uk daily travel budget

UK: Travel Budget Calculator

Plan your UK trip with ease! Use our Travel Budget Calculator to manage costs across cities like London & Manchester. Ideal for all travelers.

uk daily travel budget

How much does it cost to Travel the UK!?

The United Kingdom is one of the most iconic countries in the World. From its Royal Family and History building to country town and footballing second cities such as Manchester & Liverpool, the UK has alot to offer!

Is the UK Expensive to travel?

According to  Numbeo , the  UK is the 12th most expensive country  to live in out of 122 surveyed. (2016). The UK average is 0.81 the cost of living in New York.

Local purchasing power (cost of living / average wage),  in the UK is the 22nd most expensive out of 122.

The  UK  cost of living is relatively high, but this also reflects the relatively high wages in the  UK.

The UK cost of living is also quite high due to higher transport and energy costs. Tax rates are higher then US/European rates for goods like alcohol, petrol and cigarettes.

Regional differences (North/South) Divide?

There is a North/South Divide in the UK. With the cost of living in  London  15% higher then that in Manchester. For example rents in London are an average of 52% higher than Manchester!

So if you want to explore the UK on a Budget, consider spending less time in London and more time in other cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Historic places such as York or Bath.

Fun Fact:   Norway  is the fourth most expensive at 0.99 and India the cheapest at 0.24

uk daily travel budget

20 Biggest Observation wheels in the world!

To help you budget your next adventure to Russia

Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below

User Guide:  Simply select your “Travel Style”,  ” Number of Persons” and Number of Days Traveling.

Top Tip:  “Group” travel budget gives the  total budget for 4 people!  To find out how much that is each simply divide by 4.

Family Budgets:

Families would be best using the Group selector, or those with small children should select “Couple” if the children are young enough to share a room.

We have compiled the data in the table above from our vast travel experience & other reliable sources.  source

What currency is used in the UK?

The United Kingdom uses the Great British Pound (GBP). Symbol. £.

1 USD = £0.76

uk daily travel budget

UK Travel Costs (Budget):

I. budget backpacker travel costs:, ii. mid range travel costs:, iii. luxury vacation travel costs:, where to stay in  london .

For a complete list of our recommend hotels in London   follow the link  HERE

Insider Tip:

  • Invest in a quality Travel Camera!

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend  Travel Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments to help you cut costs and have more of an adventure while traveling!

Important! Are you Insured??

Be aware that you will need separate travel insurance if you are traveling to the UK!

If you get ill or have an accident it will be a very costly experience!

All travellers to the UK should have a robust travel insurance to avoid paying out thousands of dollars.

I always recommend  World Nomads , I’ve used these for years,

they are the best and most reliable insurance, they also provides an unlimited medical budget!

uk daily travel budget

Getting hit with a large hospital bill after getting sick or injured, could really add to your worries! Get some Travel Insurance


For more info see:  Why you NEED Travel Insurance?

Other  Travel Essentials    (Things You can’t travel without!)

  • Recommended  Backpacks
  • Recommended  Camping Gear
  • Recommended  Hiking Boots.

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out:  How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Prague One Week Itinerary: 7 Incredible Days!

uk daily travel budget


Kaunas: Lithuanias 2nd city

uk daily travel budget

12 Winter Sun Destinations close to U.K/Europe!

uk daily travel budget

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UK Travel Planning

UK trip planner

  • How to plan your UK Trip – A step by step guide

If you feel overwhelmed when planning your UK trip, this article will help. I recommend following each step below in order.

From deciding when to go, what to see, how to get around and even what to pack I will walk you through each step and make your planning process smoother and less daunting.

Step 1 – Decide when to visit the UK

Uk travel toolkit, step 2 – decide on your budget, step 3 – start your research, step 4 – check your passport and any visa requirements, planning your itinerary, popular destinations in england, popular destinations in scotland, popular destinations in wales, looking for a good map to help plan your itinerary, itinerary suggestions, intrepid travel, flying to the uk, other inbound transport options (bus/ferry/eurostar), travel insurance, step 7 – book accommodation, how to get around london, driving in the uk, train travel in the uk, by coach or bus, take an internal flight, english heritage overseas visitor pass (not available to uk residents), city passes, activities and experiences, book airport transfers, plan how you will access the internet, money matters*, check medical supplies.

  • Start packing!

Suggested timeline for planning your Uk trip

London travel guide & itinerary planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks), 10 step guide to plan your uk vacation.


Visiting the UK is wonderful at any time of year but it is important to be aware of the possible impact of the seasons on your travel plans.

If you have set dates when you have to take your vacation it is still essential to be aware of the possible weather conditions for the time you will be in the UK.

The weather varies greatly depending on where you visit in the UK. It will be considerably colder in Scotland in winter than in London for example. Generally the further north you travel the cooler it becomes at any time of year!

The days are also shorter in winter leaving less time for sightseeing especially if you are exploring countryside areas such as the Cotswolds or the Highlands of Scotland .

Summer – June to August

This is peak tourist season and it is busy all over the UK. School holidays in July and August lead to an influx of visitors to popular seaside destinations as well as cities such as London and Edinburgh .

The daylight hours are longer during the summer with light evenings enabling visitors to do and see more.

There are also many popular festivals and shows held during the summer months.

Midges can be a problem in Scotland in the warmer months, so insect repellant is recommended if you plan your trip during this time.

Whilst the weather can be warm to hot in the UK during the summer it is sensible to check the forecast, wear layers and carry an umbrella!

If you are planning to visit during this peak time, booking accommodation, transport, tours and tickets as soon as possible is important. Read – How far ahead to book for the UK

Autumn/Fall – September to November

Once the schools return in early September tourist destinations start to become less busy. This is a great time of year to visit Scotland and the Scottish islands particularly in the early Autumn months.

At the end of October the clocks are put back one hour and daylight hours start to dwindle.

Winter – December to February

The coldest months in the UK can herald ice and snow and freezing temperatures in Scotland and on higher ground in England and Wales.

The days are short due to reduced daylight.

This is also a time to visit Christmas markets and enjoy the build-up to the festive season. London is spectacular at this time of year and very busy in the lead up to Christmas.

Read more about visiting the UK in winter

Spring – March to May

March can still be a chilly time of year in the UK but at the end of the month the clocks spring forward one hour and the hours of daylight begin to increase.

Daffodils, crocuses and tulips make a colourful appearance and the countryside recovers from the dark days of winter. Spring is a wonderful time to visit the UK .

School holidays over Easter can lead to an increase of visitors to popular destinations such as London, the Cotswolds and Cornwall.

The weather can be variable throughout the spring and an umbrella will probably be necessary but some warm sunny days are generally expected.

Read: When is the best time of year to visit the UK?


The UK TRAVEL TOOLKIT is the perfect resource to organize and track your itinerary.

It includes pre-travel checklists, pages for essential destination information such as hotel reservations and bookings, a packing list, budget tracking sheets, important contact numbers and addresses, tour information, flight information, car hire, train travel planner, daily travel memories as well as at a glance pages for weekly and daily itineraries.

Available to download and print off or to use as an editable planner on your laptop or iPad this is the ideal tool to reduce stress and stay organised both before and during your trip.


UK Travel Planner Book Cover 6

Deciding what your budget will be is an important step. It can be expensive to travel in the UK particularly if you plan to spend extended time in big cities such as London.

However, there are ways to budget for your trip. Even in London there are many free attractions available to help you plan a more budget-conscious trip. I recommend also weighing up the benefits of discount cards and passes to see if you can save money that way.

There are a variety of accommodation options available in the UK to suit all budgets ranging from hostels and B&Bs to boutique stays and luxury 5* hotels. You can find detailed accommodation guides for London , England , Scotland and Wales to help you find the best accommodation for your needs and budget.

Using public transport such as trains, coaches and buses can be cheaper than hiring a car too.

We recommend planning on an average individual daily budget (excluding airfares and accommodation) of £60 (budget) £125 (mid-range) and £200+ (luxury)

This budget should cover activities, transport and food.

Read – How much does it cost to visit the UK? UK budget planning guide

UK trip planner surrounded by travel related items

Once you have decided when you will visit, for how long and your budget the next step is to research what you want to see and do in the UK.

Considering which airport you will fly into from your country of origin may also influence your plans as well as your proposed length of stay.

This stage can be overwhelming as there is so much information available. Using our website to identify which areas, cities and places match your interests is a great way to start.

Also pop over to our Facebook group UK and London Travel Planning and join thousands of others planning their trip. It is the perfect place to ask questions and discuss plans with other travellers visiting the UK.

You can find inspiration in this selection of the best UK travel guidebooks available (including city, region and country guidebooks)

UK itinerary planning challenge.

Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can stay in the UK visa-free for the purposes of tourism for up to 6 months (at the time of publishing this article)

This situation could change at any time so please check with your local foreign office for the latest advice about travel to the UK.

United States – click here

Canada – click here

Australia – click here

New Zealand – click here

Due to changing regulations on the 1st January 2021, (because of Brexit) citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland should check the official UK government website to check the situation prior to travel.

Some visitors to the UK require 6 months validity remaining on their passport so check in case you need to get a new passport.

We recommend iVisa for all your visa requirements. Save time with their easy traveller friendly application process. Their visa specialists are available 24/7 to help wherever you are in the world. Click here to find out more about how iVisa can help you.

Step 5 – Where to go (Itinerary planning)

Travel itinerary for a UK trip planner with phone and a pen

This can be the hardest part of planning any trip. With so many wonderful destinations in the UK to choose from it can be overwhelming when you have to decide which to see and which to leave out.

It is easy to include too many places and end up exhausted at the end of your trip so do think carefully about travel times and distance and just how exhausting a packed schedule can be.

Questions regularly asked in my UK and London Travel Planning Facebook group include:

  • How much can I fit into my limited vacation time?
  • What are the must-sees in London?
  • What are the must-sees in the rest of the UK?
  • How can I put together an itinerary to include all the things I want to see?
  • How long do I need in London, the Cotswolds, Bath, Scotland etc?
  • How can I do all of this without feeling exhausted at the end of my holiday?

There are many articles on this website to help you to prioritise and plan your itinerary and even suggested itineraries you can follow or adapt.

In STEP 1 you will have decided when and for how long you will be in the UK so that gives you a baseline upon which to build your itinerary.

In STEP 8 we will look at transportation around the UK in more depth but it is worth considering at this stage whether you prefer to hire a car , take public transportation, join organised tours to areas of interest or perhaps using all three.

In London, I highly recommend that you use public transport or a taxi to get around the city and do not hire a car. It is expensive, there is limited parking in central London and you will spend most of your time in a traffic jam! You can read my guide to using London transport here .

Many places are easily reached by train (see our top 10 UK train trips or our 14-day best of Britain rail itinerary ) including the major cities. However, the train has its limitations particularly if you plan to access rural areas such as the Cotswolds, Cornwall, the Jurassic Coast and the Highlands of Scotland this is best done on a road trip or by taking a tour.

This doesn’t mean excluding them from your itinerary but consider carefully the locations of your chosen destinations and the best ways to get to (and around) them.

You will find information in all my city and area-specific travel guides about the transport options to each destination as well as must-sees, itinerary suggestions and recommended time to spend there.

So what are the popular places visitors want to see when in the UK?

Map showing popular destinations in England

  • London – everyone want to visit the capital city! I recommend at least 3 days in London to enable you to see the main sights landmarks and attractions. Read my essential tips and planning guide to start planning your London itinerary without the overwhelm!
  • The Cotswolds – although you can visit the Cotswolds on a day trip from Bath or London I recommend at least 2/3 days to fully explore this beautiful region.
  • Bath – one of England’s most beautiful cities and popular for its stunning architecture, Roman baths and many teahouses. It is possible to see the main highlights of Bath in one day or use the city as a base to explore the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.
  • York – this historic city is the perfect stop for those traveling between London and Edinburgh.
  • In south west England the counties of Dorset , Devon and Cornwall attract visitors looking for (amongst other attractions) beautiful beaches, coastal walks, stunning countryside and quaint villages
  • Brighton – visit this English coastal city on a day trip from London and enjoy exploring its famous Pavilion, independent shops and pier.
  • The University cities of Oxford and Cambridge – Enjoy a walk around these beautiful and historic cities within easy reach of London.
  • The Lake District – perfect for nature lovers, walkers and those seeking to experience the best of the British countryside
  • A bit of a hidden gem but absolutely worth visiting are the counties and cities located in the North East of England. The county of Northumberland has a stunning coastline, areas of outstanding natural beauty, castles, Roman sites and great walks. A little further south is the historic city of Durham – home to a UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral and castle.
  • An English castle – most visitors to the UK want to visit at least 1 castle (or even spend the night in one)

Read more – England Travel Guide

Map showing main destinations in Scotland

  • Edinburgh – popular with visitors for its history, architecture, culture and castle Edinburgh is the perfect Scottish destination for first time visitors to the country.
  • Scottish Islands – offering stunning scenery, wildlife, culture and history choosing which of the islands to include in your itinerary is the first step.
  • Scottish Highlands – beautiful scenery, landscapes, wildlife and experiences await in the Highlands. This is an entire holiday of its own so think carefully if this is an area you wish to visit – either plan a driving holiday or base yourself in one or two cities and take day trips.
  • Explore a Scottish castle – with so many beautiful castles in Scotland most visitors include at least one or two in their itinerary.

Read more – Scotland Travel Guide

Popular destinations in Wales

  • Cardiff – the Welsh capital
  • National Parks such as Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire are popular with nature lovers, walkers, climbers and adventurers.
  • Castles including Caernarfon and Conwy are popular with visitors to Wales.

Read more – Wales Travel Guide

UK scratch off map

Read more – Best travels books and maps for planning your UK trip

As I mentioned previously I highly recommend thinking carefully about your priorities and interests. It is very easy to over plan and try to fit in too much.

Spending a few days in London can be exhausting in itself. If you plan to take a road or rail trip around the UK I recommend 3 days per destination (but consider travelling time and distances)

It is possible to base yourself in London and take tours or day trips to nearby cities and areas of interest, plan a road trip around the UK or even a train travel itinerary that incorporates your areas of interest but what you can fit in will depend greatly on the length of your trip.

If you have 7 days I would recommend 3/4 days in London followed by 4 days to explore areas in the south of England such as the Cotswolds, Bath, Stonehenge and Oxford.

If you have 10 to 14 days (or longer) for a road trip or train trip it is possible to include many of the popular destinations throughout England, Scotland and Wales in your itinerary.

These are just a couple of examples of possible itineraries!

  • Highlights of Scotland – Edinburgh -> Kelpies -> Glasgow -> Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park & Glencoe -> Glenfinnan -> Isle of Skye -> Inverness -> Loch Ness -> Pitlochry -> Edinburgh
  • Grand tour of England, Scotland Ireland and Wales – London -> Cambridge -> York -> Durham -> Alnwick -> Edinburgh ->Inverness -> Loch Ness -> Glasgow -> Belfast -> Dublin -> Caernarfon -> Liverpool -> Stratford -> Oxford -> London
  • England, Scotland and Wales – London -> York -> Edinburgh -> Glasgow -> Liverpool -> Cardiff -> Bath -> Stonehenge -> Cotswolds -> Oxford -> London
  • 14 day best of Britain by train – London -> Bath -> Cardiff -> Liverpool or Lake District -> Edinburgh -> York -> London

The ideal place to discuss your proposed itinerary is in our free UK and London Travel Planning Facebook Group – pop over, have a chat and find out other travellers experiences exploring the UK.

Consider booking an organised group tour

Coach heading towards hills in Scotland

If you prefer to avoid the stress of planning your own trip there is always the option to book a packaged group tour of the UK.

There are a number of tour companies that offer tours around the UK including Trafalgar, Intrepid and Tourradar.

Good to know – Many tours also incorporate Ireland in their itineraries so if you were considering a visit to the Emerald Isle you will find many combined tour options.

Read more – Best UK tours 2023 – Comparison and itinerary guide

A great place to start Tourradar is a marketplace for tours. Use the filter option to sort tours by date, travel styles, maximum group size, ages, and interests and check out reviews so you can pick the ideal tour for your needs.

This 11 day Best of Britain tour covers 25 destinations across England, Scotland and Wales and includes accommodation, an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Click here for more UK tours from Tourradar

Intrepid are a popular choice for those seeking a small group tour with a focus on discovering a region’s people and culture. Many of their UK tours have an active focus – cycling or walking.

They have several tour styles available ranging from Basix to Comfort.

Tours with Intrepid include this 5 day tour of the Orkneys in Scotland , a 7 day walk along Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England and a 4 day cycle tour of the Lake District.

Click here for the full range of UK tours from Intrepid

Trafalgar is a well known and respected brand that has been in business since 1947. Their coach tours appeal to the 50+ age bracket with an interest in culture and history.

  • 7 Day Best of Scotland tour includes Edinburgh Castle, Pitlochry, the Isle of Skye, Glasgow Cathedral, Culloden Battlefield and Stirling Castle.
  • Amazing Britain – From Shakespeare’s theatrical roots and mystical Stonehenge to the fresh air and rugged outdoors of the Scottish Highlands, where you’ll learn all about the locals’ favourite drink at a traditional whisky distillery.

Click here for more tours of Britain and Ireland from Trafalgar

Rabbies offer small group tours of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland with no more than 16 people to a tour. They offer guaranteed departures so you know once you book you will go!

Their tours vary in length from day trips to up to 17 days and they have a wide selection of family-friendly tours to choose from.

Here is a selection of some of the great tours on offer

  • The Lake District, Edinburgh, Mull & the Isle of Skye ( 9 day Rail and Trail Journey ) – Enjoy 3 wonderful UK destinations on this 9 day tour.
  • Heart of England, Wales & Yorkshire ( 5 day tour ) – Travel through the Peak District, Shakespeare country, Welsh mountains, and beautiful British cities.
  • Scottish Island Hopping Extravaganza ( 17 day tour ) – Discover the majesty of Mull, Skye, Iona, Orkney & the Outer Hebrides on this tour from Edinburgh.

> You will find more small-group tour options from Rabbies here

Step 6 – Book flights and organise travel insurance

A computer with a booking sign and an airplane

Next step is planning how you will get to the UK. If you are in North America, Asia, Africa or Australia/New Zealand the answer is generally by air. (Unless the UK is the start or end point for a cruise or you are travelling overland by train or bus)

There are 15 major airports in the UK including Heathrow airport, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton, Edinburgh and Manchester.

To find the best flight deals to the UK I sites such as Skyscanner or CheapOair provide comparisons of all available options (prices and routes)

Skyscanner is useful if you are searching for various route options and the cheapest dates to travel. Set up an email alert if prices change.

CheapOair is good for deals on first and business class travel.

If you are entering the UK from mainland Europe there are a number of other transport options available including taking a ferry, bus or the Eurostar.

The Eurostar departs from Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels with some stops at other regional cities along the way with the final destination at St Pancras International Station in London.

The Eurostar is a quick, easy and comfortable way to travel between London and major European cities such as Paris and Brussels where onward high-speed connections will transport you all across the continent.

You can even pop over to Paris from London on a day trip if you plan carefully!

Read – Best booking sites for UK travel

At this point (with a tour or flight booked) we highly recommend taking out travel insurance.

I learnt this the hard way after booking pricy plane tickets and waiting to pay for travel insurance. A few weeks before we were due to fly my husband was admitted to hospital and though recovered in time for our trip it tripled our insurance costs which also then excluded his medical condition. Now I pay for the insurance as soon as my flights are paid for!

Due to the impact of the pandemic, it is vital to check the terms and conditions of any cover you are considering. Ensure that general health cover and repatriation is included and check what cover is provided for any Covid-19 related issues (health/cancellation/delays etc)*

For US-based travellers Travel Insurance Master and for Australian-based travellers Cover-More are companies which both offer travel insurance.

*Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. You should always seek your own professional advice that takes into account your personal circumstances before making any financial decisions. We always encourage our readers to compare options when it comes to financial products. Read our full disclosure.

A London phone box, a red suitcase and a hotel room key

There is a huge range of accommodation options available in the UK to suit all travel budgets and styles including Airbnbs, hotels, B&Bs, cottages and even castles!

We recommend using for your hotel and apartment accommodation. It is the site we use for our own trips all over the world. The site is easy to use and we find the option to book with free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of a stay absolute essential. It may cost slightly more but for peace of mind it is invaluable.

Vrbo and Plum Guide are other sites to check for accommodation across the UK. Offering many unusual, quirky and unique choices such as cosy Cotswold cottages, log cabins in the Lake District and castles in Scotland as well as more budget-friendly London accommodation options.

You will find your perfect accommodation in my guides

  • London Accommodation Guide
  • England Accommodation Guide
  • Scotland Accommodation Guide
  • Wales Accommodation Guide

Step 8 – Book transport

A map of England with a toy car and car keys on it

There are a number of options for getting around the UK including by train, car, bus, internal flights and ferry. In Step 5 you will have identified how you will get around London and the UK so now is the time to book!

If you are arriving at a London airport you will need to know a little about London transport options and the Oyster Card so you are prepared.

I would recommend that you avoid driving in London if you can. London is a busy, congested capital city that is best travelled by foot, cab and public transport.

Consider purchasing a Visitor Oyster Card which can be used to access public transport in the capital. You can also purchase the  Visitor Oyster Card  as part of your  London Pass .

Read more in my full guide to  getting around London using public transport.

How to get around the UK

Hiring a car  and taking some road trips around the UK is an option. If you do plan to hire a car don’t forget that you will need your full licence and ID such as a passport (if your licence was not issued in English you will need an international driving permit)

If you are travelling to the UK and plan to hire a car I would recommend comparing prices before booking – you can compare prices from all major car hire companies from Discover Cars.

If you decide to drive there are some  important points to remember:

  • Drive on the left side of the road.
  • Most cars are manual (automatics are more expensive to hire)
  • Everyone in the vehicle is required by law to wear a seat belt.
  • “Gas” stations are called petrol stations and the fuel for your car will either be petrol or diesel. It is important to know which fuel type your hire car requires. We have had friends fill up with the wrong fuel and it was a costly mistake. Petrol is expensive in the UK compared to many other countries around the world so factor this into your budget.
  • Roundabouts are common in the UK – give way to traffic on the roundabout which will be approaching from the right.
  • It is illegal to use a cell phone when driving in the UK.
  • Pay attention to speed limits. Speed cameras are common in the UK and you will be fined if found to be above the limit.
  • Children under 12 (or 135 m tall) must use a child car seat.

🚗 Nervous about driving in the UK? Tripiamo is the number one guide teaching Americans how to drive and get around across the United Kingdom.  Read more about Tripiamo

My own personal choice is to travel by train in the UK when possible. It is fairly easy to travel by train between major cities but can become trickier to travel around rural areas such as the Cotswolds, Scottish Highlands, Jurassic Coast etc without a car.

If you enjoy train travel there are many  beautiful scenic rail journeys  to take in the UK. There are also some sleeper train services such as the Caledonian Sleeper which are an adventure in themselves.

For more information our comprehensive guide to travelling the UK by train which was written by my husband (who worked in the UK rail industry for 25 years) is essential – you can find out more about the guide here .

  • London to Birmingham  – 1 1/2 hours
  • London to Manchester – 2 hours
  • London to Edinburgh – 4 1/2 hours
  • London to Cardiff – 2 hours

I recommend  The Trainline  for tickets for trains, buses or flights in the UK.

Graphic of updated UK Train Guide

If you are travelling on a budget the cheapest way to travel the UK will be by coach though your journey time will be longer.

The largest company is National Express whose network serves over 1200 destinations. You can check prices and timetables for National Express via the TrainLine which also provides a handy comparison between coach and train times and prices.

If you are really pushed for time flying may be an option. It is important to calculate how long you need to be at the airport before your flight (at least 2 hours with checked baggage and 1 hour without) plus the time to get to and from airports at either end.

Check on Skyscanner for routes and prices.

If you plan to visit the Scottish Islands , the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Isles, and Ireland you will need to take a ferry (though flights may also be an option)

There are many ferry companies in Scotland but the main two are CalMac (for the Inner and Outer Hebrides) and Northlink Ferries (Orkneys and Shetland) If you are planning a road trip around Scottish Islands it is important to book in advance due to limited capacity.

Tickets can be purchased for ferry routes across the UK from Direct Ferries

Ferries to Ireland from the UK are as follows

  • Wales – Fishguard to Rosslare and Holyhead to Dublin
  • England – Liverpool to Belfast and Liverpool to Dublin
  • Scotland – Caimryan to Belfast

> Read more in our complete guide to transportation in the UK

Step 9 – Book attractions, tours and activities

A boat on the Thames and the London Eye

Once you have firmed up your itinerary I recommend booking tickets for any attractions, tours, activities and experiences. This is particularly important during peak seasons for popular attractions such as the Tower of London, London Eye, Churchill’s War Rooms in London, the Roman Baths in Bath, Stonehenge, and the Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland for example.

I recommend purchasing skip the line tickets during the summer months so as to avoid standing in long queues.

There are a number of city and attractions passes available for the UK which may be cost-effective if you are planning to visit many of the most popular sights and attractions.

I recommend listing the cost of each attraction you want to visit in London and comparing the amount to the cost of one of these London Passes.

There are a number of passes available in London including the classic London Pass with access to more than 80 of London’s top attractions, tours, and museums as well as a hop-on hop-off bus ticket and the Go London Explorer Pass which allows you to create your own tour of London with a pass to 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 top attractions.

The More London for Less 5 Attractions Pass covers Madame Tussauds London, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, The London Dungeon, DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure! London, and The London Eye all on 1 great value ticket.

The Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass includes the entrance fee to the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark, a free audio guide at both attractions and access to The National Maritime Museum & The Queen’s House.

The Three Palace Royal Pass includes entry to the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace.

With so many passes to choose from it can be confusing – read my comparison guide to London Passes to help you choose the best one for your needs and interests.

The English Heritage Pass entitles unlimited access to more than 100 of the most important places in English history including castles, abbeys, Roman ruins and prehistoric monuments.

Heritage sites included in this pass are Dover Castle , Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall .

The pass is valid for 9 or 16 consecutive days.

  • York City Pass – This pass is valid for one or two full days of sightseeing and gives your entry to 25 attractions in York.

Click here for more tours and attractions in York with Get Your Guide

I highly recommend taking some day tours when you are exploring the UK. It is the best way to learn about the places you are visiting as tour guides are always keen to share their knowledge of the history and culture.

Walking tours are also a great way to get your bearings, especially in larger cities such as London. There are lots of fantastic group tours (or private tours if you prefer) available for many popular destinations across the UK.

I recommend the following group tour companies:

Take Walks – Take Walks offer a selection of small group tours in London including VIP access to the British Museum , a VIP tour of the Tower of London and tours of the Houses of Parliament . Their London in a Day Tour is very popular and includes the Tower of London Tour, Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guards plus a Thames cruise. Find out more about Take Walks London tours here.

LivTours – Another great tour company offering private and semi-private tours of London.

⭐️ Click here for our preferred partners for private driver guided tours

Get Your Guide is a platform that gathers the best activities across the globe in one place which means that they have tons of amazing day trips to choose from all over London and the UK. With free cancellation on most of their tours up to 24 hours before departure they are my go-to for larger group tours and tickets. Click here find more day tour options in the UK!

There are some fantastic experiences waiting for you in the UK from attending a football match to baking scones in the Cotswolds there is something for all the family to enjoy including

  • Private London photoshoot with Scalens Studios ( Quote code UKTP10 at checkout for 10 extra images for free)
  • A tour of Anfield the home of Liverpool Football Club

For more memorable activities to add to your itinerary take a look at Get Your Guide (our gift guide for Anglophiles also has some great suggestions for once in a lifetime activities.)

Step 10 – Prepare for departure

UK trip planning and everything you need in an illustration of a suitcase with London landmarks poking out

It is important to know how you will get from the airport to your accommodation and book transfers ahead of time.

There is nothing worse than arriving jet-lagged and feeling disorientated in an unfamiliar environment.

If you are flying into one of London’s major airports (Heathrow or Gatwick) there are a number of options open to you including taking the train, bus or (the more expensive) taxi.

Approximate times to travel from each airport by train into central London are:

  • Heathrow – 45 minutes
  • Gatwick – 45 minutes
  • City Airport – 30 minutes
  • Luton – 40 minutes
  • Stansted – 50 minutes

If however, you prefer to avoid negotiating the London Underground with your luggage we recommend booking with our preferred partner Riz of XFA Cars which is the less stressful option.

Read more – How to get into London from Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport

You will find many places that offer free WiFi in the UK including shopping centres, coffee shops and trains. When booking your accommodation check if free WiFi is included.

If you have an unlocked smartphone consider purchasing a SIM card prior to departure or on arrival at the airport. Another great option is to purchase a portable WiFi device such as the Solis from Skyroam . Quote Tracys Travels at the checkout for a 15% discount. Unfortunately, the Solis is only available to purchase in the USA at the present time.

An alternate option is to purchase a portable device through TravelWifi.

We recommend these apps for London and the UK – just remember to download them before you travel.

Read more – How to access the Internet while travelling in the UK

The UK currency is the Pound Stirling – £

Read – How Should I Bring Money to the UK? A Complete Guide to Cash & Cards

You will find ATM’s all around the UK if you need to withdraw cash though be mindful of currency charges and fees.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most places (shops, restaurants, transport etc)

There are 1p 2p 5p 10p 50p £1 £2 and £5 coins as well as notes in the following denominations – £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100.

Contactless transactions are available up to a £30 value (after a number of taps you will be required to enter your pin number so ensure you know what it is!) Ensure you have told your bank of your travel plans prior to departure to prevent them from blocking your card for suspicious usage!

I do recommend carrying some cash. I usually keep £50 worth of notes and change in my wallet.

I have a Wise account (formally Transferwise ) and Wise Mastercard which I use as well as my normal credit cards when I am in the UK. The Wise Mastercard works like a debit card and can be loaded up with your home currency and converted into £££’s when required.

It avoids the charges you would incur using credit cards or your normal bank debit card and is an easy way to handle spending money when travelling.

The exchange rate is excellent and you can hold a number of currencies on your card. At the end of the trip you can transfer any unused currency back into your bank account.

Click here for more information about the Wise card *

If you need to take prescription medications with you on holiday make sure you have enough for the duration of your trip.

If necessary keep a copy of the script with you too in case of an emergency.

I recommend keeping essential medicines in your hand luggage. Although it is rare these days there are still cases of luggage going missing and arriving a few days late (or not at all)

Click to buy – UK Travel Toolkit the perfect resource to organise and track your itinerary

We start packing a few days before our flight just to make sure we have everything and give us time to purchase any last-minute necessities.

Also, consider carefully the type and amount of luggage you plan to bring. If you are travelling by public transport it will be a little a lot more difficult with lots of large suitcases.

Check out my recommended packing list for the UK (for all seasons) which will provide an idea of what to bring as well as recommendations for suitcases and travel bags.

Essentials for your UK packing list include the following items

Guide Book

Read more – Complete packing list for London and the UK (all seasons) & also check out my UK Travel Packing Essentials

This is my suggested timeline for planning and booking your UK travel itinerary.

6 – 12 months in advance

  • Plan your itinerary
  • Book International flights
  • Take out travel insurance
  • Book accommodation (for popular destinations if you are visiting during peak times)

3 – 6 months in advance

  • Book accommodation
  • Book transport (car hire/ train tickets are available 3 months prior)
  • Consider booking attractions and tours (especially if travel is during peak season)

1 month in advance

  • Book attractions and tours and any restaurants you particularly want to visit
  • Book airport transfer
  • Buy an Oyster card for London (posted to your home address)
  • Buy a Sim card or wifi device for internet access
  • Purchase any essential items such as travel adaptors now
  • Complete travel planner with all booking information, numbers and essential information.

1 day in advance

  • Email or provide hard copies of your itinerary to family members/friends

Start planning your UK trip – step by step

My step by step guide may have given you lots to think about but if you follow each of the 10 steps you will find the process easier and less overwhelming.

My guide to the best booking sites for UK travel also contains useful links and information which compliments and adds to this post.

Why not pop over and join our Facebook community and discover more inspiration, tips and advice to make the most of your UK holiday.

Find more ways to get help planning your UK trip here

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.

Love and Road

Love and Road

Costs of Traveling in The UK – Prices and Daily Budget

Some of our links are affiliated, we will earn a commission when you buy a service or product. This will have no extra cost for you. For further info please refer to our Privacy Policy

Are you ready to discover what are the costs of traveling in the UK?

With rolling countryside, millenniums of well-preserved history, and cosmopolitan cities, the United Kingdom is a travel destination like no other.

The weather sometimes lets it down – I’m writing this looking out of my window to a distinctly British drizzly day – but there are so many amazing things to see and do here, both indoors and outdoors, that it’s always worth a visit no matter how expensive a trip to the UK might be. 

Aerial shot of London at night. Discover here all the information you need to know to travel in the United Kingdom.

One of the most important things to work out before a trip is its expected costs. The costs of traveling in the UK can be high compared to other destinations, but there are ways to reduce them if you want to travel to the UK on a budget. 

In this post, we’ll look at UK travel costs, and I’ll give you some local tips for saving a few quid (that’s British for pounds!). Below you will find a breakdown of UK travel prices, from flights to the United Kingdom, local transportation, hotel, and attractions costs.

Looking for more inspiring guides? Read our posts about England and Scotland !

How much does it cost to travel to the UK?

Traveling to the UK is relatively affordable. If you’re already in Europe, there are budget airlines flying to London airports from most countries.

Ryanair and EasyJet are the most popular budget carriers, and while they are cheap, do be aware of hidden costs. For example, RyanAir will charge you if you don’t check in online and download your boarding pass beforehand.

Flights to the UK from within Europe can cost you anything from £6 (yes, really) to £300, depending on where you are flying to and the time of year.

There are also buses serving London from cities in France , Germany, the Netherlands , Belgium, and other destinations – check out Megabus or Flixbus. These are generally the same price as the cheapest budget airline tickets. You can search for buses to the UK here .

From further afield, it’s obviously pricier – but you can get some good deals. There is a lot of competition between airlines as many long-haul carriers serve London Heathrow Airport, so you’ll generally be able to find a deal from major airlines. Before, I’ve paid £400 for a round trip to Guatemala via New York, and $550 for a round trip to Asia, flying out to Cebu in the Philippines via Hong Kong and flying back from Bangkok .

We recommend use Skyscanner  to search for the best flights to London or any other city in the UK. 

Airplane taking off. Wondering what is the cost of a trip to the United Kingdom? Check out this guide.

Costs of traveling in the UK – prices and how to get around

If you are traveling to the UK on a budget, avoid the British rail network at all costs.

It is expensive, and while some new modern trains are coming out, you will be disappointed if you are an avid train traveler. However, trains are the quickest way of getting around, so if you aren’t on a budget, you might find yourself favoring this mode of travel. 

A return train ticket from London to Manchester could cost anything from £40 -£120, travel from London to Edinburgh is £80-£170 or maybe even more, and London to Bristol is between £30-£60. Even if you’re just making day trips from London, you can still easily spend $50 on a day’s transport. 

However, it’s not all bad news. Coaches in the UK are affordable and reasonably comfortable. They do take a lot longer, but the savings can be astronomical. Definitely, the cheapest way to travel around the UK.

For example, traveling from London to Bristol can cost under £6 for a return and go up to £25 ish, and London to Manchester return can be from £12 – £40. Lots of locals get coaches – I personally can never justify spending more than fifty quid on a train!

You can use the Bookaway website to check the prices of trains and buses in the UK, choose the best deals, and book in advance. By doing this, you can keep your UK travel budget under control, and you can calculate how much you will spend on transportation even before traveling there. 

Car rental is another option. Although the UK is a small country, some places aren’t that well connected, and if you want to get out to the countryside, you’ll save a considerable amount of time by renting a car.

UK car rental prices start at around £12 for a day. It’s a good idea to pay extra for insurance, and of course, petrol (around £40-50 for a full tank in most cars) is extra. You can find the best UK car rental deals on (click here) . 

In the end, it all depends on your itinerary and the places you want to visit when traveling in England , Wales, or Scotland. Once you have mapped your destination becomes easier to choose the best or the cheapest mode of transportation. 

Don’t forget to buy your travel insurance before traveling to the UK!! We use   SafetyWing or Heymond ,  just click on the name of the company and get your quote now. If you need more information, read our Travel Insurance Guide here .

SS Great Britain museum. Find all about United Kingdom attractions and budget planning in this complete article.

Prices of tourist attractions in the UK – what to do and how to save

There are, of course, plenty of things that you can spend money on in the UK. However, there are lots of free things to do in the UK as well. I’ll start with these and then go into some of the pricier UK tourist attractions!

  • Many museums, particularly in London, are completely free. The Natural History Museum is a favorite, as are the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. Read our guide to free things to do in London here .  
  • National parks are free in the UK. You can drop into the visitor’s center and get some information about local walks and things to do in the area. 
  • Some attractions in famous destinations are also free, like the National Railway Museum in romantic York . You just need to search and you’ll find plenty of free attractions.
  • If you base yourself in a town near the beach or other natural attractions, you might be able to do hikes and explore the surrounding nature. For example, there are loads of things to do in Exmouth, Devon , that don’t cost a dime; here, you can walk along the famous Jurassic Coast, explore the Exe Estuary, hike in moorland and enjoy the beach!
  • When traveling around the coast, you can do many water sports and even surf without spending that much. For inspiration, check out these 15 beaches in Newquay, Cornwall . There you can surf, go hiking or simply relax by the beach. 

There are, however, plenty of attractions that cost money.

The National Trust is in charge of historic houses and other properties all over the UK, and entry to these costs £10 – £20. If historical places are your thing, these properties are normally managed by the English Heritage (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own programs) and cost £5-£15 for entry. Check out this incredible National Trust Sites in the Cotswolds , and how to save when visiting them.

The cost of visiting a museum in the UK can be anywhere from £2 up to £25 – the pricier ones are private museums that have a certain theme or ‘experience’, such as the SS Great Britain in Bristol, which has been completely renovated to mimic what it was like when it took British migrants to Australia during the Gold Rush. 

While there are plenty of free things to do in London, some of the most famous attractions – the London Eye , the Tower of London , and Westminster Abbey, all cost between £15-£30. These costs can add up if you are visiting a few, so if you are planning to visit more than 3 attractions in London, a cheaper alternative is to buy the London Pass or a tour ticket that combines many attractions like this one .

London Pass is a great option for those who want to see a lot without expending much, as it covers over 80 attractions and places to visit in London. You can choose between the 1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 Days Pass, the prices start at £79 and go up to £149.

Book your London Pass in advance here and start saving for your UK trip right now.

However, what you spend on British attractions really depends on your budget and style. You could spend two weeks here and not spend any money on attractions, or you could spend over £100 per day. 

A sandwich, fries and beer on a table at a pub. If you are planning a trip to England, you will find here a lot of useful information about UK prices for food, accommodation and transportation.

UK food prices

The cost of food in the UK is another thing that can be cheap or astronomically expensive. A fancy dinner in London with a couple of drinks could easily be upwards of £150 – or you could spend less than £10 on street food at one of London’s food markets.

A dinner out at a typical restaurant will generally cost you £10-£30. Of course, every extra glass of wine you have will add more to that bill! 

If you’re visiting the UK on a budget but still want to eat out, consider going to Wetherspoons. These pubs are in every city, and while they aren’t exactly fine dining, they have a huge menu, decent food, and excellent prices. Here, dinner will cost you much less than £10 – and the drinks are cheap too!

For lunches, we Brits love a meal deal. You can get these in any supermarket (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Morrisons are the main ones) or in the chemist Boots. Here, you can put together your own combo of a sandwich/ salad/ pasta pot, a snack, and a drink. These generally cost around £3, and are a great way to cut costs while exploring a city! 

A hotel room in the UK. Discover here what the cost to travel to the UK is and so much more.

Accommodation in the UK – hotel prices

Hotels in the UK cities start at around £50 and go up to about £300 – of course, you get what you pay for!

The cheaper hotels are generally either small guesthouses, which can be really lovely, or chains such as Ibis, Novotel, or Holiday Inn. On the other end, you can pamper yourself in nice hotels and spas in Edinburgh and other famous destinations in the UK.

You will find below two links, one for luxury stays and another for cheap accommodation in the UK. Click on them, and you will have an idea of the hotel prices in the UK per city, so you can plan your itinerary according to your budget and how much you want to spend on UK hotels.

Click here to see the prices of luxury hotels in the UK
Click here to see the prices of budget hotels in the UK.

You can find hotels at cheaper rates in smaller towns (sometimes the most budget-friendly thing to do is stay outside of a city and travel in), and the smaller, family-run places often include breakfast.

Click here for the best Bed & Breakfast in the UK here . 

Hostels are available in the cities – a bed in a dorm room can cost between £10-£30 per night, so it’s a significant saving compared to hotels! Keep in mind that in London, hostel prices can be a bit higher. 

