UK Road Trip Part 1: solo travel tips

At the end of last year I spent 5 weeks travelling the UK. I finally got the chance to write about my experiences and thought I’d share them for anyone planning a similar trip.


I had some time off before starting a new job, so decided to finally make a trip back to the UK- I’d wanted to do this ever since I got back from a semester’s exchange there, after realising how many places I didn’t see the first time; I did a lot of travelling but there’s so many places to see in the UK, especially if you’re a literary/history nerd like me. This was a bit of a last minute decision (in that, I am a terrible decision maker so didn’t make my mind up until the last minute), which meant I didn’t organise to travel with anyone else. Fortunately I have family in England I could stay with for some of the time, but I still had plenty of concerns about travelling on my own- travel blogs and Instagram posts about solo travel make it look fun and breezy but for an over thinker travelling alone on a limited budget, there was plenty to hold me back. There are a lot of helpful blog posts and articles about travelling the UK, but I found it hard to find a good itinerary that fit in everything I wanted (a lot) on a limited budget. Over the next few posts I’ll share details of my trip to help you plan for the cities I visited (see below for my full itinerary). To start with I’m sharing some tips to help fellow solo travellers prepare for a similar trip.

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  1. Heathrow
  2. Buckinghamshire
  3. Peak District
  4. York
  5. Lake District
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Buckinghamshire (again)
  8. Oxford
  9. Bath
  10. Cornwall
  11. Hampshire
  12. London

On the page it looks manageable in 5 weeks (or 4 and a half if you factor in the days it takes to get to and from Australia) and while I fit in everything I wanted, there was a lot of driving and walking, with plenty of highlights but the occasional mishap (cue me driving the country lanes around Bath after I took a wrong turn and my GPS decided that was the best way back.) That said, if you get the chance to visit the UK, especially in the lead up to Christmas, I highly recommend it, with or without a travel buddy. If you’re thinking of doing your own solo trip, here are some suggestions:

  1. Pinterest– if you are freaking out at the idea of travelling solo, a few sessions of Pinteresting your destination will make you want to travel there more than you want to stay home so that solves that problem
  2. Blogs– While I love a good Lonely Planet guide, it was travel blogs that I got most of my advice from. While it’s hard to find the exact itinerary to suit you, there’s plenty of good advice to help you settle on your own. A few websites that I found particularly useful were A Lady in London, Hand Luggage Only, To Europe and Beyond and Nomadic Matt.
  3. Book ahead– I was pretty lucky with flight prices, they stayed cheap up until I booked about 6 weeks before I left, (not the done thing for bargain hunters). What I didn’t book ahead was rail tickets- mostly because I wanted to be flexible, but I’d forgotten just how expensive they can be in the UK- on the one hand you can actually go to like, most cities (not a concept in WA) on the other, it’s super pricey. Booking ahead means cheaper tickets, for rail and most other things.
  4. Be flexible– Even though my flights to England were half empty, there were evidently a lot of people travelling within the country because a lot of accommodation was booked ahead of time. I found that moving past my trepidation at using Airbnb by myself helped give me a lot more options, but sometimes you’ve got to decide between comfort and price. Although there were plenty of lovely, and occasionally quirky places (hello dog in the dining room) I got to stay at, and most places had single rooms which offer a cheaper option for solo travellers.
  5. Be spontaneous– I KNOW. Not my style either but you know what’s great about travelling by yourself? You can do whatever you want- within reason. ‘Finding yourself’ while travelling is a cliché, but I did appreciate that travelling by myself meant I actually got to work on my decisiveness and showed me a bit about my own likes and dislikes.

The UK was an easy solo trip destination for me, having been there before and having family to stay with, but it is a friendly country and easy to get around whether by yourself or with a group. Next post I’ll breakdown my itinerary for the North– my trip from Buckinghamshire up to Edinburgh and back; how I got around and the places to visit.



  1. January 28, 2018 / 2:04 am

    Hi Kathryn,
    I have dreamed of doing a trip across England. I want to tour gardens and see cottages and explore the villages. I hope to go with either my husband, my mom, or a couple good friends, probably not by myself. Truth be told, it will be a while before I can pull it off as I am currently in the process of opening a restaurant. But I loved finding your post about this : ) Thank!

    • February 10, 2018 / 2:48 am

      You’re welcome! It’s a great trip to do. Good luck with the restaurant.

  2. April 27, 2018 / 6:37 am

    So true about all these points! Great for you to share this with prospective visitors.

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