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5 Classic Ways To Travel In The UK

Traveling by canal

Traveling by canal (Photo: woodytyke)

There's no denying that the UK has a bit of everything with its selections of classic old buildings, ruins and museums, mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers, national parks and a hell of a lot of coastlines.

So what are the best ways to travel around and see as much of it as you possibly can for the least amount of outlay?

1. Railing

Train travel around the UK can be a thing of glory, for instance, the stretch of track that runs alongside the beaches of Dawlish in Devon, where trains are sprayed with the breakers when seas are rough.

How about a train ride from London to Scotland?

That takes in most of what the British mainland has to offer and if you book far enough in advance and plan sufficiently well it needn't be too expensive either.

2. Canalling

The Victorians had a lot of great ideas, one of them was the railway system, but another was the wonderful interlocking network of canals that runs through much of England.

A truly unique way to see the backwaters of the country, and perfect for a group of friends to share, hiring a canal boat is reasonably cheap and not only gets you to as many country pubs as you could wish for, but also takes you into the heartlands of great cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and of course London.

3. Caravanning

Caravans and their close cousins ‘mobile homes' can be a really fun, modern way to traveling around different places whilst staying in the comfort of your own ‘home'.

Obviously, for either option, you need at least one trustworthy driver, preferably two, and a good plan of campsites to stay at.

There are websites that can help you with this and offer a comprehensive list of great campsites and caravan parks.

Traveler reviews can also be found within their website, giving you access to honest, accurate opinions.

As always, there are plenty of things which you need to obtain in preparation for a trip by caravan.

If you intend to two your own mobile home then make sure you invest in the necessary caravan insurance (like Caravan Club’s Touring Caravan Insurance Package) and consider taking someone who can share the driving.

4. Coaching

The UK has a great coach system and is perfect for those looking for a relaxing way to explore the country.

Prices are usually fairly cheap but you may have to put up with a slightly more cramped environment than you are used to.

Of course, this is often seen as part of the fun of the adventure and is unlikely to deter those who are looking for a charming and affordable way to explore their home country.

5. Motorcycling

Motorbikes are the ultimate in ‘road trip' cool and although going up the M6 doesn't quite have the same ring to it as traversing Route 66, the sense of freedom you get from two wheels is paradoxically much greater than from four.

There are several specialized companies that hire out motorbikes but again you obviously need a driving license and the necessary protective gear to make this option viable.

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

Mark Bratt

Thursday 10th of January 2013

Thanks so much for putting this post together. There is a perception that transport is very expensive in the UK. However, with options such as Megabus, travel can be as cheap here as anywhere. Of course it's also great that you picked up on the canal network; bit of a well-kept secret. Here's to backpackers exploring more of the wonderful UK.


Sunday 15th of July 2012

Doing the Canals, especially the River Thames by canal boat or any boat is a great experience with so many places to stop of throughout the journey

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