There is so much to visit within the UK, and no better way to do this than a road trip from London to Edinburgh, two of the biggest cities of the UK! It can be daunting, with so many options for along the way, so simply follow this London to Edinburgh road trip itinerary and follow our suggestions for a fantastic motorhome trip.
Getting to London
To embark on this London to Edinburgh road trip, you may need to get to the English capital. If you’re already situated in London, you can skip to day 1 of the London to Edinburgh itinerary. If not, here are some suggestions for reaching London:
Outside of the UK
If you’re coming from France, take the ferry from Calais to Dover, Roscoff to Plymouth or Dieppe to Newhaven. From the Netherlands, you can take a ferry from Rotterdam to Hull, but then I’d advise doing the road trip the other way around, and doing an Edinburgh to London road trip. This also applies to those taking the ferry from Cairnryan to Larne. Find out more details on ferry crossings into England.
Within the UK
Trains and buses are constantly headed to London, so start with the National Rail website.Aim to get in at least a day before, as delays are common and you’ll certainly want a bit of time to see the capital!
Renting a Motorhome in London
There are plenty of motorhome hire options in London, with a variety of different vehicle types. It is important to consider what you require from the vehicle, and what style suits you best. Which amenities will you require? How many sleeping places? You can start looking at the motorhome hire options in London, and make a request!
Tips for London
There are plenty of things to do and places to visit in London, so why not take an extra day or two to properly enjoy this riveting city? Before starting your travel from London to Edinburgh, try some of the following:
Get your tourist on! Some of the most cliche things to do in London can be a great thing to tick off your bucket list. So get out your camera, slap on your bum-bag and visit the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and more!
If you’ve got limited time, go for the Big Bus tour! It’ll get you access to dozens of sites, and sort your transport for all of them. The buses come and go frequently, so you don’t feel tied down to a schedule and can go at your own pace.
Plenty of films and series have been shot in London, so visit the famous sites that have graced your screen. A fan favourite is the Harry Potter walking tour, which will take you to the inspiration for Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley, as well as the film entrance to the Leaky Cauldron and Ministry of Magic - a wicked good time!
Keep the London Low Emission Zone in mind!
Day 1, London to Oxford
Approximate driving time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Start the first day of your trip early, perhaps with a nice buttered roll and takeaway coffee to enjoy on the road! Head onto the M4 until you reach Colne Valley Regional Park. I recommend parking here, and stretching your legs with a nice stroll. Then you can continue driving by heading onto the M25 and M40. Stop in High Wycombe for a cup of tea and bite to eat. It is renowned for art and furniture exhibitions at Wycombe Museum, which also features a delightful garden. Then head to the supermarket and pick up something to eat, and take the campervan slightly further to the Chiltern Hills Area of National Beauty for a picnic. Finish the drive to Oxford and get settled into your campsite.
First visit Oxford Castle and take a tour around the part-ruined Norman castle. A must-see for Oxford is the esteemed Oxford University, considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom. Stroll around the manicured lawns and stop at the Bodleian Library. This leads well to the Oxford High Street, where you can either pop into a shop or two, or find a nice place for the first dinner of your England road trip!
Staying at: Godwin’s Caravan and Camping Site. A five minute walk from the pub, with easy access to the M40. There is also a cafe on-site with homemade meals and ice creams for the little ones!
Location: Weston-on-the-Green, Nr Bicester, OXON, OX25 3QL
Day 2, Oxford to the Cotswolds
Approximate driving time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Take the A420 to Swindon and then the A419 to Cirencester, your first stop in the Cotswolds! If you enjoy riding or simply being in nature, head to Cirencester Park to go horse riding or strolling through the impressive grounds. History fans will enjoy the Church of St. John the Baptist, and beer fans will prefer the New Brewery Arts!