You can find the best hostels in the UK here.

Airbnb is another good platform for booking accommodation, and there are amazing options for Airbnb in the UK . Another option is to rent an entire apartment or house, which might be cheaper than booking hotel rooms or hostel beds. If you are traveling alone you can rent a room in someone’s house, it’s cheap, you can meet local people, and save by cooking for yourself. 

If you don’t mind braving Britain’s unpredictable weather, camping is also an option. Campsite pitches cost around £20 per night.

Holiday parks also have self-contained static caravans to rent – these are expensive in the summer but extremely cheap from October – April. Prices start from around £150 for a week! However, you will usually need your own vehicle to reach campsites and caravan sites. 

Read our Accommodation Guide for more tips on how to search and book the perfect room for your UK vacation. We share in this guide tips and tricks on how to choose a good accommodation that suits your needs and budget, from luxury to budget. 

London Skyline during the day. All the information you need about the cost of a trip to the UK is in this complete travel guide.

UK trip cost per day- How much money do I need to take to the UK?

It’s challenging to put together a UK daily budget because, as you can see, there are ways to both save and spend a lot of money. I’ll give it my best shot, though! 

If you’re traveling to the UK on a budget, staying in hostels or camping, eating meal deals/ Wetherspoons food or cooking yourself, and visiting free attractions, you could get by on £30 per day – or maybe slightly less if you’re savvy. 

Daily cost of traveling in the UK on a budget – £30 per person.

A mid-range budget would include a car rental, staying in guesthouses, and visiting most of the main attractions, this would cost £80-£120 per day. (Of course, if you share hotel rooms/ hire cars with one or more people, that divides the cost!)

Daily cost of traveling in the UK on a mid-range budget –  £80-£120 per person.

A luxury budget would involve staying at the best hotels, seeing all of the attractions in the United Kingdom, and traveling by car or train, and would be anywhere from £150+ per day. 

Daily cost of traveling in the UK on a luxury budget –  £150+ per person.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you work out the costs of traveling in the UK and help you devise your own plan depending on your budget and travel tastes! For more advice on how to plan a trip, which websites to use when booking flights, hotels, activities and more, read our Travel Planning page .

Love this guide about the costs of traveling in the UK? Pin it for later!

Here are all the costs of traveling in the United Kingdom, from getting to the UK to tips for saving on accommodation and food. We listed UK prices for trains, buses, hotels, attractions and food. It is more than a guide to the UK travel costs; here you will find tips for planning your travel expenses, an estimated daily budget, and saving in the UK. All you need to know for a luxury or a budget trip to the UK.

Author: Claire Martin 

Claire is a British travel blogger and writer. She currently runs two websites, Claire’s Footsteps and Go South West England. She is an advocate for overland travel and completed a trip from Bali to London without flying in 2019. However, she also loves experiencing the small aspects of travel, whether that is going to a local museum in her hometown or eating at an excellent restaurant. Follow Claire’s trips on Facebook .

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Prices and Cost of Living in the United Kingdom

  • United Kingdom

Travel Budget Calculator

Calculate how much money you will spend on your vacation in the United Kingdom. Sample budget for each type of traveler - food, transportation, sightseeing and accommodation expenses.




Backpacker's budget

Traveling with a backpack

from 86.14 USD to 112.84 USD

Daily budget for one person, assuming that two people travel in a standard close to 1 star (hostels, public transport). When traveling alone, the cost may be slightly higher (hotel room) or the same (dormitory accommodation).

Average daily expenses were calculated on the basis of the prices of accommodation, food (restaurants and shops), transport (public transport and taxis) and some tourist attractions. Values may vary depending on the city, tourist season, or during major religious and public events. Update 29 June 2024.

How much do you spend per day on travel and sightseeing?

Traveling and sightseeing in a cheap way (hostels, cheap food), you can fit into a budget from 68.1 GBP (86.14 USD) to 89.21 GBP (113 USD). On the other hand, a slightly higher standard (3-star hotel, meals in restaurants) you should expect to spend from 120 GBP (152 USD) to 164 GBP (208 USD). You should additionally take into account that if you are traveling alone, the cost may be slightly higher.

Food Prices - Calculate the Cost of Living

The calculator allows you to quickly and easily calculate how much you will spend on average to buy food at grocery stores in the United Kingdom. Plan your daily, weekly and monthly food expenses.

Select the appropriate number of days to see how much you will spend on food during that period. Values given for one person.

Cheapest products

Here's how much you will spend in 1 day .

from 6.67 USD to 12.16 USD

Mid-range products

from 8.15 USD to 15 USD

Average values for capital or largest city. Purchase of food products in local stores and supermarkets corresponding to daily meals of 2,200 to 2,400 kcal was taken into account. Update 29 June 2024.

How much do you have to spend on groceries per day in the United Kingdom?

When shopping for groceries in local stores and markets, the average daily cost of food expenses will range from 5.27 GBP (6.67 USD) to 9.61 GBP (12.16 USD) when buying the cheapest products. However, if you choose slightly more expensive products, you can expect to pay from 6.44 GBP (8.15 USD) to 11.86 GBP (15 USD) per day. These figures are based on daily meals consisting of approximately 2200-2400 kcal and may vary slightly depending on the city.

Budget and shopping basket update: 29 June 2024

Estimated budget and daily food costs are always given per person and are only a suggestion to help you plan your total travel costs.

Budget was calculated on the basis of average prices of accommodation in each category (hotels and hostels), food costs (restaurants and grocery shopping), transport prices and some tourist attractions.

BACKPACKER'S BUDGET • accommodation in a hostel or cheap hotel, • travel by public transport, • dining in cheap local restaurants or buying food in local stores, • small number of paid tourist attractions, • two people travel (when traveling alone, prices may be higher, but only if we use a hotel room instead of a dormitory).

TOURIST'S BUDGET • accommodation in a 3 star hotel (with a small number of available facilities, average prices of 3* and 4* hotels), • traveling by taxis, • catering in middle-class restaurants and buying food in grocery stores, • average number of paid tourist attractions, • two people travel (they share costs of accommodation and transport).

FOOD EXPENSES • daily meals containing 2200 to 2400 kcal (applies to both price variants), • shopping for food in local stores or supermarkets (no meals in restaurants), • value per person & for the capital or largest city.

Prices in the United Kingdom

Below you will find a list of prices for products and services in the United Kingdom, which will help you determine what expenses you should prepare for when going on vacation in this country. City: London.

Grocery Store Prices

Food and beverage prices in the united kingdom.

Popular food products found on store shelves in the United Kingdom include bananas, rice, bread, onions, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, beef and potatoes, among others. Prices for a kilo of these products range from 1.1 GBP (1.39 USD) for a kilo of onions to 10.43 GBP (13.19 USD) for a kilo of beef. The price of white rice is 1.81 GBP (2.29 USD) per kilo, while a loaf of fresh white bread costs 1.16 GBP (1.47 USD) per half kilo. Bananas cost 1.27 GBP (1.61 USD) per kilo, while apples cost 2.02 GBP (2.56 USD) per kilo.

Water, available in 1.5-liter bottles, costs 1.15 GBP (1.45 USD). Dairy prices in the United Kingdom, on the other hand, are as follows: 1 liter of milk costs about 1.16 GBP (1.47 USD), and 1 kilogram of locally produced cheese is an expense of 6.28 GBP (7.94 USD). Chicken filet, which is a common ingredient in meat dishes, costs in the range of 6.79 GBP (8.59 USD) per kilo. Eggs (12 pieces per package) are an expense of about 2.6 GBP (3.29 USD), and the average price of tomatoes is 2.42 GBP (3.06 USD) per kilo.

Restaurant Prices

What is the typical cost for an affordable meal.

Prices in restaurants in the United Kingdom vary and depend on several factors, such as the type of restaurant, location and time of day. For instance, a Cappuccino typically costs around 3.43 GBP (4.34 USD), while a 0.33-liter bottle of Coca-Cola or Pepsi is priced at approximately 1.8 GBP (2.28 USD). At a fast-food restaurant such as McDonald's, you can expect to pay 7 GBP (8.85 USD) for a meal, whereas a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant could cost around 70 GBP (88.54 USD). Budget-friendly dining options are also available, with some restaurants offering meals for as little as 15 GBP (18.97 USD).

Public Transportation Prices

How much does transportation cost in the united kingdom.

The average expense of a one-way trip using local transportation stands at approximately 2.6 GBP (3.29 USD), while a monthly ticket for public transportation has an average cost of roughly 158 GBP (199 USD). Choosing to travel by taxi would entail an initial fee of 4 GBP (5.06 USD), along with a per-kilometer charge of 1.7 GBP (2.15 USD).

Fuel Prices

Fuel prices in the united kingdom.

Average fuel prices in the United Kingdom are 1.41 GBP (1.78 USD) per liter of gasoline and 1.5 GBP (1.89 USD) per liter of diesel. A liter of LPG autogas costs 0.78 GBP (0.99 USD).

Entertainment Prices

Apartment rental prices, how much does it cost to rent an apartment in the united kingdom.

The cost of renting or buying an apartment in the United Kingdom varies according to its location. On average, renting an apartment with one bedroom and a living room outside the city center costs approximately 1448 GBP (1832 USD) per month, while the same type of apartment in the city center can cost around 2044 GBP (2585 USD) per month. In comparison, the purchase price of an apartment in the city center is 12025 GBP (15211 USD) per square meter.

Apartment Buying Prices

Average salary, hotel prices in the united kingdom.

A comprehensive list of the current prices of accommodations in various cities, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to high-end luxurious stays.

What is the average cost of a hotel room?

Accommodation prices in the United Kingdom vary depending on the city, neighborhood or tourist season. For example, the average price of accommodation in London (July 2024) ranges from 80 GBP (101 USD) per night in a hostel to about 268 GBP (339 USD) in a 3-star hotel. The price of a night in a luxury hotel is an expense from 448 GBP (567 USD) upwards.

  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Bournemouth
  • Scarborough

Accommodation prices based on data from 256 hotels in London .

• Prices for products and services in London . Prices may vary from town to town. • Updates: oldest data 09/2022, latest data 02/2024. • Prices were calculated based on several sources including,, local supermarket websites, own sources, submissions from users. We do not guarantee their accuracy, however, we try, to keep them high. • If you have noticed an error, please report it .

prices and living costs united kingdom

The Backpacking Family



Uk budget travel tips – how to travel the uk cheaply in 2024.

UK travel backpacking family

Table of Contents

Travel the UK cheaply? Surely not! Actually you can. It is possible. In theory you could travel around the UK for as little as £30 per day if you are very savvy and willing to rough it a little. £50 – £100 and you can have a pretty epic adventure in the UK. Keep reading to learn more…

In this article we are going to share our BEST UK Budget Travel Tips for 2024. We know budget travel. We have literally travelled on a shoe string. And we also know the UK – our lovely home country. So although the UK is one of the more expensive countries to travel – we can help you save lots of money.

Planning a trip to the United Kingdom can be an exciting adventure, but it’s no secret that it can also be an expensive endeavor. As seasoned travelers from the UK, we understand the importance of saving money while exploring our beautiful country. In this article, we will share our top budget tips to help you plan a cheap trip around the UK without compromising on the experience.

Find out more about BUDGET travel. Read our guide on how to travel with just a backpack

How Expensive is the UK?

camping budget UK

Before we share out BEST UK Budget Travel Tips we would like to give you a feel for prices in the UK. Like everywhere in the world prices in the UK have really gone up fast in the last few years. Inflation has made it harder than ever to travel on a low budget. BUT it is still possible to travel the UK cheaply. Plan well, book early and be willing to rough it a little – and the world will open up to you!

The United Kingdom is known for being one of the more expensive countries to travel in Europe. It’s essential to plan your budget carefully to ensure you can make the most of your trip without breaking the bank.


On average, you can expect to pay around £100 per night (around $120) for a reasonably priced room in the UK. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location and the time of year you plan to visit. It’s advisable to book your accommodations well in advance to secure the best rates and availability. You can occasionally stay in YHA hostels for as little as £50 per night. Book early as the cheapest rooms disappear fast.

When it comes to eating out in restaurants or cafes, budgeting around £5 – £10 (or $6 – $12) per meal is a reasonable estimate. However, this can vary depending on the type of establishment and the location. If you’re looking to save money, consider opting for budget supermarkets and preparing your meals or look out for meal deals at local pubs. Supermarket cafes can also be a pretty good way to get some cheap hot food.


Transportation costs can also add up quickly while traveling in the UK. Taxis, in particular, can be quite expensive, with short journeys costing a minimum of £7 (around $10). It’s advisable to use taxis sparingly or consider alternative modes of transportation such as local buses or walking.

Local buses, although convenient, are also relatively expensive compared to some other countries. Expect to pay around £2 to £3 ($3 – $4) for a local bus journey. To save on transportation costs, consider purchasing special daily or weekly bus tickets if you plan to use public transport extensively.

Activities in the UK can range from being free to quite expensive. You can explore many sites of natural beauty, including waterfalls, mountains, and forests, without any admission fees. These natural attractions offer a fantastic opportunity to experience the beauty of the UK at no cost.

However, if you wish to visit attractions like theme parks or other paid tourist sites, be prepared to spend at least £25 per person (around $30). It’s essential to factor these costs into your budget and prioritize the activities that align with your interests and budget limitations.

While the UK is known for being an expensive travel destination, careful planning and budgeting can help you manage your expenses effectively. By considering the average costs of accommodation, dining, transportation, and activities, you can make informed decisions and adjust your budget accordingly. With a bit of research and strategic planning, you can enjoy a memorable trip to the United Kingdom without breaking the bank.

UK Budget Travel Tips

1 shop in cheap supermarkets.

UK budget travel tips supermarket food

Eating in the UK can quickly add up, but there are ways to cut costs. One of the cheapest ways to eat is by shopping at budget supermarkets like Aldi or Lidl. These supermarkets offer a range of affordable options such as sandwiches, pasta, and salad boxes that you can enjoy on the go. Additionally, keep an eye out for meal deals at local pubs or consider dining at the pub chain Wetherspoons, known for its relatively low prices and daily meal deals.

2 Use Local Buses Instead of Taxis

UK buses cheap travel

While taxis can be expensive in the UK, local buses offer a more affordable means of transportation in most cities. The extensive local bus network allows you to get around conveniently and at a lower cost. Look for special daily or weekly bus tickets if you plan to travel extensively, as they can provide significant savings. Despite the initial expense, these tickets offer free travel within a specific region, making them cost-effective in the long run.

3 Use Megabus for Long-Distance Journeys

When it comes to long-distance travel within the UK, consider using Megabus . Megabus connects major cities across the country and offers very cheap tickets, especially if you book well in advance. While fares as low as £1 are not as common as before, you can still find affordable intercity bus journeys for around £10 to £20.

4  Pick cheaper types of food

UK budget travel tips sandwich

Pick cheaper types of food. We already mentioned shopping in supermarkets. If you’re on a very tight budget aim for canned food, bread and simple foods. If you have a little more money to spend we recommend looking for things like sandwiches, salads and snack boxes. Watch out for meal deals. You can also buy chips from Fish and Chip shops for around £3 – £4 per portion. This is not the cheapest food around but it is tasty. A portion of fish and chips is likely to set you back around £7 – £10 depending on the size and location of the shop.

The cheapest types of food in the UK

  • Chips 
  • Canned goods (especially beans)
  • Dried fruit

Oh yeah, you can also drink water directly from the taps in the UK. It’s totally clean and fine to drink and will save you some money.

5 Explore Youth Hostels and Campsites

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation in the UK, consider staying at youth hostels. These hostels, often members of the YHA (Youth Hostel Association), offer cheap rooms and dormitory options. They provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow travelers while keeping costs low. Additionally, campsites can be relatively inexpensive, especially in the off-peak seasons. Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, particularly during the summer, as popular places tend to fill up quickly.

6 Plan Free Activities

UK budget travel tips museum

Take advantage of the many free activities available in the UK. Some museums, public exhibitions, and natural attractions like beaches, national parks, and mountains are generally free in the UK. In fact its amazing how much you can do for free. Incorporate these free attractions into your itinerary to experience the best of the UK.

7 Consider Hitchhiking

This may be one of our most controversial UK Budget Travel Tips. So if you don’t like the sound of this one feel free to skip by. While it may push you outside your comfort zone, hitchhiking is a viable option in the UK. Always prioritize safety by hitchhiking in pairs, communicating your destination with the driver before the journey, and only hitchhiking from safe locations with ample space for cars to pull over. We have hitch hiked all over the UK and our experience has been amazing. People who stop tend to be very friendly – it’s kind of like a natural filter that helps you meet the kindest people.

8 Use an International Bank Card

To avoid high bank charges when withdrawing money from ATMs, opt for a reliable international bank card. Banks like Wise are known for their favorable rates and minimal fees, making them ideal choices for travelers.

9 Head North for Affordable Travel

One of the most important UK Budget Travel Tips is to plan you activities and itinerary carefully. The UK is not a great place to “wing it” if you’re on a tight budget. So if you’re looking to save money, consider exploring the northern regions of the UK. The South tends to be more expensive, particularly in cities like London.

10 Find Reduced Food

UK budget travel tips reduced food

To cut down on food expenses, keep an eye out for reduced food items in bakeries and supermarkets. Many places reduce prices on products close to their sell-by dates, typically later in the evening or towards the end of the day. By timing your visits right and exploring the reduced sections, you can find excellent deals and save money on groceries.

Example daily budget – UK travel 

Approximate cost per person for budget travel in the UK:

Food and drinks: £15 (around £5 per meal, generally buying food from supermarkets & bakeries with the occasional treat)

Transportation: £5 using local buses & walking to see nearby attractions

Accommodation: £50 small private apartments & rooms in homes

Daily total: £70 per day (which is £490 per week)

If you’re on a super budget you could stretch this by wild camping and eating very simple food. Be aware that many places have restrictions on wild camping in the UK. If you really rough it you could travel the UK for as little as £30 per day. Sometimes the lowest budget travellers have the biggest adventures!

Summary – Can you travel the UK on a budget?

Uk waterfall Wales

Traveling on a budget in the United Kingdom is indeed possible with some strategic planning and savvy choices. By following these top budget tips, such as shopping in cheap supermarkets, using local buses, considering Megabus for long-distance journeys, opting for larger supermarkets, exploring youth hostels and campsites, embracing free activities, considering hitchhiking with caution, using international bank cards, exploring the north for affordability, and seeking out reduced food, you can enjoy your trip while keeping your expenses in check.

Remember, the UK offers a wealth of natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural experiences that don’t have to break the bank. With careful budgeting and smart choices, you can have an enjoyable and cost-effective adventure exploring this beautiful country. So, plan your itinerary, pack your bags, and get ready for an affordable and unforgettable journey across the United Kingdom!

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Life loving, adventure chasing, Mum of 3 who loves travel. Over 10 years of travel writing experience. Emma now loves to give the best tips to help other travel loving parents plan adventures with their kids. Whether you need to find the best accommodation or just need to know how to pack your bag Emma is that travelling mum who love to help you.

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Creative Travel Guide

The cheapest way to travel ENGLAND ON A BUDGET

By Author Katie

Posted on Last updated: May 14, 2024

The cheapest way to travel ENGLAND ON A BUDGET

Along with the rest of Europe, the UK is known for its expensive train fares and pricey domestic flights. As Brits, we wanted to share our top tips on the cheapest way to travel England on a budget. 

Growing up in England, we spent many hours working out the cheapest ways to get around the country.

With bustling cities like London, seaside locations like Brighton and Tenby , historic cities like Oxford and Cambridge and miles and miles of gorgeous countryside, the UK offers so much more than a red phone booth and black cab.

So here are our tips on how to travel to England on a budget.

Bath places to go for a weekend away in england

How to Travel England on a Budget – Planning Tips

  • Sign up for updates – Groupon, Hot UK Deals, Holiday Pirates and Secret Escapes are great websites to sign up for before any travel around the UK. We bagged ourselves £1 train tickets from London to Birmingham because of the Hot UK Deals updates. You may also wish to sign up for, and to get some great offers and browse the voucher codes on Stena Line Voucher Codes for deals too.
  • Book in advance – Whether you are planning to catch a plane, bus or train; booking your ticket early almost always works out cheaper. A lot of companies will sell a certain about of tickets for the cheapest price before the price begins to rise.
  • Be flexible – Whether it’s a bus, plane or train, be flexible on the stations/airports you fly in between. Trains to and from major cities around the UK can be much more expensive than a train from a lesser-known station nearby the major cities.
  • JourneyPro – This app allows you to plan a journey anywhere in the country but is perfect for navigating the London Underground. It is free to download and a bit of a lifesaver when you are lost in the big city.

weekends away in uk

  • Holiday Pirates – The team at HotUKDeals has launched the Holiday Pirates website in recent years, offering cheap, last-minute deals on holidays and hotels around the world but also across the UK. Not only do they offer some great trips and hotels but you can also get cheaper attraction tickets!
  • Go in the Off Season – January through to March is cold and wet – the perfect time to save money on travel in the UK. Hotels, buses, trains and flights are a lot cheaper during these months than during the summer.

Travel around England on a budget

  • Travel Smart – The train is usually the most efficient way of getting around the UK.

It is cheaper than flights, offers more stops at those less known towns and cities and is faster than a bus journey. Tickets can be booked in advance and various railcards can be purchased to give you further discounts on individual journeys.

If you are travelling for some time in the UK, you may wish to look into getting yourself a BritRail  card, that will also give you deals on attractions around the UK.

Use National Rail to find the best route for you then head to websites such as virgin trains and Megatrains to bag a cheap fare.

Often, the cheapest fares can be found on The Trainline’s Fare Finder.

Cheapest way to travel England

  • Get the bus – Buses are not my favourite form of transport but they are normally the cheapest way to travel around the UK.

Booking early with Megabus can bag you £1 for journeys although at unusual times. National Express bus routes offer better times and comfortable coaches at a higher price.

These buses are worth using for short, 3-4 hour journeys! You can even choose to upgrade your bus to the Megabus Gold for a more luxurious bus ride.

  • Fly – Flying around the UK can be expensive but is useful if you are travelling long distances from one side of the country to another.

Smaller airports can offer cheaper flights around the UK, look out for; Stansted and Luton (when travelling from London), Bristol, Prestwick, East Midlands and Belfast. Stick with budget airlines and unusual flight times to get the best deal.

Kayak and Momondo are the best sites to browse but EasyJet offers some good prices but aren’t listed on these sites.

Why not fly over to Edinburgh from London? Emily Luxton shares how you can make the most from a weekend in Edinburgh. 

travel England

  • BlaBlaCar – Lift share your way around the UK with BlaBlaCar. Search the journey you wish to take across the country, along with your chosen date and get cheap journeys.
  • Drive – The best way to get around the UK is to drive. Compare rental car costs on GoCompare and choose a company that allows you to pick up and drop off your car at different locations.

Driving around the UK travel tips

Petrol is more expensive than in Asia and America but is about the same as in most places across Europe.

The UK is connected by so many motorways with service stations to make your journey a more pleasant one! Just bring change and check for toll charges; some tolls require a pre or post-payment online or a massive fine!

Plus, if you are driving, you can access the random but fun attractions and things to do along the way to each city and also take advantage of the cheaper, free parking chain hotels that are normally found on the outskirts of towns and cities.

Tips for visiting London

  • Bike it – When staying in London, rent a Boris bike and explore the great city at a cheap price.
  • Get an Oyster Card – If you plan on staying in and around London for some time, it is worth getting yourself an Oyster card. The card itself costs £3 and you can top it up as you go. You use this card for the underground train and buses around London, with a £6.60 cap on it, meaning you will never spend more than £6.60 getting around this expansive and expensive city.
  • Railcards – For those living, studying, or working in the UK, you can get yourself a Railcard . There are railcards offering discounts for students, families, couples, and seniors as well as those just travelling in the South East. A yearly fee gets you discounted prices on all train rides across the country.
  • Walk – UK cities are accessible and easy to walk around. Opt for a walking tour to save money and see all your favorite sites.
  • Flying to the UK – One option to save money, if you have plenty of time for your trip, is to fly via a different European city first. If you plan on travelling around Europe for an extended period of time, fly into a city like Amsterdam, Paris, or Ukraine (with the national airlines) to get cheaper prices to Europe. You can travel via train or bus to England afterwards.
  • Omio – Check out the Omio website to compare the best ways to travel the country. If you want to head from one area of England to another, or even travel across the UK, head to Omio and search your journey. This website will tell you the best options for you to choose from, comparing trains, flights, buses and coaches as well as the best times and prices to travel. 
  • Use the buses – Every city and town will offer some type of bus service and you can find these simply by googling the city or town and bus service. These buses get you around a place but often can take you from one town to another. Make sure you have change for your ticket though!
  • Avoid express – There are a handful of airports in and around London, with many of them offering ‘express’ trains into the city centre. It will cost a lot more for this ticket and won’t save you much time either.


Heathrow – £36 for an express return taking 15 minutes or £21 for a standard return taking 30 – 40 minutes.

Gatwick – £35 for an express return taking 30 minutes or £20 for a standard return taking 35 – 45 minutes. 

  • Book trains in advance – Use websites like Train Line to book your train ticket in advance. On-the-day tickets can be twice as expensive and good discounts can be found online

the cotswolds best day trips from London

Save money on accommodation in England

  • Stay at Universities – This was a fairly new concept whilst I was at University but it seems to be getting more and more popular.

Websites like University Rooms help you find university rooms in cities and towns across the UK; the best deals are found in the summer months (June – September) and over Christmas and Easter when students aren’t at University.

  • YHA – YHA offers cheap hostels across the country and is known to be clean and fairly modern. Many of their hostels offer family rooms as well, ideal for families or group travellers on a budget.
  • Chain hotels – Travelodge and Premier Inn are your cheap but clean, spacious and comfortable hotels in the UK. Head to their websites in advance of your trip and you can snag a room for as little as £29 a night. These hotel chains are in all major cities and towns and can also be found at the service stops off major motorways.
  • Pay in dollars – If you are American, you may be able to save some money by booking in dollars. Many high-end hotels like Egerton House Hotel and Milestone Hotel offer guaranteed dollar rates, so check your hotel’s website for this first before booking. 

weekends away in uk

  • Air B’n’B – Just like the rest of the world, there are some great Air B’n’B options in the UK with some great prices to match. Plus, if you click here you can get £30 off your booking!
  • Outskirts – When planning a trip to one of the small cities and towns, try looking at hotels just slightly on the outskirts. Local buses are convenient and inexpensive so booking hotels on the outskirts of towns may work out quite a bit cheaper.
  • Caravans – Think of an RV – but smaller. In the UK, Caravans are popular for those wanting to park up on the coast or in national parks. Caravan Parks are cheap and often offer restaurants, cafes, bars, and even performances. There are lots of websites that allow you to search for the perfect Caravan for your trip.
  • Camp in a garden – That sounds crazy, right? Camp in My Garden offers travelers a place to set up a tent or park a caravan in the homes of locals.
  • Guest Houses – Cheaper than hotels but often with a lot more character, Guest Houses offer cheaper options yet still offer similar amenities.
  • Do your research – There are some amazing, cheap hotels around the UK. Do some proper research, using TripAdvisor, and Air B’n’B to help you choose the perfect place to stay. But also use cozycozy to find cheap accommodation options and check out the deals on Agoda.

St Ives places to go for a weekend away in england

Save money on attractions in England

  • English Heritage Pass – If you intend to visit some of the historical sites around the UK, you can save money on all the entrance fees and ticket costs by purchasing English Heritage Pass . There is a yearly fee but if you are here for some time, it may be worth the price.
  • Historic Scotland Explorer Pass – Scotland is an incredible place with so many castles, abbeys, ancient sites and museums. So save money by purchasing an Explorer Pass!
  • The National Trust Touring Pass – With so many National Trust properties across the UK, it is hard to make a decision on which places to visit. Pick up a pass to save money if you plan to visit a few.

travel England

  • Pass cards – The London Pass and the Edinburgh Pass are attraction cards that allow you entry into multiple tourist attractions in the chosen city but also offer great discounts in restaurants and theatres. We personally love the Go City Pass for London, as you can edit the amount of days you want to spend in the city.
  • Free Attractions – Like everywhere in the world, the UK offers some amazing FREE attractions. Museums in London are completely free to enter as are many castles, National Parks and Hike trails around the country. There are lots of free things to do in London to enjoy and explore.
  • Book online – If you are visiting a popular attraction, it is worth looking at ticket prices online before you go. Prices online can be purchased at a reduced rate whilst also saving your ideal time slot
  • Coupons – Coupons are popular in the UK. Travel by train and pick up the 2 for 1 booklet from stations outside of London or head over to VoucherBin to get discounted deals.
  • Walking tours – Take advance of the free walking tours around the major cities; find a local free tour on Free tours by foot. 
  • Visit the Cathedrals – Whilst in the UK, make sure you visit the stunning cathedrals in every city! Fun fact – cities in the UK can only be called a city if it has a cathedral. Anyway, these can date back all the way to the 15th century and offer stunning architecture for absolutely nothing!
  • Shopping – If you want to enjoy a bit of shopping in the UK, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you are looking for luxury brands and designers, head to one of the many outlet malls around the country to save money on good-quality items. Alternatively, if you are in the UK and find you need to make a quick purchase – maybe you forgot a scarf or need more socks, head to Primark. This is a very cheap store for quick, easy clothing items – just don’t expect them to last for more than a few months.

UK restrictions for visitors

How to save on Food and Drink in England

  • Taste of UK card

These little gems get you discounts and deals across a selection of restaurants in the UK. You can get yourself a card from the website and the first 90 days cost just £1 – perfect for those touring the country.

  • Walk away from the tourist attractions

This is the same in many places around the world, but to find the best and cheapest restaurants, pubs, hotels and hostels you’ll need to look further away from the central tourist attraction.

Travelodge and Premier Inn can be found in and around most towns and cities across the UK with decent private rooms at affordable prices.

Wetherspoon pubs offer cheap alcohol and food whilst chain restaurants are unfortunately often cheaper than independently run restaurants in the smaller cities around the UK.

Travel England

OK, I can promise you that during your stay in the UK, there is a 90% it will rain! When it rains, it pours and puts you off getting all dressed up for a fancy dinner.

JustEat and HungryHouse are websites that allow you to search the menus of nearby restaurants that will deliver to your address.  You can compare prices and read reviews on the website before ordering anything.

  • TablePouncer

Get the TablePouncer app. Available in major cities, this app is ideal for last-minute dining. It offers you great discounts and deals at top local restaurants and reserves your chosen restaurant in seconds – helping you save money and time.

Travel England

  • Plan your food

One of the most exciting things to do when you travel is to wander the streets and walk into any restaurant, bar or cafe that takes your fancy.

Food in England is ridiculously expensive compared to most other countries in Asia, the Americas and even Europe. Plan ahead and use TripAdvisor, blogs and google maps to locate and choose one or two great restaurants in your chosen area in your price range.

Have a look for the nearest supermarket (Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda are all budget-friendly places) to stock up on snacks and breakfast/lunch food. Food at service stations is also expensive so make yourself sandwiches or budget for these extra prices.

The food court in Marks & Spencers offers high-quality food but at higher prices than most supermarkets.

Pubs offer daily specials and most towns and cities have magical Wetherspoon’s (a chain of British Pubs) that offer reasonably priced meals.

Travel England

Like many places in Europe, there are some amazing restaurants in the UK, especially when you head into Central London. If you want a treat, head to these restaurants at lunch for a cheap lunch menu!

  • Voucher Cloud

Another great app to use when searching for the best deals and prices. Voucher Cloud uses your location to share restaurant and attraction offers as well as supermarket deals.

  • Eat Ethnic food

Scattered around the UK are some excellent ethnic restaurants, from Chinese to Indian, Middle Eastern to Pasta – there are foods from all over the world. These are often tasty, interesting and a lot cheaper than fine dining options.

Travel England

  • Dine at a pub

For a decent, hearty meal, head to the pub! Alcohol can be pricey in the UK but there are some great meal options for a pie and pint! Plus, you get to eat the delights of British food.

My personal favourite has to be Wetherspoons! A chain of pubs around the UK that offer cheap meals – A burger, chips and beer for £5.49!

  • Fish’n’Chips

One of the UK’s most popular meals is, of course, Fish and Chips!

Whilst you are in the UK, you need to stop and try this infamous meal whilst saving money – a bag of chips and a cod really don’t break the bank.

When visiting any of the University cities and towns, head to the bars. Many offer great promotions and happy hours, especially on the weekends.

weekend in London

Creative Tip: Afternoon teas are a must whilst in the UK and they aren’t just limited to London. You can find some great Afternoon Tea outside of London for cheaper prices and even ones that cater to Vegetarians and Vegans.

  • Enjoy the chains – I know many people may disagree but when you are travelling on a budget, it is worth making use of chain restaurants. Nandos is a popular choice in the UK whilst Pizza Express has some great two-course deals. Also, don’t forget to head to Wetherspoons for a pint and a greasy plate of British food – it sounds awful but doesn’t knock it before you try it!
  • Meal deals – Head to any supermarket and you will find some type of meal deal.  These often include some type of salad, sandwich or pasta with a snack and drink for less than £4. This makes for a cheap, quick lunch or even a chilled-out dinner with a few extra snacks. 
  • Use the markets – To travel to England on a budget, make sure you visit the markets. Most cities will have some type of market (it may only be on for the weekend) and here you will find great food but fair prices. Don’t expect to find super cheap food here but expect good value.
  • Pub food –  can’t stress this enough, if you want a good, sit-down meal, head to the local pubs. Not the pub opposite Big Ben or the one in Covent Garden, head down the quieter streets and find local pubs. Food is good value and often very British!

Travel London on a budget

  • Staying in London – Stay near the underground but don’t worry about the city centre. London has a comprehensive underground system that can be used to get everywhere. Use the Underground map to help you get around and don’t forget to down the map on your phone to help you when you are out and about. 
  • Thames Clipper – The Thames Clipper is a public ferry service that costs around £8 for a full journey; a much cheaper experience on the Thames compared to the tours available.
  • Cycle – Whilst in London, you can choose to cycle using the Santander Cycle Scheme. You will notice bikes dotted around the city and for £2 for 24 hours, you can cycle between the sights.
  • Get an Oyster card – Whilst in London, get yourself an Oyster card. This means you can travel around the underground without having to buy an individual ticket each time but also, these journeys are capped so you don’t spend more than a set maximum. If you have a contactless card, you could use this on the underground and on buses too.
  • Skip the Shard and head to the Sky Garden – Skip the Shard, it is overpriced. Instead, opt for the Sky Garden, offering stunning views completing for free.
  • Theatre tickets – There are lots of great websites that help you get discounted theatre tickets. Head to the theatre of your chosen show at 9.45/10 am to see if they have any last-minute tickets for that day or use websites like Last Minute or London Theatre Tickets.

Read here for more London Travel tips and Free things to do in London.

Don’t forget to visit some of my favourite places in the UK: Liverpool , Bristol, Brighton and Chichester are some of my top picks!

So these are the main ways we use to save money whilst living and travelling around the UK. Do you have any other suggestions? Share your ideas in the comments below!

weekend romantic breaks in the uk

Travel in England FAQ

How much should I budget for a trip to England?

A week in England will cost around $1500 – $2000, for a solo traveller, depending on where you are staying. London hotels are more expensive than in other cities but you can visit the UK on a budget and spend as little as $100 a day. 

What is the cheapest month to travel to London?

The cheapest months to travel to London and England are September to the start of October and January to March. You can find cheaper flights to the UK during these months and there are fewer tourists, so you will find a budget hotel easily and attractions will be quieter. 

What is the best way to travel around the UK?

The train is the easiest way to travel the UK but catching buses with Megabus or National Express is often the cheapest way to travel the UK. 

Is the train cheaper than the bus in England?

Often the bus is cheaper, especially when moving between smaller cities. However, the underground is much quicker than buses around London’s city centre and train travel around the UK is more reliable than buses. 

Is food expensive in England?

Food prices vary in England but an average sit-down meal is more expensive in England than in Eastern Europe cities but similar to prices in the US and Western Europe. You can find cheap food in supermarkets and chain restaurants and decent-priced meals in pubs. 

How much money do I need for 2 weeks in London?

If you are a budget traveller and intend on cooking for yourself in a hostel and visiting the free attractions, you can visit London for under $50 a day. However, if you want to eat out more and visit some paid attractions, you will need around $100 a day whilst those looking to go shopping, watch a theatre show or football game, expect to budget around $150 a day. 

How do I get cheap London tickets?

Cheap London train tickets can be found when purchasing tickets in advance, online. Use to compare prices. Also, avoid travelling between 6.30 – 9.30 and 15.30 – 18.40; this is peak travel time and prices are higher. Also, sometimes 2 singles can be a better value than a return. 

For cheap flights to London, compare prices on Skyscanner and check flight prices to London Stansted, Gatwick and Luton; these smaller airports can sometimes be cheaper than Heathrow.

Is it worth renting a car in England?

If you are staying in a city, no, it is not worth renting a car. However, if you plan on travelling the country a lot, then it can work out cheaper to rent a car. However, compare prices on Avis and Europcar and make sure to book your car hire online as far in advance as possible; prices rise as you get near the pick-up date. 

How do I plan a road trip UK?

  • List the places you want to visit
  • Plot these destinations on google map to work out the most efficient routes
  • Compare rental prices using Travel Supermarket.  
  • Don’t pay for a GPS (car companies overcharge and you can use your phone GPS instead).
  • Be flexible with your dates but book accommodation in advance. 
  • Stick to the speed limits and laws
  • Enjoy your travels

How many days are enough to visit the UK?

If you are only visiting London, you can spend 3-4 days seeing the most popular attractions. If you want to visit other cities and sites in the UK such as Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford and Liverpool, plan at least 10 days in the UK. 

How much is a meal in London?

Budget restaurants in London (ethnic or chain restaurants) will cost between £6 – £10 whilst mid-range restaurants will cost you around £15 – £25 for a main meal and drink. High-end restaurants in London can cost anything between £40 to $140+ per head. 

How much should I budget for food UK?

If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen, you could budget as little as £20 for food. However, if you will be eating out 2-3 times a day, you will need at least £35 a day, presuming you are picking up a light breakfast or lunch from the local supermarkets. 

Do I need cash for London?

You will need some cash, mainly for buses and cabs. However, credit and debit cards are widely accepted. 

What is the cheapest airport to fly into England?

  • London Gatwick
  • London Heathrow
  • London City Airport

What is the cheapest day to fly to the UK?

Friday is consistently the cheapest day to visit the UK. 

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Friday 17th of May 2024

[…] you’re visiting the UK for a while, make sure you read up on the cheapest way to travel England and the UK and this 10-day UK itinerary is a great post to get you started on planning your […]

How to plan your first trip to LONDON - Creative Travel Guide

Thursday 18th of May 2023

[…] a vast transportation system, it’s important to research the best ways to get around and the cheapest ways to travel England. This will save time and money, especially during peak travel seasons. Make sure to consider […]

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[…] is another popular spot to visit. This is also a great place to visit if you are looking to save money in England, this city is much cheaper than others in the […]

18 ways to explore England on a budget

Emily Luxton

Jul 15, 2023 • 11 min read

uk daily travel budget

From free activities to budget meals, these top tips can help you save money when you visit England © Photo by Roo Lewis / Getty Images

From cliff-backed beaches and quaint villages to vibrant cities and historic sights, England has plenty to entice visitors. But it can also be a fairly expensive destination, particularly in terms of accommodations, tours and sightseeing . 

The good news? Many of England’s museums , natural sights and heritage attractions are free. Public transportation can be affordable when planned in advance, and plenty of wallet-friendly dining options exist: from pub lunches to the iconic takeaway fish and chips. 

Even London , famously one of Europe’s most expensive cities, can be explored on a budget if you’re careful. Outside of the major tourist destinations, the rest of England becomes much more affordable, so heading off the beaten path can be particularly rewarding. 

Get ready to explore the land of rolling countryside, ancient castles, and dazzling white cliffs with these top money-saving tips and a guide to daily costs.

A hand holding a box of fish and chips at the beach on a bright sunny day

Average daily costs in England

Hostel room: £15–30 (dorm bed) Hotel room for two: £100 Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): £70  Camping pitch: £20–30 Single bus ticket: £2.80 (can reach over £6 in rural areas) Coffee: £3 Takeaway sandwich: £3 Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant: £30–50  Pint at the bar: £4–6 Takeaway fish and chips: £10 Pub lunch: £12.50–25

Total average daily cost per person: £50–150

Bear in mind that travel costs – particularly accommodation – vary significantly across England depending on the destination. Prices in London and other popular cities are generally much higher than in smaller towns or rural areas.

