From North To South

In July our little family along with some friends will be travelling the six hour journey from Manchester to St Ives in Cornwall. I have to say, it is a journey I am quite daunted by as we have never driven so far with the children and I just hope we can keep them entertained.

I have been having a look at our route to see what may be the best way to get down there, so I thought I'd share a few of my travelling ideas with you, just in case you have a long car journey ahead too.

- Decide on the method of transport. There were several options to consider:

  • We could fly from Manchester to Newquay, which would take about an hour. The problem with this is that if you added on check-in, wait times, disembarking and then the travel to and from each airport it is still a long day. Of course we could hire a car from someone such as Budget Car Hire once we are down there, so at least we wouldn't have to worry about transport.
  • We could catch the train, which would be much easier on the drivers amongst us and would also be something different and more fun for the children. Upon checking the train times, though, we would have to change three times and the journey alone would take seven and a half hours, and this doesn't take into consideration getting to and from the station.
  • Driving, which would involve a six hour journey down 2 motorways, including a 235 mile stretch on the M6, not a favourite road. Two children and two adults plus a week's worth of luggage crammed into a hatchback doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, but I think once we took everything into consideration it was the quickest option with the least hassle for the children.

- Set off early. We plan on leaving the house about 5am. This means we need to get packed up the night before and everything ready so we can just get up and go in the morning. Birmingham at rush-hour is no fun, so by setting off so early we are hoping to beat the traffic and keep the children asleep for a good portion of the journey.


- Be prepared. Keeping a two and three year old entertained for such a long stretch will be a challenge. We are hoping that between the iPad and iPhone we can have enough on there for some entertainment, along with snacks, books and toys. It is hard in a car seat, though, as one sharp braking or jolt around a corner and toys tend to go flying - queue much screaming and mummy having to hunt around behind the seat stretching her arms almost out of the socket! Hence the technological aids that can be strapped to the back of the seat. Oh and a must-do for us is to download the Frozen soundtrack before we leave, or heaven forbid the tantrum that we will ensue!


- Plan the route. If the weather is fine we may stop off a couple of times somewhere to break the journey up. I have found a few options, depending on what we feel like on the day:

  • Worcester - about an hour south of Birmingham, it is supposed to be a lovely Cathedral town on the River Severn - recommendations are to visit Friar Street which has lots of cafes and restaurants and beautiful buildings.
  • Tewksbury - 10 miles south of Worcester is this lovely old town, with the Abbey and the River Avon top highlights to see.
  • If we decide we can go a little further, Clevedon is an hour south of Worcester and is a small seaside town that might be nice for some fresh sea air and maybe fish and chips for lunch.
  • Bath - an alternative to Clevedon and somewhere I've always wanted to go, I would absolutely love to visit the Roman Baths.
  • Castle Drogo - situated at North of Dartmoor, stated as being the last castle to be built in England with some stunning grounds, it would be an ideal place to stop off to stretch our legs and let the little ones have a run around.

The spectacular Roman Baths
- Enjoy the journey. Britain is such a beautiful country and one that Mr H and I really didn't appreciate until we moved to America. As much as motorways and traffic jams don't exactly stimulate the senses, once we get down to the last half of the journey and more off track, we hope to see some stunning scenery and appreciate this land we live in.

Beautiful St Ives

Do you have any travel tips for us or maybe some suggestions of places to visit on the journey down? I would love to hear them!

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