When my family were over, I wanted to show them something a bit new other than London and Cambridge AGAIN so I planned a 4 day North of England Road Trip to give them a little flavour of Northern England. We stuffed in a lot over the 4 days however it really did show my family that there is more to England than just London!
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 1 – Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
We left on a sunny (jokes…it was grey as it was still summer!) Friday morning and headed up to Stoke on Trent to visit the Potteries. G and I have visited this area a few times including to have afternoon tea at Wedgwood (spoiler alert if you don’t read the review – it’s really good!) so we popped into Wedgwood for a little look around and then off to Burleigh Pottery where we may have supported the local economy.
I own a few pieces of the Burleigh Calico range in blue and I may have left with two new pieces…the pattern has a vintage cottage feel but I liven things up with splashes of yellow in our kitchen. Mum also took a piece home with her.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 2 – Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire
After leaving Stoke on Trent, we hit the traffic as it was Friday so we were a bit late arriving at Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire…if you love the National Trust and wobbly buildings then this one is for you! Even though we had a whistle stop tour through the property, it was still great to see an amazing amount of history in one building including the witches marks. You can read more about our adventures at Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire here.
That night we bedded down at the Holiday Inn Express at Stoke on Trent using points…two free rooms…hotel chains are great for road trips due to their various locations just off motorways and close to town centres…diss hotel chains all you like but they are absolutely brilliant places to rest your head when you’re on a road trip around England.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 3 – Lyme Park, Cheshire
Up early the following morning, we headed to visit another National Trust property which was on my Jane Austen Bucket List, Lyme Park. If you loved the BBC Pride & Prejudice series then you know that Lyme Park was used as Pemberley for the exterior scenes…
…and it was so worth the wait! Just like the blog post I will write one day with a million and one photos attached…one day folks, one day.
I will return to visit this property again in the future if I can for a picnic and a little dress up.
If you want to see the interiors of Pemberley then you need to visit another National Trust property, Sudbury Hall close by in Derbyshire…it’s about an hours drive between both properties.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 4 – Blackpool, Lancashire
Thinking that I may have worn my family out with National Trust properties over the past 24 hours…we headed in the direction of Blackpool, the home of the illuminations….
…another destination that was on my bucket list…
…if you are thinking this North of England Road trip was all about me…you are sooooo right…Mum, Dad and Lisa were just along for the ride!
Everyone thinks I’m crazy that I was desperate to visit the illuminations…I will say that Blackpool lived up to every expectation that I had and every expectation everyone else told me!
It was certainly a different place to visit and we enjoyed our Nandos (Lisa loves Nandos and they are good for gluten free grub!) and watching the pumpkin carriages running up and down the prom.
We hadn’t booked any accommodation and for a Saturday night this wasn’t the best idea to be honest…but we decided to head in the direction of the Lake District and found a Travelodge on the motorway just before we entered the Lakes…we booked our rooms and went to bed…visiting the M&S shop the following morning for breakfast before heading to the lakes.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 5 – Hill Top Farm, Cumbria
After our breakfast feast thanks to a M&S gift card that I had in my wallet…we were in the car early driving towards Hill Top Farm…the home of Beatrix Potter that she had gifted to the National Trust along with a load of land and property.
Beatrix Potter was a leading conservationist of her time and we can thank her for keeping the beauty of the Lakes so we can enjoy it all now…she broke convention in so may ways as a woman and she should be a role model for us all now. If you plan to visit Hill Top Farm, get there before opening time as it’s by timed entry and the car park is only small. It’s a small walk from the ticket office to the farm…we loved this property and am so glad we had a chance to visit.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 6 – Hawkshead, Cumbria
Our next stop was to the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead…where we may have eaten some very large pieces of cake…and enjoyed the cute little town. The Gallery was the law offices of her husband that was gifted to the National Trust.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 7 – Claife Viewing Station, Cumbria
After leaving Hawkshead, we ventured to see the view over the lakes at Claife Viewing Station…another National Trust area of beauty. Looking back we packed in a huge amount in our day in the Lake District.