Hop back in the motorhome and over to Bourton-on-the-Water, renowned for its low bridges and traditional stone houses. Enjoy some lunch and a stroll around these fairytale cottages. Then you’ve got plenty of choice for how to spend the afternoon! You could visit Birdland, a large park home to dozens of birds species including parrots, owls and king penguins. Kids will also love the life-size model dinosaurs scattered around. Car fans will appreciate the Cotswold Motoring Museum, with a vast collection of vintage cars and antique toy collection. The Model Village is also a delight to visit, an exact replica of Bourton-on-the-Water complete with miniature gardens. And finally, adventure lovers and those with little ones will adore the Dragonfly Maze, a classic maze and puzzle game that will have you exploring for hours.
Staying at: Cotswold Carp Farm. A small family run campsite with lakeside pitches, they are a 10 minute stroll from the centre, and welcome dogs!
Location: Bury Barn, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2HB
Day 3, The Cotswolds to Stratford-upon-Avon
Approximate driving time: 45 minutes
Relish a final cup of tea and plate of scones in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds, and then head onto the A429, taking the exit onto the A3400 to Stratford-upon-Avon. This is one of the places every English person, or visitor to Britain, simply must visit. Birthplace of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, considered to be the most famous writer in the English language. You can visit his birthplace, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Once you’ve had your fill of the Bard, you can visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm, a tropical greenhouse filled with butterflies, or go to the Church of the Holy Trinity for magnificent architecture. For the traditional pub experience, visit The Woodsman Restaurant for a delicious supper and pint!
Staying at: Dodwell Park. Complete with a shop, off-license, free hot showers and regular bus service right outside the site, you’ll find everything you need here.
Location: Evesham Rd, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9SR
Day 4, Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham
Approximate driving time: 55 minutes
Driving via the M42 and A3400 you’ll reach Birmingham within an hour. Given the urban landscape of this city, it would be best to park at your campsite or a nearby spot, and take the bus into the city. Birmingham is renowned for their art scene, so visit the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for a wide collection of international importance which covers ceramics, fine art, metalwork, archeology, natural history and more! Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Cadbury World, to dive into the history of chocolate with interactive exhibits - including interactive chocolate to eat of course! The National Sea Life Centre features oceanic exhibits for all ages, so you can learn about the fascinating world under the sea while you digest all that chocolate.
Staying at: Chapel Lane Caravan Club Site. A rural gem with easy access to the major motorways of the M1, M6 and M42. It is set in the shadow of a charming old chapel, with an open-field horizon and shaded pitches to enjoy.
Price: starts from £10.45
Location: Chapel Ln, Wythall, Birmingham B47 6JX
Day 5, Birmingham to Manchester
Approximate driving time: 2 hours
The majority of this drive is on the M6, until you take the A556 exit for Manchester. Another big city, but don’t worry, the next stops will include a bit more time in nature! Manchester is a thriving city filled with cultural pursuits. You could visit the Science and Industry Museum or the People’s History Museum. If you enjoy the finer arts, why not head to Whitworth Art Gallery or the Manchester Art Gallery?
Opened in 1906, the Victoria Baths were intended to be the grandest baths in Europe and have held a great deal of this former grandeur. You can tour the three pools, Turkish bath and art nouveau decor for £6 per person. After all that walking and exploring, you’ll be needing to refuel with a delicious meal. Head to 20 Stories, located on a 20-storey tower to provide stunning views alongside their tasty food! We must recommend the fish and chips, which are given a new twist and zesty taste. The night is young, so top the evening off with a drink at Refuge, Manchester’s hippest new bar!
Staying at: Crowden Camping and Caravanning Club Site. A bit of a drive out of Manchester, but this rural campsite ensures a proper nights sleep away from the bustle of central Manchester. Situated in the Peak District National Park, you’ll be gifted with a stunning view in the morning and the sounds of nearby wildlife.
Price: starts from £12
Location: Woodhead Road Crowden, Glossop SK13 1HZ
(Consider adding a day and detouring to Liverpool, the home of the famed Beatles!)