Figure out which London airport is the cheapest to fly to

London has six major airports but transport costs into the city center – or further afield – can vary widely. To figure out which airport is cheapest to fly to in England, you should factor in the onward travel costs to your final destination. 

Heathrow, London’s main and busiest airport, is on the London Underground's Piccadilly Line and the new Elizabeth Line, so travel into central London can cost as little as £5.60. Buses from Heathrow Central Bus Station can provide affordable onward travel to the rest of England. 

The second largest airport, Gatwick, competes directly with Heathrow for a number of destinations, often resulting in lower flight prices. It’s not on the London Underground, but there is a train station and a bus station with connections into central London starting from £13.30 and £7 respectively. There are also good connections with other parts of England, particularly the south.  

London’s Luton, Southend, and Stansted airports are popular hubs for budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair, though they have a longer journey time into central London. Finally, the centrally-located London City Airport is usually the most expensive to fly to, but allows for cheap and convenient onward travel within the city center. 

Two friends board a train

Remember to check other destination airports

Depending on your onward travel plans, flying into London might not be your best bet. Manchester Airport is the third biggest in the UK and has flight connections with over 200 destinations worldwide . As with Heathrow and Gatwick, the amount of flight options can drive competition between airlines and result in lower prices. 

Smaller airports throughout England may be better positioned for onward travel to other parts of the country. Bristol and Newquay airports are much closer to Southwest England than the London airports, for example, while Birmingham Airport might be a better option for the Midlands.  

Remember to factor in the price of onward travel, as this can have a huge impact on travel costs. If you want to visit the Lake District, trains from London Heathrow to Oxenholme train station take almost 10 hours and start from £114.20 . Trains from Manchester Airport to Oxenholme, by comparison, take 1h 39m and start from £6.50.  

If you’re trying to get the best flight deal possible, it’s a good idea to widen your search to include all English airports and to check the onward travel options before making your decision. 

Weigh up your transport options

Unfortunately, public transportation isn’t always the cheapest or most practical way of getting around England. Most cities and towns have good internal bus networks, but many rural areas and small towns have limited – or no – public transport services, and trains between cities can be pricey. 

Train tickets are notoriously expensive in England, but traveling off-peak and booking around 12 weeks in advance can dramatically reduce costs. Check and compare train times and ticket options on National Rail . If you plan on traveling by train regularly, purchasing a National Rail annual railcard may help reduce costs. 

The best way to travel around England for budget visitors is by coach, but journey times are often much longer than by train or car and the routes aren’t always convenient. Bus travel is cheapest when booked direct: the two main operators are National Express and Megabus . Both offer competitive prices. 

If you plan on visiting multiple destinations or traveling to parts of England with limited public transport services, driving may prove the most practical way to get around. According to  Kayak , car hire in the UK is £43 per day on average, although prices can be as low as £16 per day. 

Book transport in advance for the best deals

If you plan to travel around England via public transport, booking in advance is almost always the cheapest option. Advance train tickets can be around 50% cheaper, while Trainline claims its customers save an average of 61% when booking in advance.  

Train tickets can usually be booked around 12 weeks before the departure date, while bus tickets from National Express – the UK’s largest coach operator – go on sale up to one year in advance. 

Find free parking

Park & Ride services on the outskirts of towns and cities usually offer free parking when you pay for the bus into the center. This usually works out much cheaper than paying for city center parking, not to mention congestion fees, which are becoming increasingly common in busy cities. 

Street parking, where allowed, is often free in England, though sometimes only for a limited time, and rarely in city or town centers. Apps like AppyParking and Parkopedia can help you find free places to park.

Visit in spring or autumn for the best prices

June to August is the peak tourist season in the UK. Travel costs, especially accommodation, can rise dramatically during these months, as well as during school and public holidays. The shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October are often much quieter and cheaper times to visit. The weather is usually fairly mild, though changeable and with a greater chance of rain than in summer.  

November to March is the off-season in England and is generally the cheapest time to visit (except Christmas). It’s worth noting that many outdoor and summer-based tourist attractions close during winter, especially in seaside resorts. 

A family of four on an English beach on a slightly grey day. The mum and youngest walk along with a bucket and spade; the dad pushes the elder child in a beach-adapted wheelchair

Avoid traveling during school and bank holidays

School and public holidays are the most popular travel times in England and tend to see significant price increases. To save money, avoid traveling during school holidays, which happen every six to seven weeks, if you can.

The exact dates vary across the country , but generally speaking, the longest holiday period is from the end of July and throughout August, with an additional two weeks around Christmas and Easter. There are also "half-term" holidays of one or two weeks, usually falling in February, May and October.

Additionally, there are eight Bank Holidays in England throughout the year. Extra holidays are sometimes added for national events such as Royal weddings and funerals.

Make the most of England’s free attractions

If you’re exploring England on a budget, there are plentiful free attractions to enjoy. All national parks have free entry, as do most other natural attractions such as woodlands, country parks, lakes and beaches. Likewise, there are miles of public footpaths, bridleways, and long-distance walking and biking paths to enjoy free of charge across the country. 

Many museums and art galleries offer free entry, and even the ones that don’t often have a monthly free-entry day. Churches and cathedrals are usually free to explore as well, although some ask for donations from visitors. 

Get 2-for-1 on attractions with National Rail

The National Rail Days Out scheme offers 2-for-1 tickets at over 300 attractions in England when you travel by train. There’s a huge variety of attractions across the country, including aquariums, zoos, football grounds, museums, gardens, and cinemas. Simply show your train ticket on entry to receive the discount.

Two hikers walk on a path near the White Cliffs of Dover with a large castle on the clifftop in the distance

Join English Heritage and/or the National Trust

Many of England's top heritage properties, beauty spots and historic sites are managed by either the National Trust or English Heritage charities. Stonehenge and Dover Castle are two of the most famous English Heritage sites, while the National Trust manages over 500 gardens, nature reserves, and historic houses such as Agatha Christie’s former home Greenway House in Devon .

Both charities offer annual memberships allowing free entry to all attractions as well as free car parking at a number of locations. Both charities also offer temporary memberships for short-term visitors from overseas. These can be well worth purchasing if you plan on visiting several attractions.

Look for discounts for students, seniors, groups and families 

Many attractions throughout England offer discounts to students, children (usually under 18s) and seniors (usually 60+). Some also offer cheaper packages for groups and families, so check the best options online when planning your trip. 

Check online for discounts

Coupons and special offers are popular in England. If you’re visiting an attraction or a restaurant, check its social media pages for any current deals that may be running. Likewise, local Facebook Groups and newspapers can be good sources for news of special offers and discounts in the area.  

You can also sign up for online deals websites to find discounts on days out, meals and more. Groupon and HotUKDeals are two popular websites for finding deals on UK travel.

Book rooms in budget hotels

Accommodation can be one of the biggest costs when traveling in England. The budget hotel chains Premier Inn , Travelodge and Holiday Inn Express offer decent hotel rooms (if a little bland) at affordable prices. Guesthouses and B&Bs are usually cheaper than hotels and often have a lot more character. 

Hotels on the outskirts of towns and cities can be cheaper than those in the city center, but check that there are convenient public transport options before booking, as taking taxis will quickly mitigate those savings. 

Remember that hostels aren’t just for backpackers

The Youth Hostels Association (YHA) has hostels across England, some of them in extraordinary buildings, including castles! These offer budget-friendly dormitory accommodation for backpackers, but there are many other options to suit all kinds of travelers. Groups can book an entire dorm – or even the whole property – and many hostels have private and family-sized rooms, camping pitches, cabins and even glamping.

Embrace the English caravan parks

Holiday parks with static caravan accommodation are popular throughout England, particularly around tourist hot spots on the coast or in the countryside. These can be a very affordable option, especially for groups or families, although prices rise significantly during the summer holidays. Many parks have facilities such as a pool, restaurants, shops and entertainment.

Pitchup  is a handy website to search and book holiday parks, caravans, campsites, and glamping sites across the UK. Keep in mind that some holiday parks can only be booked directly through the parks themselves. 

A group of friends sat around a large table in a restaurant share a toast

Enjoy a good meal out on a budget

England’s reputation for high prices and bad cuisine is somewhat undeserved. There’s good food to be found across the country, from minimal-mile menus at country pubs to excellent seafood along the ample coastline . Food trucks are increasingly popular, especially in cities and tourist towns, and can be a great way to get a takeaway meal for less than £10. Speaking of takeaways, the famed British staple of fish and chips usually costs around £10, best eaten on the beach at sunset for a no-frills budget dinner.

For indoor dining, pubs are generally cheaper than restaurants and many offer very good food alongside local ales, ciders and other drinks. Look for gastro-pubs, where the emphasis is more on dining than drinking. Expect to pay around £12–20 for a main and even less if there’s a deal on.

Consider signing up for a Tastecard

You could also sign up for a Tastecard which offers dining discounts such as 2-for-1 meals at eateries all over the UK — including chains like Pizza Hut, Prezzo and Giraffe. Membership is £34.99 a year so this is probably only worth it during a long-term stay in England or if you plan to use the discount card a lot during your visit.

Stay in self-catered places and shop in budget supermarkets

Dining out is obviously going to eat into your budget. Consider opting for self-catering accommodation where you've got the facilities to store and prepare your own meals.

The cheapest supermarkets are Aldi and Lidl , although most supermarket brands usually have good special offers on. Supermarkets are also great places to pick up cheap lunches (many have a “meal deal” combo of a sandwich, side and drink) or put together a picnic to take with you while you’re exploring England. 

Dine out on weekdays

At pubs and restaurants, weekdays are often the cheapest days to dine out. During the week, many establishments offer fixed-price set menus or deals such as 2-for-1 mains that won’t be found on weekends. 

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Travel Europe on a Budget

The Savvy Backpacker

City Guides .\33 a132798-3f3b-4585-954d-7e70cf863447{fill:#231f20}

London price guide | calculating the daily costs to visit london.

How to estimate your budget for food, hostels, hotels, attractions, alcohol & more for visiting London on a budget.

uk daily travel budget

London is a world-class city but It’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Luckily, hostels are reasonably affordable (at least for a major city) and there are plenty of great free museums. However, the cost of attractions and food prices will put a major dent in your budget.

In this London travel price guide, we’ll outline the estimated travel expenses for food, accommodation, attractions, alcohol, and other things that you’ll experience so you can better budget your trip to London.

This London Price Guide is part of our  City Price Guide Series  where we break down the travel costs of Europe’s most popular cities.

Average Daily Cost For Visiting London

Daily Cost For Visiting London

It costs around £60-£95/day ($75-$115) to visit London comfortably as a budget traveler. These prices are based on what you’ll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler.  

If you want to upgrade your accommodations, add another £40-£100/night depending on your stay. These prices also don’t include things like big nights out at the bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenir/clothing shopping, tours, random purchases, nicer food, etc.

Daily Cost of Budget Travel in London: £92 (Approx. $115)

  • Attractions:  £20 (one paid attraction + any free museums)
  • Breakfast: £4
  • Dinner: £15
  • Treat (dessert/beer/wine): 4
  • Transportation:  £8
  • Accommodation (hostel): £33/night

Daily Cost of Frugal Travel in London: £57 (Approx. $70)

  • Attractions: £10 (visit one of the many free museums and do a free tour)
  • Breakfast: £2
  • Lunch: £6 (ethnic street food or takeaway shop fare)
  • Dinner: £10 (cook your own meal in the hostel or cheap takeout)
  • Transportation: £2.30 (single tube ride)
  • Accommodation (cheap hostel bed): £23/night

London Attraction and Museum Prices

uk daily travel budget

Good news… London has amazing museums and most of them are completely free. Bad news… all the other attractions are expensive. However, you might be able to save some money by using the London Pass if you plan on visiting multiple attractions. Read our London Pass Review for more information.

  • Tower of London :  £29.90
  • London Eye : £31-£53
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral : £20.50
  • Buckingham Palace :  £30-£33
  • Westminster Abbey :  £27.00
  • British Museum :  Free
  • Victoria and Albert Museum :  Free
  • National Gallery :  Free
  • Imperial War Museum :  Free
  • Tate Modern :  Free
  • Natural History Museum :  Free
  • Walking Tours: Free (but you should tip the guides) — £20+

Tip: Many attractions now offer online booking and there is often a small discount for booking online vs buying tickets at the door (and you get to skip the ticket line).

London Food Prices

uk daily travel budget

England isn’t traditionally known for great food but London does have a world-renowned food scene—but that high-end food is a budget killer. Budget travelers will have to stick to the basics, and even then, the food isn’t cheap. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to cook for yourself as much as possible.

Check out The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide To London On A Budget because it has a ton of great budget-friendly restaurants.

Budget Breakfast Prices in London: £ 3-£10

  • Many hostels will offer a free, simple breakfast that normally consists of cereal, bread/croissant, and maybe milk, coffee, tea, or juice (some hostels will offer more and some less).
  • A traditional English breakfast from a typical café will cost £6-£9.
  • You can also find plenty of budget-friendly options at the bakery or grocery store. Croissants and other baked goods start at around £1.50. Coffee from a typical café will cost around £2.50-£4.

Budget Lunch Prices in London: £5-£15

  • Super-budget travelers can make a super cheap lunch of bread, cheese, and fruit from any grocery store for a few pounds.
  • Takeaway meals (like kebabs with fries) or similar dishes from a takeaway shop will cost about £7-£9.
  • Check out street markets for pizza, falafel, tagines, burritos, curries, wraps, and sandwiches for £5-£9.
  • A simple, yet filling and tasty, lunch from a local (i.e. non-touristy) restaurant will cost about £10-£15.

Budget Dinner Prices in London: £7-£18

  • Budget travelers will want to seek out the many ethnic restaurants in London. It isn’t too tough to find a good meal for about £12-£18.
  • McDonald’s combo meal (burger, fries, and a drink) will cost about £7.
  • Fish and chips from a quality fish and chips shop will cost around £8-£12 for takeaway and a bit more to dine in.
  • A simple, yet filling and tasty, meal from a local (i.e. non-touristy) restaurant will cost about £12-£18.
  • Many of the options from the Budget Lunch section above also apply to dinner.

Drinks and Alcohol Prices in London

  • Pint of standard beer out: £3.20-£6+
  • Pint of beer from a grocery store: £1-£2
  • A glass of the house wine at a restaurant: £4-£5+

Local-Favorite Budget Restaurants in London:

Here are a few budget restaurants that I pulled from our Guide To London On A Budget .


This traditional hole-in-the-wall joint is tucked under a bridge and serves up generous portions for a reasonable price. They’re a local favorite so it can get busy during lunch and dinner.

  • Order of Fish and Chips: £15-£18
  • See On Google Maps

Opened in 1982, this bustling award-winning shop serves up some of the best traditional fish and chips in London. Dine-in or takeaway.

  • Order of Fish and Chips: £10-£14


Opened in 1958, Gigs obviously knows what they’re doing if they’ve survived this long in a city that seems to have a chippy everywhere you look. 

  • Order of Fish and Chips: £9 (takeaway) – £14.50 (dine-in)
  • See on Google Maps


Cheap, no-frills, delicious, and always busy (get there early to avoid a long wait). This authentic spot has been around since 1946 and is a local favorite.

  • Full English Breakfast: Starts at £6.00


Old-school, family-run cafe. Quality food for a good price. A local favorite since 1982.

  • Full English Breakfast: Starts at £8.50-£12

Expect long lines and excellent Bombay-style comfort food at this popular restaurant. The prices are fair, the atmosphere is buzzing, and the quality of food and drinks is excellent. Many people say this is their favorite Indian restaurant in London.

  • Main Dishes: £9-£15

Solid Italian-style pizza at a solid price. 

  • Prices: £5.50-£8.50


This traditional pie mash restaurant has been around since 1890 and they serve up handmade pie & mash daily at a fair price. They have some nice traditional British desserts as well.

  • Main Dishes: £5.50-£9


Excellent Vietnamese place to get authentic beef pho at a great price. Super popular so expect a line.

  • Main Dishes: £7.50-£10

London Transportation Prices

uk daily travel budget

London is a big city so you’ll need to use public transportation a few times during your visit. Unfortunately, it can be kind of expensive and it can be a bit confusing because London has multiple travel zones which determine the price.

You should use an Oyster Card (a refillable travel card) or contactless payment as these methods greatly reduce the ticket price vs buying a single one-way ticket.

  • Single One-Way Ticket:  £6.30
  • Single One-Way Fare with Oyster Card:  £2.80 (peak), £2.70 (off-peak)
  • Max Day Fare:  £8.10 (you’ll never pay more than £9.10 in a single day when using the Oyster Card)
  • Heathrow Express (fast train between LHR and London— travel time 15min):  £22.50-£25
  • London Underground (between airport and city — travel time 60min): £5.70
  • Heathrow Connect (30min journey): £10.30
  • Bus from LHR airport into the city (60-80min):  £6-£10
  • Taxi LHR airport into the city:  £50 – £70

London Hostel, Hotel, & Rental Apartment Prices

Best london hostels - Astor Hyde Park

London has plenty of hostels throughout the city and all the competition helps lower hostel prices—but you still shouldn’t expect cheap prices. Don’t expect much from budget hotels as most are small, rundown, and dingy. Apartment rentals can be a very attractive option if you’re traveling with two or more people.

Hostel Prices in London: £23-£47/night

The nightly price of a well-rated hostel in London starts around £30 per person—although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend. Remember, these prices are for a bed in a shared dorm room. Private rooms start are around £110-£160/night.  Check out the latest London hostel prices at  Hostelworld .

Here is a list of the top-rated hostels in London:

  • Wombats City Hostel London
  • Astor Hyde Park
  • Astor Queensway
  • Barmy Badger Backpackers
  • MEININGER London Hyde Park

Check out The Savvy Backpacker’s guide to The Best Hostels in London to get a more in-depth look at London’s various hostel options.

Budget Hotel Prices in London: £90-£150 /night

Budget hotels in central London start around £70-£95/night but the quality will be low. A well-rated budget hotel in London starts at around £130-£145/night. Prices do rise if you book last minute—especially during the summer and Christmas.

We suggest checking out  to see hotel prices for your dates since they’re always changing.

Rental Apartment Prices in London: £90-£170+ /night

London has a lot of rental apartments throughout the city. They can be a good option for large groups or travelers who want a little more space (and a kitchen). On the other hand, you may also have to deal with inconvenient check-in processes and things like extra cleaning fees and service charges. For short stays, we prefer hotels/hostels but rental apartments can be a nice option for longer stays. Airbnb is always popular but you can sometimes find cheaper/better options on our list of  Airbnb Alternatives .


Check out our guide on  How Much It Costs To Backpack Europe  to learn more about budgeting your entire trip (including many more city price guides).

Be sure to also check out our London Travel Guide and our Guide to London on a Budget for more London travel tips.


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Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

England Travel Guide

Last Updated: April 18, 2024

The famous London Bridge on a cloudy day in London, England with historic buildings in the distance and the river in the foreground

England is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. While most travelers tend to stick to London (which is understandable as it’s a great city!), the rest of the region has a lot to offer and sees a fraction of the crowds.

In fact, backpacking around England was one of the highlights of all my travels in Europe .

England’s smaller cities, like Bath and Oxford , are both fascinating and culturally rich. (And, since they aren’t as crowded as London, they’re a bit cheaper too.)

Liverpool , the birthplace of The Beatles, boasts a rich musical history while the countryside has fascinating estates and natural beauty. There’s the mountainous north, the rolling hills of Lancaster and Cornwall, Stonehenge , Hadrian’s Wall, and Tudor cities like Chester.

In short, there is a ton to see and do in England. This England travel guide can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most out of your time here!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on England

Click Here for City Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in england.

View of the famous Tower Bridge spanning across the River Thames in London, England

1. Tour London

You can’t go to England without visiting London — it’s one of the most popular cities in the world. It’s home to charming pubs, world-class museums, tons of history, some of the best theater performances in the world, a diverse population, incredible food, and a wild nightlife. It might be a city that often breaks the bank, but fortunately, London has a plethora of free markets, museums are often free, and it has a ton of relaxing parks that you can enjoy on a budget. There are lots of free walking tours here too!

2. Drive the coast

England’s coastal towns make for a relaxing holiday (especially if you have a vehicle). The most popular destination is Brighton , well-known for its summer parties and festivals. But don’t overlook places like Weymouth, Salcombe, Dover, Hastings, St Ives, or Newquay — and that’s just a handful of them in the south of the country. You could literally spend months just discovering each new place. The towns offer everything from old-world traditional charm (think cobbled streets and Tudor houses) to bright lights and fun fairs (Brighton’s pier is similar to LA’s Santa Monica).

3. See Cornwall

Cornwall is like mini-New England — you can see why English settlers felt at home in the New World. Just like the USA’s New England , Cornwall has rolling hills, beautiful lakes, small towns, rural farms, wonderful hiking trails, tiny fishing villages, great food, and even a winery. The area has been populated since the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Eventually, the Britons (who were Celtic in origin) claimed the region, with the first written account of the region dating back to the 4th century BCE. It’s also been an important maritime region for centuries. The laid-back pace of life here is one of the reasons why it’s one of my favorite places in England. Don’t miss it!

4. Spend a day in Bath

Bath is named after the famous (and marvelously well preserved) ancient Roman baths located in the heart of the city that date back to 70 CE and were in use through to the 5th century. The audio guide by Bill Bryson is a must and adds a lot of context and details. The baths are the main attraction in town, though the abbey, Georgian and Victorian houses, and river are also nice to see. Literature buffs can also explore Jane Austen’s heritage as she lived in Bath for most of her life.

5. Explore the Lake District

Located in Cumbria, in Northern England, and about an hour from the border with Scotland, the Lake District is home to one of England’s best national parks. The lakes in the region are a result of the last ice age and receding glaciers cut the U-shaped valleys that are now filled with water. It’s perfect for hiking mountain passes and sailing around pristine lakes. It’s very popular (and crowded) during the summer. It is to northern England what Cornwall is to the south: a natural, rural paradise that embodies the best of England and, outside of Cornwall, it’s my favorite region in England.

Other Things to See and Do in England

1. see buckingham palace.

Buckingham Palace, home to the Queen of England, is a fascinating sight that’s only open to the public during the summer. If you can’t (or don’t want to) visit the palace, you can catch the changing of the guards at 11am four times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays). If you want to check out the palace, admission is 30 GBP when purchased online (33 GBP on the day), while exclusive guided tours are 90 GBP. Check the Royal Collection Trust website for details on other events happening throughout the year.

2. Visit the Tower of London

Built in 1070, the Tower of London has expanded many times over the years. It was built as a double-leaf bascule bridge in the middle (both sides lift up) to maintain river access to the Pool of London docks while easing congestion on each side of the river. You can visit inside the tower and walk along the glass walkways. Weapons, armor, and coins were made here until 1810 and today you can view the famous crown jewels, walk the battlements, wander recreated medieval palace rooms, see the iconic Yeoman Warders (known as the Beefeaters as they were allowed to eat as much beef as they wanted from King Henry VII’s table), and spot the legendary black ravens that live in the tower. Skip-the-line tickets are 29.90 GBP. Be aware that lines are long so it’s best to plan ahead.

3. Relax in Brighton

Brighton is a great little seaside resort town on the southern coast of England that’s perfect for a weekend getaway. Considered the hippest city in the UK, Brighton is known for being quirky, bohemian, artsy, and very LGBTQ-friendly. It’s a popular summer destination for locals who come here to relax on the beach, enjoy the fleeting summer sun, and wander the pier where there are amusement rides, carnival-style stalls, and street food.

4. Listen to music in Liverpool

Liverpool has spectacular museums, but as the World Capital City of Pop, the real reason to go is for the music, or more specifically, for The Beatles. The Beatles Story museum has all kinds of memorabilia and information about the famous band, who were from Liverpool. Besides the music, Liverpool has a rich history and culture as well as fun pubs, so don’t sell it short.

5. Check out Chatsworth House

Located in Derbyshire, this massive and lavish mansion was built in 1549 for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. While there are many beautiful houses and castles throughout the UK, this is one of the most astonishing. It’s so striking in fact, that countless films and TV series have been filmed here (including Peaky Blinders, Jane Eyre , and of course Pride and Prejudice ). The home has played a role in popular culture since it was mentioned in Jane Austen’s book, Pride and Prejudice in 1813. On your visit, you can wander the 25 stately rooms, stroll the 105-acre gardens, and make new furry friends in the operating farmyard. Admission to the house and garden costs 26 GBP (just the garden is 15 GBP).

6. Tour Oxford University

Founded in the 11th century in Oxford , this university is one of the oldest in the world. You can visit the many beautiful colleges within Oxford for just a few dollars, or you can take a 90-120 minute guided tour of the entire university with Bodleian Libraries (20 GBP). You can even see the colleges in which they filmed parts of Harry Potter ! For art history buffs, stop in at the free Ashmolean Museum on campus for impressive Eastern and Ancient Egyptian art collections.

7. Attend the festivals

England is known for its festivals, especially during the summer. For music, be sure to check out the famous (and muddy!) Glastonbury festival or the Liverpool International Music Festival. Also, the UK has three huge annual Pride events in London, Brighton, and Manchester. This is just the tip of the festival iceberg though as every city and town has a lot on offer.

8. See Stonehenge

Stonehenge , located just 15 minutes from Salisbury, is one of the oldest man-made structures in the world (dating to 2,500 BCE!). You can’t go up to the stones anymore, but it’s quite a fascinating site, especially since we still have very little idea how they dragged the stones there. The audio tour is worth getting so you can get some historical context on the site. Admission starts at 22 GBP.

9. Visit Old Trafford

I highly recommend a visit to Manchester United’s home stadium. With over 74,000 seats, it is the largest club football stadium in the UK and the 11th largest in all of Europe. The tour is awesome and takes you below the stadium seating into the player’s lounge, and even into the pitch-side dugout. Dig deeper into some football (aka soccer) history at the onsite museum. Admission is 35 GBP.

10. Admire Ely Cathedral

Also known as the ‘Ship of the Fens,’ this cathedral is visible everywhere in the small city of Ely in Cambridgeshire (and from miles around too). Originally built in the 12th century, it’s renowned for its Romanesque architecture, complete with a stunning entrance and an octagonal lantern tower. The Lady Chapel is the largest in all of England. The cathedral is also home to the National Stained Glass Museum, whose collection spans 800 years and includes stained glass from across the UK and Europe. Visiting the cathedral only costs 9 GBP (online, or 10 GBP on the day), entry to the museum is 5 GBP. Booking in advance is recommended if you want to join one of the tours which cost between 1.50-12 GBP.

11. Relax in Greenwich Park

Considered to be one of London’s largest parks, it is also one of the most beautiful — and a perfect escape from the city’s bustle. There are several historic sights here as well as a rose garden, meandering pathways, a tea house, the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, a café, and even a deer park. It is the oldest enclosed royal park in London and a relaxing place to spend a few hours with a book.

12. Hike Hadrian’s Wall

Declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, Hadrian’s wall has been standing since the 2nd century. It was built by the Romans to keep the Celts out of Roman England (though that didn’t work so well). While you can make a brief visit to see the fortifications and ancient walls in many spots of the country, if you’re up for it, you can also hike the entire 83-mile (135-kilometer) length of the wall itself (most people do it in 6-8 days).

13. Go to Salisbury

Not far from Stonehenge is the beautiful town of Salisbury . Just 1.5 hours from London by train, it has a breathtaking 750-year-old cathedral that is home to the Magna Carta and tombs dating back to 1099. Salisbury is one of the few places that wasn’t bombed during the World War II Blitz so it is beautifully preserved. Cathedral Close and Market Square are both worth visiting in Salisbury as well as Old Sarum (what is thought to be the original site of Salisbury) and Salisbury Museum.

14. Stay in Chester

I love an under-visited destination and, for me, Chester is one of those places. Chester’s center looks like something out of an old novel by Charles Dickens. The homes in Chester are typically Victorian in design and the old taverns, hotels, and little shops all have retained their charm and original look. There’s plenty to do in Chester, including walking along the city walls and seeing the rows of medieval houses that showcase the historic architecture. Chester Cathedral is over 1,000 years old and well worth a visit (it has been added to and restored but has kept its medieval feel). For something a little more contemporary, go on a river cruise.

15. Visit the colleges at Cambridge University

Like Oxford, Cambridge University is made up of different colleges. Founded in 1209, the University is an architectural delight and wandering around the many buildings in the city. Most notable include the stunning buildings at Kings and Queens Colleges as well as the iconic quads at St. Johns and Trinity. There are lots of walking tours to choose from if you want to learn more about Cambridge’s history and some are even led by the students themselves. Expect tours to last around 90 minutes and cost 20 GBP.

16. Enjoy afternoon tea

Tea is a scene unto itself in England. With a history dating back through the centuries, this tradition can be enjoyed at every level of your budget. Starting with just the drink, you can find quaint tea shops literally all over the country. There you can try different types of tea and a selection of cakes to go with it should you need a sweet treat. In Devon and Cornwall, you can have cream tea which is tea with scones, cream, and jam (although these are now often served in other places too). Afternoon tea, or high tea, is a more lengthy affair and comes first with finger sandwiches and tiny savory pastries, then with scones (with cream and jam) and little cakes. Some places offer a glass of champagne to go with it. Most traditional tea houses offer afternoon tea but if you’re after more of a sense of occasion and your budget can stretch to it), the big hotels also offer it every day.

17. Visit Bristol

Many people only pass through Bristol on their way to Bath but it’s really worth a visit of its own. With a population of 500,000, Bristol is a hip college town with amazing eateries, great food, wonderful things to see, lots of green space, and plenty of things to do. Aside from taking a walking tour (my must-do in any city!), some of my favorite things to do include a tour of Bristol’s Romanesque Cathedral that was built in 1148, wandering King’s Street, and admiring Clifton Suspension Bridge. Bristol has a great museum and art gallery that is worth a visit and I also really enjoyed St Nicholas’ Market. Other things worth doing include the S.S. Great Britain, the Avon Railway, and Blaise Castle.

  For more information on specific cities in England, check out these guides:

  • Bath Travel Guide
  • Brighton Travel Guide
  • Bristol Travel Guide
  • Cambridge Travel Guide
  • Liverpool Travel Guide
  • London Travel Guide
  • Manchester Travel Guide
  • Oxford Travel Guide

England Travel Costs

People walking down a street lined with pastel-colored townhouses in the town of Oxford, England

Accommodation – Hostels cost 10-30 GBP a night for a dorm room. Amenities usually include free internet, breakfast, a common room, TV, and kitchen facilities. Private rooms in hostels start at around 50 GBP and go up from there. Campgrounds can be found all around the country, and most have basic facilities (such as bathrooms, electricity, and Wi-Fi). Expect to pay 10-20 GBP per night for a place to pitch your tent.

Budget hotels offer similar amenities and start around 60-80 GBP per night for a twin room but can be more like 120 GBP in peak season. Apartment rentals (like Airbnb) cost anywhere from 35-90 GBP per night for a private room depending on the city, while entire apartments/homes start around 90 GBP per night but average 110-120.

Food – While British cuisine has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years, it’s still very much a meat and potatoes country. Fish and chips remain a popular staple for both lunch and dinner while roasted and stewed meats, sausages, meat pies, and the quintessential Yorkshire pudding are all common options as well. Curry (and other Indian dishes, such as tikka masala), are super popular too.

A kebab costs around 5-6 GBP, burritos and sandwiches cost 6-10 GBP and traditional fish and chips cost about 10 GBP. Indian and Asian food can be purchased for 8-10 GBP. Pizza is usually 8-10 GBP. Fast food (think McDonald’s) is around 6-7 GBP for a combo meal.

A meal at a casual pub or restaurant costs 12-16 GBP and you can expect to pay at least 30-35 GBP for a three-course menu with a drink in a mid-range restaurant. A meal in a higher-range establishment costs upwards of 70 GBP.

Beer is around 6 GBP while a latte/cappuccino is 3-3.50 GBP. Bottled water is about 1.20 GBP.

A week’s worth of groceries costs around 40-60 GBP. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, veggies, and some meat. The best places to buy cheap groceries are Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco.

Backpacking England Suggested Budgets

On a backpacking budget, you need at least 55 GBP per day. On this budget, you can stay in hostel dorms, cook all your meals, limit your drinking, use public transit to get around, take the bus between cities, and take advantage of all the free sites in the country (free museums, parks, beaches, etc.). It’s a tight budget so if you want some more wiggle room, I’d add another 10-15 GBP per day, especially if you plan on drinking while you’re there.

On a mid-range budget of around 135 GBP per day, you can stay in a private hostel room or private Airbnb, cook some meals and eat out at cheap pubs or fast food stalls, do some intercity travel by train (if you book early), have a couple of drinks, take the occasional taxi, and visit some paid attractions like Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London.

On a “luxury” budget of 255 GBP per day or more, you can stay in a hotel, eat out wherever you want, drink more, take taxis and the train to get around, and do more tours and activities. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you spend more, some days you spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in GBP.

England Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

England isn’t a cheap place to visit. You’re going to spend a lot of money here, especially if you stick to cities (and London will be about 30% more expensive than the rest of the country). However, there are plenty of ways to save if you know where to look. Here are my top ways to save money in England:

  • Take advantage of the free museums – Public museums offer free admission in every city throughout England and the United Kingdom. It’s a great way to learn about influential artists, immerse yourself in the country’s history, and spend a rainy day without paying a cent.
  • Book early – Book all transportation well in advance. You can find fares for around 2 GBP with a little planning. Megabus not only runs buses but also provides trains throughout England and is the best option for cheap travel throughout the country.
  • Get a Taste of UK card – The Taste of the UK card offers up to 50% off and 2-for-1 deals at selected restaurants. You don’t need to be a United Kingdom resident to get the card and the first month’s membership fee is waived, which is perfect for most travelers.
  • Eat pub food – Eating out in England can get quite expensive, but for good, cheap, and filling meals, visit the local pubs. Most serve food, and you can get a good meal for 10-15 GBP or less. Plus, the pubs are a great way to meet people!
  • Take a free walking tour – Most major cities in England offer free walking tours. They usually last a few hours and are a great way to see the city. Some tours even have a specific focus, such as history, food, or architecture. Just make sure to tip your guide!
  • Eat the lunch specials – Another way to lower your food expenses is to stick to eating out during lunch only. I typically do my eating out during lunch and then cook my dinner to lower my food costs.
  • Visit the cathedrals – Many of England’s cathedrals are free to enter. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see some of England’s 15th to 19th-century architecture. just make sure to dress and act appropriately.
  • Get a London tourist pass – If you’re planning to do lots of sightseeing in London, the London Pass provides access to over 80 attractions via its 1-10 day passes. Other passes available include the London City Pass from Turbopass (which includes an option to add transport costs), and the London Sightseeing Pass. Compare prices and activities to see which pass is the best choice for you and your budget.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in England

England has tons of awesome and budget-friendly hostels. Here are my favorite places to stay in England:

  • Astor Hyde Park (London)
  • St. Christopher’s (London)
  • YHA Manchester (Manchester)
  • The Full Moon Backpackers (Bristol)
  • Seadragon Backpackers (Brighton)
  • Embassie Liverpool Backpackers (Liverpool)

How to Get Around England

Tiers of colorful townhouses set into the hill in Bristol, England

Public transportation – England has excellent transportation in nearly every town and city, including buses, trains, and trams. Getting a travel pass is often far cheaper than buying single tickets as well. For example, in London, a one-way fare on the tube in Zone 1 costs 6.30 GBP, but getting a Visitor Oyster Card reduces that to 2.50 GBP per ride.

Train – In the United Kingdom, the National Rail service is always expensive. It’s one thing the locals love to complain about. A journey from London to Liverpool can cost as little as 25 GBP or as much as 150 GBP! Who knows? Prices flucuate a lot! The earlier you book the better.

You can use the National Rail website or Trainline to research schedules and prices.

A Eurail Pass, which allows travelers to explore Europe by providing a set number of stops in a specific time period, might also be a good option. For more information, here’s a detailed breakdown of how Eurail passes work .

Bus – The cheapest way to travel around the country is via Megabus, where fares start at 1 GBP. You need to book at least a month in advance, but even if you miss that deal, fares are rarely more than 10-15 GBP. Flixbus also has cheap fares starting at just 3 GBP.

National Express is the other main bus company in England, and they offer great discount passes to full-time students and people under 26 years old. The passes cost 12.50 GBP and give 30% or more off adult fares.

To find bus routes and prices, use BusBud .

Flying – Domestic flights around England are cheap when booked in advance. A flight from London to Manchester or Liverpool costs around 49 GBP and takes about an hour. However, once you factor in getting to and from the airport, it ends up almost always being faster to take the train unless you’re traveling far (such as from London to Scotland).

Car Rentals – Car rentals can be an affordable option in England, costing as little as 20-30 GBP per day for a multi-day rental. Don’t forget you have to drive on the left, and most cars are standard rather than automatic. Additionally, drivers need to be at least 21 to rent a vehicle here.

For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to England

Thanks to its temperate climate, visiting England year-round is enjoyable as there are very few weather extremes. Summer is peak tourism season, and temperatures are the warmest during this time — but rarely are they ever above 30°C (86°F). Although tourist sites and attractions are teeming with people, there’s also a great atmosphere in the air. People make the most of the warm weather, and there are tons of events and festivals happening all over the country.

Spring (late April-May) and autumn (September-October) are also fantastic times to visit, as temperatures are still warm and the crowds are a bit thinner. Plus, with the seasons changing, you either see gorgeous spring flowers in bloom or the leaves turning color in autumn. Just be prepared for a little rain.

Winter lasts from December to February and tourism crowds thin out dramatically. You can still do plenty of sightseeing, although further north (or in mountainous areas) some attractions may be closed for the season. Temperatures dip below 5°C (41°F) so dress warmly. Snow is not uncommon.

Keep in mind that England is famous for its gloomy, dreary weather. It can rain a lot, so make sure you pack some weather clothes and some waterproof gear no matter when you visit.

How to Stay Safe in England

England is very safe and the risk of violent crime here is very low. Scams and pickpocketing can occur around high-traffic areas, however, especially in London around tourist attractions like the Tower of London. Pickpockets tend to work in teams, so stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Keep your valuables secure and out of reach just to be safe.

Solo travelers, including solo female travelers, should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

While break-ins are rare, if you rent a car, don’t leave any valuables in it overnight just to be safe.

Scams here are rare, however, you can read about common travel scams to avoid here .

If you experience an emergency, dial 999 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

England Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Take Walks – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of England.
  • Fat Tire Tours – For bike tours, use this company! They have fun, interactive tours led by expert local guides. You’ll get to see all the main sights without breaking the bank!
  • BlaBlaCar – BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing website that lets you share rides with vetted local drivers by pitching in for gas. You simply request a seat, they approve, and off you go! It’s a cheaper and more interesting way to travel than by bus or train!

England Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling England and continue planning your trip:

The 14 Best Things to Do in Bristol

The 14 Best Things to Do in Bristol

Where to Stay in London: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in London: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The 8 Best Hostels in London

The 8 Best Hostels in London

How to Spend a Week in London

How to Spend a Week in London

The 9 Best Walking Tour Companies in London

The 9 Best Walking Tour Companies in London

70+ Free Things to Do in London

70+ Free Things to Do in London

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Finding the Universe

Travel tales, photography and a dash of humor


2 Weeks in the UK – My Perfect UK Trip Itinerary

Last updated: June 1, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 219 Comments

If you are looking for a two week UK itinerary which includes Ireland, you have come to the right place. This UK road trip itinerary has you starting in London, and using a rental car as the transportation method. It covers some of our highlights in the UK, including cities, castles, and stunning natural scenery.

I have spent a great deal of time living in and exploring the UK. I’ve drawn on my experiences travelling here to put together my perfect two week UK trip to help you plan your own trip.

This UK itinerary (which also includes Ireland) covers England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It’s a self-drive road-trip, although could also be modified to support travel by public transport if you prefer.

If you haven’t driven in the UK before, do check out my guide to driving in the UK for helpful tips. We also have a guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK if you need budget planning help.

UK Two Week Itinerary - Alnwick Castle UK

Without further ado, allow me to present my two-week UK itinerary.

A 2 week UK Trip itinerary

This itinerary is very busy and fits a lot in, including time in Ireland. It is doable, but just be aware that it will be fast paced with quite a lot of driving. Naturally, you are welcome to take the itinerary and adjust it to meet your own interests and pace.

For example, many folks prefer to focus on the UK with their two weeks, and skip the island of Ireland, returning instead via the Lake District and Wales. However, if you want to see as much as possible, this itinerary is how to do it.

Days 1 & 2: London

The UK’s capital is one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s been hanging around for over 2000 years on the banks of the Thames, and there is just an incredible wealth of things to see, from historical sights, to amazing museums, to crazy street markets.