^^A nice normal photo of Ma and Pa
^^The real Ma and Pa!
^^Mum was a tad excited about the next stop!
We jumped on the ferry to cross the lake to save precious time…this was our sailing trip…
…and ended up in Windermere where we let the girls run wild in Lakeland…(mum and Lisa, please DO NOT click on the Lakeland link…I only have 40 kg luggage allowance remember!)…
…it was hard to get the girls out of the store but Daddy and I managed JUST.
If you ask the girls what their favourite part of the road trip was…it was Lakeland…total shopaholics! There is a nice little café at the top of the store for the non shopaholics aka Daddy and I.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 8 – Grasmere, Cumbria
Our last stop was Gramsere for gingerbread…unfortunately there isn’t a gluten free version available…and we rambled around the little village which for me is one of my favourite places in the Lake District.
Jumping in the car, we headed off in the direction of Yorkshire…
…we zoomed pass little villages and farms…over cattle grids until we found a pub to have dinner in and then decided to head towards Harrogate for the night. I found a rather cheap Crowne Plaza in Harrogate and used points again…always happy with a free rooms folks…very happy bunny indeed!
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 9 – Harrogate, North Yorkshire
The following morning after having breakfast in the club lounge…we may have raided it ever so slightly…let’s just say it’s a good thing that mummy didn’t have her handbag and suitcase with her. We had a quick walk around Harrogate and was pleasantly surprised on how pretty it was…if you love Bath, I think Harrogate should be on your wish list. The original Betty’s is located in Harrogate as well….Daddy may have purchased the only pair of shoes purchased on our road trip in Harrogate.
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 10 – Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
After realising we were rather close to another spot that was on my UK bucket list…yes it was all about MEEEEEEEEEE….we had a rather soggy bottom wander around Knaresborough.
The town shouldn’t just be famous for the viaduct that crosses the river but also for the cool street art adorning the buildings. It wasn’t the best weather to be exploring Yorkshire but you can’t officially tick off Yorkshire until you leave with a soggy bottom!
^^Ice Cream weather in Yorkshire
North of England Road Trip Stop No. 11 – York, North Yorkshire
We hightailed it over to York…I was keen to take mum to the Kathe Wolfhart Christmas Shop which has now opened in York; it’s my favourite Christmas shop in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD…yes it deserves capital letters. Mum got a tad overwhelmed and left empty-handed.
But we managed to have a cuppa and a spot of lunch including savouries and sweet treats at Betty’s (mum is also an experienced pinkie raiser…if you want some tips about afternoon tea then have a gander at this post!)…
…Lisa may have eaten a squirrel!
^^ Told ya!
After a wander around the city and a giggle at the Harry Potter shop where they actually queue to get in…
…we headed home…where I promptly burned the rice!
Yes you can see a lot on a four-day road trip…my recommendation is to have a mini plan of places that you would like to visit and then just go with the flow…don’t be disappointed if you don’t visit the places you thought you might as you may find other wonderful spots along the way!
Travel Tips for a North of England Road Trip
- If you want to save some pounds on your car rental, make sure you use topcashback.com – I use Expedia where I normally get at least 10% cashback on my rental cars
- We used my points for two nights of our accommodation as we stayed at IHG hotels which saved us cash…there is nothing wrong with chain hotels and they are especially good on a road trip due to their location and free parking! We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express at Stoke on Trent and the Crowne Plaza in Harrogate.
- Always have something in your car to eat when you’re desperate for a nibble and a bottle of water…traffic in England can be horrendous at times.
- If you plan to visit a number of National Trust properties and you are a foreign national then look at purchasing a Touring Pass…we saved a lot of money with these passes.
- Remember a road trip should be fun…visit places that interest you and go with the flow!
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