The Lake District was my favorite spot. We didn't spend nearly enough time there. There must be lakes around but to be honest, we only saw one. But I do have about 50 photos of sheep. They are so freaking adorable. We pulled the car off the road to take pictures of the sheep much to the consternation of our fellow drivers. An ode to the sheep we saw along the way...
The Cotswolds is a beautiful region that is a must when you’re touring England. I’m guessing if you’ve done some research already you’ve found Burton-on-the-Water to be a top attraction. That is precisely what the village is: an attraction. We found it charming but a bit too touristy for our liking.
Parking is scarce in the village due to the influx of visitors. But it is a perfect jumping off point if you find an inn that has their own parking. We stayed at The Old Manse Hotel which is charmingly located in the center of town, plus they have a private lot for parking. Just a few blocks away is Mary’s Laundry, and if you’re in need of a bit of washing, you can drop it off and enjoy the day exploring.
1. Procure a map of the Cotswolds and decide which path is most appealing based on your interests. We picked up a publication called "The Cotswolds, Towns & Villages Guide" at a tourist center. The book has a great map in the center and brief descriptions of the villages.
2. Find an Inn or Guesthouse somewhere in the middle of your route and make it your home base.
3. Side note: do not leave valuables in your car. Rental vehicles are easy targets for thieves.
Ready to drive. On the left side of the road.
As prepared women, we reserved a compact car in advance of the trip and requested an automatic to make it a bit easier. When we arrived at Europcar the only vehicle they had available was a Volkswagen Tiguan. The Tiguan is a relatively large SUV. To be fair (to Europcar) we arrived the day before the rental was reserved. Plus we had the choice of picking up the compact model the next day around noon but opted not to wait. In retrospect, that may have been the wiser decision!
Driving on the left side of the road is an adjustment, I'm not going to lie. But add an SUV to the narrow streets in the British countryside, and you have a prescription for disaster. Or at least potential disaster. We'd like to help you avoid the, um, pitfalls we encountered by offering a few tips. Check out our first video on Vimeo!
1. Before you drive in a new country study the road signs.
2. Go slow. Be aware. Relax.
3. And for the love of god get a compact car!