It’s a wonderfully walk-able capital, and you can easily take in the major central sights in a day or so, leaving you the second day to explore museums, art galleries, or go a little further afield and take in some of the other sights, from crumbling cemeteries to massive parks. And if all else fails, you will never be short on an incredible pub to while away some time before heading on.

For inspiration for your visit, take a look at our 2 day London itinerary , which covers the major highlights of the city, and also links to lots of other information about visiting, including tips on finding Harry Potter locations in London through to Winston Churchill locations in London – something for everyone!

My advice for London is to invest in an Oyster card to save money on your transport (don’t hire a car until you leave the capital) and if you think you’re going to use it, look into buying a London Pass to save money on London’s top attractions.

Available in 1, 3 and 6 day versions, as well as a version with an included Oyster card, the savings can really be quite impressive if you plan on visiting a few locations. You can read a full break down on when the London Pass is worth buying here , and buy one yourself here .

Finally, London is probably going to be the most expensive city in the UK for your accommodation. We recommend booking well in advance to get a good deal.

Some of our recommended accommodation options in London are:

The Walrus Bar and Hostel , The Z hotel in Shoreditch , Point A Hotel , Lime Tree Hotel and the  Resident Victoria Hotel . You can see more London hotel listings here on . We also love the curated apartments available on Plum Guide .

Once you have finished up exploring London, we suggest collecting your car hire and heading out of town. For car hire we recommend Discover Cars , they search all the major providers so you can compare and find the best deal for your trip.

uk daily travel budget

Days 3 & 4: Oxford & the Cotswolds

One of the stipulations of the original question was the wish to avoid feeling too much like a tourist. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible in Oxford , as nearly everyone there is either a tourist or a student. I lived in and around Oxford for a number of years, and generally felt like a tourist most of that time too.

Part of the reason for that is that this tiny city is absolutely jam packed with incredible buildings, largely in the form of the Oxford Colleges. These are seriously wealthy establishments, who clearly had no problem flaunting that wealth in an architectural fashion back in the day.

Oxford Radcliffe Camera.png

This means that yes, it is full of people wandering around, mouths agape, at quite how pretty the whole thing is. Yes, it’s jam packed with tourists. But for good reason!

So strap that camera on and snap away. Then go for a punt on the river, and enjoy some Pimms or a cream tea. Seek out the Harry Potter filming locations . Take a walking tour of the Universities . There’s no shortage of way to fill your time!

Read more tips for spending a day in Oxford, here .

From Oxford you are also well located to take in the incredibly picturesque Cotswolds area – all quaint villages and rolling countryside. The England that everyone imagines England to be like, with country pubs, village greens and cricket ovals. Lovely stuff. Check out hotel prices for  Oxford here .

Days 5 & 6: Peak District and Manchester

From Oxford I’m going to suggest heading “up north”, towards the Peak District national park. Think rolling hills, quaint villages, and beautiful walks.

There are also some fabulous stately homes to visit , not to mention that on the way from Oxford you can stop off at Warwick Castle – one of the UK’s best-preserved castles.

If you’re interested in the industrial revolution in the UK I can highly recommend a visit to the city of Manchester.

Of course, if the industrial revolution isn’t your thing there are plenty of other reasons to visit Manchester, including excellent retail therapy, an awesome food scene, and a variety of architectural highlights. Not to mention the music scene!

You can see my guide to things to do in Manchester for lots more ideas, and you can see hotel prices for Manchester here .

One other thing you might consider as you pass through the Peak District and Manchester is a visit to Alton Towers . This is arguably the UK’s best known theme park, and would make for a great thrilling day out for those of you who like that sort of thing.

Day 7: York

Not that far from Manchester (England is so quaintly explorable!), the city of York is another of my favourite UK cities.

From the incredible Gothic York Minster (a climb to the top is highly recommended) to the winding, tumbled down alleyways of the shambles, to the Viking history – this is a city that just cries out for exploration.

York St Marys Abbey ruin church monastery

It’s also an awesome place if you’re into ghost stories. There are a whole number of ghost walks that take in the spooky past of York, so if you want an evening of entertainment and intrigue, likely accompanied with a number of fine drinking establishments, an evening ghost walk is a great bit of fun.

I’m not a great believer in this sort of thing usually, but I took a tour and thoroughly enjoyed it!

If you do plan on seeing a few things in York, you might save money with a York City Pass , which includes most of the attractions in the city as well as access to the York Sightseeing bus or York City Cruises. You can buy that in advance here .

For more York ideas, see our guide to spending two days in York , which has a comprehensive itinerary as well as tips on where to stay and how to get around.

For accommodation, you can check out and book the best York hotels here .

Days 8 & 9: Edinburgh via Northumberland

From York we’re going to wave farewell to England, and head up to Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. On the way though, you’ll be passing through some of England’s least travelled, yet stunningly beautiful, landscapes.

I am of course talking about Northumbria. From miles of deserted beach, to crumbling castles, to the Roman equivalent of the great wall of China, Northumbria really has a lot to offer someone looking for a slightly off the beaten track England experience. The rolling landscapes are breath-taking and you’ll find yourself alone much of the time. Worth taking a bit of time to explore, in my opinion.

uk daily travel budget

Then of course, it’s up to Edinburgh , where you’ll not be short of amazing things to look at. From Edinburgh castle, to Arthurs Seat, from fine whiskys, to Princes Street, there really is enough here for a number of days of entertainment. And if you visit during the Fringe festival… well… plan on being entertained for a good many weeks!

See more ideas on spending some time in Edinburgh in this detailed two day Edinburgh itinerary that I put together, as well as our guide to things to do in Edinburgh , our tips on visiting Edinburgh in winter , and our guide to finding Harry Potter in Edinburgh .

Then  check and book your Edinburgh hotels here.

Days 10 – 12: Ireland

Because the UK is an easily explorable place with decent roads and relatively short distances to drive, it is totally possible to include another country – Ireland! – in a trip like this if you’re up for it.

Do be aware that if you are renting a car, some car rental companies have restrictions on taking cars on ferries, or into other countries – so make sure you check before you go as there may be an additional fee to pay.

Of course, you could also fly to Ireland (Edinburgh to Belfast or Dublin for example), and use different rentals for different parts of your adventure!

If all that sounds like too much hard work, you could extend your time in Scotland, or alternatively, you could take in the west coast of the UK, including Glasgow , the Lake District, and Liverpool, as well as popping into Wales for the stunning Snowdonia national park, and rejoin this itinerary in South Wales or Bristol . The choice is yours!

If it is Ireland you want though, it’s a short ferry ride from Scotland (Cairnryan to be precise, which is 2-3 hour drive from Edinburgh) across to Belfast in Northern Ireland, from where you can spend a few days exploring the Emerald Isle.

We have travelled from Cairnryan with both Stena Line and P&O Ferries, both of which have been a fast, comfortable and efficient service. We normally use Direct Ferries for ferry booking as they compare prices across all the providers and support payment in multple currencies. You can book your ferry tickets here .

This part of the world has a lot to offer, and three days is quite a short amount of time. We can recommend spending some time in Belfast and driving north along the causeway coastal route to see such highlights as the Giant’s Causeway, ruined castles and spectacular coastline. Then, head south into Ireland, and see fabulous Dublin.

Guinness sign Dublin brewery

I’ve explored Dublin and her surroundings, taken a trip down to the Dingle Peninsula , kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, gazed at the Cliffs of Moher ,  and visited the Dark Hedges of Game of Thrones fame – to name but a few of our wonderful experience on the Irish Isle.

In Dublin there’s the Guinness Factory, of course, as a popular highlight, but also oodles of Gaelic history and culture to get excited about.

There are also of course the Irish people, well known for their love of a good time! Personally, I’d head on down the coast from Belfast, through Dublin and down to the port of Rosslare, where after three exciting days in Ireland another ferry service will whisk you across to the last of the four countries to make up the UK: Wales!

Day 13: South Wales and Cardiff

In Wales you will arrive either at Fishguard or Pembroke – both excellent places to explore the Pembrokeshire Coast national park . Here you will find beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, and fabulous opportunities for walking.

You’re also not too far a drive from Cardiff, the Welsh capital. Four capitals in a fortnight – not bad going! Here you’ll find castles, sporting venues and more Welsh based culture than you can shake a stick at. Plus, arrive at the right time of year and you’ll find the Great British Cheese festival in full swing. What’s not to be excited about? For more about travelling in Wales and highlights along this route, see our detailed Wales road trip itinerary .

Find and book your Cardiff hotels here .

Day 14: Bristol & Bath

From Cardiff you’ll cross the enormous Severn estuary over the impress Severn road bridge and be back in the UK, or Bristol to be precise. Here you’ll find all sorts of interesting items of historical interest, largely running on a nautical theme, as well as some of the best street art in Britain .

For over a thousand years Bristol has been an important English port. From early explorers and traders, to the dark years of the African slave vessels, to filling Australia with immigrants, it is hard to understate the role that Bristol has played in Britain’s sea faring history. There is, after all, a reason for the expression “ship-shape and Bristol fashion” having a place in the English language.

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I can highly recommend taking a trip round the SS Great Britain when you’re in Bristol. Built in 1843, and designed by the engineering genius who was Isambard Kingdom Brunel – the man who almost single-handedly revolutionised both engineering and public transport in the UK.

The SS Great Britain is notable as being the first steamer to cross the Atlantic – setting a record pace for the time of 14 days. An amazing bit of history. Note that tickets are slightly cheaper if you book them online, which you can do online here .

For more ideas in Bristol, check out our guide to things to do in Bristol , which should give you plenty of ideas to fill your time. Find the best prices on Bristol hotels and book here .

From Bristol it’s on to the Roman spa city of Bath, a world heritage site. Like Oxford , this is a difficult place to be anything other than a tourist, but it is so worth it all the same!

Day 15: Back to London, via Stonehenge!

Our last day of our just over two week UK itinerary takes us back to London. No trip to the UK though would really be complete without taking in perhaps our most famous monument – the circle of rocks known as Stonehenge.

There is just something about the place that makes you wonder. A circle of rocks, built by a people who had nothing but their hands and some bits of wood to help them out, in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside, hundreds of miles from an actual quarry, is just mind blowing.

Add in the pagan ritualism, the relationship between the rocks and the sun, and the sheer mystery of the place, and you have somewhere that is capable of really capturing the imagination. Worth your time to visit (see more thoughts from a trip to Stonehenge here ).

Plus, while you’re there you can pop into Salisbury and enjoy the cathedral, which boasts the highest cathedral spire of any church in the UK.

And then… back to London, where this tour finishes!

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2 Weeks in the UK: Road Trip Map

Here’s a map of the route , for your reference.

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2 Week UK Itinerary Summary

  • Days 1 & 2 : London
  • Days 3 & 4 : Oxford & the Cotswolds
  • Days 5 & 6 : Peak District and Manchester
  • Day 7 : York
  • Days 8 & 9 : Edinburgh via Northumberland
  • Days 10 – 12 : Ireland
  • Day 13 : South Wales and Cardiff
  • Day 14 : Bristol & Bath
  • Day 15 : Back to London, via Stonehenge!

Can you do this 2 Week UK itinerary by public transport?

A popular question from readers is whether or not this itinerary can be done by public transport. I appreciate that of course not everyone wants to drive in the UK, and the answer, for the most part, is yes.

Certainly, between the major cities on the itinerary there are good rail and/or bus links, with the train usually being a little faster. The main challenge is the rural sections of the route – for example, exploring the Cotswolds, Northumbria or the Peak District. This is possible using local buses of course, but it can definitely slow you down a fair bit, and so you would need to adjust the itinerary a little to fit the schedule.

Another option is to add in some days in London or Edinburgh, and doing some specific day trips from these cities to take in the out of town attractions.

For example, there is this  day trip from London that takes in highlights such as Bath and Stonehenge. Then, for Northumbria and the Scottish Borders, including beautiful Alnwick Castle, consider this tour from Edinburgh .

If you are interested in doing this itinerary by public transport, check out my guide to taking a 10 day UK trip by public transport, which as well as a route, has lots of ideas for how to book different forms of transport in the most effective and cost-efficient way.

What About Touring the UK With A Tour Company?

Another popular question is whether or not this sort of trip can be done with a tour company, and if we have any companies we would recommend for this.

So you have a few options for doing this which I have outlined below.

The first option is to take a group tour of the UK. There are a number of companies offering small group tours – we’d recommend finding a service which operates tours of 15 people or less. We usually use and recommend Rabbie’s Trail Burners , who operate trips around the UK and Ireland, and have a number of tour options to choose from.

We haven’t found a tour that exactly matches our UK wide itinerary, but we still have a solution for those of you wanting the do a similar trip as part of a guided tour.

First, we recommend you spend two or three days in London, following our suggested London itinerary .

Next, we recommend you take something similar to this small group tour , which takes eight days to take you from London to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh, you can spend a couple of days following our Edinburgh itinerary , after which you can easily fly to either Belfast or Dublin direct from Edinburgh.

Here you can either explore these lovely cities, or take a tour to explore more of the country, we’d recommend either this three day tour of Northern Ireland  or this three day tour of the southern and western coast .

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to skip Ireland, you could take something like this five day tour of the Scottish Highlands and Skye .

Finally, you can either return to London, or have your flights home depart from Dublin or Edinburgh, depending on your tour choice.

The other option is a bespoke tour company and/or a private tour guide, who will be able to put a tour together for you, including guiding, transport and accommodation.

Of all the options, this will generally be the most expensive way to travel, but it will also give you total flexibility in terms of your trip and schedule, plus you’ll have a guide with you every step of the way, taking all the hassle out of your trip.

For this sort of tour, we recommend the services of a professional driver-guide. This website lists all the certified blue badge guides offering tours across the UK. We have taken tours with these guides and always had a good time. The guide we used has sadly now retired, but the website has many good options to choose from.

When to Visit the UK

You can visit the UK at any time of year, although for the best weather and longer daylight hours, we’d definitely suggest visiting in the warmer months – from May to September. May is probably our favourite time of year, the weather is usually quite reasonable but the tourist crowds are not too intense.

Christmas, and the period leading up to Christmas, can also be a wonderful time to visit, when the streets and shops are all brightly lit and decorated for the festive season. For a good example of this, check out our guide to visiting Edinburgh at Christmas .

Where to Stay in the UK:

For accommodation , there are a great many options to choose from, ranging from cosy B&B’s through to upmarket hotels, and everything in between. Finding the best deal on your accommodation is an important part of trip planning – helping you to get the most from your budget, as well as find the property that is right for you.

  • We’ve tried a lot of booking sites, and nearly always find ourselves using They have an extensive selection of properties, many with no-fee cancellation policies, and often run discounts and special offers. Click on each city title to see their listings:  London , Oxford ,  Manchester , York , Edinburgh , Dublin , Cardiff and Bristol .
  • If you prefer an apartment or more of a hosted stay, then we recommend Plum Guide . We’ve tried all the others, and in our experience Plum Guide consistently has the highest quality options for the locations they are available.
  • If you can’t find what you want on Plum Guide, or you want some new options to try out, we wrote a whole post on the best alternatives to AirBnB , as well as a guide to our favourite holiday cottage accommodation in the UK , which you should check out!

Between these options, you should find the best prices and places to stay for your trip, as well as a good selection of reviews and feedback to help you make an informed decision.

How to Get Around the UK

For this kind of trip I also obviously recommend that you look into renting a car. We have used and can recommend Enterprise Car Rental , they usually have great rates, especially for one way rentals. We also recommend comparing car prices using a service like Discover Cars , which compares prices across a range of providers to help you find the best deal.

A hire car will give you a lot more flexibility than public transport, and prices are generally fairly reasonable. However, if you would prefer to do a trip like this by public transport instead of driving yourself, check out our UK itinerary by public transport for ideas.

Another option for travelling in the UK is to hire a motorhome. Whilst this might not be practical for a city focused trip, you might prefer it if you are planning on visiting more rural locations.

For campervan rental we suggest checking out Motorhome Republic . They offer a campervans from a range of companies at different price points, so you can find the right one for you. You can see their UK listings here .

Further reading for your UK Trip

We’ve got lots of resources to help you plan your trip to the UK, from posts we’ve written ourselves to third party content we’re happy to recommend. Here it is:

  • If you want a shorter trip, taking in some more off the beaten path destinations, check out this one week itinerary of the UK that I put together. If you’d prefer not to drive yourself, we also have a 10 day UK itinerary by public transport .
  • To prepare for your trip to the UK, we’ve put together a detailed UK packing list which covers both London and the wider UK at any time of year
  • This is a self-drive trip, so you should definitely check out our guide to driving in the UK for helpful tips.
  • We also have a guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK  which will help you cost out a trip like this.
  • A guide to driving Scotland’s epic North Coast 500 , as well as accommodation options on the North Coast 500
  • When you’re near Glasgow, you should check out the beautiful Devil’s Pulpit in Finnich Glen
  • A two day Edinburgh itinerary & 21 Highlights in Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh: Getting off the beaten path
  • A Two Day Glasgow and Loch Lomond itinerary
  • A guide to 10 of the best Stately Homes in England , to give you some ideas as you plan your itinerary
  • For London, we have some detailed itineraries to help you plan your visit. These include a 1 Day London Itinerary , a Two Day London itinerary and a Six Day London itinerary
  • The top Harry Potter sites in London
  • The Best Photography Locations in London
  • Tips on Buying and Using the London Pass
  • Eight Things to Do in Kensington
  • The Highlights of Oxford
  • Our guide to things to do in Cambridge
  • Visiting Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds
  • 20 Things To Do in Dublin , a 2 day Dublin itinerary and a 3 day Dublin itinerary
  • A Guide to Touring the Scottish Borders
  • Getting online when travelling in a foreign country can be daunting – check out our guide to getting online when travelling to help you figure out the best options for your trip
  • If you’re interested in getting better photos when you travel, take a look at my online photography course , where I’ll teach you everything you need to know about getting better photos – whatever camera you have!
  • If you want a physical (or digital!) book to accompany your travels, then Amazon do a good line in UK Travel Guides , and there is naturally a Lonely Planet and a Rough Guide to the UK available.

If you’re planning on visiting a number of historical properties, there are a couple of options you have for saving money as a visitor to the UK. Two main organisations exist to preserve these properties, the National Trust, and English Heritage.

Both of these organisations offer specific passes for visitors to the UK, which represent great value for money for visitors.

For the National Trust you can pick up a National Trust touring pass . This is valid for 7 or 14 days, and gives you access to every National Trust property in the England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For English Heritage , you can get an English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass . This is valid for 9 or 16 days, and gives you access to every English Heritage property in the UK.

Alternatively, you can also buy a full membership to these organisations, which will last a full year. You can buy an English Heritage Membership here and a National Trust membership here .

So those were my thoughts for taking in a slightly longer than two week trip in the UK. I’ve obviously missed out a great number of places, as no two week trip can possibly hope to see everything, but I’d like to think I covered a great many highlights of this truly fascinating country.

As always, if you’ve got any thoughts on this post, do hit up the comments below!

A detailed two week itinerary for a trip around the UK, taking in cultural highlights, national parks, four countries and four capital cities!

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There are 219 comments on this post

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25th February 2024 at 6:30 pm

Hello, we are planning a trip this summer. On my list is scotch tasting in Islay. How many days should we add? Do you have any recommendations?

Laurence Norah says

25th February 2024 at 9:28 pm

Sure thing. Islay is beautiful and very much worth a visit. I’d suggest spending a couple of day at least if you can spare it as it takes a bit of time to get to and from the island and there is plenty to see and do there. I have a guide to things to do on Islay which might help. In terms of whisky distilleries, if you have a favourite whisky that I’d obviously recommend going to that distillery. My favourite whisky is Laphroaig, so I enjoyed visiting that distillery particularly. However my guide to Islay lists all the currently active ones so you can make a choice as to which one you prefer.

Have a great trip!

Marcelo Gurgel says

18th January 2024 at 11:52 pm

Hello ! Your post is very good ! I would like to do a similar tour, but on a motorcycle. Including Isle of Man where the TT Isle of Man race will take place. Please for I leave the bike on the London side and take the Ferry by foot and the best option? Cheaper in this case? How much do ferries generally cost? Where do I search for tickets and itineraries? Thanks a lot for the help !

19th January 2024 at 12:02 am

Hi Marcelo,

Thank you! So the only company which operates ferries to the Isle of Man is the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and the best way to book a ferry is directly on their website here . They operate services from Heysham, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin.

If you plan on visiting during the TT race then you should book as soon as you can as this is a very popular event.

The price will vary depennding on when you go but it is definitely less expensive to go as a foot passenger. Looking at a route, it’s around £40 – £50 one way for a foot passenger, and £120 – £140 for a passenger with a bike. However, remember that you will need to pay to park your bike somewhere secure, and you will also need to have transport on the Isle of Man. Also, at more popular times, such as during the TT races, prices can be higher.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions! Safe travels!


10th December 2023 at 10:20 pm

stumbled across your blog and was pleasantly surprised! my wife and I will arrive in London on 6/19/24 in advance of Wimbledon where we’ll be staying from 7/5 though 7/10. we want to sorta do your route in reverse, heading out of London straight away renting a car, and heading out. we have around 2 weeks and want to start heading to Ireleand, then Scotland, then visiting cousins in Durham in northern GB, returning car in London before wimbeldon.

would love to get some advice on that reverse route, forgoing the London stuff until later, but wanting your insights on anything else! thanks in advance!

13th December 2023 at 12:19 am

It’s great to hear from you. So you can do the route either way without any issue. The main thing if you do decide to include Ireland is to be sure to check if the car rental company you choose allows you to take the car on a ferry to Ireland. Some will and some won’t, you’ll just want to confirm before booking. Otherwise I think you have the structure of a good itinerary. You can follow my route and just adjust it to suit your interests and available time. I’d definitely recommend booking in advance for places to stay and the ferries as you are coming at a popular time for travel so things will start to book up. Otherwise, just have a great time and let me know if you have any questions!

13th December 2023 at 2:38 am

Lawrence….thanks so much…great info on the ferry and booking places….do you have a fav booking site for places to stay?

13th December 2023 at 3:37 am

It’s my pleasure! We primarily use when we travel because we like the filters. We usually filter by rating (8+) and then depending on the trip things like having free parking (handy for a road trip). Then things like WiFi, laundry, free breakfast, free cancellation, depending on what we are doing. Also like that you can apply the filters to the map view (again, handy for road trips). You can also book apartments. We also use various other sites depending on where we are going, some places have more AirBnB options. In the UK we also book holiday cottages but for a trip like yours which will likely have more shorter stops I’d say hotels or B&Bs are likely to be an easier option as apartments often have the extra overhead of needing to arrange check in and check out times.

Let me know if I can help any further 🙂

Linda Haddock says

2nd December 2023 at 7:38 am

Hello, thank you for this helpful blog! Do you have any recommendations on when, where and what to include for sites for a JRR Tolkien fan?

2nd December 2023 at 8:46 pm

It’s my pleasure. So Oxford would be my main recommendation as it was here that Tolkien studied and worked. Fun side story, a dear friend of mine was Tolkien’s Doctor and knew him well, although he has now passed. Anyway, Tolkien studied at Exeter Collge in Oxford and was also a fellow at Pembroke College and Merton College, so many of the sights in Oxford like the Radcliffe Camera and Ashmolean museum would be of interest. The Bodeleian Library in Oxford (the Radcliffe Camera is part of this) does have the originals of many of his works but these are not usually on display unfortunately.

I hope this helps a bit! Have a lovely time in the UK and do let me know if you need any more input 🙂

Ingrid Ermanovics says

24th May 2022 at 3:45 pm

Hi, Love your blog. I hear that the traffic in July can be daunting and cause very long delays. As such, would you still recommend a private car hire (car rental)? Or have other suggestions to avoid the issue? Thanks!!

24th May 2022 at 4:33 pm

Thanks very much! So in my experience, the main factors that contribute to traffic in the UK are road works, which can happen at any time, and travelling at specific times. For example, when there is a public holiday on a Monday or Friday, this tends to lead to a lot of holiday traffic. So avoiding those dates makes a lot of sense. July is not particularly worse in my experience, it can be a bit heavier, but it’s not normally awful unless you are unlucky and encounter an accident, or there are road works. I would advise against trips on Friday or Sunday afternoons, as this is when the traffic can be quite bad at any time of year as people go away for or come back from the weekends.

I’d also advise using an app like Google maps with real time traffic, and trying to plan your travel times so they don’t align with the busier times of day. In general though, i would still recommend using a car rental even in July 🙂

I hope this helps!

Debbie Hebert says

16th May 2022 at 12:16 am

Hi Laurence and Jessica, this trip looks super fun and we are looking to visit July-Aug of this year starting in Dublin (as the airfare is best to there from our home in New Orleans). Just a few questions. Would you suggest going North or South from Dublin? How many miles is the entire itinerary? Is there is a stretch where we could ditch the rental car and take the train and then pick up another car? And/or if we drop off the car before and after London and train in which cities would be best to do that? Thank you so much!

16th May 2022 at 3:11 pm

Thanks Debbie!

So I’d probably recommend dropping the rental car in Belfast or Dublin and then flying across to Cardiff or Edinburgh, depending which way you go. Many car rental firms don’t allow for rentals to be taken on the ferry, plus you have to pay more to transport a car, so this would likely save you money.

Direction wise in Ireland, it really depends what you want to see. In the Republic of Ireland you have lovely landscapes and places like the Dingle peninsula and Ring of Kerry. If you head north to Belfast (also a lovely city), then you can visit places like the Giant’s Causeway and the Coastal Causeway route.

Putting a mileage total on the entire itinerary is tricky as there are likely to be many detours but I’d say a ballpark of 1500 – 2000 miles seems about right. In terms of areas where you can drop the car and take public transport, a lot of this will depend on what you want to see. If you are happy with primarily cities, then you can easily get around between cities with a train instead of a car. So for example, Edinburgh to York, York to Manchester, Manchester to Bath and Bath to Oxford would all work. Then if there were specific day trips you wanted to do there’s the option to either rent a car for that day, or take a day tour. But if you are thinking of spending more time in the countryside and smaller towns, then a car would be a lot less useful. I’d definitely recommend against taking a car into London, and dropping it off somewhere like Oxford or Reading before taking the train into London.

Farooq Ghouri says

6th May 2022 at 2:56 am

Hi Laurence and Jessica We are visiting UK this summer for two weeks. Your two weeks itinerary is great resource for us. I wonder how we can squeeze Wales in it . Any suggestions will be much appreciated We will be using rental car Sincerely Farooq Ghouri from Chicago USA

6th May 2022 at 9:44 am

Thanks very much! So the southern part of Wales is included in this trip on the return from Ireland. However, if you wanted to add Wales your main option would be to do it as you drive north, or to consider skipping Ireland and to drive back down through Wales to Bath. The second option might be easier as it cuts down having to think about a ferry / flight across to Ireland, but it’s up to you. This itinerary is already very busy, so adding more to it as it exists would be a bit of a challenge in my opinion.

Let me know if I can offer any further advice, and have a great time in the UK!

6th May 2022 at 5:06 pm

Thank you much Laurence I will keep your suggestion in mind when finalizing the itinerary

Heather says

28th April 2022 at 2:35 am

I noticed your recommended the The Resident Victoria and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. I will be travelling with 3 people, one of which is a full time wheelchair user. Do you think the room size is adequate for a 5 day visit? Did you happen to notice if the showers were roll in or a wet room with chair? I realize most hotels only have accessible showers and whatnot in certain rooms so will understand if you don’t know. I found your travel blog a month ago and love it. Thanks from Canada

28th April 2022 at 12:01 pm

Hi Heather,

Sure thing. So, the first thing to be aware of is that rooms in central London tend to be quite small, especially if you are used to the size of hotel rooms in North America. Another thing to be aware of is that baths are quite common, and having a shower over the bath rather than a separate stall is also fairly common. So if looking for an accessible room it’s really important to specify that, and it’s always worth checking with the hotel what that actually means.

I would say that none of the rooms in the Resident Victoria would really be suitable for three adults to share for a longer stay, if that was what you were thinking. The superior rooms do have the option for three single beds, but these are not accessible rooms. In general, the rooms are fairly compact and I think a wheelchair user in particular would struggle in their standard rooms.

If you were thinking of separate rooms, some of their King Rooms are accessible so that would be an option. I called the hotel this morning and they confirmed that it is their King rooms which are accessible and the showers in these rooms are fully roll in. The toilets and sinks are also accessible. They can also provide a chair in the shower if you want. However these are definitely rooms for two people.

I hope this answers your question! The property is very well located for sure. Let me know if I can offer any further advice. I also have a full guide to where to stay in London which has a lot more options 🙂

13th April 2022 at 11:47 pm

Hi Laurence,

Was very interesting to read this trip. But it’s more suitable for adults without kids to travell to Ireland within two weeks. Can you please look for following trip plan: We are 2 adults + 2 kids (12 and 10) for 14 days. My daughter likes Harry Potter, so preference on these kind of attractions. So i wanted to divided for following parts: 1. London 5 days –>>> museums, parks and so on. 2. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London 1 day 3. Oxford or Cambridge .. yet not decided… for one day + Windsor Castle 4. Rent a car(or by train) and drive to the north >> York 1 day Manchester + Alton Towers – 1 day 5. Drive to south Birmingham (Cadbury world + other attractions) – 1 day Costwolds area – 1 day Bath + Stonehenge – 1 day Total 12 + 2 days (driving + bufffer for other changes during the trip)

Do you think is it good? What to add or remove? Or continue to Edinburgh and cancel some places in current trip? Thanks in advance Sam

14th April 2022 at 11:23 am

Great to hear from you. I agree, trying to include Ireland on the trip would be challenging with family. I think your itinerary sounds good, spending more time focusing on a smaller number of areas is a good choice. For your options, I think I might suggest Oxford over Cambridge if your daughter likes Harry Potter as there are quite a few filming locations in Oxford (see the Oxford section of our Harry Potter guide here ). I would also probably allocate a whole day to Oxford and maybe do Windsor Castle on one of your days in London. Oxford is very easy to reach by train from London so makes an easy day trip, but the day might feel rushed if you include Windsor as well.

I think otherwise your itinerary sounds good. A car will make things easier for sure, especially for things like exploring the Cotswolds and getting to Alton Towers. These are doable by public transport but it will take up valuable time. I also think focusing on England is a good idea. Depending on how much of a Harry Potter fan your daughter is you might consider stopping at Gloucester as well to see Gloucester Cathedral, which was used for various Hogwarts scenes .It’s a spectacular cathedral and lovely city in its own right as well, easy to see in 2-3 hours between Birmingham and Bath before dipping into the Cotswolds.

Have a great trip – let me know if you have any questions!

Vincent Choo says

12th April 2022 at 11:04 am

Laurence, My family and I ( 4 of us intend to tour Great Britain for 2 weeks before joining our friends in Belfast to continue another 10 days covering the island of Ireland. We intend to travel with a combination of car, train , ferry and air and hope to have your recommendation on which sectors should I use the above modes of transport. The intineary is roughly the same as your 2 weeks ( loop from London and ends there ) Thank You

12th April 2022 at 2:43 pm

Hi Vincent!

This is a great question, and the answer will come down to both budget and your interests.

If you are primarily interested in cities and larger towns, then travelling by rail might be easier for the majority of your trip. You can get between most cities and towns quite easily by train, and if you book well in advance you can also get cheap fares. You can also use a Friends & Family railcard to save even more. Travelling by train has the advantage that you don’t have to worry about car rental costs, fuel costs and finding car parking, the latter of which can be a challenge in many cities. I’d definitely advise against a car in London at the very least.

If you prefer a mix of city sightseeing and countryside, then a car is going to be more useful as most countryside sights and places like the Lake District are going to be a lot easier to get to and around with your own vehicle. I’d just suggest leaving the car out of the London part of the trip, and remembering to think about parking and fuel prices as part of your budget. I think a car might end up being slightly more expensive than public transport, but honestly the car rental market is so turbulent these days it’s hard to know without doing the math.

My recommendation would be to fly to Ireland – low cost flights with budget airlines will likely be the best option, and most car rental companies actually don’t allow for their vehicles to go on a ferry. Then you could pick up a hire car in Ireland on arrival.

It sounds like you have a great trip planned – let me know if I can offer any more input!

Sanchay says

7th April 2022 at 8:05 pm

Hello, Im planning a 2 week trip which shall include England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland during the month of October 2022. Is it feasible to cover all the places in 2 weeks considering that we are a group of 6 adults and 2 children ( 11 and 12 yrs) or shall we skip any of the destinations. We shall use Public transport in London and prefer Self drive cars / Trains / Ferries elsewhere. I also want to know if you could share some ranch stays where in we can stay and enjoy the country side instead of hotels. Awaiting your kind suggestion

Thanks and Regards 🙂

8th April 2022 at 11:04 am

Hi Sanchay,

Thanks for your comment. So I would probably recommend that you focus on maybe a couple of countries so you can enjoy yourself a bit more. I would probably recommend perhaps the mainland UK, as the extra effort required to get across to Ireland will eat into your time with two weeks. So perhaps a trip which includes London and Edinburgh, and then areas like the Lake District and / or Wales. One thing to be aware of is that the weather in October can be a bit variable, so spending more time in the cities might be more appealing rather than the country side where the weather might not be suitable for a lot of outdoor activities. Of course, you might be lucky and get good weather, but this is not guaranteed.

For ranch stays, probably the closest in the UK would be countryside B&Bs. Some farms do have accommodation option, and there are some lovely self catering options in the country as well.

Have a great trip and let me know if you have any further questions!

Derek Bowen says

2nd June 2021 at 5:16 pm

A really good trip, but I would skip Manchester and head right up through Rawtenstall, up through Burnley and Nelson. This would be a really good look at the cotton industry as well a real feel of northern England, as well as the best fish and chips. Then carry on up through Skipton, trying to time market day, and over to York, which is a must.

3rd June 2021 at 12:53 pm

Thank you Derek! For sure, there are so many ways to change this route depending on interests, and your suggestion is a good one 😀

Patrick Russell says

22nd March 2021 at 5:18 pm

This is absolutely amazing itinerary. What would a rough cost be for a trip like this? Minus airfare, and passports.

Thank you, Patrick

22nd March 2021 at 5:23 pm

Thanks Patrick! So it will vary quite a bit depending on your travel style. The main costs on a trip like this are transport, accommodation, food and attraction entry. Accommodation will obviously depend on how comfortable you like to travel, and food will also vary a lot depending on if you prefer fine dining or simpler fare.

To help cost a trip like this I put a guide to the costs of travelling in the UK in a post, which should give you some guidance 🙂

Hope this helps!

Matthew says

8th December 2020 at 2:51 pm

Interesting itinerary. As a British person, rather than a traveller, my comment would be it doesn’t have much of the coast in, though I understand the time constraints. But a trip to the UK with no seaside towns! At least add Brighton, easy to reach from London. Dorset isn’t too far either, and has a fantastic coast. Also, Chester is beautiful and well worth inclusion.

8th December 2020 at 2:52 pm

Hey Matthew,

Great feedback. When I wrote this guide initially it was in response to a specific request, but of course there is so much of the UK that it doesn’t cover for various reasons (including time restraints!). I always encourage folks to use it as a rough guide, but to modify it for their own interests 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Tammy Howard says

25th February 2020 at 11:07 pm

Dear Laurence,

Thank you so much for this itinerary. It is fabulous!! We would like to sleep in a castle while on our trip. Are there any that you know of that allow this along this route?

26th February 2020 at 11:20 am

Dear Tammy,

My pleasure! So yes, there are quite a few options along the route, depending on your budget. Some options to consider:

Thornbury Castle – just north of Bristol

Glenapp Castle – just south of the Scotland – Ireland ferry crossing. We’ve stayed here and it’s wonderful

Kilkea Castle Hotel – south of Dublin. We’ve also stayed here.

Cringletie Castle Hotel – about a 40 minute drive south of Edinburgh. Another of our favourites.

Of course, this is just a small selection – there are many more across the UK to choose from, at a range of budgets. One tip when staying in a castle hotel – some of them have built more rooms outside the castle itself. So make sure when booking that you get a room that inside the castle (I think otherwise it sort of defeats the point!).

Have a great trip, let me know if you have any more questions!

Abdiaziz says

29th February 2020 at 8:27 am

How much will I pay if I want to travel next month

29th February 2020 at 10:14 am

Hi Abdiaziz,

March is not too busy a month for travel in the UK, so prices should be reasonable. To figure out your costs for this trip, see our guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK 🙂

Dhaval says

3rd February 2020 at 9:17 am

Hi Laurence, Thanks a lot for this amazing itinerary. We are a group of 4 adults + 4 kids (1Y,3Y,5Y,7Y) and are planning a 15 days trip to the UK. This will be our first time. Can you please assist us with the below queries:-

1. Considering we have small kids, what is the best mode of transport to travel from London to Edinburgh to Dublin? Should we keep one separate day for travelling in our itinerary? We will also have Kids Strollers everywhere we travel. 2. We want to do Day tours from London to Oxford, Cotswold, Stonehenge, Bath etc keeping our base in London. But few of my friends suggested that the Local operators don’t include kids below 5Years and we will be forced to take a rent a car. Any suggestions? 3. Also if we follow your above itinerary, can you guide us the exact cities in which we need to book our apartments/hotels to avoid hassle-free travelling.

Thanks a lot in Advance. Cheers 🙂

3rd February 2020 at 2:45 pm

My pleasure 🙂 I will do my best to help of course. To answer your questions:

1 – From London to Edinburgh I would recommend the train. This takes around 4.5 hours and will be a lot quicker than driving / taking a bus, plus you will have more space for your stroller / bags etc. You could fly too, but as it will take time to check everything in, go through security etc, I think the train will be easier. Just be sure to book your train well in advance to get a good price, and be aware that if you book a ticket in advance, you must take the booked train, the ticket will not work on a different train, even on the same day.

For Edinburgh to Dublin, your only option is realistically to fly.

2 – This is correct, for safety reasons most group tours do not accept children under a certain age, which is often 5. However, you can instead book a private tour. For a group of eight of you this should not work out much more expensive than a normal tour, plus you will be able to customise the itinerary. So I would advise reaching out to private tour operators who should be able to assist.

3 – All the cities are in the itinerary, you would need to stay in whichever ones you want to visit that don’t fall within the day tours you wish to take from London.

I hope this helps – have a great trip and let me know if I can help any further,

Serafina Macdonald says

11th January 2020 at 9:09 pm

Hi there, we are planning a trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland at the beginning of July. We are thinking about 16-18 days. I looked at your itinerary and love your suggestions! My husband does want to spend a half-day in Liverpool and I think we can tweak your itinerary to fit it in and try to do Isle of Skye as well. Since we do have the few extra days at the end of the trip, do you think it would be worthwhile to travel over to the other coast of Ireland to explore that side? (Galway, Aran Islands). Would love some suggestions.

11th January 2020 at 9:18 pm

Hi Serafina!

So Liverpool would definitely be an easy addition to the itinerary. The Isle of Skye is a bit more of a trek, as it’s a five hour drive each way from Edinburgh, so I’d suggest allocating at least 3 days for that, one day each for the drive and one day to actually explore. So do keep that in mind.

For Ireland, absolutely. The west coast is stunning, and if you can find time to head over there I would definitely suggest doing so. There’s a lot to see over there, so the hardest part will be choosing, but certainly the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry are some good candidates for your shortlist 🙂

Have a great time, and let me know if you have any more questions!

12th January 2020 at 2:15 pm

Thanks so much! Looking forward to this trip!

3rd December 2019 at 9:40 am

Dear Laurence, This is the first time I visit UK so could you help give a good advice to have plan visit UK during time 24th Dec- 08th Jan

Thanks Duong

3rd December 2019 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for your message. The majority of the information you need should be available on the site, both in this post and in the posts I link to. I am happy to try and help answer any specific questions you might have – is there anything in particular you are worried about?

The main things I would suggest, depending on where you are travelling from, are to plan what you want to see, to plan your accommodation and transport, and to pack properly for winter. Obviously you are visiting over Christmas and New Year, which is a busy time of year, so if you have not booked your accommodation yet you will definitely want to look into that, especially over New Year as that can be a busy time for both travel and accommodation.

Let me know if I can offer any more specific help for your trip,

Hang Tran says

26th November 2019 at 3:59 pm

Hi Laurence, Thank you for your advice and emails. I was able to put together our 2-week itinerary in England. I changed our lodging to London instead of Heathrow and booked different places when we travel around with our Britrail passes. I can’t say thank you enough. It’s very helpful for us. We will stay in London (3 days), Edinburgh (3 days:Edinburgh and York), Bristol for 5 days, Bath for 2 days and travel to other nearby cities (Stonehenge, Oxford, Cardiff) by train to make one-day trip. Is it right time to visit Cardiff in winter? If not, do you have any other places to spend a day? We’re thinking about Liverpool but it takes about 3-hours ride. If so, what should we can see in such a short time in Liverpool? We never ride a train before so we don’t mind riding the train everyday and enjoy the view together.

