|Subject: Have you driven in the UK?|
Marge and Others:
I hate to drive in the UK. I could never relax even after 16 days of driving there. My brain could never adjust. I know many people who have no problem and I hope you are one of them. Here are some survival items.
Driving Tips for the UK.
I took three different colors of cloth tape; red and blue cloth tape and the old trusty: silver duct tape. Each morning before driving I would wrap one color around my left hand. I alternated colors so I would not get used to one color.
In the future I will not get off the plane and rent a car at the airport. I'll take a train from the airport to some large city where I have booked a room. I'll crash until my body adjusts, sightsee the city using public transportation, and then rent a car in that city to travel about and later return to the departure airport. I also get rid of the car before I tour the major city near the airport (for instance, London.) I also do this in other countries.
Gail gave the following information: --the further north you go, the easier it is. Staying off the major roads is easier too.
I don't agree. The farther north you go, the smaller the roads. Wales is terrifying. Rugged stone walls on both sides, little shoulder. Staying off major roads also means smaller roads. It seemed like each time I turned at an intersection, the roads got smaller. I was even on several roads that were one car wide. The road had pull-offs. The car closest to a pull-off had to either move forward to it or back up to it.
On the other hand, I had no problem driving on their super highways with several lanes in each direction and had no trouble with round-abouts.
Rent a smallish car, they are easier to park and maneuver. A too-small car will usually be a rough ride. Because of an upgrade to get air conditioning, we ended up with a Rover. When I went to the parking lot, it was three feet longer than any car near it. It also had the worst turning radius of any car I've ever driven and the large hood prevented seeing how close I was to the center stripe of the road.
I prefer the Michelin map books. Each page is about 9x12 and covers an area about 30 by 40 miles. They are spiral bound and are much easier to handle than a folded map. There is a very good one for the U.K. Your navigator needs to learn the map symbols for maximum benefit; they've got a lot of information. The Michelin Red Book (of hotels and restaurants) have many city maps which are very useful. These maps are keyed to Michelin's map books and folded maps. We also carry a folded map (usually from AAA) of the entire country to see broader areas and plan overall routes.
I also make a scale for each map using a piece of heavy paper 6 to 8 inches long. Marks are made along the edge of the paper in miles and/or kilometers. This is used to get a rough guess between two points on the map. This is faster than the devices with a wheel for measuring a map. The self-made scale is usually accurate enough for our purposes. Don't forget to take a magnifying glass and flashlight.
Bill Wysong Colorado Springs