Day 6, The Peak District
No driving required today, so you can give your driving gloves a rest today! The 6th day of the London to Edinburgh road trip is dedicated to exploring the Peak District National Park. You could take this opportunity to visit Alton Towers or explore historic sites as Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. But we would recommend taking the day to just give your mind a break and your lungs a great dose of fresh air. So hike across the Dovedale Nature Reserve, get lost on the dozens of trails and reset your clock for a day. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the most rural areas, where nobody exists but you and your travelling companion(s)! You can also explore some of the smaller Peak District towns, for a spot to eat for tea.
Staying at: Crowden again!
Day 7, The Peak District to York
Approximate driving time: 1 hour and 23 minutes
Given your northern position in the Peak District, the drive to York won’t be too long. Midway you can stop in Leeds, in case you’d like to take in another booming city of the North. Here you can head to the centre and take a stroll, passing by the impressive architecture of the Town Hall and enjoying a delicious coffee. Perhaps even stop for lunch here, for which we would suggest Bill’s Leeds Restaurant - what could be more fitting? It is housed in the historic Albion Place, right next to the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, and has a great atmosphere!
Then continue on to York, a city steeped in history, art and delicious food! To discover this history, perhaps visit the Jorvik Viking Centre for a time-capsule style Viking attraction. Or if you prefer your history the old-fashioned way, visit the York Castle Museum or the National Railway Museum of York! If you get a bit peckish along the way, we simply insist on stopping at Betty’s Tearoom for a delicious bun and cuppa.
Staying at: York Rowntree Park Caravan Club Site. Pitch up at one of these levelled pitches situated on the banks of the River Ouse, with hedged pitches to provide you with both a scenic treat and privacy!
Price: starts from £15.70
Location: Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ
Day 8, York
Another day in this wonderful city! If you’re in a rush, you can skip to the next day and head to the following location on this motorhome road trip, but otherwise get ready to explore more of spectacular York. Start your day at Brew and Brownie for the best pancakes in all of York! Then walk off the delicious food by a stroll to the nearby York Shambles, for a taste of a real-life Harry Potter world. Avid readers should head to The Minster Gate Bookshop, to peruse through five floors of second-hand books, covering every topic and genre possible.Then head to the famed York city walls, and explore the magnificent 3.4km of medieval stone walls spanning the centre of York. It provides a great view of the city and takes about 2 hours in total.
Staying at: Rowntree again!
Day 9, York to the Yorkshire Dales
Approximate driving time: 1 hour
Head out on time to make the most of your day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Follow the A59 and then park your motorhome in Bolton Abbey and stroll around the 12th century Augustinian monastery ruins of the Bolton Priory. Take your motorhome to Skipton to organise your bike hire for the day, as given the immense distances of the vast park, this will allow you to explore as much as possible! Then head to Parcevall Hall Gardens, to enjoy the 24 acres of stunning gardens featuring species from across the globe. Next on the list is Gordale Scar, where you can enjoy a picnic seated next to this scenic limestone geological formation. Very few sounds are more relaxing than the falls and a stream running into the deep-sided gorge - heavenly! Once lunch is securely digested, off to Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss. Then you can bike to Skipton to return your bike, and take your motorhome to this evening’s campsite - if your weary legs can manage it! Don’t worry, tomorrow will be light on the exercise and you can have a little lie in…
(see a map for your day at the Yorkshire Dales above!)
Staying at: Honeycott Caravan Park. The shop on-site sells everything from calor gas to free range eggs, so you’ll be able to whip up a delicious dinner after a long day of biking and exploring!
Price: £25 per night, cash/cheque only.
Location: Ingleton Road, Hawes DL8 3LH, UK
Day 10, Yorkshire Dales to Newcastle upon Tyne
Approximate driving time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Sleep in till at least 10, you deserve it! Then head over to Newcastle upon Tyne following the A1 and A194. But if you don’t mind a bit of extra driving time, set your GPS app to non-motorways, to drive along picturesque villages and towns instead, a far better view! Grab a coffee at Flat Caps Coffee, you might need it after that long drive! Then walk over to the Newcastle Quayside, and stroll along the river and gaze at the bridges that Newcastle is renowned for. Architecture fans should head to Tyneside Cinema for some well-preserved architecture - and maybe a film! But art enthusiasts simply must visit the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. It was built as the Baltic Flour Mill in 1950 and functioned as such until 1981. In 2002, it was reopened as an art gallery, and is free to the public! We would still recommend it to those not as interested in contemporary arts, as the 4th floor has an outdoor viewing platform and the 5th an inside viewing box, providing an excellent view of the city.