26th November 2019 at 5:20 pm

I am so pleased to have been able to help you and to hopefully make your trip a memorable one. It sounds like you have a wonderful itinerary planned now.

I would say that Cardiff is fine to visit in winter. Like many cities in the UK, lots of the attractions are indoors, so you can visit at any time of year and have a good time. Obviously you’ll want to dress warmly, but this will be the same all around the UK. Cardiff will definitely be one of the easier places to visit given its proximity. Another option would be Birmingham. I think I would probably not do Liverpool from Bristol – the 3 hour trip each way would be 6 hours on a train, so I don’t think you’d really have enough time to enjoy the city.

Let me know if I can be of any further help! We actually live in Bath too, so maybe we’ll see you 😉

28th November 2019 at 5:30 am

Hi Laurence, Thank you for the suggestion. We will look into Birmingham instead of Liverpool. We might be able to meet you for breakfast or lunch in Bath on Dec 22 or 23. I was able to find a place to stay that we can walk up or down the street to get to Bath Spa. Everything is in walking distance. Thanks to you again.

Sincerely, Hang

28th November 2019 at 7:22 pm

My pleasure – have a lovely trip. Do pop a comment here or send me an e-mail if you have some free time!

Laurel says

9th October 2019 at 7:23 am

Hi, love your itinerary of the UK. It includes much of what we want to see. Howev r, we are a senior couple of nomads from Australia and we are trying to organise a four week trip of the UK and Ireland including the islands off Scotland but we are steam train buffs and have the 10 best day trips on steam trains to try to include. Do you help with itinerary planning to include as many of these as we can but in some sort of order? If not can you head us in the right direction? We don’t need London as we have a couple of days there prior to a cruise of Norway. Is it feasible to do this trip in September and will he days still be long and fairly warm? Thanks in anticipation for your advice.

9th October 2019 at 6:16 pm

Thanks very much! So we don’t offer custom itinerary planning as it’s quite a time intensive process. We’re happy to answer specific questions and help where we can of course. Steam trains aren’t really an area of expertise though!

I can definitely answer your questions about September – I’d say September is a great month to travel. If you are lucky it might still be reasonably warm (recent years have been lovely in September), but you skip the crowds of the summer months and the schools will have gone back as well. September and May are our favourite months to travel. Of course, this is the UK, so rain and cooler weather is certainly possible (although you can get this in July and August as well!), so it’s always best to be prepared with layers of clothing, but you should be fine generally. The days will still be long, light until around 8pm depending on which part of the month you visit 🙂

Have a great trip, and let me know if I can answer any more specifics!

Kevin Ortyl says

19th September 2019 at 6:51 pm

Love the website and your two-week itinerary. Very easy to follow.. So glad we found your site. Need advice please… (Coming from Boston, USA) Thinking of a two-week vacation late August 2020 (family of 4… 2 college age kids) flying into London and out of Dublin. So similar trip you outlined but not returning to Heathrow once in Ireland. Planning on rental car and driving everywhere. Can the one way car rental work in this scenario (London, Scotland, ferry to the Emerald Isle, drop rental at Dublin)? Second Q… if we were to eliminate the Wales back to London segment how would you fill in that itinerary staying in Ireland?

19th September 2019 at 7:20 pm

Thanks very much. So dropping off the car in a different country might be a challenge. Most car rental companies will let you drop the car off in a different part of the same country, but as the Republic of Ireland is separate from the UK, that would likely be a challenge. So your best option is probably to rent the car in the UK, then drop it off at Edinburgh airport and fly to Dublin, then pick up a new rental there.

For your time in Ireland, you have a lot of options! If you are looking for a road trip the Causeway Coastal Route in northern Ireland is a favourite of ours, and the Wild Atlantic Way is also a great drive. Of course there is so much to see in Ireland and Northern Ireland depending on what you are interested in, with both Dublin and Belfast being worth a visit. It would just depend if you wanted to do more city or more country 🙂

Let me know if I can be of any more help – we have quite a few posts on Ireland as well on the site with some ideas!

19th September 2019 at 9:58 pm

Thank you for the reply, and the good information regarding rental cars.

To follow up, once in Ireland probably interested in seeing some of the quaint cities/towns, visit the pubs, little urban culture, castles, etc and those types of places in lieu of say hiking and biking. Hoping of course between destinations to see beautiful countryside and such!

20th September 2019 at 9:02 am

My pleasure 🙂 So I would suggest that driving the Causeway Coastal Route ( ) Might be a good option 🙂

4th September 2019 at 2:13 am

Hi Laurence, I really like the two week trip itenerary. We’ll will be driving and are experienced with that. We’d like to see some worthy gardens along the suggested route. Any ideas?

4th September 2019 at 7:02 pm

Certainly. The gardens at Alnwick Castle are wonderful, as are the gardens at many of the stately homes in the UK (you can see our list of good stately homes in England here ). Not all of them have gardens of course, but that’s a good starting point. Many cities also have botanic gardens, including Edinburgh and Kew Gardens in London, which are well worth the visit.

I hope this helps a little 🙂

Rachel Sales says

16th August 2019 at 5:15 am

Hi! This post gave me lots of ideas. However, can you help me out in modifying this itinerary which will make Edinburgh as the last stop? My flight booking is DXB-LHR, EDI-DXB. I thought it will be nice it it’s an onward journey and not have to go back to my starting point. Thank you in advance!

16th August 2019 at 12:12 pm

Glad to be able to help! So as this itinerary is a loop, it’s a bit challenging to modify it that easily. My suggestion would perhaps be to drop Ireland from your trip, and instead to spend more time in Scotland. So you could follow the itinerary up to Edinburgh, and then add in time exploring more of Scotland before returning to Edinburgh. Let me know your thoughts,

Robin Major says

13th August 2019 at 12:53 am

Hello Lawrence,

I just found and love this site!! I’m trying to plan a 25th wedding anniversary trip for next September (2020) to surprise my hubby.

He’s never been to Europe. I was fortunate enough to get two and half lovely days in London a couple years back courtesy of my employer.

I’m not sure if what I want to do is totally doable though… No driving.. we would do transit and rail… I’m thinking a week in Britian and a week in Scotland. Maybe fly into London, spend two full days exploring the sites.. then I’m sort of lost. We are interested in Castles, love the supernatural aspect of York so that will be a must, definitely want to see Stonehenge.. and as odd as it sounds, my parents did Sherwood Forest and Nottingham on their 25th Wedding Anniversary many years ago so wondering if that would be a recommendation? Just not sure of the logistics for a week in Britian.. where to stay etc.

For Scotland, again, Castles and we are both big Outlander fans so we’ve have to see Loch Ness, Inverness and any and all sites made famous by Outlander. I am thinking a week up there and we fly home from either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Do you have any suggestions/recommendations on an itinerary for us? I would greatly appreciate any knowledge you wish to share with me.

Thank you so much! Robin

13th August 2019 at 10:19 am

Thanks very much! It certainly would be possible 🙂 I’ve actually written a 10 day UK itinerary by public transport. Whilst the route isn’t exactly what you want, the post does have some useful information to help you plan your trip, especially around booking the trains etc. If you’ve not seen that post yet, it’s here:

Regarding your specific itinerary, I would suggest you start in London as you suggest. You could then take a day tour from London out to Stonehenge. This is doable by public transport, but is way easier as a day tour, plus they usually have some extra stops like Bath. You can read our guide to doing that here:

So Nottingham is nice (I went to university there), but with limited time I wouldn’t say it was a must do. My suggestion would be to take the train from London to Oxford, and then up to York. A day in each location would work. You are now up to five days in England. Castles are a bit tricky by public transport as many of them are out of cities. I would perhaps suggest extending your time in London and taking the extra day to visit either Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace. From York you could head up to Durham which is a beautiful cathedral city.

From Durham the train to Edinburgh is not too far. I’d suggest basing yourself in Edinburgh for at least three days. Two days to explore the city, and then one day to take an Outlander tour. We have specifically done 1 day tour with Rabbies , and thought it was great. We have more suggested day tours from Edinburgh here:

From Edinburgh our recommendation would then be to take the train up to Inverness, from where you can explore more castles, Loch Ness and the Highlands. Again, plenty to do in this area, and there are lots of great day trips to plan. You can see our guide to some of the best here:

I think that should give you plenty to work with – let me know if you have any more questions!

8th August 2019 at 9:35 pm

I just found this page and so glad I did especially your “Best Stately Homes in England” We will be visiting England and Scotland for 2weeks October 16-29, 2019 and I am excited about your itinerary. We have been to Northern Ireland (once)and Republic of Ireland (4 times) so we can leave those out, so are there any other places you might suggest? My husband has driven every time we have visited Ireland so he can handle a manual transmission. We land at Gatwick Airport and I thought we could head to Edinburgh via a easterly route and return to London via a westerly route. We do not have to travel only motorways but don’t wait too many small country lanes (did plenty of those in Ireland). Any suggestions you could make would be greatly appreciated. Love Manor Houses, Castles, rolling landscape, waterfalls, quaint English market towns or villages, etc. THANKS

9th August 2019 at 8:54 am

Sounds like you have a great trip planned, and I will certainly do my best to help. It sounds like your route is pretty good already, coming down the west side of the UK gives you the chance to pop into the Lake District, explore towns like Chester, and even larger cities like Birmingham. In terms of stately homes, well, I would obviously recommend the majority of those in my post on stately homes. I’d also add Edinburgh Castle of course if you like castles, as well as the more ruined Craigmillar Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Alnwick Castle on the way up through Northumberland is stunning, as are many of the other castles in Northumberland, like Bamburgh and dunstanburgh. For rolling hills and greenery, the Lake District is lovely, but I can also recommend the Hadrian’s Wall area of Northumberland, particularly the area near Housesteads.

For quaint English towns, of course the Cotswolds would be by number one pick. The counties of Kent and Dorset are also good options.

I think that should get you started, let me know if you need some more ideas!

Christine Greentaner says

5th August 2019 at 12:26 pm

Hello!! I stumbled on your site asking google if I could do the this kind of trip and wow, here you are! Unsure of the driving though since we zero experience. However, this two week itinerary gives us something to start thinking about. Thank you so much!! Christine

7th August 2019 at 2:52 pm

Hi Christine!

Driving in the UK is definitely a bit different, especially if you are coming from a country where they drive on the right hand side. Also, if you’re coming from the USA, be aware that most cars in the UK have manual transmissions, so when you rent a car if you are not used to driving a manual you should specify an auto. I have a guide to driving in the Uk which you might also find useful 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions, and have a great trip!

Danie marais says

11th July 2019 at 8:54 pm

What will it cost for 2 adults

12th July 2019 at 4:17 am

Hi Danie – this really depends on your travel style – you can see a guide to how much travel in the UK costs here for some estimates:

Margaret says

9th July 2019 at 6:29 am

HI , Just wanted to ask. I am getting a little a little worried,as our trip is getting closer and closer. Your site has helped so much. Does this sound ok to do. Day 1 arrive late afternoon explore Paddinton. Day 2 & 3 follow your 2 day guide of london sites. Day 4 train to oxford, free 2 hour tour. free time to explore oxford Day 5 train back to oxford ,pick up car. Drive to Cotswold explore.. Drive on up to peak district stay over night . 1 night Day 6 explore peak district , drive to Manchester and york .explore. Now I am unsure to travel to the Lake district Or follow onto Alnwick. as some people say not to miss out on the lake district. We dont have enought time to cut back over to Alnwick unsure . We arrive in paddington on the 20th want to leave Edinburgh 31st. So take into account at least 2 night in Edinburgh and head onto Belfast. We will then explore Belfast and Dublin for 2 weeks as we have friends there. follow onto wales Bath but we do want to stay in Southampton for two days once again friends. Can you get to Heathrow airport from Southampton We have 5.5 weeks for this trip but I do want to spend time with friends in Belfast and Dublin. I am so over whelmed .

10th July 2019 at 5:43 am

Hi Margaret!

First, I’m delighted we’ve been able to help 🙂

Your comment covers a few points so I will try to help where I can. For your itinerary, the first six days look good, the only feedback I would offer is that trying to do the Peak District, Manchester and York in one day is likely going to be too much. Even Manchester and York in one day is quite a bit. York would need at least four hours to fully enjoy it, so I might suggest skipping Manchester unless you are particularly invested in it.

For your Lake District dilemma, I can’t really answer this for you. Everyone has a different idea as to what is “unmissable”, so it really depends on your priorities and interests. The Lake District is certainly very pretty, but so is much of the UK 😉

From Southampton you can definitely get to Heathrow airport. It takes around 2 hours by train. It’s not a direct train though, so you do have to change, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. If you would prefer a direct route, I believe National Express operates a coach service between the two locations.

I think for the rest of your trip you might want to reach out to your friends and ask for their advice in terms of what to see and do. I would try to relax and enjoy yourself instead of trying to see everything and becoming overwhelmed if you can. Travel is definitely a bit of work, but ultimately it is supposed to be fun. I always find that the less planned adventures are the more fun ones. So certainly come up with a framework, but don’t spend too much time worrying about it to the tiniest detail, as it will likely detract from the enjoyment.

22nd July 2019 at 4:35 am

Thank you Laurence, Your advice is so helpful. I have added days, so we can get the most out of our trip 2 days in the Peak District, Manchester and 1 day for York. Now I am on the end part of our trip and once again would like some advice. : After spending 18 days exploring Ireland. We will be catching the ferry to Wales. 20th Fishguard pick up car, early afternoon explore the country driving towards Cardiff, Bristol Question : Unsure as to time length of time needed

I was thinking, see Cardiff, then drive towards Bristol arrive around tea time. sleep overnight and have full day to explore Bristol. 21st after exploring Bristol drive towards Bath. arrive around tea time, find somewhere to sleep for 2 nights (21st and 22nd) 22nd full day to explore Bath. 23 th drive toward Stonehenge, Amesbury, drive onto southamption return Car

24th southamption .explore Southamption see family member. we need to be at Hearthrow airport on the 26th at 9:20 flight take off , My next question is , Should I return to paddington for the 25th so I can get the express train to airport , Is my flight to early to return from southamption. Once again . please guide me. Margaret

22nd July 2019 at 6:03 pm

Hi Margaret,

My pleasure! I will try to help again. Your timings for Bristol / Bath etc seem reasonable. They are very close together, my only advice is to avoid travelling at rush hour (4pm – 6pm), as it will make your journey much longer due to the traffic.

For your second question, in theory you could get from Southampton to Heathrow in time, but it’s around a 2 – 2.5 hour journey. You’d want to check train times for the day you are going, but the earliest trains are around 5am based on my research, so you would get to Heathrow around 7.30am. So yes, it’s possible, but it depends how happy you are with an early start and also the risk of any train delays. Up to you, but personally I avoid early mornings at all costs, so would personally probably just find a hotel near Heathrow 😉

Diana Cottrell says

1st July 2019 at 1:57 am

Loved seeing your site. Very helpful since I’m trying to plan a driving vacation for my husband and myself and really didn’t know were to start. I have some questions but will start with only one. We were in London last year but I could go again. Loved it. Hubby sick and had a different feeling. Would it be hard for someone from the US to land at Heathrow and rent a car…then drive to Windsor right after landing? Is it far enough out of London to get comfortable with driving on a different side of the road?

1st July 2019 at 10:18 pm

So, funny story, after passing my UK driving test the first thing I did was rent a car and drive out of Heathrow! I’m not sure I’d exactly recommend it, you’d be driving onto one of the busiest motorways in the UK (our equivalent of a freeway) which might be quite stressful. It’s possible of course, and I’m sure many people do it, but I would advise caution. Also, make sure you specify you want an automatic as most cars in the UK are manual 🙂

3rd July 2019 at 12:01 am

Thanks for the information. Think we’ll skip Heathrow. How would landing in Edinburgh, then heading up through Scotland and back down England (maybe to Bath). Then going up through York and returning back to Edinburgh to return car.

3rd July 2019 at 2:57 pm

That would likely work quite well. My only advice, if you plan on spending time in Edinburgh, is not to pick up the hire car until you leave, as you won’t need it in the city and you’ll just be paying for car rental and parking for no good reason – the city is very walkable.

6th July 2019 at 11:11 pm

Thanks so much. Will start planning.

Amanda says

23rd June 2019 at 5:59 pm

This is such a great detailed itinerary! We are planning to get a rental car in Cambridge and then driving to Scotland from there, so some of these places we will definitely have to visit! I do have one question, about renting a car. Is there a boarder crossing fee or any other type of fee the rental company could charge to go from England to Scotland? We are planning to do a one-way trip so I know there is a fee for that, but in terms of crossing between the two countries is there a fee? When I read about the boarding crossing fee it was unclear to me if that is only if we leave the UK?

Thank so much!

23rd June 2019 at 6:02 pm

Thanks very much! There’s no fee or anything like that for crossing into Scotland, it’s not really a border like that. It’s all part of the UK, so it’s one country.

Opal joiner says

18th June 2019 at 1:37 pm

Hi Do I need to purchase a London pass and a heritage pass? Or just one pass?

18th June 2019 at 7:05 pm

It depends what you want to see and where you are travelling, but for London the London Pass will cover the majority of the attractions 🙂 I definitely recommend checking what they cover before purchasing though 🙂

Chris Ryan says

17th June 2019 at 8:44 am

From an English persons point of view this is an excellent itinerary. It would be good to include the Lake District and Snowdonia but to cover all this in two weeks would be a nightmare and far too much time on the road. The average Brit would allow at least a month for the whole trip. If only two weeks available I would suggest you save Ireland for another time, it’s sacrilage not to explore more of that country, and maybe see more of the west of Scotland instead.

17th June 2019 at 11:06 am

Thanks very much 🙂 I agree, I was actually born in Snowdonia and that part of the world is wonderful. Have spent many happy weekends camping in the Lakes as well. The itinerary was in response to a specific request – we normally encourage folks to slow down where possible and spend more time seeing and less time travelling, but unfortunately many people don’t have much leave to play with and want to try and see as much as possible 🙂

Lillie says

15th June 2019 at 2:56 pm

Hi! So glad to have stumbled upon your site, as I am planning this trip to the UK in October, and I didn’t even know where to begin. I like the idea of doing all the traveling by road ourselves since we’ll be traveling with our baby who will be 9 month old at the time. I was thinking 10 days, including Ireland, but would you consider that possible? We are really interested in doing the whiskey distillery tours in Scotland and anything and everything related to Harry Potter. We’re also interested in visiting landmarks like the cliffs and stonehenge. We’re usually good at squeezing in a lot in our vacations, but this will be the first time we travel with our son, so I don’t want to set ourselves up for failure either. Any advice on what to cut out or if we need to lengthen the trip?

15th June 2019 at 8:38 pm

So, first off, I have to say that we’re not really experts on travelling with children as we don’t have any of our own. So any advice I offer you is based on what friends and other readers have shared with us about the logistics of travelling with a young person. Of course, everyone’s experience will also be different.

Generally, most folks say that you definitely need to slow down when travelling with young children, as you have to factor in things like feeding, changes and so on. This will definitely vary though depending on age and individual personalities 😉

That said, you are trying to do a great deal in 10 days. Scotland and England are around a 6 – 7 hour drive apart, and if you want to get up into the Highlands you’re looking at another few hours. To then add Ireland would make it more of a challenge for sure. It’s not impossible of course, but it would definitely be rushed. It might be that you would be best off focusing on Ireland and Scotland on this trip, perhaps five days in each, rather than trying to see everything and just having a stressful time. Alternatively, add 3 or 4 days and include some time in England 🙂

I hope this helps a bit!

Ashok Agarwal says

15th June 2019 at 6:01 am

Wow. I looked up the WWW for a 2 week itinerary for the UK and am glad I clicked on your site, from the numerous options that sprang up. The information contained here is so so exhaustive. Not only did I get a fantastic plan but ab amazing read, too. We are planning our first visit to the UK in October and are going to follow your tips to the T. You guys are fantastic. Thanks.

15th June 2019 at 11:04 am

Thanks very much Ashok! Much appreciated 🙂

9th June 2019 at 9:56 am

Dear Laurence!

Thank you SOOOOO much for your inspirational itinerary and all other articles you provide here. They’re great help!

We are going to spend 15 days in UK in August and this is cause we’ve planned to take our son to Warner Bros HP Studio as we are all massive HP fans :). We’ll start and finish in London, though initially we want to hire a car at the airport and start a trip and spend couple of days in London in the end.

Could you kindly give us some advice / decide whether it is possible, to plan a trip considering these simple priorities: 1) we’d love to see Scotland with its green hills, waterfalls etc. 2) we would really like to visit Snowdonia 3) I guess Stonehenge is sth 8-year-old traveler to England must see 4) I personally have dreamt all my life too see PUFFINS (I mean – free puffins) 5) we can skip Irelnad, no problem 😉

I must admit – reading about UK – I am getting a bit lost in huge amount if options and sites one must visit, so I’d be grateful for some advice.

10th June 2019 at 10:57 am

My pleasure 🙂

So my first tip, if you haven’t already booked the Harry Potter Studio Tour is to do it as soon as possible as it books out well in advance 🙂 I also have a guide to visiting which you might have already seen, but just in case you haven’t, it’s here:

Then, on to the question of your itinerary. Assuming two days in London, that gives you around 12 – 13 days to play with. I would suggest you spend them as follows. Given that you are Harry Potter fans I’m also including some HP filming locations you might enjoy 😉

Day 1 – head to Oxford, overnight here. Lots of awesome history, plus lots of Harry Potter filming locations to explore. Day 2 – head to Bath via Stonehenge Day 3 – head up to Snowdonia. Will be a bit of a drive, but worth it. I’d advise a couple of days in Snowdonia to do some hiking and exploring the towns, castles etc. The roads are slower here so it will take longer go get around

Day 5 – Head across to York Day 6 – Drive up to Alnwick Castle, another HP filming location. Then continue on to Edinburgh. Day 7 & 8, Edinburgh. Lots to see, lovely castle. Where Rowling wrote many of the HP books. Note the Edinburgh festival will be on so the city will be very busy. If you decide to stay in Edinburgh, you need to book now. Also, if you want to see puffins, the Isle of May just near Edinburgh is one of the best places to get up close to them. You need to book a trip, which you can do here:

Day 9 – head across to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Overnight here or in Oban Day 10 – head up to Fort William / Glencoe. You can ride the HP train from here, or go see the viaduct at least Day 11 – head down to Glasgow, overnight Day 12 – drive down to Liverpool, overnight Day 13 – return to London.

I would say that would be a good way to do it! We have lots more info on Harry Potter sites if you are interested:

10th June 2019 at 8:52 pm

Thank you a lot for your advice! The plan sounds great and we are definitely going to follow it step by step :)))

with best regards!

7th June 2019 at 9:00 am

Hi, what a great article! However, do you have any tips for hire car? Are there any fees/ extra charge or need to notice the supplier that the road trip route is involve Wales, Ireland and Scotland?

7th June 2019 at 8:37 pm

Thanks very much!

For driving in Wales and Scotland it won’t matter because they are part of the united Kingdom, so it’s still the same country.

The republic of Ireland however is a separate country, plus you have to take a ferry to get there. So that would be something you would need to check with the rental agency.

S. Steinback says

26th May 2019 at 9:16 am

Hi, my daughter and I are leaving mid August to the UK for 2 weeks. We are planning to start our trip in London. Then wanted to see Brighton, Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. We also want to see Bath and Oxford too. Is this doable using the train? We are unsure of how we should book our traveling using train, car or bus. Can you provide and manageable itinerary and recommendations on how we should travel from each place on a 2 week trip?

26th May 2019 at 11:04 am

Hi Sabrina,

So you should be able to see most of what you want to see by train. As an example, I’d suggest:

2 days in London 1 day in Brighton (train to Brighton takes about an hour, so can be done as a day trip from London or overnight) 1 day in Oxford (1 hour train from London to Oxford, overnight in Oxford) 1 day in Bath (1 hr 40 minute train from Oxford to Bath, overnight in Bath) 2 days in Cornwall (around 3 hours by train from Bath to Cornwall. You might want to take a tour in Cornwall as there is less public transport to get around) 3 days in Wales (train from Cornwall to Cardiff is around 3 – 4hours, but then you will have to plan how to get around Wales. Again a tour might be easiest) 3 days in Scotland (you can either fly from Cardiff to Glasgow / Edinburgh, or take the train, but the train will take around 8 hours)

I’d also suggest looking into Rabbie’s Trail Burners . They do a number of tours from London which might suit what you want to do and save you the hassle of planning. These cover the majority of the destinations you want to visit.

I hope this helps a bit with your planning!

Ed Hyland says

17th April 2019 at 12:01 am

Thankyou for your guide it was really helpful I am living in Argentina and j am planning on bringing Argentinian tourists to Wales and central England on a tour of castles and important historical sites .I plan on bringing groups of around 10 people and using a rented mini bus to move around. Do you have any helpful tips as this will be our first tour ,we are planning on visiting early September All the best .Ed,x

17th April 2019 at 10:56 am

My pleasure. So I don’t have any experience of running this kind of trip, so it’s tricky to give very specific advice. I am sure you have considered things like insurance and liability and so on, as well as any other legal requirements involved with running a tour.

THe only tips I have would be around admission to sights – there are usually group discounts available for attractions that you might be able to take advantage of, although you might need to call in advance to arrange these. I’d also advise to definitely book your accommodation in advance as you have a larger group.

Otherwise, I hope you have a great trip!

12th April 2019 at 12:04 am

I was planning this itinerary since I saw and had 15 days in the region. After more research I am now wondering what it takes to get a rental car from London to Ireland and back? Do you use the same car the entire trip, or would you switch cars at the water crossings in order to not have to pay to ferry the car across? Also I’ve heard rental agencies in England don’t really allow their rentals (or at least coverage) in Ireland? And yet another concern is time, I keep hearing that driving over there is quite a bit slower going than say the US, or by train, would this itinerary still give enough time to enjoy the locations or would it be quick stops and rushed in order to get to the next place? Sorry a lot of questions, just trying to decide if I need to break the trip up to just one or two countries. Thanks. And love you blogs and all the information and amazing photography.

12th April 2019 at 11:46 am

So it is certainly possible to take a hire car on the ferry, it just depends on the hire car company, and some of them charge a fee for doing so. Here’s an example of the Enterprise UK policy:

Obviously you also then have to pay the ferry fee for the hire car as well. So an easier option to be honest is just to fly, for example to take a flight from Edinburgh to Belfast or Dublin. You would drop off the hire car in Edinburgh and pick up a new one in Belfast.

I appreciate this might be a bit of hassle, so certainly adjusting the itinerary so you skip Ireland is another option. In this case, I’d suggest either spending more time in Scotland, or coming down the west coast of the UK, visiting the Lakes and Wales.

The roads in the UK are definitely a bit busier and can also be slower than roads in the USA. This itinerary is definitely doable, but I’m always a fan of slowing down and seeing more, so that is a good option too 🙂

Let me know if you have any more questions!

David Cameron says

11th April 2019 at 1:56 pm

“You’ve packed up every possible solution in this one blog. I’m over the moon! I really am! How much would this trip cost, approximately? And if I’m going on this trip, Ireland will definitely be included coz from the moment I saw P.S I love you and Leap Year movie, I’ve been dreaming of visiting those places. Thank you. Thank you so much, Laurence !”

11th April 2019 at 2:04 pm

Thanks very much! So it’s hard to give an exact price as it will depend on your travel style. The best option is to cross reference this post with our guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK, which will let you come up with a budget based on your travel style 🙂

Have a great trip, and let me know if you have any more questions!

Usha Gupta says

10th April 2019 at 6:02 pm

Hi, we are travelling to London for a holiday from India. My 2 sons (29 & 27) and I are planning on spending 2 weeks in London and Wales. 13th-18th in London 19th-21st in Wales 22nd-26th in London Please advice how best to spend our holidays? We do not want to visit any of the normal places as we have seen n visited them all. What are the best places in wales to see and visit? We have not been to wales. Is it safe to take a road rrip from London to wales? Are 3 days in wales enough to get around? Pl advice

10th April 2019 at 6:52 pm

Well, there’s a huge amount to do and see in London beyond all the normal tourist things that you have likely already done. I can advise visiting Greenwich for example if you have not been out there already, and perhaps some of the palaces out of the city, like Kensington or Hampton Course. Sometimes we like to pick up the London Pass and visit some of the many attractions we’ve not been to before!

Wales is lovely but it is quite big so you will want to consider visiting a region. My favourite part of Wales is the northern part, including the Snowdonia national park and towns like Caernarfon, but there are many nice regions and places to visit. If you want to see more you will likely want a few more days in Wales.

It is certainly safe to take a road trip from London to Wales, of course, I can’t guarantee your safety, but it is no less safe than travel anywhere else in the UK 🙂

I hope this helps – have a great trip!

Usha gupta says

14th April 2019 at 3:24 am

Ty for you advise. We decided to spend all our time in London and do day trips, theatre etc.

14th April 2019 at 11:46 am

My pleasure. Enjoy!

Darlene Williams says

24th March 2019 at 6:10 pm

Lovely ideas here! My Granddaughter and I did a trip last summer to the Cotswolds, London and Paris. I’m thinking of a trip with my Granddaughter (18) in 2020 and would like to base myself in the Lakes District or Wales and take in Ireland and Scotland in a 2 week trip. Since I’ve been there I’ve decided I could probably drive it myself or possibly rent cars when needed and travel via train/bus/tours between Ireland & Scotland. I’m guessing the Highlands is probably out of reach for a 2 week trip? I would welcome your knowledge and suggestions. Thank you, Darlene

25th March 2019 at 3:44 pm

Thanks very much Darlene!

I would definitely recommend hiring a car for the Lakes – it’s a more remote part of the UK, and there are fewer public transport options, both for getting there, and for getting around. I would say that it would make for a good base, but just to be aware that the roads are not very fast in either the Lake District or Wales, so it can take a bit of time to get from place to place.

The Highlands would be achievable, but it would involve a great deal of driving, and if you wanted to head up there i would suggest that as a standalone trip, perhaps flying to Inverness (or overnight train from London), and then renting a car from there 🙂

Do let me know if I can provide any more specific information to help you plan!

Deep Shah says

22nd March 2019 at 5:43 am

Hello Laurence and Jessica,

It has been a pleasure reading about all your experiences in and around UK. I am planning to visit UK between April 22 and May 1. I am planning to start my trip from Edinburg cover a bit of scotland and than move on and end my trip in London.

Here is my itinerary Inverness (23 April) –> Isle of Skye (24 April) –> Fort William (25 April) –> Edinburgh (26 April) –> Jedburgh (27 April) –> York (28 April) –> Cambridge (29 April) –> Cotsworld (30 April) –> London (1 May)

Do you think this is doable? Or any particular section is too aggressive? Your help will really help me plan this better.

22nd March 2019 at 10:00 am

This is in theory do-able, but you will be spending a lot of time driving. From Inverness to the Isle of Skye is a 2.5 hour drive for example, and then there’s a lot to see and do on the island which will also require driving. If you are ok with lots of time driving then yes, this is doable, I just wanted to be sure you knew 🙂

24th March 2019 at 12:35 pm

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am aware that we will have a lot of driving. But thats ok with me. Thanks again for your time. I have made the reservations to follow this itinerary. Will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for sharing all the information on your website.

24th March 2019 at 12:38 pm

My pleasure – have a great time and do let us know how it goes! You can drop in here or in our facebook group 🙂

Omker Mahalanobish says

21st March 2019 at 5:22 pm

Thanks for your detailed itinerary. Looks exciting. By the way, could you please let me know, what should be the expected cost for the said trip? Further : I dont want to drive. Me and my wife would be travelling, and we would rather prefer a chauffer driven cab.

Thanks, Omker

21st March 2019 at 5:27 pm

I have a guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK here:

However, if you want to travel with a private guide, this will generally cost in the region of £500 – £800 per day for the car / driver guide, and then you would need to add accommodation expenses and so on on top of that. We recommend Robina Brown for this sort of trip:

Heather Reid says

20th March 2019 at 5:20 am

This site is the most perfect one for my needs. I am a solo traveler female aged 74 and I wish my 75th Birthday be spent on the next trip. If there be another solo person I would be happy to meet up before departure….male or female.

20th March 2019 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Heather – have a great trip, and we hope you find someone to travel with!

Phillip Armanas says

5th March 2019 at 12:20 am

Stumbled over your website while looking for ideas for a two week trip to the UK, glad I did. You’ve got a fantastic itinerary which includes a number of destinations my wife and I had in mind already. We are a retired couple, living in Australia six months of the year, and Atlanta, Georgia the other six months. This gives us great flexibility in travel terms, both in SE Asia and from the USA to many places including UK/Europe. A question I have is whether you have done any family history work on any of your travels? My ancestry is Scottish in the mid-1800s when my great-great-grandfather arrived into Port Adelaide, Australia. As yet we have been unable to track him accurately back into Scotland, but his surname is from a very ancient clan that can be traced back to the 13th century in Fife county. Have you any tips on places I might visit to pursue my elusive ghosts? Phill & Patti

5th March 2019 at 1:35 pm

Hi Phill & Patti!

We’re delighted you have found our content useful : ) So this isn’t something we have personally done, however I have some resources that might be helpful:

It helps if you know the person’s name you are researching and where they lived before leaving Scotland. If you know this, you can look for a local research center or records office or clan center. The Visit Scotland link above is a good place to start. The Scottish Genealogy Research is a professional service that will do research for you for a fee.

Good luck, and have a great trip!

Ronald Rieder says

15th February 2019 at 1:22 am

My wife and I would like to take your “ideal itinerary” beginning Sept. 30, 2019. Is there anyone or any group that we could join?

17th February 2019 at 3:56 pm

So this itinerary is a self guided tour for those wanting to drive themselves. However, we appreciate not everyone wants to do that, and we’ve put some suggested tours that will allow you to do a similar trip but in a group tour format. My suggestion for that would be to focus on England and Scotland, and to take this small group tour followed by this five day tour of the Scottish Highlands and Skye .

I hope this helps – let me know if I can offer any more advice!

Cass Baron says

11th February 2019 at 2:19 am

Laurence and Jessica, We are from Utah, United States and have never traveled abroad (except a short trip to Canada and a Western Caribbean cruise). It has been our dream to come to England and retrace our family history roots. We were looking for trip ideas that covered the areas for both a historical trip as well as a family roots trip. We found your site and loved everything that you have written about. We like the 2 week itinerary but don’t want to do the Ireland and Wales portion. We would like to include Nottingham and Hastings areas, do you have any suggestions to add these in for the same amount of time. We are planning on this May. Thanks!

11th February 2019 at 7:40 am

Certainly. I’d recommend Hastings first, then heading from there along to Stonehenge and Bath, then the Cotswolds and Oxford. From there, start heading north, with Nottingham your next stop, before continuing with the itinerary. You could even drop the car off in Edinburgh and fly out from there if you didn’t want to drive back down to London 🙂

I hope this helps – let me know if you have any more questions!

Lashaun says

5th February 2019 at 11:42 pm

Hello. If we skip the Ireland portion where should we extend our time or add another destination for the 2 week adventure? Also we’d like to see a football game, suggestions for city (Manchester, Liverpool?), tickets etc? thank you!

6th February 2019 at 10:36 am

I’d say you could extend by visiting the Lake District and northern Wales, or by heading further north into Scotland, where there’s lots to see. You definitely won’t have trouble finding places to see!

For football, if you don’t have a particular affiliate with a team, then Manchester will likely be a good option as they have the largest stadium. Tickets can be bought online in advance for any of the teams from their official websites, just be aware that they can sell out so you’ll want to book well in advance to be sure of getting a spot.

I hope this helps! have a great trip 🙂

Steve Geller says

2nd February 2019 at 3:10 am

Hi there, Curious if this itinerary, or part of it, could be done in a motorhome (midsize RV) for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids. I’ve never been to most of these places, outside of some brief time in London and Dublin. For itineraries like these where there is a lot of moving around, I like the idea of a motorhome vs going from hotel to hotel (or apt to apt). Thanks!

3rd February 2019 at 11:45 am

So yes, it would be possible to do this is a motorhome. However, I’d probably advise modifying the itinerary fairly substantially, especially the city parts. Most UK cities don’t have centrally located motorhome camping locations, and the streets tend to be fairly narrow, which can make driving and parking a motorhome very challenging. I would instead suggest, if you wanted to do a motorhome holiday in the UK, to look at a driving route like the NC500 (see our camping itinerary for the NC500 here ), or adjusting this route so it visits more of the countryside parts, like the Cotswolds, Peak District, Lake District and Northumberland.

Let me know if we can answer any more questions!

Iskandar Zulkifly Bin Ali says

29th January 2019 at 10:05 pm

Hello there ! finding this website was such a blessing for me! i am a student who wishes to travel around UK for 2 weeks before i go outside UK ( around Europe for a month ). my only problem is, i am studying in london therefore i’m gonna skip london from this amazing itinerary, and am also skipping Scotland cuz i went there last Dec already. which will give me extra days to fill in to make it 2 weeks. would you please help me to suggest places to fill in between the itinerary ? ps; i really really want to see Jurassic coast and cambridge and watergate bay. where should i put these places in terms of best route wise?

thank you in advance for your time !! you got a follower on your ig !

30th January 2019 at 7:33 pm

Hi Iskandar!

Thanks for your lovely comment and following on IG! We’ve actually just recently visited Cambridge and written a detailed guide to the city, which will be live on the blog in the next few weeks 🙂

To answer your question, first I have to assume you are driving. If not, this might have to change a bit to accommodate public transport. But I would say I would go from London to Cambridge, then up to the Peak District, Manchester and York. You could then go across to the Lake District if you wanted, then across to Holyhead and to Ireland (if you wanted to visit Ireland). Then south wales, Oxford and the Jurassic coast.

I hope that works for you 🙂 Have a great trip!


29th January 2019 at 3:07 pm

This has been an amazing help! If possible, I did want to ask about more recommendations as far as castles/history goes. This is a very close itinerary for what I think we want to do, but I was wondering if you had any more info on what I could add/take away from this list in order to do more of that. Also, we will be departing from the atlanta, GA airport, and returning back to (or starting from) england isnt entirely necessarily. I definitely agree and would take your advice of ending in dublin and returning from there or wales, but im basically trying to avoid flying/ferrying more than need be. What would be your recommendation for doing everything in the UK in one vehicle and then only crossing into ireland once? if that makes sense

30th January 2019 at 7:38 pm

So there are a lot of great castles in the UK, and it’s hard to travel anywhere without finding history! Some of my favourite castles are in Scotland and the Northumberland area, and you’ve also got Hadrian’s wall up there. But York has all the Viking history too, and then cities like Oxford or Cambridge have more from the middles ages, Bath has the Roman empire.. So there’s really no shortage of history to find.

If it was me though, I’d spend a bit more time exploring some of the castles in Northumberland like Alnwick, Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh, as well as some in Scotland.

If you want to do everything in the UK that would be possible, just continue from Oxford to Bath and Cardiff, and then head north from there to York. You might want to bypass Manchester in order to get more of the history you are interested in as it’s more of a town that had it’s heyday with the industrial revolution, which might be a bit too recent history for your interests. You could instead add Warwick, which has a popular castle and a lovely town centre.

Have a great trip and let me know if I can be of any more help!

Hannah says

30th January 2019 at 8:25 pm

For sure! Thank you so much.

Maribel says

17th January 2019 at 4:13 am

Hi, I am planning a 2-week trip to Great Britain flying from Mexico City to London. Your post is very helpful. My trip HAS to include the Isle of Man but I do want to go to Edinburgh and Ireland. What do you think would be the best route? Thanks for your amazing post!

17th January 2019 at 6:37 pm

Hi Maribel!

Great question, and the first time anyone has asked me about the Isle of Man, which I have to admit, I haven’t been to!

There are direct ferry connections to the Isle of Man from Belfast, Dublin, Lancaster and Liverpool.

So assuming you want to do a fairly similar route, mug suggestion would be to follow the general outline of this trip, but take the ferry from Dublin to the Isle of Man, and then on to Liverpool, instead of from the southern end of Ireland to Fishguard. I think that’s the most logical option.

There are other option too – you could go London -> Oxford -> Liverpool -> Isle of Man -> Dublin -> Belfast -> Cairyan -> Edinburgh -> London.

So up to you really! Have a great trip, and let us know if you have any more questions!

Maribel Felix says

17th January 2019 at 6:40 pm

Muchas Gracias! I appreciate you advice very much. I will send you an update of my trip on my way back to Mexico.

17th January 2019 at 9:50 pm

Please do Maribel – we love to hear back from people on how their trips go, and incorporate feedback into our content to help everyone!

