cave. What is this famous for? Well, legend has it that the prophetess ‘Mother Shipton’ was actually born in this cave, how much truth there is to this I don’t really know but the overall experience is really cool. Added to this is a petrifying well which has been host to tourists for many centuries given its relationship with Shipton.

    This is a really interesting drive and certainly a great way to spend an afternoon especially in Winter if the weather is not good enough to be walking around. Dependent on your interests, you could spend more time at each of the locations but it is all down to personal preference. Driving around the Yorkshire Dales is gorgeous, the sense of relaxation is there immediately as you enter into the rural countryside. The archaic stone walls that line the farmland is just a stereotypical British design that sets the scene perfectly.
    What better way to spend a weekend than by meandering around the British countryside in the heart of Yorkshire?

  3. Cornwall

    Heaving in the Summer, but just as enjoyable in the Winter. The Cornish peninsula is a perfect combination of beautiful countryside and historical interest. At this time of year, it will feel like you have the whole coast to yourself.

    Amy Shaw (25) international backpacker and festival-lover says:
    My best friend and I decided to hire a campervan when the rates were lower in off-peak. I had this cosy image of us cuddled under a duvet watching movies off the laptop and drinking cups of tea next to the raging sea spray. I’ve done road trips all over the world (they’re my absolute favourite) and honestly, this one in Cornwall was up there with the best.

    The UK has the most stunning rugged coastlines, so combine that with Cornwall’s incredible seafood, walks, pubs and activities – we already knew this trip was going to be a success.
    Sure, we were replacing bikinis and beer gardens with cream piled hot chocolates and wrapped up walks on the beach.

    The campervan from Easirent came with pretty much everything we needed minus towels and clothes(!) Our cooking utensils were sorted, our bedding included and everything else needed for setting up each night. I particularly liked how the staff showed us around and explained how it all worked before waving us goodbye.

    In terms of attractions, I’d recommend The Eden Project for sure. It’s the biggest indoor rainforests in the world. Carlyon Bay for a breathtaking backdrop, Tintagel Castle and Padstow Harbour for ice cream. Land’s End is literally the furthest point south of the UK and is home to an arcade of shops and cafes. Staying true to our adopted Cornish influence, we tucked into some fresh fish and chips here and some luxury hot chocolates before taking photographs and walking the beach.
    There are so many more beautiful spots to visit and plenty of well-recommended campsites with private beaches and indoor pools, hot tubs and saunas for those cold nights.

    Give yourself 4 days to explore the coast for a bucket list adventure, this trip will not disappoint one bit and the roadside scenery, even in winter, will leave you in awe.

 

Top things to remember when planning your own winter road trip budget:

  • Choose to drive a car with a good MPG.
  • Calculate all your costs ahead of time.
  • Pack your own food and drinks.
  • Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand.
  • Avoid travelling during peak seasons or weekends.
  • Consider camping in addition to staying at lodging accommodations.

 

You might also be interested in our Best Road Trip Snacks or Winter Driving Tips articles?



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Disclaimer: ER TRAVEL SERVICES LTD and its vehicle rental business trading as "Easirent" is in no way connected to or associated with, affiliated to or endorsed by the easyGroup of companies (which includes easyJet, easyCar, easyMoney, easyInternetcafe, easyValue, easyCinema and easyCruise). For further information on the easyGroup please refer to www.easy.com

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