Depending on how far afield you want to go, you might consider doing it all by train. Usually whenever I'm in Europe I travel by train. WHile the UK's train system isn't as good as that of France or Germany, they do have high speed lines. Also, I've never done it there because I'd kill too many people by driving on the wrong side of the road and turning the opposite direction.
Thanks for the info. We usually travel by train also in Europe but this time we are going to be bold and brave and are renting a car. Many of the place we want to go in UK are off the beaten path. We are turning in the car when we arrive in London and will be using the tube and buses while there.
It's about 10 hours total of driving time. Check out www.viamichelin.com.
I've driven in the UK on a number of trips. It's not really that bad... you just need to concentrate. Crossing the street as a pedestrian is probably just as dangerous! The hardest thing I had to get used to was entering roundabouts towards the left instead of the right! I drove in and out of London for 3 months on a daily basis while working there.
Any particular reason that you are staying in Bristol? I'd probably pick Bath over Bristol.
Have a great trip!
I am at County Hall in London right now and you will enjoy this hotel and it's location!
For me, one who has driven in England, I would never do it again. Your natural instincts are all wrong when driving here. Gas prices are very high and one minor fender bender could ruin your whole trip.
Linda, since this is your first trip, maybe just keep it simple. Remember, you will have a lot of anxiety just getting here. Why not consider Scotland via train to London? I am not trying to sell London, but there is so much to do here that you do not want to underestimate keeping is simple for yourself.
Good luck! If I, or any of the regulars can help make your trip great, I am sure they will.
I'd avoid driving as others have recommended unless you're very familiar with driving on the wrong side, especially with a stick shift car.
I recall scraping my way around round-about all over that sceptered isle, that England (and in Wales and Scotland, etc.) Also some of the country roads are barely one car-wide and sheep rule the roads in flocks in many locations. Sheep do not back up well, and often head butt a car (been there, done that) when frustrated.
So my advice would be to get a Britrail pass and use trains whenever you can. It will save you time and aggravation and make the trip run a lot smoother. Otherwise use the ground transport and as a last resort hire a car and driver if you must.
Good luck with the trip.
Sorry, guys, I do respect your opinions but have to admit that I don't agree with you on this. To each his (or, in this case, her) own!
I do agree that the train system can be used for most of their travels but if the OP's plans are to see things off the beaten track, then a car is the way to go. It's pretty difficult to see things like the Lake District, Hadrian's Wall, the Cotswolds, etc. using public transportation.
Maybe if the OP can provide a little more info on what they want to see, I'll change my mind.