16th December 2018 at 12:15 am

Hello! I am planning a 28 day trip in in May 2019. What would you recommend to fill in the extra days? Thank you so much! And thank you for sharing such a lovely itinerary!

16th December 2018 at 11:49 am

Hi Sara! It’s hard to give a precise answer without knowing your interests, but if it was me I would extend my trip up into the northern half of Scotland, perhaps spending 7-10 days driving the North Coast 500, visiting the Isle of Skye and seeing the highlands. You could also head out to the some of the other islands, like Lewis. May is a great time to head up into that part of Scotland.

Other options include Wales or Cornwall, or extending your time in Ireland. There’s so much to see and do, even 28 days will be filled easily!

Nathaniel says

14th December 2018 at 7:57 pm

Could I use this itinerary for a school project. You will be credited and cited, obviously. Thank you if yes and thanks anyway if no. This was fun to read, regardless of your reply Thank you again, Nathaniel

14th December 2018 at 11:43 pm

Hi Nathaniel,

Thanks for asking! Could you e-mail me about this so I get more of an idea of the use? It’s [email protected] 🙂

9th December 2018 at 8:26 am

We are planning a 3 week trip to UK (2 weeks) and Amsterdam (1 week).. We will fly to Amsterdam from London. We were looking at your 2 week itinerary and wanted to ask what would you suggest instead of Ireland, We only want to visit London, Wales and Scotland start at London and return to London. Family with kids who like a bit of adventure, culture so interested in castles, nature etc. Also would like to visit Whisky distilleries preferably Glenfiddich and Aberlour. Also we will be hiring a car in London and return there. Would really appreciate your suggestions.

9th December 2018 at 10:37 am

So my suggestion would be to do a loop from London, similar to that I’ve described here, but instead of going across to Ireland, to head down the west coast of the UK, and then visit the Lake District and Wales on your way down.

In terms of distilleries, certainly, Aberlour and Glenfiddich are achievable from Edinburgh, but you are looking at a three hour drive each way. So you might prefer to visit a closer distillery like Deanston, which is also right next to Doune Castle, which I’m sure your kids will also enjoy 🙂

Hope this helps a bit!

Navtej says

22nd October 2018 at 11:18 am

Hi, a very helpful article. As I plan my next year travel to Europe after a gap of 15 years…it’s a god send. I propose to spend a few days in Amsterdam-Bruges and then fly to London. Here I catch up with another couple and there 12 year old daughter and plan to drive to Scotland and Ireland. We have a total of 10 / 11 days for this.

Am thinking will cut Wales from my itinerary and which other place would u recommend I skip ?

Many thanks

Navtej from New Delhi, India

PS another slighlty unrelates question : If I fly into London should I take a flight into Amsterdam and the train back from Bruges or is this complicated and expensive?

22nd October 2018 at 8:22 pm

It’s hard to give specific recommendations as to what to skip as I’m not sure as to your personal interests. If you are more interested in culture / museums etc, then you will want to include more of the cities, and less of the countryside. Conversely, if you are less interested in the outdoors, perhaps leaving out some of the countryside attractions would be a good idea 🙂

Generally my advice would be just to stick to flights as it’s likely going to be easier and probably less expensive. The train though can be a good option if you book far enough in advance, it will just take a little bit longer.

Hope this helps – have a great trip!

Leslie says

21st July 2018 at 11:12 pm

Four women from Texas will be traveling to the UK in September and wanted to drive (one of us is brave enough to drive on the wrong side of the road). We spend 8 days in London last September with side trips to Bath and a tour to Oxford and Cotswolds and Warwick Castle. We have relatives in Glasgow, so plan to see that area of Scotland. Your information is a Godsend and thank you so much for all your planning. We will let you know how it goes!

22nd July 2018 at 9:36 pm

Thanks Leslie – please do! We always love to hear feedback as to how our posts help people (or if they need changing, we love to hear about that too!)

Have an awesome trip!

Ruth Deane says

11th July 2018 at 6:24 am

A good travel guide to the UK. I know it is difficult to provided a balanced approach due to limited wordage but the emphasis should be on the UK. N. Ireland and its capital Belfast have been sadly neglected in this article and the focus was Dublin which is not part of the UK. Surely something coulf have been added about Belfast and N. Ireland in general. It is a beautiful place. The author did make a reference to the Dark Hedges but associates them with Dublin. Last time I checked they are quite definitely in N. IRELAND. Hope this criticism is constructive. N. Ireland continues to get a bad press but it is a beautiful place and the majority of the people are that bad either.

11th July 2018 at 9:44 am

Constructive feedback is always welcome! We’re actually visiting Northern Ireland next week for a week to fully explore Belfast and the Coastal Causeway, and will be updating our content (and creating new content!) to have more information on this part of the UK 🙂 Stay tuned!

Craig Grimston says

26th June 2018 at 2:47 am

Thank you!!

September is a perfect month to come to Texas – the weather is perfect then! I’d be happy to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability (I’m not a native Texan – originally from Australia), but there is a lot of great things to do here. Austin and San Antonio are great too.

Thank you for offering to answer any questions! We are going in a group, so I’m sure a lot of questions will come up! I’ll try not to bombard you with them, but I may just hit you with a few! We are planning for somewhere in June to August next year (I plan ahead big time!) and couldn’t be more excited to see your beautiful country!

But please, definitely hit me up with any questions you have about Dallas or Texas. If I can’t answer them, I can track someone down who can!

Thanks!! Craig

22nd June 2018 at 8:02 pm

Hi Laurence and Jessica,

I just wanted to say thank you for posting this itinerary. I really wanted to plan a road trip in the UK and after googling about it all I got was a bunch of blogs pointing out all of the negative things and basically saying “don’t bother”!

As I was about to give up and go the typical tourist route, I came across your website. It was exactly what I was looking for! It is inspirational, and put the joy and adventure back into my travel plans.

I’m pretty much going to stick to your itinerary with the exception of Ireland (I wanted to check out the Lake District and Liverpool), so Ireland may have to be a separate road trip!

I have a million questions, but I’m going to spare you of that! LOL. I really just wanted to say a big thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge!

Kindest Regards, Craig – Dallas Texas

25th June 2018 at 9:28 pm

Thank you so much, it always means a lot to hear that people are finding our content useful. I think you are making a sensible choice – there is a lot to see on the mainland of the UK, and it’s also less hassle to worry about rental cars and ferries if you leave Ireland for another trip 🙂

We’re happy to answer any questions you have. We’re actually planning a trip to Texas for late September, and will be swinging by Dallas, so may have some questions for you in return!

Vanessa says

14th May 2018 at 9:38 pm

I’ve googled “hire car” and it says “rental car.” But on your site here it seems that a rental care and a hire car are different things. What exactly is the difference? Thank you! And also thank you for this post – it’s amazing and I think I will definitely base my trip -whenever that may be… – around it. Bookmarking this page!!

15th May 2018 at 5:57 pm

Thanks Vanessa! I think in the UK we use the term hire car, wheras in the USA it’s more likely to be called a rental car. But yes, they are the same thing in my mind, you can use the terms interchangeably as far as I know 🙂 Have a great trip, and don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions at all 😀

Saurabh says

7th May 2018 at 7:55 am

Hi Lawrence, This is a great post! I think I can use some help. We are planning a 2 week trip to UK in August with a 1 year old toddler. What from above or otherwise will be a good itinerary for us. How realistic is it for me to cover what you have listed here? Appreciate any help. Thanks!

7th May 2018 at 10:03 pm

Thanks Saurabh! First, I should say that not having kids ourselves this isn’t an area of expertise for us 🙂 However, based on experiences of friends who travel with family, my suggestion would be to probably cut the itinerary in half, and focus on some of the major cities. As it is, it’s quite a busy itinerary, and I think you will have a better time doing a bit less and having the time to really explore some of the cities on the itinerary. So for example, maybe just do England and Scotland, and skip Ireland and Wales. This will reduce your travel, and let you spend a bit longer in each city. I’d also advise finding accommodation close to the city centres and attractions, so at least one of you can go out sight-seeing if one of you needs to stay behind for naps etc. I hope this helps – have a wonderful trip!

3rd May 2018 at 12:38 am

My husband and I are following this itinerary this summer, flying round trip into Gatwick from Canada. I was looking at the cost of the ferry from Scotland to Ireland and than Ireland to Wales and was shocked at the cost. Do you know of any Ferry discounts?

3rd May 2018 at 7:12 pm

Hi Sarah – you can try the various ferry search companies like directferries or a1ferries I think they are called. Unfortunately that time of year is school holidays, and there aren’t many companies operating the routes, so the prices go up. You might consider instead flying from Edinburgh to Belfast or Dublin instead, and hiring a car in Ireland rather than taking the ferry, if that is a cheaper option!

Badariah says

21st March 2018 at 8:24 am

Awesome I am planning for a 2 week get away to UK. Your article helpsss a lot. Planning to go in mid sept till end of sept

21st March 2018 at 11:25 am

Thanks very much – have a wonderful trip!

11th March 2018 at 9:06 am

hi lawrence me n my wife middle aged planning to do england and scotland in 15 days in july which would be ideal places to cover by public transport. i am open to hire a car for 2 to 3 days if required. please suggest us best possible train route for this trip we are flying in n out of london thanks waiting for ur reply

11th March 2018 at 10:02 am

My advice would be to follow my 10 day UK itinerary, which is designed for public transport:

You could spend a little extra time in each location, or you could add a couple of stops. My advice would be to add 1 day in Bath near Bristol, stop in Manchester between Liverpool and York, and think about stopping in Newcastle on the way to Edinburgh. If you wanted to see the Cotswolds, you could do that with a hire car from Bath, or on a tour from London.

I hope this helps! That post also has lots of information on using public transport in the UK. Have a great trip!

Christine says

19th February 2018 at 4:57 am

Hello and Thank You!! I was just wondering, I’m not the best with timelines haha, but exactly how many hotel stays are there in total in each location? I’m just trying to determine if you actually spent the night in each location for both nights or if you spent the day touring then drove to the next location and got a room, especially for the 1 day places… if that makes sense? My husband and are are arriving March 10th and fly back out the 24th so just trying to sort out the timelines… Also it was suggested to me to go to Cornwall or Leeds, what are your thoughts? Thanks!

19th February 2018 at 6:11 pm

Hi! And my pleasure 😀

So you’d be looking at:

2 nights in London 1 night in Oxford 1 night in the Cotswolds 1 night in the Peak District 1 night in Manchester (could do Leeds here instead) 1 night in York 2 nights in Edinburgh (could do one night in Northumberland on the way up) 3 nights in Ireland / Northern Ireland 1 night in Cardiff 1 night in Bristol or Bath

You could of course spend more or less time in each destination, and leave say London after two full days but only one night, and overnight in Oxford. So really it’s up to you 🙂

Leeds you could easily fit into this itinerary. Cornwall would be a bit harder as it’s a bit further away. If you wanted to do Cornwall, you might need to leave Ireland out for example to give yourself enough time. Hope this helps!

15th February 2018 at 10:57 pm

Awesome Itinerary, I would add Canterbury to this list 🙂

17th February 2018 at 8:35 pm

I’ve only briefly visited Canterbury, must return!

22nd January 2018 at 4:52 pm

This came a blessing in disguise after searching for a week almost and making all shit loads of itineraries. I am thinking of blindly following this as it looks great to me. Need your help on a few points here if it doe snot bother you much, it would serve a great deal of planning for me in addition to what it already has, 1. Was this too hectic considering the number of places you covered? 2. Was driving time included in the time spent at each place you mentioned? 3. Is driving safe in and around England? 4. Is driving a cheaper option than using rail/bus transport? 5. How much did this two week trip cost you? 6. How much does the drive part of the trip cost?

22nd January 2018 at 5:44 pm

HI Saurabh!

Pleased to hear you found the itinerary 🙂 I’m happy to answer your questions of course.

1. This is definitely a busy itinerary, although as you can see from the other comments, many people have enjoyed it. So it really depends on your own personal style of travel and your preferences, as well as who you are travelling with. If you want a less hectic schedule, I’d suggest perhaps leaving the Irish part of the trip out, and maybe focusing on England and Scotland, and perhaps extending your time in cities like London and Edinburgh.

2. Yes, driving time is included. Driving time is not too great in the UK as distances are not large and the motorways are good, however, be aware that traffic can be bad around rush hour in the morning and evenings.

3. Yes, driving is very safe. Of course, accidents happen like anywhere in the world, but for the most part you shouldn’t have any trouble.

4. It depends on a few factors – mostly how many of you there are. For one person, it might be more cost-effective to take public transport. Also, if you book public transport well in advance, especially trains, this can be much cheaper than buying tickets on the day. Car hire also depends on the size of the car, but you can get pretty good value car hire. Fuel is quite expensive, but most modern hire cars are very fuel efficient. I am shortly going to publish a post with a similar itinerary that focuses on travelling in the UK by public transport, so stay tuned for that 🙂

5. Cost is really up to you, as it depends so much on what you want to see! I’d say you can hire a car for around £180 – £250 a week, fuel costs will be in the region of £50-£70 a week, and accommodation is likely to be in the range of £80 – £150 a night for two people sharing. You can of course get cheaper and more expensive accommodation options, it really depends on your style of travel.

6. The main costs for the car are the car hire, fuel, and any insurance you buy. I’d say between £200 and £300 a week, plus any parking fees. I’d definitely advise always booking a hotel that includes free parking.

I hope this helps with your planning – have a wonderful trip, and don’t miss my one week itinerary post for more ideas 🙂

Steve and Cheryl Bales says

26th February 2018 at 9:09 pm

Thank you for the wealth of information! We are planning to take a trip to visit our daughter who is in the Air Force in the UK this May. I’ve read your itinerary and the questions and answers that followed. There were a couple of questions that popped up for me and I was hoping you could answer them. You mentioned taking a car over on the ferry to Ireland. We will be driving our daughter’s car, but I was wondering if we needed special insurance on the car to have it ferried. My husband are both disabled to a degree; neither of us are capable of walking long distances or sitting for any duration. Is there a need for concern over these issues? And, what is the cost of a London Pass and how many people does it cover, there will be four in our group? Any information would be much appreciated, thank you in advance. Steve and Cheryl

26th February 2018 at 9:19 pm

Hi Steve and Cheryl,

Thanks for reaching out, and I’m happy to hear you have found the content useful. You don’t normally need special insurance on a car to have it ferried, but you will likely need to check with your daughter’s insurer to make sure it is covered in Ireland. As far as I am aware it should be covered in Northern Ireland with the full coverage, and most UK insurers do provide at least some level cover for the EU, which Ireland is a part of, but worth checking.

For the itinerary I’ve put together, it’s really up to you how much you do. All the major cities have good public transport if you choose not to drive, as well as sight-seeing buses and things like that.

The London Pass prices vary – you have to buy one price per person, so that would be four passes total. Again, the value is up to you and how much you can get out of them. My only concern would be to get real value out of them you do need to try and pack quite a lot in – if you aren’t sure if that’s going to be possible you might end up being better off not getting them and just paying the ticket prices. Also, I’m not sure of your ages, but many attractions have senior concessions, which might also save you money rather than getting a pass. Worth checking the individual websites for the different attractions you want to visit to see what those might be.

You can see the London Pass prices here;

Derian Quek says

4th September 2017 at 1:10 pm

This trip seems a bit rushed when driving over to Ireland..I am also planning a 2 weeks this December to January. Any tips on this? Am planning London/Manchester/Lake district/Edinburgh/Cotswolds/bath/Stonehenge/Paris

Laurence says

4th September 2017 at 4:05 pm

Hey Darian,

This trip is definitely quite fast – unfortunately folks don’t have too much time sometimes, and are keen to see as much as possible, which is what I try to achieve on this itinerary.

Regarding your itinerary – at that time of year do be aware that the weather obviously won’t be great and it will be getting dark around 4pm – just something to bear in mind. Certainly your plan is possible but will also be quite packed. Perhaps focusing on a few less locations and seeing more. From your list I’d suggest London, with a day trip to bath, the Cotswolds and Stonehenge, then Edinburgh and Paris. You could add in Manchester as well of course. It would also depend on if you have visited any of the locations before and how you plan to travel. I’d suggest train from London to Edinburgh, and a cheap flight from Edinburgh to Paris.

4th September 2017 at 4:15 pm

Hi Laurence. It would actually be my first time to the UK. I’m visiting Manchester because I would wanna catch a game at old Trafford and that’s probably the only reason why. Flight from Edinburgh to Paris sounds like a good option though I would most likely be self driving from London up north. I’m thinking 3 days in London, 1 day in manchester, 2 days in lake district, 3 days in Edinburgh, 1 day to cotswolds and then 3 days in Paris via eurostar before heading back to London for my return flight

Mital Khona says

9th August 2017 at 2:43 pm

Hi Lawrence, Thanks a bunch for this wonderful itinerary… 1. We are travelling this September with 2 Kids ( 2 years old and 8 years old) and2 parents ( senior citizens).. Is this still doable.. I was thinking of picking up train for journey from London to Edinburgh 2. We would like to spend 3 days on the alternative route to Ireland suggested by you above. Can you help on the route/ time we should allot to Snowdonia, etc(west coast of the UK, including Glasgow, the Lake District, and Liverpool, as well as popping into Wales for the stunning Snowdonia national park)

7th January 2018 at 1:26 pm

Hi Mital! It really depends on your kids and grandparents and their stamina. I think this trip might be a bit much for some, and you might find it easier to go a bit slower and take things in a bit more. So perhaps a trip focusing on Edinburgh / London, with a hire car for the return journey down the west coast of the UK. I’d say three – four days in London, two to three days in Edinburgh, and then the rest of the time on the drive down the west coast would work!

Sussex Bloggers says

30th May 2017 at 12:56 pm

Can’t believe you’ve completely skipped Cornwall and the rest of the south coast. Such beautiful scenery all along the southern coastline and some wonderful towns and villages. Here’s a little teaser!

ipsita bhattacharya says

3rd May 2017 at 12:19 am

Hi guys, We are planning a trip to the UK in August/September 2017 and this 2-week itinerary is proving to be of great help! But if we plan to take public transport instead of driving, how much of this is doable? We are also looking at two weeks and while I understand taking trains/buses will eat into our travelling time, we are not sure we want to drive. Please advise. And thanks for this wonderful travel plan!

8th August 2017 at 8:56 am

Our pleasure. Much of this is doable, certainly between the major cities by train at least. We’d advice flying from the UK, likely Edinburgh to Dublin, and then back from Dublin to Cardiff or London. It’s definitely achievable in part though 🙂

Jessica says

2nd April 2017 at 1:15 am

I am so glad that I found your itinerary as we will be visiting the UK for a little over two weeks this coming summer. I do have question for a part of the trip when you have to ferry from Scotland to Ireland, is it easy to find ferries that will take your car across? Also do you recommend a car for the entire trip or to break it up with trains? Such as from London to Edinburgh? Thank you and I hope to hear back from you soon.

7th January 2018 at 1:24 pm

Hi Jessica! Sorry for the slow response. Most of the ferries take cars, but the question is as to whether or not your rental car company will let you take the car on the ferry. So you would need to check with them. If not, you might find it easier to say fly from Edinburgh to Belfast or Dublin to continue to journey, and perhaps pick up a hire car in Ireland instead.

Nishant says

19th March 2017 at 10:59 am

My family of 4 is planning in Aug’17 for 2 week and i like your write up here. we would be staying with our friend’s family (4 member) in LONDON and then accompany them to this tour plan. we wish to know approx budget in INR apart from AIR Ticket required for this kind of tour. Consider AIR BnB stay, Home cooking where ever possible, car drive and budgeted expense suitable for family.

แอโรคอม บริษัทจำกัด says

13th March 2017 at 8:24 am

Your 2 weeks itinerary seems very good. I am concerned with parking space in tourist attractions especially in big cities. Is it not so difficult to find parking area in all these recommended places (except London)? How much is a typical parking fee?

Thanks in advance! Pairoj S.

13th March 2017 at 2:24 pm

Thanks very much! Parking fees really vary depending on where you want to park. On road meter parking is usually the most expensive, around £3 an hour. I’d suggest finding a larger car park, like a multistorey operated by a company like NCP. These are more reasonable, and you would pay on a sliding scale where it is better value for staying for longer. I wouldn’t worry though, there is usually plenty of parking available, and sometimes if you don’t mind walking a little bit, if you don’t park centrally you can park for free. Have a great trip!

Mittal Shah says

10th March 2017 at 11:44 am

Hi Lawrence and Norah. I have been trying to plan a road trip in UK around July end for approximately 12days and have found a lot of helpful information.There are certain things i would like to know from you: For road trip should i consider hiring a caravan or a car( 4 of us travelling)? Is it better to book a hotel or bnb? Please help. Awaiting your reply

12th March 2017 at 9:47 pm

Thanks for your comment. A car would definitely be the best option, for four of you it would likely be the most cost effective option. I’d also suggest bed and breakfasts are a nice option, although there are lots of great hotels as well, it really depends on your budget,

Enjoy your trip!

rajul parikh says

19th February 2017 at 11:46 am

Hi Lawrence and Norah just been browsing through your site and taking in the information about the 2 week holiday in the UK. We find your information relevant and useful. We live in India and are considering a trip sometime mid June 2017. This would be our first trip to the UK. Lots of questions: would the weather be ok around that time? To cover your suggested itinerary (including ireland) how much driving would one end up doing everyday? Would your stops which are marked alphabetically on the map suggest overnight stay? Since we would like to spend at least 5 days in London we would need to extend our trip to about 21 days. Look forward to hearing from you.

19th February 2017 at 11:49 am

Happy that you found it useful! Yes, the main stopping points suggest an overnight stay. The weather is likely to be good in June, however, the weather in the UK can be very unpredictable. Coming from India, you’ll probably find it fairly cool 😉 I’d say between 15 and 25C would be the norm, and you should plan for rain whenever you visit the UK.

In terms of driving, the UK is quite small so not too much, probably not more than 2 – 3 hours a day.

Myn Wong says

14th February 2017 at 1:18 am

Hi. May I know the estimated cost of this trip?

George Monaghan says

30th January 2017 at 8:51 pm

Finding this site most interesting !

30th January 2017 at 8:52 pm

Thanks George, appreciated!

Dave_Toni says

18th January 2017 at 2:17 am

Hi guys, I’m staying in London for a short time (4 days) and I’m now thinking I should have booked a longer stay, but I’m on route to another destination. What would you recommend for a four day tour to get the best out of “must see” locations in in short amount of time? Really enjoying the site, keep up the great information. Thanks Dave.

18th January 2017 at 6:52 pm

Four days is a good time to see lots of London 🙂 My advice, if you’ve not been before, would be to focus on the highlights, plus allocate some time just to wander a bit. I have a two day Itinerary here: That should help a bit, and then an itinerary that focuses on the region of Kensington: I also have a guide for getting around London: Some tips for the best photo spots in London: And finally, we always recommend the London Pass to save money if you’re planning on visiting a lot of attractions. Here’s a great breakdown to find out if that’s worth it for you or not: Enjoy!

13th January 2017 at 10:19 am

So so perfect! Planning a 2 week UK holiday in June. This was God-sent!

13th January 2017 at 10:21 am

Wonderful, pleased you found it useful

Ashton says

5th November 2016 at 5:24 am

This is perfect! Exactly what I was looking for to start planning my honeymoon!! Thank you for taking the time to put this together

13th November 2016 at 7:58 pm

My pleasure – let us know how it goes and if there’s anything missing we can add to the post!

shiva bhavini says

16th July 2016 at 2:34 pm

Hi Laurence & Jessica, My husband and I are planning to have a 10 days UK trip , reaching London on September 16 and have return flight from london on september 26 , can you please suggest should we take some travel agent to take us around in UK ? Thanks much in advance

Ellana McNulty says

3rd July 2016 at 1:39 am

Hi Laurence & Jessica, My husband and I are planning on following your itinerary when we go over in August. When we first looked at your blog, there was a map at the end that you could zoom in on, but cannot find it now? Is the link still available.

3rd July 2016 at 11:24 am

Hi Ellana! Sorry about that, the map was causing issues for mobile users so I removed it. See comment below with a better answer!

Paul McNulty says

7th July 2016 at 12:09 am

Thanks for this Laurence!

Is it possible to have the whole route on the map like you had it before?

4th November 2016 at 11:13 pm

Hi Paul, I’ve been battling with google maps over this and gave up as it wouldn’t let me have enough waypoints. So I’ve switched to Bing Maps with the embedded image, and there’s a link to the route here:

Sorry for the delay!

5th November 2016 at 12:02 am

Thanks Laurence… we toured the UK in the last half of August using your itinerary. We modified it a bit to suit our personal tastes, but the basis of our trip was thanks to you. And it was even better than we expected!! Cheers.

5th November 2016 at 9:49 am

Brilliant! Delighted you had a good trip 😀

Alicia says

7th June 2017 at 3:22 am

The above link does not have a driving route in it. Is it no longer working (or I am doing it wrong)?

Unfortunately Google wouldn’t let me put together a driving route with this many stops, so this was the best I could do!

Seyne Tee says

27th June 2016 at 4:03 am

Hi Laurence & Jessica, I plan to visit UK for 2 weeks and rent a car to travel around places outside UK. Your perfect itinerary is exactly what I’m looking for, thanks! I have a problem here, I can only travel with my husband and son in the middle of November, will the weather be friendly enough to carry out activities as per your recommendation?

27th June 2016 at 9:23 am

Well, the weather in the UK can be quite varied, with sun even in November! However it will more likely be cold and grey, temperatures in the range of 3 – 10 degrees C. It will also be dark fairly early. However, that shouldn’t put you off, a lot of this itinerary is focused on the cities, and indoors activities, so you should be fine, although you might want to edit the itinerary a bit to focus more on indoor activities than outdoor ones 🙂

Stephen Mason says

9th May 2016 at 3:58 am

This trip is incredible! Can you give a price of what the final trip costed?

28th June 2016 at 11:55 am

Hi Stephen – it really depends on many factors, including your budget for accommodation / food. You can find places for £50 / night in most of the locations I’ve mentioned, food per person you could get away with £15 a day, then there’s fuel and car hire, not to mention attraction entry. I’d probably look to budgeting around £700 – £1500 per person, as a guideline, but a lot of variables to take into account 🙂

SharronJ says

8th March 2016 at 6:33 pm

This is just what I was looking for. I am planning on visiting your wonderful country for a month next year and just started doing research. Your article is just what I was looking for Thanks so much!

8th March 2016 at 6:35 pm

My pleasure! Have a wonderful trip 🙂

Edward says

17th January 2016 at 11:32 pm

Thank you for this. I will be going in UK late Spetember to October (one month) and this is a nice itnerary and I can do it in a slower pace. Would you say September and October is a good time to do this? How is the weather usually in those months?

2nd February 2016 at 2:47 am

It’s the Autum time so you might fair pretty well, considering. It starts to cool down in September and the trees start changing. There will be rain, especially in the West of England and Wales but there always is.

The best time to visit England is May – August, but if you don’t mind getting caught in the rain now and then, you shouldn’t have a problem

Joanne says

12th October 2015 at 2:18 pm

Is it possible to do this itinerary relying only on public transportation since I don’t drive? Thank you in advance.

12th October 2015 at 2:21 pm

Good parts of it are certainly possible, as the major cities are linked by public transport, and the trains in particular are an excellent and fast way to get around. One tip – book well in advance on specific trains to get the best prices in the UK, the fares you pay on the day are much higher. I’d also suggest flying from Edinburgh to Dublin if you wanted to include the Irish part of the trip.

You might have a bit more difficulty visiting places like the Cotswolds or other “country” parts on your own, however there are plenty of tour operators who can give you a day trip out from London to say the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.

On the whole though, yes, the majority of this itinerary would be more than do-able by public transport!

Nina Tchernova says

7th October 2015 at 2:43 pm

Hi Laurence, thank you so much for sharing this! We are planning to go in April, and this is exactly what we were hoping to do. And here it all is, so wonderfully explored and illustrated! One question though – what would you recommend about car rentals -one, or three? when we cross on a ferry to Ireland, do we bring the car, or is it better to rent another one there, and then another when we get back?

10th October 2015 at 1:14 pm

My pleasure 🙂 The answer to your question isn’t as simple as it sounds. One way rentals, as you’d need if you were to change cars, are generally more expensive than returning the car to the same place. On the other hand, a ferry ticket without a car is cheaper! So you might want to just check the math and see, depending on your budget. Personally, I’d not bother with the hassle of changing cars and just stick with the same one, you just need to check that it’s ok to drive the car in Ireland as well 🙂

10th October 2015 at 1:28 pm

Thank you very much, we will have to make a few enquiries.

Darryl Chan says

24th August 2015 at 6:03 pm

Hey! Love your itinerary! Is there anyway I can contact you to get more personalised advices from you? Looking forward to your reply!

27th August 2015 at 5:28 pm

Sure, you can just drop me an e-mail via the contact page on the site, or just fire away in the comments and I’ll see what I can do,

17th August 2015 at 4:58 am

Where’s the castle in your first picture?

25th September 2015 at 8:51 pm

The castle in the first picture (with the daffodils) is Alnwick castle in Northumberland. Home to Harry Potter or at least the was some filming taken place there and also some of Downtown Abbey. Alnwick is also home to Barter Books where the original ‘keep calm and carry on’ poster was discovered. Northumberland has one of the largest number of castles in the uk. Some of the most impressive I think are Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne Castle (on holy island – which needs a visit itself) and Chillingham Castle (known for being pretty spooky). Contact Wooler Tourist Infomation Office on +44 1668 282123 to learn about accommodation as Wooler is a fantastic base for the best of Northumberland.

25th September 2015 at 9:02 pm

Can I also say there is an awesome place for Brits and tourists alike; Beamish, the living museum. It is an outdoor village fashioned perfectly on olden days northern England complete with coal mine, dentis, working sweet shop and more

Monica says

11th August 2015 at 8:16 pm

I loved you itinerary and pictures. I’m definitely using your steps to trace some of my own. Thanks for sharing. I’m excited to read through more of your posts.

15th August 2015 at 8:32 pm

Thanks Monica, have a great trip!

3rd August 2015 at 9:50 pm

Great review of a nice trip through GB. My wife and I are trying to plan one for May, and we were thinking of spending more time in Scottland. Do you have any suggestions for moving from Endinburgh and into the northern part of Scotland and skipping Ireland. I thinking about Aberdeen and stopping by Ben Nevis, but it’s our first time traveling abroad and I’d love more information. Thanks!

3rd August 2015 at 11:49 pm

Hi Andy! To be honest I’ve not spent a lot of time in Scotland recently, but I can very much recommend taking the time to visit Glencoe. It’s a couple of hours from Edinburgh, and is an absolutely stunning valley in the highlands. I’ve also heard nothing but good things about the isle of Skye! Sorry I can’t be of much more help right now 🙁

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How to Travel the UK on the Cheap

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The UK is one of the most expensive countries in Europe — and if you’re planning a trip, you might be daunted by the cost of transportation within the UK.

But it is very possible to travel the UK for cheap!

Since settling in Chester, I’ve found a host of ways to save money on transportation.  And all of them have one thing in common:


It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling by train, bus, or air — booking early will nearly always save you money, and booking last minute will always be exponentially more expensive.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some ways to save money on different kinds of UK transportation:

uk daily travel budget

Cheap UK Train Travel

Train travel in the UK is incredibly romantic, and you can easily watch the scenery go by for hours — bright green hills, sheep, newly plowed fields, tiny villages…it’s my favorite way to travel the UK.

Most of the time, it’s also the easiest and fastest way to travel — though not the cheapest.

If you’re not a UK resident and planning on traveling lots of long distances in the UK by train, look into a Britrail Pass .  If you’re just booking occasional journeys, read on.

Check the Megatrain and Virgin Train sites first for absurdly cheap train routes.  These two sites tend to promote the same routes.

Next, no matter which destination you choose, check out The Trainline’s Fare Finder — it will show you the cheapest tickets for various dates and times.  Either way, booking on The Trainline is usually cheaper than other sites.

On all the aforementioned sites, you buy tickets online, then use the same credit card to retrieve your tickets at the station.

What to know:  Be flexible on stations.  I was looking for Chester-Edinburgh round-trip fares and couldn’t find anything for less than an astounding £150.  Then I found out that there are cheap fares on Megatrain from Warrington Bank Quay to Glasgow, a short trip from Edinburgh.  I had never heard of Warrington Bank Quay, but it’s only a few stops away from Chester!

I paid normal fares from Chester to Warrington and from Glasgow to Edinburgh — but from Warrington to Glasgow, the longest part of the journey, I found a super-cheap £9 fare.

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Cheap UK Coach Travel

The thing about bus (or coach) travel is that you need to evaluate the positives and negatives.  Yes, bus travel can be much cheaper than the train, but it can also take a lot longer, and most find it less pleasant (though all the coaches I’ve seen have been immaculate).

I usually book a coach when traveling from Chester to London.  The fastest trip is five hours (while the train takes 2.5 hours and costs at least three times as much).   To me, five hours on a bus is definitely doable, while 11 hours to Scotland is not worth it.  I may have managed a 32-hour bus journey in Southeast Asia , but I have no intentions of repeating that here!

First, check out Megabus for the cheapest fares of the bunch, then check out National Express  for cheap fares but more convenient times.

What to know:  Again, book as early as possible, especially on Megabus — they even have £1 fares!  Also, keep in mind that you must wear a seatbelt at all times — it’s UK law.

uk daily travel budget

Cheap UK Air Travel

I wouldn’t recommend air travel in the UK most of the time — the sheer act of flying requires so much more time and effort, that it’s not worth it.  But it can be useful for exceptionally large distances, like London to Aberdeen or Inverness.

My go-to flight search engine is Kayak  because it’s the best.  Be sure to check airline sites as well for unpublished fares.  Budget airline  Easyjet has several domestic routes in the UK.

What to know: Budget airlines usually fly at inconvenient times from out-of-the-way airports. Take this into account and make sure you have someone to drive you, or your Uber might be more expensive.

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Creative UK Travel Options

None of these float your fancy?  There are a few other options.  Rideshare sites are growing more popular in the UK.  My friend Dylan swears by hitchhiking.  And you could also do Britain’s most intimidating walk: Land’s End to John O’Groats (also known as walking from Great Britain’s lower left corner to its upper right corner.)

One thing that I’d love to do: rent a narrow boat in Chester and travel by the canals in the northwest, going through canal locks and everything!

The one thing you should NOT skip to save money in the UK? Travel insurance ! I never travel with it and it will save you a lot of money if something happens on your trip. I use and recommend World Nomads.

Any more tips for cheap transportation in the UK?  Share in the comments!

Never Ending Footsteps

The Cost of Travel in London: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

How has it taken me so long to get around to writing a budget breakdown for London?

London is everything to me.

I was born in this incredible city and spent the first 23 years of my life exploring everything it has to offer. Even now, over a decade after leaving to travel the world, I consider London home and return every single year to spend my summers strolling its streets. I spent several weeks there last summer, and have already booked my tickets for this year’s trip!

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, it’s impossible to run out of things to do and see in this magnificent place. A list of things to do would stretch into the hundreds, if not the thousands; my top restaurant recommendations would require months to visit them all. You could spend a week in London doing nothing but visiting world-class museums and leave with just as many left on your to-do list. And that’s before I even dive into the countless day trips that are up for grabs around the U.K.

And all of this wonder? Yeah, it won’t be a surprise to hear that it comes at a steep price.

London is expensive, but there are plenty of ways to keep your budget to a minimum — when I returned to the city after backpacking in Southeast Asia, I was still able to keep my costs low by staying in hostels and eating the delicious street food. But if you’re all about that luxury life? London is unlike anywhere else in the world, with so many world-class hotels and restaurants to dip into.

Today, I’m going to be sharing exactly how much you can expect to spend on a trip to London. Prices are in USD and GBP.

How to Save Money on the Cost of Accommodation in London

As always with travel, it’s possible to cut your accommodation costs down to zero if you have the time and patience to seek out an offer. And when you see the price of some of the accommodation in London, you might just be able to find said time!

Couchsurfing  exists in the UK– and, of course, London — and lets you stay with a local for free, sleeping on their sofa and enjoying a local’s insight into life in their country. It’s not the most comfortable of living situations, but if your budget is tight and you don’t mind roughing it, it’s worth sending out a few requests to hosts to see if anything comes of it. You can search for potential hosts on the Couchsurfing site .

Housesitting  is another option. This is where you take care of somebody’s house for free while they’re away, and usually look after their pets, too. It’s best for long-term travellers or retirees: you can’t pick and choose dates and destinations, so you need to have a lot of flexibility as to where you go and when you go there.

If you do have that freedom, though, it’s a wonderful way to cut down your travel expenses, soak up some home comforts, and live like a local for a while.  Trusted Housesitters  is the best site for getting started with housesitting — they usually have hundreds of housesits available for London at any one time, so it’s well-worth having a look to see if any coincide with your travel dates.

I’m suspecting, though, that for most of you, you’re not interested in the free accommodation: you just want somewhere clean, safe, and affordable to rest your head each night. If that’s the case, there are several options available.

The Cost of Accommodation in London

The best hostel in London: YHA London Oxford Street (dorms $45/£35 a night, private rooms $141/£110 )

Want to visit London on a budget and still stay in the heart of the action? Well, you can’t get much more central than right beside the city’s premier shopping street, and YHA London Oxford Street lets you stay there for as little as $45/£35 a night! That’s assuming you’re happy to stay in a dorm, of course, but even if you aren’t, private rooms are still very reasonably priced. Despite the affordability, you still get a quiet building, clean rooms, individual lights and power sockets beside each dorm bed, and the option of an inexpensive breakfast each morning. You can also buy drinks and light meals onsite, but of course there are about a thousand eating and drinking options nearby as well! Everything is within walking distance or a short tube ride away, so if all you’re really looking for is a cheap, clean place to lay your head in central London, this is definitely the place to do it.

The best budget hotel in London: The Lilac Door ( $167/£130 a night)

The Lilac Door is an adorable, family-run bed and breakfast in Dulwich Hill that’s an affordable yet charming place to stay in London. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but as always with a B&B, it’s the hosts that make or break it. In this case, they definitely make it: not only were they super warm and welcoming, but the breakfasts I had there were exceptional. They had no problem catering for dietary requirements like gluten-free or vegetarianism, but if you’re not limited in what you can eat, you have so many options, from a full English to a huge spread of croissants, yoghurts, and omelettes. There’s plenty to see and do nearby, including the well-known Dulwich Picture Gallery and Crystal Palace Park, while a bus or overland train gets you into the centre of the city in about 40 minutes.

The best mid-range hotel in London: Blackbird ( $277/£216 a night)

It’s no surprise that you’ll need to up your budget a bit if you want to stay closer to the heart of London: with that in mind, Blackbird offers impressive value. Honestly, I was surprised to find out that it’s actually a pub first and accommodation second: it’s a very upscale version of the classic “pub with rooms” that you find all over the UK. The rooms are clean and spacious for the area, with all the amenities you need for a few days in the city. Food (and drinks) at the pub downstairs are definitely a step above traditional pub fare, and with breakfast included, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample it! In terms of getting around, you’re in a great location: Kensington Palace and Hyde Park are a lovely half-hour stroll away, and the hotel is basically over the road from Earls Court station, with regular tubes that can whisk you directly to Covent Garden in 20 minutes or Heathrow airport in 40 minutes.

The best high-end hotel in London: Bankside Hotel, Autograph Collection ( $555/£432 a night)

Ever since I stayed in one of Marriot’s amazing Autograph Collection hotels in Seoul last year, I’ve been keeping an eye out for the chance to do it again. The stylish design, exceptional staff, and attention to detail was unlike anything I’d experienced before, and Bankside Hotel brings all of that and more to London’s bustling South Bank. You couldn’t ask for a better location, less than a five minute stroll from the Tate Modern and the Thames, and an easy walk or short cab or tube ride to everything you’ll want to see in central London. As you’d expect, the rooms are super-quiet and the amenities are top-notch, from remote-control blackout blinds to marble bathrooms, and the artwork around the hotel is quirky without being tacky: not an easy balance. In short, if you’re happy to spend a bit extra to make your stay in London especially memorable and comfortable, Bankside is the place to do it!

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The Cost of Transportation in London 

Your first travel experience from London is going to depend a hell of a lot on which airport you choose to land at. Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, or even London City: all are potential options, but only London City is anywhere close to the centre of the action. It’s a small airport that mostly services flights to nearby European countries, so you’ll likely be flying into somewhere else, which means a solid hour of public transport to get into central London.

Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass.

Other than London City, Heathrow is the only London airport that’s serviced by the Underground, which means it costs as little as $7.20/£5.60 to get into the central city. It takes about an hour, though: if you want a faster journey, the Heathrow Express zips between the airport and Paddington station in 15 minutes, and costs $26/£20 if you book in advance .