Stroll around Exhibition Park, a striking park which houses numerous events and weddings, and provides an oasis of tranquility in a bustling city. Visit Wylam Brewery, located within the Palace of Arts in the park, and take a tour of their facilities - be sure to test their product too!
Staying at: Stephenson’s Arms Camping and Caravanning. Slightly outside of the city, this campsite is situated in the area of Wylam. There is fishing available at the River Tyne, a mere 100 meters away.
Price: starts from £15
Location: Stephenson's Arms, Wylam NE41 8ED, UK
Day 11, Newcastle upon Tyne to Edinburgh
Approximate driving time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Start your morning with a toasty cup of tea and a bite to eat at the Quilliam Brothers Teahouse. The warm interior will show you Newcastle’s homier side, and their vast tea selection is unrivalled! It can get quite busy, so you might need to wait for a table. Follow this with a stroll down Great Northern Road, where you’ll see Newcastle University along the way so you can explore the campus too. Then head to Ouseburn for the Victoria Tunnel Tours, a must-see for Newcastle. The Victoria Tunnel was constructed to be a subterranean wagonway for coal transport in the mid 19th century, and converted into an air-raid shelter in 1939. There is a guided tour all-year round, but be sure to book around! Top this off with a classic English pub lunch before you head into Scottish territory. Close to the tunnel tours, you’ll find The Cumberland Arms, best enjoyed for a Sunday roast!
Now onto Edinburgh. With a full and satisfied stomach, you can handle the 2 and a half hour drive to Edinburgh. Take the A1 along the coast for a stunning view while you drive, right up until you reach Edinburgh. You can head to your campsite to rest after the busy day, as no reason to head into the centre just yet!
Staying at: Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park. With direct public transport to the centre of Edinburgh, this spacious campsite is the best way to see this fantastic city with ease whilst also getting an evening escape for some tranquility.
Price: starts from £22
Location: 38 Mortonhall Gate, Frogston Road, Edinburgh EH16 6TJ, UK
Day 12, Edinburgh
The final destination of our travel from London to Edinburgh, Scotland! Start your day early to make the most of this city, and go straight to Edinburgh Castle. By getting there early, you should be able to beat the tourist traffic. This 11th century castle and barracks houses the Crown Jewels, as well as the National War Museum of Scotland. Follow this with a stroll through the Princess Street Gardens next to it, with features many items of geological and botanical interest as well as several public monuments and memorials. Then you can either head straight to George Street, for a spot of shopping and some lunch, or you can first visit the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions. This long-standing tower contains five floors of interactive exhibits focused on whimsical optical illusions, and will have you amazed within minutes! For lunch, you should try Indigo Yard. With a cosy interior consisting of wooden tables and soft booths, Indigo Yard creates a relaxed rustic vibe with a delicious Scottish-Asian menu. The dishes are healthy and varied, with something for everyone - especially vegetarians and vegans! Those of you seeking some physical activity will appreciate a trip to Holyrood Park, where you can walk or bike up the slopes and crags to Arthur’s Seat, for an unbeatable view of the city. This can be combined well with a stop at Duddingston Loch and Bird Sanctuary, featuring a variety of species and a peaceful botanical garden.
Staying at: Mortonhall again!
You can spend another day or two in Edinburgh- you’ll find plenty to keep you busy!- or start your return with an Edinburgh to London road trip. This 12 day road trip from London to Edinbrugh, Scotland, combines some of the best places the UK has to offer. However it could easily be extended to 14 days, or even 3 weeks, as there are countless places to visit! If you’re looking to make your trip an Edinburgh to London road trip instead, simply follow this road trip itinerary in reverse! Now that you’ve got a complete road trip itinerary to travel from London to Edinburgh, you just need to hire a motorhome and let the adventure begin!