All the other airports are further out and require a bus and/or overland train journey into central London. Gatwick has an express train service that takes about half an hour and costs $30/£22.90 . If you’re traveling at an off-peak time and don’t mind if your journey takes a bit longer, just take a non-express service from Gatwick instead; it’s under half the price.

Stansted also has an express service, which takes about an hour and costs $30/£23 . Cheap advance fares are sometimes available that cost as little as $13/£9.90 , but there are only a limited number available and they sell out quickly. Check the website just in case, though! Luton doesn’t have a direct train service, so you’re looking at a fairly painful 90 minute bus journey there, for $17/£13 .

uk daily travel budget

Once you’re in London, though, moving between attractions is a breeze. You’ll often be able to walk from one to the next, but if not, there’s a diverse range of public transport options available. Buses, underground and overground trains, light rail, trams, and even boats criss-cross the city, and most of them are integrated into a single payment system.

Prices vary depending on the type of transport and how far you’re going, but expect to pay $2.25/£1.75 for a bus ride (with free transfers for an hour) and $3.50/£2.70 for a single tube ride in zone one. Daily fare caps apply, so you won’t pay more than $11/£8.50 per day for journeys in zone one and two.

Note that those prices and caps apply only if you’re using a contactless card: either a credit or debit card, Apple or Google Pay on your phone, or an Oyster card that you can buy and top up at ticket machines and counters at major stations. Cash tickets can be noticeably more expensive.

The London Overground is a more recent addition, using existing railway lines to cover a wide area that generally wasn’t well served by underground routes. There’s also the Docklands Light Railway, or DLR, an innovative driverless option that starts at Bank station and heads out through the old London dock area on a few different routes towards Greenwich, London City Airport, and elsewhere.

uk daily travel budget

When you tire of the railway and bus system, hop on a boat instead. The Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is a unique way to skip the (often) chaotic London transportation scene and enjoy the beauty of the Thames River. It’s rarely the fastest way to get around, but it’s definitely the most scenic, and a lot cheaper than paying for a Thames cruise. The river is split into three fare zones: Oyster/contactless cards are accepted and kids under five ride free. An adult single zone fare starts at $8/£6.20 .

As a rule, you’ll likely end up taking the tube most of the time, a bus for shorter trips or where the tube doesn’t run to, and then the occasional overground train, tram, or boat. Unless you’re heading to Greenwich or flying in or out of London Airport, you probably won’t take the DLR much or at all.

If you’d prefer to power your own explorations, there are many dockless bike share systems in London as well. The biggest is Santander , which has over 12,000 bikes around inner London and a handy $4/£3 day pass option that includes unlimited rides of up to half an hour each.

uk daily travel budget

The Cost of Food in London

Yeah, I’ll point directly at the elephant in the room right now: English food has a terrible reputation.

Jellied eels, spotted dick, and toad in the hole are often called out by visitors to my homeland, with many still believing the British cuisine of the pre-millennium is still in favour. That couldn’t be any less true today!

London is one of the greatest cities in the world for eating these days, and you’re going to have so many delicious meals while you’re in town.

Let’s start with the breakfasts. Even if you’ve never come across any other British food before, you’ve probably heard of the full English: a breakfast smorgasbord of bacon, eggs, potatoes, sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, and grilled tomatoes is a well-known way of setting yourself up for the day. It’s probably also a good way of setting yourself up for a heart attack if you have it all the time, but fortunately continental options of cereal, yoghurt, and fruit are commonplace, along with avocado toast and other lighter fare.

If breakfast isn’t included in your room rate, expect to pay around $15.50-19.50/£12-15 for a full English at a good cafe, and $8-11.50/£6-9 for a continental option. You might get tea or coffee with that, but if not, it’ll be around $2/£1.50 for a cup of milky tea, $2.50/£2 for a basic brewed coffee, and $4/£3 for a good latte or flat white. Avocado toast normally runs about $13-15.50/£10-12 .

Lunch is usually a relatively light meal, and you’ve got endless options. It’s pretty much impossible to walk more than a block in central London without seeing somewhere selling sandwiches, from the infamous supermarket “meal deals” of a sandwich or wrap plus a drink and crisps/chips, through chain sandwich stores like Pret a Manger with a wider range and somewhat higher quality, to specialist delicatessens. Fillings like egg mayo or cheese and pickle are common, but there’s a huge variety. Expect to pay around $5.25/£4 for a supermarket meal deal, and $4.50-7.75/£3.50-6 for a wrap or sandwich elsewhere.

If you’re after something heartier (and still have room left after that full English breakfast), many pubs and restaurants have weekday lunchtime specials. Keep an eye out for signboards as you walk around: these specials typically change regularly, but can offer a significant saving over having something similar for dinner. I recently paid $24/£18.50 for ham, eggs, and chips plus a pint of cider at a pub in inner London, which is about what it would have cost without the drink later in the day.

Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

One of my favourite London activities is afternoon tea and I’ve been fortunate to have sampled over a dozen of the city’s offerings in my lifetime! It’s a fantastic tea-based tradition in this country; a multi-hour experience, during which you’ll sample sandwiches, scones, cakes, pastries, cocktails, and tea. Perfect for a special occasion! There are so many different options available to suit a range of budgets. My personal favourite options are:

  • For a luxury afternoon tea: The Lanesborough afternoon tea ( £80 /$100). A high-end option in one of London’s fanciest hotels. The staff were amazing and their cakes are some of the best I’ve had.
  • For a wow-factor afternoon tea: Peter Pan-themed afternoon tea at the Shard ( £70 /$88). You’ll have the best views in London at this one. I loved sitting beside the window and gazing out across the city.
  • For a fun, themed afternoon tea: Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea at the Sanderson ( £65 /$82). This is a London classic, with Alice in Wonderland-themed treats. I’ve been to this one three times as it makes for a great place for first-time visitors to the city!
  • For a budget afternoon tea: Tapas-themed afternoon tea at Map Maison ( £28 /$35). I really enjoyed this afternoon tea in East London and thought it offered amazing value for money. It’s Spanish-themed, so expect lots of delicious jamon .

If you’re near a pub at lunchtime on a Sunday, be sure to stop in for a Sunday roast. Most pubs that serve food offer it, and it’s a real British institution. There’s usually a choice of two or three meat-based options and a vegetarian/vegan version, along with roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding that you absolutely have to try at least once. Expect to pay $18-23.50/£14-18 for it.

You’ll have even more choice about what to eat and drink for dinner than at lunchtime, but to give just a few examples:

  • Fish and chips: $10-18.75/£8-15
  • Steak and chips: $18.75-37.50+/£15-30+
  • Indian curry: $15-25/£12-20
  • Pizza: $12.50-22.50/£10-18
  • Glass of house wine at a pub: $6.25-10/£5-8
  • Cocktails at a fancy bar: $15-22.50+/£12-18+

Those prices really can vary a lot, though, based on which part of the city you’re eating in and how fancy the establishment is. London caters for all budgets!

After you’ve eaten your way through the city it’s ok to step outside the traditional English cuisine to taste the many flavours from all over the world. With so many people from all over the world choosing to make London their home, it’s hardly surprising that their country’s cuisine also makes an appearance. If you’re craving almost any type of food at all, chances are there’s a restaurant that serves it.

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The Cost of Activities, Tours, and Entrance Fees in London

Where to even begin? There’s so much to do in London that I could write an entire article for each and every activity.

We’ll start things off with the big hitters.

When it comes to paid activities within the city, the London Eye is one of my favourites.

I’ve been for a ride on this giant observation wheel three times now — once in the morning, once at sunset, and once in the evening — and it’s one of my favourite places to take friends who are new to the city. It’s a great first destination in London, in my opinion, as it gives you a sense of the size of the city and where the attractions are in relation to each other. I recommend going at sunset, as at this time, you’ll still be able to make out the monuments but also get to watch the city start to light up. Prices come in at £32 for a standard ride or £51 to skip the line and enjoy a glass of champagne onboard . As somebody who has spent over an hour queueing to board the Eye, I recommend the latter if you can afford the extra cash.

The Tower of London is another iconic location that you have to check out. You can catch a glimpse of the famous Crown Jewels while you’re there, of course, but that really is just the beginning: after all, there’s over a thousand years of history inside those stone walls!

Churches and museums grace nearly every corner, enlightening history fanatics of the centuries old religious presence and modern art spirit that lives there. Most of the to-dos are best seen by simply walking through them. Big Ben, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge are all a sight to be seen and an opportunity to capture that ‘London pic’.

Piccadilly Circus is London’s version of Times Square. It’s busy, brightly lit and full of people. But most importantly, it’s free. Yes, people watching at the circus is totally free of charge and totally worth it. For all you night owls, take notes. Pubs, Broadway productions, restaurants and clubs will keep you happily vibing until the wee hours of the morning if you so choose. 

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens is a beautiful way to see a different side of London. Picnics, bike paths, swans, blooming gardens and a memorial walk pathed with history are all features of this must-do. There are no costs associated with this, but there are vendors scattered around eager to serve you a coffee or lunch to accompany you on your stroll. 

And day trips?

After you’ve wandered every museum, toured every church, and sat in every pub (which means you’ve spent 50 years in London!), it’s time to explore more of the U.K.

Oxford and Oxford and Cambridge offer a portal back in time with winding cobblestone roads, thousand-year-old churches, and universities that hold both clout and tradition. Stonehenge is a mystery worth digging into during your time here. Just short of a three-hour drive from London, you will find a pile of rocks strategically placed. By whom? No one knows. Day trip tours start at $89/£69 .

uk daily travel budget

The Cost of Travel Insurance in London

If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. These costs can quickly land you with a six-figure bill to pay at the end of it.

In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

Travel insurance  will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by appendicitis and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died and you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I use  SafetyWing  as my travel insurance provider, and recommend them for trips to London. Firstly, they’re one of the few companies out there who will actually cover you if you contract COVID-19. On top of that, they provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. If you’re on a long-term trip, you can pay monthly instead of up-front, and can cancel at any time. Finally, they’re more affordable than the competition, and have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always appreciated.

With SafetyWing, you’ll pay  $1.50 a day  for travel insurance.

uk daily travel budget

How Much Does It Cost to Travel in London?

Travelling on a mid-range budget like I was, my costs were as follows:

Accommodation:  $195/ £152 per day between two people ( $97.50/£76 each) Transportation:  $9/ £ 7 per day Food:  $57 /£44.50 per day Activities:  $48 /£37.50 per day

Total amount spent per day: $211.50/£165

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Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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We spent a couple of weeks pre-Christmas in Brixton two years ago (in a very cute Airbnb also!) and I fell in love with it. The first night our host sent us to Brixton Market for dinner, and we ate ALL THE DUMPLINGS at Mama Lan’s and after that we pretty much loved being in that neighbourhood. I wish we could afford to live in Brixton full-time – you and Dave don’t fancy going halfsies on a house for us all to share, do you?!

Um, yes, we absolutely do! :-D

I was wondering why on earth you were having conversations about candy, sidewalks, friends, pants, restrooms, drapes, parking lots , and jelly. Seemed like odd/trivial topics of conversation! ….Until I realized that those are all Americanisms and, being American, I didn’t even realize that there could be a second meaning to that sentence :D

Hahahaha! That made me laugh so hard.

I just ate my oatmeal breakfast, but after reading this article and looking at your photos I think I need to eat something that contains fat. I should have stopped reading after a title, cause I knew this would happen to me.

Hahaha! I should have added a warning to the top of the post as well ;-)

I lived in London for two years and didn’t venture to Brixton once. Now I’m kicking myself! But I’m a north of the river girl and you can definitely eat your way around Archway…

It’s funny how England has a reputation for having terrible food, but one of my favourite things to do there these days is eat!

Aww what a lovely story! I should have timed reading this better though – it’s 5pm and I’m starving now ha ha! A friend of mine used to live in Brixton but I haven’t been for years – sounds like there’s some amazing places for food – I’m gonna have to pay it a visit next time in in the city I think…

Definitely do so, Keri! Brixton Village is so incredible for eating :-)

Brixton is totally going on my travel list! Also, just looking at those photos makes me hungry (and I have just finished dinner…)

Then my work is done! :-) Glad you enjoyed the post!

Lauren!! You absolutely have to go to Ms. cupcake – its a vegan bakery…..everything they make is to die for! X

Ah, amazing! Will add it to my list :-D

I have only been to London once and never made it to Brixton. However I did spend a day at Camden Market and had an amazing time there.

I love Camden Market! Lots of fun and great for people watching :-)

I got so hungry from reading this post and looking at pics :)

It took me longer than usual to write it because I kept having to head out to grab some food!

My God, Lauren – these photos! Arghghghgh, it’s only 9:20am here and I’m now ridiculously hungry!

I’ve always wanted to try out the mad-hatter’s afternoon tea. Have seen loads of my friends go and then paste the photos all over Facebook. Definitely one to add to the list for when I’m back home next!

Brixton sounds like a food-lover’s dream come true. I love the idea of having a ‘local’ currency, too, in order to help support local businesses. Brilliant.

Haha, sorry! I’ll be writing a post about the mad-hatter’s tea party next week and sharing lots of photos :-)

I live here!! And it’s AWESOME! I love all the places you mention. Would also recommend Spanish… Brindisa, Gremio de Brixton, Boqueria… Or for slightly smarter meals go for Salon or Naughty Piglets. If you want cocktails there’s Shrub and Shutter (although that’s gotten more expensive recently) or the Beast of Brixton. Gremio does good cocktails too. I love the food in Brixton – I’m a triathlon blogger but reviews of Brixton restaurants always seem to creep onto my blog because I just want to give them a big shout-out – so I am so pleased you have done too!!

Yay! I’m glad I could do it justice :-) Thanks so much for the suggestions — I’ve added them all to my list of where to check out when I return (and maybe hopefully move there!)

Yum, the food pictures look delicious! Being in your hometown with a traveller’s mindset is the best thing! I’ve rediscovered my own country recently as well and I’m happy to live at home. Also wandering around with a camera makes you appreciate all the sights you would normally miss!

It makes such a difference, doesn’t it? I was even admiring the lampposts as we were walking around London recently haha!

As a born-and-bred Londoner for 27 years (I moved to Manchester 6 months ago), I’m almost ashamed to say that my only experiences of Brixton have mostly involved underage drinking and various emo gigs at the Academy. I’m travelling at the moment and trying to plan a Christmas visit home with my boyfriend and I think it’s safe to say that eating my way through Brixton is now firmly on my list! …as well as the rugby!

Hahaha! Yes, definitely add Brixton to your list! And the rugby was so. much. fun!

P.S. I love your Taiwan post!

Forget about the food in Brixton and drag Dave down to the O2 and watch a live band. Having just been to see Garbage play the 20th anniversary of their debut album I can definitely recommend it.

Loved the book by the way and from your blog over the years I’m guessing there is more to come ;-)

Ha! Our music tastes don’t align all that often. I’m all about classic rock and he loves grunge. One of the the great things about London, though, is how many people play there! I’d be going to gigs all the time if I lived there :-)

And thank you! So happy to hear you enjoyed my book :-D

That Honest Burger looks and sounds amazing. I will definitely have to check it out on my next visit to London! I’ve never spent much time in Brixton, and now I’m wondering how in the world I missed it.

It’s definitely worth visiting! :-)

Oh wow! I could probably live there too with all that food, and you are right they are not that pricey for London. I lived in the UK for almost 5 years around 12 years ago and haven’t been back since. I remember that I was always complaining about the weather (!) but now I kinda I miss it, especially during the hot and dry season here in Indonesia. And I also miss the prawn cocktail crisps!

Prawn cocktail crisps: so good! It surprises me how much I miss the weather, too.

Oh yum, I could eat everything in this post. Looks like you had an amazing month!

It was definitely a month of eating! :-D

This has been so helpful. My friends live near Brixton, this article pushed me to get my friends to explore Brixton more. We’ve had great experiences at Mama Lans and Okan. Thanks for posting this!

So happy to hear that, Laura! :-)

Looks like you guys had a fabulous time. Can I explore London with you?? LOL!! Why would you have to fake an American drawl? That is so terrible. Granted I think Brits can fake an American accent better than anyone. You sound even better than Americans do and I am American. LOL!!! Can’t wait to see what your new year of travel brings.

Haha! I fake the accent because nobody can understand my British accent and I get fed up with having to repeat myself 50 times only to have people ask me why I didn’t just pronounce it the American way. Americans usually can’t even understand me when I say my name!

Congratulations on your success with Dave. I have always felt that no matter where you go, home is home. I love food blogs, and yours was that and more. The apartment is stunning, and the food looks delicious. The Mad Hatter’s tea is one party I want to go to. You must have had such a delightful time. Prawn cocktail crisps sound so yummy.

Thanks so much!

I just love Brixton one of my favourite areas in London always check it out for the Jamaican food to be found there. As for Borough market what a heavenly place for a market fan like me. I adore a good farmer’s market and am hoping to collect guest posts on markets around the world.

Yes! I definitely need to head back there for an eating holiday soon :-)

It was interesting reading about your experience in Brixton. I would be interested to visit the place too if I ever go back to London, though I would not be interested in trying out most of the food. Perhaps, I could get a nice flat too that have a nice little kitchen that I can try out my cooking skills.

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Budget travel , United Kingdom

Backpacking the uk on a budget – travel costs + itinerary.

Budget travel uk

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links to things like tours, hotels, Amazon associates and products. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

While the UK is undeniably a beautiful place to travel , it can be expensive. I created this guide to backpacking the UK to help you explore the best of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. So you don’t break the bank doing it, I’ll share a complete cost breakdown for budget travel in the UK. Since I grew up in the United Kingdom and return between trips, I have almost 30 years of experience living and spending money (or rather trying not to!) in the UK. There are so many fantastic places for budget travel in England, Scotland, Wales and NI such as London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Cornwall, Devon ( England ), Cardiff, Pembrokeshire ( Wales ), Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands ( Scotland ) and Belfast (Northern Ireland).

Keep reading for my itinerary for backpacking the UK!

UK BACKPACKING ESSENTIALS Lonely Planet guidebook – Great Britain , Scotland , Wales , Ireland Accommodation: Hostels & apartments – / Hostels – Activities: GetYourGuide / Viator Getting around: Trainline / Busbud Flights: Skyscanner

Lake District backpacking uk

Like budget travel ? Check out my budget guides to South Korea , India , Cuba and Taiwan !

Is it expensive to backpack in the UK?

Yes, the UK is expensive to travel. There are no two ways about it. The UK isn’t as expensive as Scandanavia or certain parts of the US but it’s up there as one of the world’s more expensive regions. Backpacking the UK on a budget is a totally different experience to travelling in Southeast Asia or South America. Luckily, I have plenty of budget tips for the UK to share. Of course, the ultimate tip is to escape the holiday hotspots in favour of hidden gems in the UK .

UK budget travel – what’s the cost?

Well, how long is a piece of string? However, here’s a rough estimate of how much to budget per day in the UK:

Backpacker’s UK budget (staying in hostels and cooking your own meals) – £60 per day. Mid-range UK budget travel (staying in budget Airbnbs and hotels and eating out half the time) – £100 per day. Luxury UK travel budget (staying in nice hotels and eating out for all your meals) – £200 per day.

Backpacking the UK – cost of a visa

Depending where you’re coming from, the conditions of visiting the UK will vary. Make sure you do your research and check out the current costs and requirements.

Backpacking the UK – mobile data

The best way to stay connected while travelling in the UK is to pick up a local SIM card. I use giffgaff and pay £10 for 9GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. Sign up for giffgaff and pre-order a SIM to be delivered to a UK or overseas address.

How to backpack the UK – modes of transport

If you’re wondering How much should I budget per day UK? , let’s get this out of the way: public transport makes it hard to travel on a budget in the UK! Recently, I flew into Manchester via Poland as it was a quarter of the price of the train. I don’t mean to encourage unnecessary air miles as I try to take public transport wherever possible. It’s just tricky when UK trains are more expensive than organs on the black market (I think?).

Train travel uk budget

Trains in the UK

My best UK budget travel tip? Book trains in advance and be smart.

The railways in the UK are privatised which means there are lots of rival companies. Booking a ticket is a bit like playing the lottery as prices vary considerably. Here’s a screenshot of a train 4 minutes later being 5 times the price:

uk train prices

Average UK train prices START from:

Manchester – London: £35.

London – Brighton: £20.

Cardiff – London: £30.

Edinburgh – London: £60.

However, if you’re backpacking in the UK with limited time, you can’t deny the train is the quickest way to get around. Here are my best budget train tips:

Book your journey online to save money – it’s usually a lot more expensive to buy tickets at the station on the day. Select individual times rather than open returns. You’ll be restricted to the time you choose but at least you’ll save money. I use Trainline to shop for good deals and try and book your journeys a week in advance. If you’re visiting Wales, check the best train deals on the Transport for Wales website.

UK budget travel hack #1: go on Trainsplit . This website books you on the individual legs of your journey to save you cash. You end up carrying eight tickets but I’ve saved £15 per journey before by doing it.

UK budget travel hack #2: If you’re aged 16-25 and plan to make more than 2-3 journeys, it might be worth buying a Railcard . These cost £30 but save you a third on journeys so if you’re making a really long one, for example London to Edinburgh, you might make it back in one trip.

UK budget travel by coach

Coach travel can be ridiculously cheap. I’ve made it halfway across the country on a £1 ticket while backpacking in England!

Average coach prices in the UK:

Manchester – London: £20.

Brighton – London: £15.

Cardiff – London: £20.

Edinburgh – London: £50.

If you’re travelling England on a budget, use coach companies National Express and Megabus . Both have toilets, chargers and an online entertainment system. National Express are generally more reliable but the Megabus sales are best for picking up bargains. Compare prices using the Busbud website. Super hack for budget travel in the UK: Travel overnight and you won’t pay for accommodation. This is the lowest of the travel lows but I’ve done it plenty of times and it works!

uk daily travel budget

Cost of local buses

If you’re backpacking the UK on a budget, you will want to catch local buses rather than taxis. You can take buses around cities as well as between towns and cities within the same county. These typically cost a few pounds per journey.

The main bus companies to look out for include Stagecoach which operates all around the country and Arriva which operates around the Midlands, North East, North West, South East of England and Wales. For these buses, you pay the driver in cash or with contactless bank card rather than booking online like the UK coaches and trains.

Cost of internal flights in the UK

Use Skyscanner to find these. You can find real bargains, like London to Scotland for £25 return. Just remember to factor in the price of getting to the airport. From Oxford, I have to catch a train to a London airport and then it becomes less of a bargain. Skyscanner tip – use the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.

Budget tip – I recently found out how you can drop-off for free at Stanstead Airport !

Cost of taxis

Metered taxis in the UK cost around £3 per mile . Black cabs in London cost considerably more and should only be used as a last resort.

Taking Uber in the UK is a great way to save money but it’s only available in larger cities. Smaller cities and towns have to rely on more expensive private taxi companies. As a general rule, I’d avoid taxis if possible if you’re travelling the UK on a budget. Usually, local buses are the cheapest way to get about.

UK backpacking – where to stay

If you’re hoping to backpack the UK on a budget, finding affordable accommodation will be your biggest challenge. Accommodation prices in the United Kingdom vary depending on the city and type of accommodation you choose but they’re generally pretty high compared to many other countries. Staying in hostels is the cheapest option when backpacking the UK. Here are a few general costs:

Cost of hotels in the UK

Hotel rooms in the UK start at around £35 per night and head into the hundreds. If you’re travelling in a pair, this will reduce the cost of travel in the UK. Hotels occasionally offer single rooms but these are rarely half the price of a double or twin room. My best UK budget tip for solo travellers is to avoid hotels and opt for hostels or rooms in shared Airbnbs.

Brighton England

Budget hotels in major UK cities: London – The Z Hotel Victoria // Point A Hotel Paddington // Browse all London hotels . Oxford – The Buttery Guesthouse // browse all Oxford hotels . Brighton – The Royal Albion Seafront Hotel // browse all Brighton hotels Bristol – Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel // browse all Bristol hotels Manchester – easyHotel Manchester // browse all Manchester hotels Liverpool – The Z Hotel // browse all Liverpool hotels Edinburgh – CoDE Co-Living – The Loft // browse all Edinburgh hotels Glasgow – Glasgow Argyle Hotel // browse all Glasgow hotels Belfast – Jurys Inn Belfast / browse all Belfast hotels

Cost of Airbnbs in the UK

The UK is well set up on Airbnb with loads of private apartments and rooms available. Staying in a bedroom in an owner’s flat is usually cheaper than a budget hotel and only slightly more than a backpackers hostel. Renting a whole apartment is usually more expensive than a hotel room but can be reasonable if you’re backpacking the UK with a couple of other people. Private rooms in Airbnbs start at £20 per night. Entire properties (typically small flats) start at £40 per night. Remember to check the cleaning and service fees on Airbnb; these are in addition to the first price quoted when browsing the website.

Colourful van England

Cost of hostels when backpacking the UK

Hostels in the UK start at £15 per night and are undoubtedly the cheapest places to stay, as well as a great way to meet people while travelling solo . A few good options for UK backpacking include:

London – Safestay , Wombat’s City Hostel Manchester – Selina NQ1 Manchester

Bristol – The Bristol Wing / Full Moon Backpackers

Liverpool – YHA Albert Dock , Selina Liverpool

Cambridge – YHA Cambridge

Brighton – Happy Brighton Edinburgh – Code Pod Hotel , Safestay Royal Mile Glasgow – Euro Hostel Glasgow . Even though UK accommodation is expensive, there’s usually a hack. For example, many travellers love getting outdoors at Centerparks but the prices are notoriously high. Plenty of lesser-known cheaper alternatives to Centerparks exist but you just have to do your research!

Don’t want to pay for accommodation? Check out Trusted Housesitters and set yourself up as a house sitter!

Backpacking the UK – tours & activities

Luckily for those backpacking in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are free museums, parks and neighbourhoods to discover. For guided tours and bucket list experiences, I would recommend GetYourGuide , a booking platform with affordable tours in almost all UK cities.

Top experiences for backpacking the UK:

Harry Potter studio tour (London)

Jack the Ripper tour (London)

Regents Canal, Camden and Little Venice boat tour (London)

Loch Ness & The Highlands with Hotel Pick-Up (Edinburgh)

Evening Underground Ghost Tour (Edinburgh)

The Titanic Experience with SS Nomadic Visit (Belfast)

Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones Day Tour (Belfast)

Best places in the UK for backpacking

To travel cheaply in the UK, pick affordable destinations to start with. There are plenty of fun and beautiful places I would recommend for UK backpacking. Planning a trip to England on a budget? Let’s start with my favourite English destinations…

Notting Hill London england

Sure, it’s expensive but you can’t backpack the UK and miss London! It’s not just the main attractions like the Tower of London, London Dungeons and Buckingham Palace that put London on the map but the quirky neighbourhoods like Camden with its colourful street art and alternative East London with yet more street art in Shoreditch .

It’s possible to backpack in London because even the expensive areas like Greenwich have free things to do . Another pricey area worthy of a visit is Notting Hill where you can wander the streets and find colourful houses in London for free.

Best travel guide for London? Lonely Planet Pocket London gets my seal of approval.

College Oxford backpacking UK

Visiting Oxford as a day trip is a great excursion from London. There’s bags of history, a fantastic Covered Market for foodies and lots of impressive Oxford colleges to visit . There are plenty of free things to do in Oxford and some excellent food markets. It’s small and walkable so there’s no need to pay for transport whilst there. Read all my Oxford blogs here. Trains from London start at £5 each way (use Trainline to book) or you can get an anytime return on the Oxford Tube (bus) for £18 which is valid for 3 months. Check for other bus deals on Busbud .

If you’re backpacking England on a budget, I would suggest spending time in the north to save money. Manchester is one of my favourite UK cities. It’s fun, affordable and has plenty of hipster bars and cafes. A weekend in Manchester is the perfect amount of time to spend. The restaurant prices are way lower than London and you’ll find so many cheap eats in Manchester for under £10. Read more Manchester blogs:

  • The best day trips from Manchester, England
  • Where to find street art in Manchester
  • 12 cool Manchester coffee shops not to miss
  • The coolest restaurants in Manchester for 2022

Manchester England

The Lake District

The Lake District isn’t the cheapest place for backpacking England BUT if you’re travelling in a group, you can book a self-catering accommodation in the Lake District and cook your own meals. The various hikes, lakes and woodland walks are free. Nightlife is limited so have cosy nights in your cabin, spend quality time with your companions and take advantage of supermarket wine!

Airbnb Lake District England

This fun and lively city on the coast is just an hour’s train ride from London. Brighton is a hippie and forward-thinking city with a beach, pier, tasty vegan food scene and plenty of LGBTQIA nightlife. Check out my complete guide to visiting Brighton as a day trip from London .

Street art bristol backpacking uk

Bristol is another of my favourite UK cities with lots of quirky Bristol street art , vegan food, a lively open-air dining and drinking area beside the harbour and cool neighbourhoods like Bedminster. A weekend in Bristol is a great amount of time and you can also catch a 15-minute train to historic city Bath as a day trip .

With its Beatles history, cultural galleries and dockside dining around the waterfront, there’s a lot to love about this city in the north of England. The outside areas have a lively vibe in the summer but the many museums and cafes mean there are plenty of things to do in Liverpool during winter too. With cheaper prices up north, Liverpool is one of the better places for budget travel in England.

Beatles history Liverpool uk budget travel

The capital of Scotland is a must for backpackers especially if you visit during August for the famous Fringe Festival (although prices shoot up for accommodation). With lots of history and several Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh , it’s one of the most iconic cities in Europe. Although it’s not cheap, there are several free things to do in Edinburgh .

I tagged Glasgow onto a trip to Edinburgh while backpacking in the UK and ended up falling in love with its quirky street art, up-and-coming areas and affordable eats. It’s without doubt, one of the cheapet cities for budget travel in the UK. When spending a weekend in Glasgow , you can explore free attractions including The Lighthouse (a modern gallery inside a period building), Pollok Country Park, The Hidden Alley, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the Botanical Gardens. Excellent cheap eats in Glasgow include Gnom ,  Potluck ,  Cafe Strange Brew and Bread Meats Bread . Don’t miss the street art in Glasgow !

Street art Glasgow backpacking uk budget travel

The capital of Northern Ireland is a vibrant city that makes a great base for exploring the surrounding region. Being the birthplace of the SS Titanic puts Belfast on the map but there are so many other reasons to visit , not just the fact the prices are relatively low compared to London and cities in the south of Great Britain. I’ll share my UK backpack itinerary further down.. .

What to eat and drink while backpacking the UK

Some of the traditional dishes to try in the UK include fish ‘n’ chips, pie and mash, a Sunday roast, full English fry ups (with sausages, bacon, black pudding, toast, baked beans and fried eggs), Yorkshire puddings, scotch eggs and sausage rolls. Make sure to have an afternoon tea with scones, cake, finger sandwiches and a pot of English breakfast tea. For breakfast, try English crumpets spread with marmite! Regarding the costs, I have good and bad news for you. Eating out in the UK is expensive but supermarkets are really affordable. So, let’s start with the average costs of eating out…

Main dish in a mid-range restaurant: £10-20. 3-course meal and alcoholic drink: £35 – £60 at a mid-range restaurant.

Pizza cheap UK food

Budget UK restaurants

To eat out in the UK on a budget, there are a couple of decent chains which you’ll find in most cities. None of these places will set you back more than £10 per main dish. Pizza Express / Zizzi / ASK – these Italian restaurants are pretty similar. You’ll get a decent pizza for a tenner and there are always deals on if you check their websites. Leon – I love the concept of this place which is healthy fast food. It’s more of a cafe vibe but it’s open in the evenings too. I like the naked burgers with salad, and they do a solid breakfast deal of a coffee and food item for £4. Greggs – sausage rolls and pasties for pennies. I’m not saying your waistline will get smaller, but your food bill will. Plus, they have a ton of vegan options. Pieminister – to sample hearty English cuisine, try these hearty pies with various sides. Pies start at £5 or you can eat one with mash, mushy peas and gravy for £8. Nando’s – Brits are obsessed with having a ‘cheeky Nandos’ aka a Portuguese-style chicken meal with peri-peri sauces and various sides. Wagamamas – reasonably priced Asian food with a casual canteen vibe and excellent katsu curries.

UK budget travel – do you tip?

In the UK, we leave a 10% tip in restaurants but that’s about it. Occasionally, tips are already added to bills by the restaurant especially if you’re dining in a large group. Double-check the bill to see whether service is included – you don’t want to pay it twice. More commonly, a restaurant bill will include only the food and drink ordered. It’s at your discretion to add approximately 10%. Unlike some countries, we don’t tip bartenders. You might leave the change at the end of a cab journey and of course, you can give a tip to a tour guide if they’ve done a good job. But as a general rule, we don’t have a huge tipping culture.

Cost of supermarkets in the UK

Fried rice cooking home budget UK travel

One of the great things about backpacking the UK on a budget is the quality of the supermarkets. I didn’t realise until I travelled to other places how good they are. If you’re backpacking the UK and staying in self-catering accommodation, a week’s supermarket shop can cost as little as £30 per person and make affordable meals throughout your trip. For that reason, my best budget tip for the UK is to eat out as little as possible. UK supermarket costs: Pint of milk – £1, loaf of bread – £1, bag of own-brand pasta – 50p, jar of pasta sauce – £1. To give you a feel for the prices of main supermarkets, I’m going to provide a couple of examples of things their regular shoppers might say:

  • M&S – ‘get the butler to pick up some canapés!’
  • Waitrose – ‘throw out the rest of the smoked salmon – it’s a day out of date!’
  • Sainsbury’s – ‘I buy the Taste the Difference range at weekends and the Basics during the week’
  • Tesco – ‘£2 for a sandwich? Bargain!’
  • Morrison’s – ‘help me, I’m poor’
  • Iceland – ‘I don’t know what’s worse, the risk of salmonella or Peter Andre on their TV advert!’

Stick to the cheaper ones and you can spend less than £10 a day on food. Another UK budget tip is to buy supermarket own-brand items – these are always cheaper than global brands.

Food markets in the UK

If you’re expecting the food markets of Southeast Asia while backpacking in the UK, you’re in for a disappointment. However, there are food markets in some UK cities. I love the many food markets in Oxford , the city where I live. There are also lots of fantastic London food markets. A food market dish can cost as little as £5. While it’s still cheaper to make a packed lunch or cook at home, they’re a great option if you want something tasty without paying restaurant prices.

Food market in Oxford UK

Budget eating tips for UK backpacking

1. Use hostel kitchens to cook your meals and make packed lunches for your days out. 2. Pack teabags and coffee sachets to save you buying £2.50 coffees every morning. 3. Grab a refillable water bottle . Not only are these environmentally friendly, but you won’t have to spend money on bottled water.

Backpacking the UK – drinks & nightlife

There’s a big pub culture in the UK but it isn’t cheap to go out. People often do rounds which means, depending how many people you’re with, you can drop £50+ on a night out!

Cocktails drink costs uk

Here are a few costs to prepare you for UK budget travel: Pint of beer in the UK: £4.5-7. Glass of wine in the UK: £6-9. Cocktail in the UK: £10-14. Club entry in the UK: This usually costs £5-10. For popular clubs in London, you can spend £20. I’m not sure if this is responsible advice but pre-drinking before going out to a bar or club is a big deal for young English people, and those backpacking in the United Kingdom! A bottle of wine that’s £5 in a supermarket will be £20 in a bar so you can see why people drink at home with friends first. A word about Wetherspoons – it’s not exactly classy but this chain of pubs is damn cheap. I’ve had a bottle of Prosecco for £10 and full meals for £5.

Backpacking London – free things to do!

Even though London is one of the world’s most expensive cities, you can’t deny there are endless free activities. If you’re backpacking in England, you’ll enjoy the plentiful of parks and the countless museums as well as free concerts and events on weekends, especially in the summer. Some of the best free things to do in London during your UK budget travel trip include… Museums – the British Museum, Museum of London, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Queen’s House, Victoria & Albert, Imperial War Museum. Markets – Leadenhall Market, Broadway Market, Maltby Street Market, Borough Market, Camden Market, Colombia Road Flower Market, Greenwich Market, Portobello Road Market, Brixton Village, Pop Brixton, Old Spitalfields Market. Check out my guide to the best London food markets .

Cheap London activities uk budget

Finding Instagrammable locations in London (like these colourful houses) is free!

Galleries – Tate Britain, National Gallery, Somerset House, Saatchi Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, God’s Own Junkyard, open-air East London street art , Carrie Reichardt’s House.

UK backpacking itinerary

Here’s a month’s itinerary for backpacking the UK: Days 1-4: London, baby! With 4 days in London, you can spend a day exploring the tourist highlights like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and the London Eye. Then, spend a day in East London finding street art and browsing cool markets. Another day, take yourself over to Camden and walk the towpath to Little Venice where you can take a boat ride and have brunch on a barge. You could also squeeze in Notting Hill during this day. Don’t miss Greenwich on day 4! Day 5: Take a day trip, I would suggest to Oxford or Margate . Both places are 1.5 hours away on public transport.

Margate uk

Day 6: Catch the train to Brighton and spend 1-2 nights visiting this beach town, shopping in boutiques and indulging in vegan food. Days 7-9: Head over to Bristol . Whilst spending a few days in this quirky city, you can also take a day trip to Bath .

Bath uk backpacking

Days 10-17: Wales! With a week in Wales, you can spend a day in Cardiff , visit tourist-friendly Pembrokeshire and head up north to more remote parts of Wales.

Related read: Stops for the ultimate Wales road trip

Read more of my Wales blogs:

  • Guide to visiting Holy Island, Anglesey
  • What to do in Anglesey, Wales
  • The best things to do in Conwy, Wales
  • The top attractions in Llandudno, Wales’ perfectly preserved Victorian seaside town
  • Why to visit Portmeirion, the idyllic Italian village in Wales
  • Fun facts about Wales

Days 18-20: Continue your UK backpacking itinerary from North Wales back into England and arrive in Liverpool. Tip – for getting around in Wales, hire a car with or take public transport. Book trains on the Transport for Wales website. Days 20-22: Spend a few nights hanging out in quirky Manchester and eating fantastic food. From here, you can take a detour into the Lake District if you have time. Days 22-27: Scotland! Here you can spend a couple of days exploring Edinburgh then head over to Glasgow. Finally, visit Inverness and take a day trip to Loch Ness . Days 28-30: Fly to Belfast and take day trips around Northern Ireland, starting with Giant’s Causeway.

Best time to backpack the UK

The UK has clear seasons: winter from December to February, spring from March to May, summer from June to August and autumn from September to November. In the summer, temperatures can reach 30 degrees and in winter they drop to around 0. In the summer, it gets dark at 9.30pm and in the winter it can get dark by 4pm. Spring and winter are between the two, characterised by their spring flowers and red autumnal leaves. Winter is miserable in the UK and summer is busy and expensive. I’d choose spring or autumn to dodge the crowds and stay reasonably warm! It rains all year around.

Events in the UK

If you can time your UK backpacking adventures around the following events, do! Glastonbury Festival – while this is my favourite UK festival , it’s not easy to get tickets. You have to fight it out with a billion other wannabe attendees the October before when tickets are released online and gone within minutes. Tickets are £260 but it’s worth increasing your UK travel budget to try and nab one. Glastonbury is one of the world’s best festivals with its many stages, inventive and quirky sets and underground raves in rabbit holes.

Glastonbury Festival england

Notting Hill Carnival – this neighbourhood of London is fancy and upmarket throughout the year but becomes loud and vibrant during the bank holiday weekend in August when it becomes a vibrant celebration of Caribbean culture. Everyone is welcome! Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Unlike Glastonbury which is a camping festival, the Fringe is spread out across the city of Edinburgh comprising arts, music, culture and comedy acts. Attending the festival is free and you pay for individual shows. St Patrick’s Day – held on 17th March each year, this was once an auspicious day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Now it’s a day dedicated to drinking! This a very lively night out across the whole UK. Expect to buy a lot of pints for people you meet at the bar. Bonfire Night – this is a strange day when you consider it commemorates an attempted terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Nowadays, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated on the 5th of December with bonfires and fireworks. Many people hold them in their gardens but, if you’re backpacking in the UK, you can easily join public events.

UK backpacking essentials

  • Warm clothes for the winter: jeans, jumpers, jacket, scarf and waterproof shoes 
  • Shorts, t-shirts, dresses etc for the summer – but always prepare for bad weather!
  • Mini travel umbrella (packs up small)
  • The latest copy of Lonely Planet Great Britain / Scotland / Wales / Ireland
  • Technology : a GoPro if you’re making videos – I use the HERO8 Black
  • Solo photography pick: Manfrotto tripod and Joby Gorillapod
  • A power bank to keep your devices alive
  • Sustainability: a stainless steel reusable water bottle to reduce the use of plastic bottles
  • A reusable metal straw to save on plastic ones
  • Travel luggage: Osprey Farpoint backpack ( men’s ) ( women’s )
  • Packing cubes (handy for organising backpacks and suitcases).

UK budget travel quick links Guide books – LP always get my seal of approval. Use the latest copy of Lonely Planet England . Getting there & around by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going. Car hire – use to compare car rentals and campers in the UK (and all around the world). Confused about visas? I use iVisa to check visa requirements and apply for visas online For UK trains , I use Trainline . The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website. For buses , I use busbud . It’s the only site that compares UK coaches and buses. Find London to Manchester journeys for £1!  I use for accommodation. They have the best range of hotels and self-catering apartments, plus you can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use . To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters , a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets. Browse UK tours and activities on GetYourGuide . I also check Viator as they often have fun & unique offerings. Need travel insurance ? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote . For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing .w Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and tips!

Read my other UK guides:

  • My London guides
  • My Oxford guides
  • How to spend a weekend in Oxford
  • How to spend a weekend in Manchester
  • How to spend a weekend in Norfolk
  • 1 day Birmingham itinerary
  • The perfect Margate day trip from London
  • The perfect weekend in Dorset
  • How to spend 2 days in the Lake District
  • Things to do in Liverpool in winter
  • How to spend a weekend in Bristol

Thanks for reading my UK backpackers guide!

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See you next time for more adventures,

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Rose is a solo traveller from the UK who has been on the road since 2015. She wants to show other women that solo travel isn't scary and doesn't have to be expensive! Rose has lived in Mexico, Canada and all over Asia, seeking out food, bubble tea and street art wherever she goes!

2 thoughts on “ Backpacking The UK On A Budget – Travel Costs + Itinerary ”

uk daily travel budget

This is super helpful and awesome tips! I’m hoping to solo visit for ~2-3 weeks in early September and see all of GB. I was originally thinking a BritRail pass would be best but they are quite expensive (but still less than a rental car lol) and then I must figure out how to get from stops to destinations (castles, coasts, trails, hostels/BnBs, etc./adds costs) so it will be a bit of planning! I’ll be sure to review a lot of your articles here to help LOL. 5-stars 🙂

uk daily travel budget

Hey Andrew! Glad it helped, yes planning is really required to see the UK affordably! Getting between the out-of-city attractions is always the tricky bit…

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Backpacking in Europe , Backpacking in the United Kingdom , Budget Travel Guides , Travel Tips

The cheapest way to travel in england.

Great Britain isn’t the cheapest destination to visit, but it needn’t cost the earth.  If you’re planning to come backpacking in England or simply want to travel Britain on a budget there are a few tricks that can help your hard-earned cash go further.  Check out my tips for travelling in the UK on a budget, with these recommendations for the cheapest way to travel in England!

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My Top Tip for Backpacking in England

If you plan to spend a while exploring England (like more than two weeks), then you should consider a work exchange.  Work exchanges are a great way to save money while travelling as you get free accommodation in exchange for a few hours of work. 

Work exchange websites like Worldpackers have listings of available placements that you can check out, and they are offering all Tales of a Backpacker readers a $10 discount on yearly membership .  Sign up here or get more information about how work exchanges work here .   


Cheap Travel to England

Ryanair offer cheap flights to the UK

Cheap Flights to England from Europe

Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap airlines that fly into the UK from Europe.  Easyjet , Ryanair , Vueling and others all have cheap flights to England and the rest of the UK, depending on your starting location – but as with any airline, their prices change drastically depending on demand. 

Peak times around summer holidays, Christmas and school holidays always cost more than off-peak dates, and can even cost more than traditional airlines. 

Book your flights in advance when you can, and be flexible on the dates you fly and the airport you fly to.  I always use a flight comparison site like Skyscanner to find the best deals and airports.  Skyscanner has a useful function to check dates around your preferred day, as well as nearby airports.

Remember to plan your travel from the airport to your destination before you book the flight – often the cheapest flights land at a time when there is no public transport available, so once you’ve factored in a taxi fare, that cheap flight doesn’t seem like such a bargain!

Cheap Flights to England from The USA

Travelling to the UK from the US, or other further afield destinations obviously isn’t as cheap.  Look out for flight deals and so-called ‘error fares’ in advance, and try to be flexible on the dates you fly.  You could also consider flying into another European city then taking a low-cost European flight or bus to reach the UK. 

US airports on the East Coast like Boston, Newark or New York tend to be cheaper to reach Europe, as they’re closer, so you could take a cheap internal flight to one of those airports before taking the international flight.  Try searching on a flight comparison site like Skyscanner to find cheap flights to the UK from America.

Cheap Buses to England

There are a few international bus services, for example  FlixBus , where you can find good deals if you are prepared for a long journey, and potential traffic jams.  The buses are comfortable, are equipped with toilets, and usually free wifi and plug sockets too, although this isn’t guaranteed on FlixBus.  You can also check routes and prices on Omio . 

European buses that also come to the UK may have European sockets, so remember to bring a converter if you need one.  Travelling overnight also helps to save money on a night in a hostel or hotel, so taking a bus is usually the cheapest way to travel to England!

READ MORE: Cheap Places to Visit in the UK on a Budget

Cheap Travel to England by Ferry

Ferries to England operate from surrounding countries like France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Spain.  Personally, it’s not my favourite way to travel due to seasickness , but booking an overnight ferry can also save you money on accommodation and become part of your trip, more than just a flight to a destination.  

Journeys tend to be long and can get rough in poor weather – but in good weather, think of it as a mini cruise.  I haven’t used them myself, but there are ferry journey comparison sites like which list available routes.

Cheap Travel in England

Cheap bus travel in england.

Bus travel is the cheapest way to travel in England, in particular using Megabus which offers some routes for as low as £1.  They don’t cover all routes though, so it depends on your destination, but for value, they really are hard to beat! 

Book your tickets online, and be sure to be at the bus station in plenty of time for your journey to be first in line and get your pick of the seats.

Within towns & cities, most bus companies will offer a ‘Day Rider’ ticket which is usually cheaper than buying a return and means you can ride anywhere on that bus company during that day. 

Some cities like Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle have tram and metro services which are usually easier to navigate than complex bus routes, and of course, London has the underground which can seem complicated at first but is easy once you figure it out!  Buses are the cheapest way to travel in London, although it does take longer than the underground.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to Fall in Love with London in 2 Days

Cheap Train Travel in the UK

Train prices can vary dramatically depending on the route and the time of day you want to travel.  British rail companies like you to be organised, so booking your train in advance can mean vast savings!  Even booking just the day before instead of buying at the station makes a big difference. 

There are several websites where you can book online, and then use a ‘Fast Ticket’ machine to collect your ticket from the station, using the credit or debit card you used to purchase the tickets. 

I like the website First Transpennine Express as you can buy tickets for any rail company, and they don’t charge a booking fee like most of the other sites.

Peak journey times are around rush hour in the morning and afternoon, so try to avoid travelling then if you can.

If you are looking online and still find your tickets to be too expensive, try breaking up your journey.  If your chosen route has a change in it, try searching for a train to the change station, and then a separate ticket to the final destination. 

Or mix it up and try looking at a map to see if you can figure out another route!  I saved £20 on a single journey just by doing that.

Car Sharing in the UK: Bla Bla Car

Kind of like Airbnb for cars, Bla Bla Car is an excellent example of the Sharing Economy actually helping real people save money on their petrol costs, and allowing you to travel around the UK on a budget.  Input your journey requirements and see who is going that way and can pick you up.  In my experience prices are a lot cheaper than travelling by train, and if you can get the right route a lot simpler too. 

Try and be flexible with dates to give you more chance of finding a suitable journey, and check the reviews of potential drivers to make sure you get a responsible and safe driver.  The payment is processed online, then after the journey provide your driver with your booking code to release the payment & allow you to both leave a review for each other.

Hitchhiking in England

Hitchhiking isn’t common in England, although it might be possible I have never done it here myself.  There are safety issues to consider if you are a solo female traveller and as it is quite unusual to see anyone hitchhiking I don’t know how much luck you would have finding a ride so I wouldn’t recommend it.  

Cheap Accommodation in the UK

Budget Accommodation in the UK. Cheap hotel in the UK on a budget

Cheap Hotels and Hostels in the UK

Finding budget accommodation in the UK isn’t too hard.  Hostels can be found in most locations in the UK, check Hostelworld or  Booking  for your destination to find the best deals.

YHA is a national charity that has hostels all over the UK and helps to create opportunities for young people to experience more of the country, arranging school trips and summer camps.  You can stay at one of their many hostels, donate, or even volunteer at one of the hostels if you apply on their website .

If you are travelling in a couple, often simple bed & breakfasts can work out cheaper than two hostel beds, or only slightly more expensive – the extra privacy is often worth the extra cash.  They can usually be found on as well.

Travelodge is a chain of budget hotels that are spread throughout the country, their rates tend to be cheaper during the week and for off-peak times, but prices are worth comparing as they don’t advertise on comparison sites like  Similarly, Premier Inn is a slightly more expensive, slightly higher quality than Travelodge which is worth a look too.

Accommodation in London is more expensive than anywhere else in the country, and usually, prices in the South of England are more expensive than in the rest of the country, so you will have to adjust your budget accordingly.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Why You NEED to Visit the North of England

Couchsurfing in England

Couchsurfing is available in a lot of areas of the UK; where homeowners offer up their sofa for guests willing to exchange cultural knowledge and perhaps cooking a meal or two for a free place to crash for a while.  Check reviews carefully before you agree to stay, and exchange a few messages with your potential host to see if you get along.

Airbnb in England

Airbnb offers an alternative to hotel & hostel stays where you stay in someone’s home in their spare room, or sometimes have a whole flat to yourself. 

Prices vary wildly depending on location and size of the space you book.  It can work out cheaper especially if you are travelling in a group, or staying for a long period of time as you usually have access to a kitchen so you can cook ‘at home’ to save money on buying meals out. 

Again, check reviews carefully and be sure to confirm your arrival time and arrangements for picking up keys.  When searching on Airbnb, the prices are quoted per night, then they will calculate the full price including service charge and cleaning fees – sometimes what looks to be a cheaper option at first look can end up being more expensive than you expected once the total cost has been calculated.  Read my full Airbnb guide for more information .  

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Free Things to do in York

Cheap Things to do in England

There are plenty of free things to do in England, from exploring destinations on foot to hiking and biking around the countryside or visiting free attractions and museums.  If you are planning to spend a lot of time in England and visit some of the most famous historic sites such as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall then it might be worth paying for a membership to the National Trust or English Heritage which both work out as excellent value if you make the most out of it.

Have you been travelling around the UK on a budget?  Do you have any tips and tricks to share?  I’d love to hear your stories!

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Hi! I'm Claire Sturzaker, a 30-something foodie traveller who loves to enjoy the best of a destination without breaking the bank. I'm here to help you and all women backpackers to plan their best budget travel adventure. I am an avid supporter of female solo travel, and took my first solo trip 20 years ago! I love to write about travel, hostels, backpacking and van life.

20 thoughts on “ The Cheapest Way to Travel in England ”

I hope you have a great time in England – I haven’t been to Bognor Regis so I can’t comment on that but London and Liverpool are both wondrful cities to explore!

my flight to London will be on Wednesday.. will spend 10 days there.. also plan to go to Liverpool and bognor regis.. after 24 years.. don’t really know what to expect.. thanks for the tips 🙂

UK is a dream destination for us and we hope to get there sooner rather than later. London and the English countryside is something we look forward to. We know that UK is expensive, hence these tips are something that will come a long way in helping cut costs/

Awesome, I love all the suggestions and links you included here. Very useful!

Hi Cindi! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Actually I haven’t been to the Cotswolds, but from what I gather that is more of a countryside area. York is a beautiful small city, with plenty of countryside close-by – perfect for a weekend trip from London. But if the countryside is what he likes & you only have a day perhaps the Cotswolds might be better?

Claire, thanks for all this info! We’re taking our 18 yr old grandson to London for his hi school graduation. if we can only do one day trip, should we do The Cotswalds or York? He’s very interested in seeing the countryside. Thanks! Cindi

Thanks Claudia! I prefer the train, definitely! When you find a good rate it’s a bargain but sometimes it is so expensive!

Great post, reminds me of our journey to the UK. We tried all different transport methods but for us the Train was the clear winner especially for the long distances between cities. We traveled from London to Manchester for less than £30!

Staying at hostels in the UK have saved my budget countless times. I don’t even look into hotels anymore because I can extend my stay or do more activities if I spend less on accommodations. Finding error fares is also a golden rule!

Great idea! I tend to save money on accommodation so I can eat nice food 😉 But I still like to treat myself to a private room every now and again

Thanks Marie! 🙂

Ah yes, students get discounts on so much stuff! I’m too old for that now unfortunately, but great tip for students out there! Thanks 🙂

I wish Brexit will go away and it was all a dream! Hmm, I suppose it depends on where you can get good flight deals to/from home as your first concern, and the time of year if you are travelling a long period – summer in the UK & Northern Europe is better, then head South to the Mediterranean in cooler months!

Same. I budget transportation and getting around so I can get comfy place to stay

I definitely want to visit UK. Hopefully next year it’s still a good time. Not sure how Brexit will change by next year. Is UK better to start off from or end up in if I’m planning a Europe trip. Keep in mind, coming from Asia.

Thanks for the great tips! I was living in the UK for a year before I started university, and our favorite way to travel was by taking the train. Our international student cards also got us some huge discounts off transport, tickets, and even clothes! So I recommend that too if anyone is traveling as a student 🙂

These are great tips for anyone travelling to the UK. I especially like the car sharing tip such a brilliant idea.

What great tips — I hope to explore the UK very soon. I personally try to budget my flights and general spending so that I can spend a bit more on a comfy room 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Helena! There are always ways to save money travelling, they just take a bit of work sometimes 🙂

I love budget travel tips to destinations that are generally considered expensive. Great post thanks for sharing!

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How to save money on a UK staycation

If the heatwave puts you in the mood for a holiday nearer home, there are ways you could cut costs

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Staycation: People sitting outside campervan

The UK is experiencing a heatwave, which may make holidaying at home more appealing than jetting off abroad. If you opt to stay in this country, there are ways to cut costs on your staycation.

Temperatures in the UK are set to "exceed the heatwave criteria" in parts of central and eastern England over the coming days, said the Met Office .

With temperatures expected to reach 30°C, said BBC News, "the nights will also be warmer and more humid than we have been used to lately".

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It comes as flight prices are on the rise this summer.

So, if the warm weather whets your appetite for a summer staycation, here is how you can save money on a domestic trip.

Look beyond popular tourist hotspots

Holidaying "outside a popular area" can save you loads of money, Dan Whittaker, personal finance expert at Viva Money, told The Sun.

While a three-star bed and breakfast stay in the "popular seaside town" of Scarborough comes to £459 for two adults during August, said Whittaker, it would be £79 cheaper to stay down the road at Robin Hood's Bay on the same dates.

These small swaps could make a meaningful difference to the cost of a staycation.

Ditch the hotel

Camping is the "perfect way to keep things cheap", said MoneyMagpie , and you could enjoy any one of the UK's 15 "gorgeous national parks" and more than 7,000 miles of coastline.

You could consider Airbnb, said the Daily Express , but beware the lack of regulation. Alternatively, renting a canal boat, camper van or mobile home is a "great way to travel to a different place each day while living a more relaxed pace of lifestyle".

Use your Clubcard and discount vouchers

Tesco Clubcard points aren't just for your shopping, said MoneySavingExpert , and your rewards "may allow you to get three times the value of your vouchers" on stays booked through partners including and Forest Holidays.

Also, look out for discount vouchers on cereal boxes or online for days out at top attractions such as theme parks, added MoneyToTheMasses . You may even get ideas for free activities if you "plug your destination" into Tripadvisor.

Bring your own supplies

Regularly visiting restaurants on holiday can soon "eat into your budget", added Whittaker, so consider "eating in instead of eating out". A supermarket shop could save money over the course of a stay, rather than meals in restaurants.

Additionally, activities and events usually have a "fair price tag attached" said London Daily News, so you could save money by supplying your own equipment, such as bikes.

Set a budget

You may make an "immediate saving" on flights, transfers and "expensive foreign hotels", said MoneyToTheMasses, but it is still worth setting a budget to keep track of what you are spending while away.

Factor in items such as entertainment, food, travel and accommodation, added the financial website, as "the last thing you want is to come home and have to tighten your belts" because you didn't monitor where your money went for a few days.

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Marc Shoffman is an NCTJ-qualified award-winning freelance journalist, specialising in business, property and personal finance. He has a BA in multimedia journalism from Bournemouth University and a master’s in financial journalism from City University, London. His career began at FT Business trade publication Financial Adviser, during the 2008 banking crash. In 2013, he moved to MailOnline’s personal finance section This is Money, where he covered topics ranging from mortgages and pensions to investments and even a bit of Bitcoin. Since going freelance in 2016, his work has appeared in MoneyWeek, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and on the i news site. 

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New affordable airline promising cheap fares between UK and US forced to delay flights until next year

  • Ryan Gray , Travel Reporter
  • Published : 11:06, 20 Jun 2024
  • Updated : 19:52, 20 Jun 2024
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A NEW budget airline promising cheap long-haul flights has been forced to delay its launch date by a year.

Flights had initially been expected to take off this summer , but the carrier has now stated 2025 is its target instead.

Global Airlines has promised a return to 'the golden age of flying'

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Global Airlines has claimed it will provide cheap routes from the UK to the US and recently acquired an Airbus A380, considered to be the world's largest and most spacious passenger aircraft.

However, necessary work on the plane is not yet complete and will push the airline's target back until next year.

Global first intends to refit the aircraft in its own style, while also carrying out essential maintenance needed for it to be able to serve passengers.

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Once up in the air, the plane will take passengers from London to New York and Los Angeles , according to the airline's start-up announcement.

For the time being, however, the plane will remain in Glasgow, where it is being prepared.

A spokesperson for the airline told aviation site Flight Global : ”[Operations] and maintenance timelines, like for any airline, have led us to reappraise when we’ll be operational,

"2025 is the target and we're working with various partners to achieve this.

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“The next stage of maintenance is due to commence in the coming weeks that will take the airline a step closer towards launching passenger flights next year."

As well as cheap tickets, the airline has told passengers that they will " feel a million dollars " when flying on their planes.

The entrepreneur who launched the company, James Asquith, has previously promised a "return to the golden age of flying".

He has also claimed there'll be better  food and drink  on offer, as well as a more luxurious experience overall.

He told  the Times last summer: “People are sick and tired of the service they get on current airlines. We will be better.”

Part of the airline's classier offering will include Laurent-Perrier champagne, even for those flying in economy.

Meanwhile,  first-class ticket  holders will be entitled to chauffeur-driven airport transfers and have a “proper social space” on board.

Airlines with the best plane food

Korean Air won best airline cuisine in last year's Global Traveler's awards.

Some of their popular dishes onboard include bibimbap, a Korean rice dish, and ssambap, Korean rice lettuce rolls.

It also made the top 10 for airlines with the best plane food in CN Travelers 2023 Readers' Choice Awards.

Japan Airlines

Coming in first place in the Reader's Choice Awards was Japan Airlines.

The airline has partnered with six Michelin-star chefs, each of whom have three stars - so you can expect it to be good.

Passengers can choose bento boxes and miso soups onboard.

Singapore Airlines

Often voted one of the best airlines in the world, it is no surprising Singapore Airlines is said to have some of the best plane food.

Chef Dennis Littley said: "Their gourmet meals rival those of ground-based restaurants."

Dishes include congee, a rice porridge, as well as Singaporean rice and curry options.

He continued: “Having a strong product in first class should filter down to economy, and make people in economy feel like a million dollars."

Before anyone can fly on the planes, the airline will first need approval from the  Civil Aviation Authority  (CAA) and an air operator certificate (AOC).

It will also need to satisfy the  Federal Aviation Administration  (FAA) in the US that it is a safe airline.

However, the airline remains confident, saying on its website that its ethos will "raise the bar in the world of aviation" and that passengers "will find it very hard to go back to anything else".


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Meanwhile, this budget airline is launching brand new flights to a lesser-visited European city.

And this brand new airline will also launch next year, with flights from the UK to the "next Dubai".

The airline claims passengers will 'feel like a million dollars' on board

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With rising costs still impacting many consumers’ finances it is crucial to put a plan in place before traveling to ensure you stay on budget and have a relaxing vacation.

Here are tips to help you plan a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Know Your Price Range

Before booking anything, take a close look at your finances to see what you can afford and put a budget in place. Staying disciplined and sticking to your budget and your plan will help avoid buyers’ remorse after the trip. Tracking your spending with your mobile banking or a budgeting app can be a good way to stick to your plan.

It is also important to think through your various options for your stay — like if a hotel or rental property is the best fit for your trip — to help set your budget. If you’re traveling with family or a large group, a rental property may provide a more affordable option, especially if you’re able to make some meals at the rental vs. dining out or ordering food for each meal.

If you’re traveling abroad, getting some local currency before you leave can also help with a smoother arrival. Many banks can provide foreign currency, often at a better exchange rate than airport kiosks or other locations once you arrive, which can help save money during your trip.

Search for Deals

There are a variety of travel websites that can help you search for the best deal for your stay, and it is always a good idea to compare prices for hotels, rentals and flights before booking. Just remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it could be a scam so ensure you’re only booking through legitimate websites.

If your trip is still far enough away that you don’t need to book your flight just yet, set price alerts for your potential flights to catch the best deal.

Another alternative that can help save on expenses is traveling at off-peak times, like during the school year, which can help with better prices for rentals, flights, excursions and more.

Cash in Rewards

If you’ve been building your credit card rewards in airline miles, hotel points or even cash back, now could be a good time to use those rewards to save on your upfront travel costs.

Using your rewards card for large expenses for the trip can also help build or replenish your rewards for the future. With interest rates still elevated, however, it is important to pay your balance in full each month or the rewards may not be worth it. You’ll also want to check the terms and conditions of your credit card to ensure there are no foreign transaction or other fees that you could incur by using it on your trip.

Choose a Staycation

If your finances are tight, planning a staycation can be a good way to unwind with family while avoiding costly travel. Look for free or low-cost activities like movie nights at local parks, free festivals, hiking, and museums to build memories without stretching your wallet too thin.

Remember, you can always save for the vacation you had in mind for the future by putting a plan in place now. Taking advantage of elevated interest rates for your savings through certificates of deposit (CDs) or money markets can be a good way to build your funds for the future.

If you need more help putting your plan and budget together, consider speaking with your local banker, who can help evaluate your current finances and put a roadmap in place for you to reach your goals.

Shelly Kavanagh is Senior Vice President, Director of Retail Delivery for WSFS Bank. Prior to her current role, Kavanagh served WSFS as Director of Retail Strategy, Regional Manager, Retail Program Manager, and Small Business Relationship Manager. She brings more than 16 years of experience in banking.

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This is officially the cheapest last-minute holiday destination to book in Europe

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Still after a cheap summer getaway? Well here’s where you can escape to in Europe without breaking the bank

The party island of Ibiza has been found to be this summer’s cheapest last-minute holiday destination .

The experts at Which? have sifted through thousands of travel deals to uncover the bargain package holidays that could save the day for last-minute bookers – including family favourite Tenerife , party capital Ibiza, and even the dazzling Moroccan coastline.

They analysed over 3,500 package holidays from the UK’s biggest holiday companies for the first week of August – which are still available to book now. 

Whilst African Morrocco came top of the list, it’s the rave capital of the Balearics Ibiza that came out as the cheapest in Europe. 

If you’re looking to combine sunshiney beaches with a buzzing nightlife, Ibiza is the perfect choice. You can get away for an average cost of £1,046 per person for a 7-day all-inclusive break – but some options start at as low as £804 per person. 

the gorgeous sunshiney coastline of Ibiza

Bagging the third spot is Dalaman in Turkey at £1,057 per person, and Menorca at £1,100 per person.

If these all-inclusive options are a bit out of your price range, Which? also searched for the best prices for self-catering, room-only, B&B and half board (breakfast and one main meal) 

Dalaman was the best, with budget-friendly options averaging around £781. It was closely followed by Bodrum, which is also in Turkey, at £800 per person. This is perfect if you’re after scorching temperatures as it’s usually above 30C every day.

A palm tree and tower in Morocco

If you’re after a Greek escape, the lesser-known island Kalymnos averages at £840 per person for half board.

However, it’s important to remember if you’re going to be thrifty, that not going all-inclusive can often work out more expensive. This is due to additional costs such as food, drink and activities that can sometimes outweigh the deals. 

Top 8 cheapest All-inclusive destinations in Europe

Ibiza: £1,046

Dalaman, Turkey: £1,057

Menorca: £1,100

Fuerteventura: £1,103

Bourgas, Bulgaria: £1,108

Costa Blanca, Spain: £1,114

Mallorca: £1,126

Tenerife: £1,189

Source: Which?

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Our analysis shows you can have your pick of amazing destinations this summer without spending a fortune.

Your Daily Horoscope

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Daily horoscope today: June 29, 2024 astrological predictions for your star sign

‘There is still plenty of availability at some of the most popular European seaside resorts this summer, but as we get closer to departure dates prices will only increase. Book quickly to get the best price.’

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Blackstone Bets on UK Travel Sector with Village Hotels Takeover

Sean O'Neill , Skift

June 26th, 2024 at 10:06 AM EDT

The deal for the 33-hotel chain is reportedly worth $1 billion.

Sean O'Neill

Blackstone , one of the world’s largest real estate investors, said Wednesday it had acquired Village Hotels from KSL Capital Partners , a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure. The deal expands Blackstone’s footprint in the British travel sector amid an apparently growing consumer demand for experiences over goods.

The companies didn’t disclose the price or deal terms, but it is valued at around $1 billion , according to a source who spoke to PE Hub .

Why It Matter s

This move signals Blackstone’s continued bullishness on experiential hospitality and leisure, particularly in the UK market.

The deal adds 33 properties in large regional cities and suburban areas across the UK to Blackstone’s portfolio.

Village Hotels, known for updating the full-service hotel concept to the hybrid work era, offers traditional hotel stays alongside fitness clubs, dining outlets, and co-working spaces.

Between the Lines

Blackstone is doubling down on its UK leisure investments, following its 2021 acquisition of Bourne Leisure.

The transaction marks an exit for KSL Capital Partners, which bought Village Hotels in 2014, and helped it add more than 1,200 guest rooms and 45,000 fitness members. Village Hotels now has 4,400 guest rooms.

More Deals Coming?

Some analysts are optimistic that dealmaking in the hotel sector will pick up if the U.S. Federal Reserve begins cutting interest rates this year.

This would end uncertainty about the direction of rates and help bring confidence to dealmakers in the U.S. and Europe. Global hotel transaction volume could exceed 2023’s unusually low level of deal-making by 15% to 25% , according to hotel broker JLL.

What They’re Saying

James Seppala, head of real estate in Europe for Blackstone, sees “great potential in lodging and leisure.”

Gary Davis, CEO of Village Hotels, said the deal will let his brand “expand the number of hotels in the UK.”

Blackstone’s Interest in Travel

Blackstone has made other plays in the travel sector. In the past year, it has invested in Japanese hotels . A few years ago,  Blackstone and Starwood Capital Group bought Extended Stay America for about $6 billion.

Blackstone controls Motel 6 through its G6 Hospitality holding . It owns a stake in hotel tech player SiteMinder and meetings tech player Cvent. In 2021, the firm bought Bourne Leisure, owner of Haven Holiday Parks and Warner Hotels, and has since invested about $694 million in site upgrades and expansions. Most famously, Blackstone took Hilton private and then guided it to an IPO in what may have been the most successful hotel acquisition of all time.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: blackstone , Blackstone Group , britain , future of lodging , hotel deals , ksl capital partners , mergers and acquisitions , uk

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The Data Appeal Company’s report on post-summer 2024 tourism trends in France, Greece, Italy, and Spain reveals varied national responses to off-peak travel, highlighting shifts in visitor demographics and accommodation prices.

FLORENCE – The Data Appeal Company , part of the Almawave Group , has released a new comprehensive report detailing the post-summer 2024 tourism trends and forecasts for France, Greece, Italy, and Spain. The analysis, conducted with the destination marketing & management platform D / AI Destinations, highlights significant patterns and market dynamics as the high summer season winds down, offering valuable insights for the travel and hospitality industry. This report explores tourism trends, OTA rates, and Global Distribution System (GDS) flights in September and October, comparing them to the bustling summer months. Some of the key findings from the new study include:

  • Italy and Spain: Both countries show similar trends where the primary market in August is domestic, which declines by 9-10% in September and October. Italy stands out as the only country where GDS bookings in September exceed those in August.
  • Greece: Unlike the other countries analyzed, Greece sees the vast majority of its visitors coming from international markets during both high and low seasons.
  • France: The Olympics have a significant impact throughout the summer, with OTA rates surging from late July to early August and remaining stable until early October.
  • Americans and Germans: These two nationalities are the leading markets for GDS flight bookings to all analyzed destinations throughout September and October.


“Our analysis confirms consistent post-summer season trends across all examined destinations with specific noted differences. The extension of the summer tourism season beyond expectations, as indicated by data following the peak in August, could have positive sustainability impacts by reducing the risk of summer overtourism” , explains  Damiano Meola , Director of Marketing at The Data Appeal Company. Meola emphasizes, “The decrease in accommodation prices across all analyzed countries in September and October presents an opportunity for budget-conscious travelers and a potential strategy to extend the tourism season”. He concludes that “the increase in visitors from diverse markets, particularly from the United States and Germany, during the off-peak season highlights a growing trend among travelers to avoid the congestion of August, opting for less crowded and potentially more economical periods”. 

The Data Appeal Company specializes in collecting and analyzing online feedback, geographic, and contextual data. The company’s mission is to simplify data use and understanding, helping businesses and tourist destinations make informed decisions.


Highlights per country

If we delve into the study’s conclusions for each analyzed country, we encounter the case of  France , where the 2024 Olympics have significantly influenced tourism patterns, with a surge in OTA rates from late July to early August that remains stable until early October. This stability is notable as the domestic market sees only a slight decline (-3%) in September and October compared to August. French travelers tend to reduce international travel post-summer, while German and British tourists increase. Additionally, there is a noticeable rise in visitors from the USA and emerging Asian markets like South Korea and Japan. This trend indicates that France remains a strong attraction for international tourists beyond the summer peak, supported by the prolonged impact of the Olympics.

In the case of  Greece , this country stands out with a predominantly international tourist base, both in high and low seasons. Domestic visitors account for only 16% in August, dropping to 10% in September and October. This period coincides with a decline in Italian and French visitors who prefer August travel. Conversely, Americans and Germans see a rise in GDS flight bookings during these months. Hospitality rates in Greece continuously decrease from late August to October, reaching a 25% drop by late October. This pronounced seasonal fluctuation presents an opportunity for budget-conscious travelers to explore Greece in the less crowded off-season.


Moving on to  Italy , it experiences a shift in tourist demographics post-August, with domestic tourism dropping by nearly 10% in September and October. The USA and Germany become the primary markets during these months, replacing the domestic dominance of August. Accommodation rates decrease by 15%, and the average length of stay shortens from 12.7 to 8.8 nights, indicating shorter visits by off-season travelers. Notably, Italy is the only country where GDS bookings in September surpass those in August, highlighting a steady demand from international tourists even as the summer ends. This trend suggests that Italy remains a favored destination for American and German tourists during the off-peak season.

Lastly, analyzing the case of  Spain , this country mirrors Italy in its post-summer tourism trends, with domestic travel decreasing by 9% in September and October. This drop is accompanied by a significant rise in tourists from Germany, Sweden, and Norway, whose numbers double compared to August. Accommodation rates in Spain fall by 16% during these months, with consistent weekend rate surges indicating a demand for short getaways. The data shows a shift from Southern European travelers in August to Northern Europeans in the following months. This trend underscores Spain’s appeal as a destination for weekend travelers and those looking to avoid the summer crowds while still enjoying favorable weather and reduced prices.

Americans and Germans as top foreign markets

In September and October, Americans emerge as the leading market for flight bookings to Italy (22%), Greece (21%), and France (14%), while also ranking as the third largest market in Spain (9%). This significant presence underscores the ongoing interest and travel flexibility of American tourists. Meanwhile, Germans closely follow, being the second largest market in Italy (11%), Spain (10.5%), and Greece (13%).


The substantial influx of both American and German tourists during these months indicates a strategic shift towards off-peak travel, favoring less crowded destinations and more economical travel periods.


Vicky Karantzavelou

Vicky  is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the  Editor-in Chief . She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

  • Vicky Karantzavelou Mews survey reveals 80% of travelers prefer hotels with a completely automated front desk or self-service technology
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    Here are the average prices per double room per night depending on your preferences: Budget - Less than £65 per night (London £90 + per night) Mid-range - £65 - 120 per night (London £120+ per night) Luxury - £120+ per night (London £200+ per night) There are a number of budget chain hotels in the UK which provide excellent ...

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    The UK, or Great Britain, is a constituent nation made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. ... Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour ...

  4. UK: Travel Budget Calculator

    UK: Travel Budget Calculator. To help you budget your next adventure to Russia. Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below. User Guide: Simply select your "Travel Style", " Number of Persons" and Number of Days Traveling. Top Tip: "Group" travel budget gives the total budget for 4 people! To find out how much that is ...

  5. Travel Budget for London Visit London on a Budget or Travel in Style

    Food Budget in London Average Daily Costs. Calculated from travelers like you. While meal prices in London can vary, the average cost of food in London is $44 (£34) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in London should cost around $17 (£14) per person.

  6. UK trip planner (How to plan your UK Trip

    We recommend planning on an average individual daily budget (excluding airfares and accommodation) of £60 (budget) £125 (mid-range) and £200+ (luxury) ... If you are travelling on a budget the cheapest way to travel the UK will be by coach though your journey time will be longer.

  7. Costs of Traveling in The UK

    Daily cost of traveling in the UK on a mid-range budget - £80-£120 per person. A luxury budget would involve staying at the best hotels, seeing all of the attractions in the United Kingdom, and traveling by car or train, and would be anywhere from £150+ per day. Daily cost of traveling in the UK on a luxury budget - £150+ per person.

  8. How Much Does it Cost to Travel in the UK?

    Price of Accommodation in the UK. Budget: £40 - £100 for a budget room for two people, usually this would be an en-suite room. Dorm rooms are also available, think around £25 per bed. Mid-range: £100 - £150 would get you a nice room for two in most parts of the country.

  9. Prices and Cost of Living in the United Kingdom

    from 84.99 USD to 111.57 USD. Daily budget for one person, assuming that two people travel in a standard close to 1 star (hostels, public transport). When traveling alone, the cost may be slightly higher (hotel room) or the same (dormitory accommodation). Average daily expenses were calculated on the basis of the prices of accommodation, food ...

  10. UK Budget Travel Tips

    Example daily budget - UK travel . Approximate cost per person for budget travel in the UK: Food and drinks: £15 (around £5 per meal, generally buying food from supermarkets & bakeries with the occasional treat) Transportation: £5 using local buses & walking to see nearby attractions. Accommodation: £50 small private apartments & rooms in ...

  11. Top tips for visiting London on a budget

    Basic hotel room for two: £100-200. Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): from £100. Daily transport travel card: £15.20. Cup of coffee: £2-6. Lunchtime sandwich: £3-8. Three-course restaurant dinner for two: from £80. A pint of beer at the bar: £4-8. Theatre ticket for a West End show: £25.

  12. The cheapest way to travel ENGLAND ON A BUDGET

    Gatwick - £35 for an express return taking 30 minutes or £20 for a standard return taking 35 - 45 minutes. Book trains in advance - Use websites like Train Line to book your train ticket in advance. On-the-day tickets can be twice as expensive and good discounts can be found online.

  13. 18 ways to explore England on a budget

    Takeaway sandwich: £3. Dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant: £30-50. Pint at the bar: £4-6. Takeaway fish and chips: £10. Pub lunch: £12.50-25. Total average daily cost per person: £50-150. Bear in mind that travel costs - particularly accommodation - vary significantly across England depending on the destination.

  14. London Price Guide

    Average Daily Cost For Visiting London. It costs around £60-£95/day ($75-$115) to visit London comfortably as a budget traveler. These prices are based on what you'll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler. If you want to upgrade your accommodations, add another £40-£100/night depending on your stay.

  15. England Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    A comprehensive budget travel guide to England with tips on things to do, costs, ways to save, accommodation, transportation, and more. ... You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages - some days you spend more, some days you spend ...

  16. The Essential Guide to Travelling in the UK on a Budget

    Before you embark on your great adventure in the UK, you first have to find an affordable way to get there. Intercontinental flights are always the priciest flights and air tickets on the cheap is hard to come by, but it does exist. Firstly, book in advance! Booking your flights in advance is the best way to keep costs low.

  17. 2 Weeks in the UK

    We also have a guide to how much it costs to travel in the UK if you need budget planning help. Without further ado, allow me to present my two-week UK itinerary. Table of Contents. A 2 week UK Trip itinerary. Days 1 & 2: London; Days 3 & 4: Oxford & the Cotswolds;

  18. How to Travel the UK on the Cheap

    The UK is one of the most expensive countries in Europe — and if you're planning a trip, you might be daunted by the cost of transportation within the UK. But it is very possible to travel the UK for cheap! Since settling in Chester, I've found a host of ways to save money on transportation. And all of them have one thing in common: BOOK ...

  19. The Cost of Travel in London: My 2024 Budget Breakdown

    Prices vary depending on the type of transport and how far you're going, but expect to pay $2.25/£1.75 for a bus ride (with free transfers for an hour) and $3.50/£2.70 for a single tube ride in zone one. Daily fare caps apply, so you won't pay more than $11/£8.50 per day for journeys in zone one and two.

  20. Backpacking The UK On A Budget

    Backpacker's UK budget (staying in hostels and cooking your own meals) - £60 per day. Mid-range UK budget travel (staying in budget Airbnbs and hotels and eating out half the time) - £100 per day. Luxury UK travel budget (staying in nice hotels and eating out for all your meals) - £200 per day.

  21. Holiday budget calculator

    How To Plan Your Trip With Our Travel Budget Calculator. If you're planning a trip from the UK, the Skyscanner Holiday Budget Calculator can help you budget your trip effectively. Here's how to use it: First, specify how many people you need to budget for the trip. Select "Group budget" if you're travelling as a family or estimate an ...

  22. The Cheapest Way to Travel in England

    Cheap Bus Travel in England. Bus travel is the cheapest way to travel in England, in particular using Megabus which offers some routes for as low as £1. They don't cover all routes though, so it depends on your destination, but for value, they really are hard to beat! Book your tickets online, and be sure to be at the bus station in plenty ...

  23. How to save money on a UK staycation

    You could consider Airbnb, said the Daily Express, but beware the lack of regulation. Alternatively, renting a canal boat, camper van or mobile home is a "great way to travel to a different place ...

  24. Major budget airline axes flights leaving families stranded as Brits

    The popular budget airline cancelled the journeys leaving from airports in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Soon-to-be bride Sarah Machete told the Daily Record : "I was just about to leave for our flight ...

  25. Budget Your Trip

    View typical and average travel costs for thousands of cities and hundreds of countries around the world. Plan your next trip with real knowledge of your travel budget. All of the average travel costs come from real travelers. You can sign up to track your own travel expenses, too. France United States Thailand Morocco Ireland Brazil.

  26. New affordable airline promising cheap fares between UK and US forced

    A NEW budget airline promising cheap long-haul flights has been forced to delay its launch date by a year. Flights had initially been expected to take off this summer, but the carrier has now ...

  27. KNOWLEDGE CENTER: Vacation budgeting

    Vacation season is heating up with the weather.With rising costs still impacting many consumers' finances it is crucial to put a plan in place before traveling to ensure you stay on budget and ...

  28. The cheapest last-minute holiday destinations to book now revealed

    Ibiza was found to be the cheapest for a least minute all-inclusive holiday (Credits: Getty Images) Bagging the third spot is Dalaman in Turkey at £1,057 per person, and Menorca at £1,100 per ...

  29. Blackstone Bets on UK Travel Sector with Village Hotels Takeover

    Blackstone has made other plays in the travel sector. In the past year, it has invested in Japanese hotels . A few years ago, Blackstone and Starwood Capital Group bought Extended Stay America for ...

  30. The Data Appeal Company: Insights into Mediterranean tourism

    FLORENCE - The Data Appeal Company, part of the Almawave Group, has released a new comprehensive report detailing the post-summer 2024 tourism trends and forecasts for France, Greece, Italy, and Spain.The analysis, conducted with the destination marketing & management platform D / AI Destinations, highlights significant patterns and market dynamics as the high summer season winds down ...