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London to Scotland Road Trip

GoTLSAGo

Member
Aug 7, 2019
78
29
London, UK
Planning on setting off to Scotland from London in September with my wife and 3 year old. Looking for any ideas for a 2 week itinerary as well as things to know for this trip.

Don't want any single day drives longer than 5 hours so currently planning as follows:

London -> York (spend 3 nights)
York -> Edinburgh (spend 3 nights)
Edinbugh -> Loch Lommond (spend 3 nights)
Loch Lommond to Isle of Arran (spend 2 nights)
Arran -> Ullswater (Lake District) (spend 2 nights)
Spend one night anywhere about half way between Ullswater and London

Looks like a good bet would be to sign up for Charge Scotland as a backup for charging although am planning to stay in places which have EV charging.

Am a member of TOGUK so plan to rent the Chademo adapter for my stay

Anything else re charging?

Any tips for the trip?
 

Alan J

Member
Jun 17, 2019
238
142
Glasgow
Planning on setting off to Scotland from London in September with my wife and 3 year old. Looking for any ideas for a 2 week itinerary as well as things to know for this trip.

Don't want any single day drives longer than 5 hours so currently planning as follows:

London -> York (spend 3 nights)
York -> Edinburgh (spend 3 nights)
Edinbugh -> Loch Lommond (spend 3 nights)
Loch Lommond to Isle of Arran (spend 2 nights)
Arran -> Ullswater (Lake District) (spend 2 nights)
Spend one night anywhere about half way between Ullswater and London

Looks like a good bet would be to sign up for Charge Scotland as a backup for charging although am planning to stay in places which have EV charging.

Am a member of TOGUK so plan to rent the Chademo adapter for my stay

Anything else re charging?

Any tips for the trip?
Definitely sign up for Chargeplace Scotland App / Card and use Zapmap to find convenient CCS Fast Chargers in your route. Not many Superchargers on that route but one in Motherwell at the Dakota Hotel might help you out. Be aware that the 2 Superchargers at Edinburgh Airport are often busy.
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,331
2,378
Derby, UK
The CPS chargers are generally reliable, but much slower than Tesla Superchargers. We averaged about 30kW on the ones we used. Fine if you’re wandering around town for an hour or two, but not great if you’re mid-journey.

I’d definitely pay £20 for the CPS card, as mobile reception can be very patchy, and if you don’t have a signal, you can’t start the charge!

My main tip would be to invest in some Smidge midge repellant, and make sure you all use it ;)
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,164
3,129
Scotland
Planning on setting off to Scotland from London in September with my wife and 3 year old. Looking for any ideas for a 2 week itinerary as well as things to know for this trip.

Best advice ... get booked yesterday! Seriously everyone is thinking the same way ... holidays in the UK. I suspect your planning will be entirely determined by what accommodation you can secure. Gone are the days when you could set off on a whim and pick up B&B or Hotels wherever you choose. (It may be worth considering choosing a couple of areas and having days out from there rather than building a tour ... but whatever you decide it's worth getting off the mark with booking as soon as you can.)
 
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Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,087
2,124
Scotland
Planning on setting off to Scotland from London in September with my wife and 3 year old. Looking for any ideas for a 2 week itinerary as well as things to know for this trip.

Don't want any single day drives longer than 5 hours so currently planning as follows:

London -> York (spend 3 nights)
York -> Edinburgh (spend 3 nights)
Edinbugh -> Loch Lommond (spend 3 nights)
Loch Lommond to Isle of Arran (spend 2 nights)
Arran -> Ullswater (Lake District) (spend 2 nights)
Spend one night anywhere about half way between Ullswater and London

Looks like a good bet would be to sign up for Charge Scotland as a backup for charging although am planning to stay in places which have EV charging.

Am a member of TOGUK so plan to rent the Chademo adapter for my stay

Anything else re charging?

Any tips for the trip?
Whilst you're based at Loch Lommond, consider doing the Heart 200 as a day trip. It's the shorter southerly version of the North Coast 500.

Heart 200 - 200 miles around the Heart of Scotland
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,164
3,129
Scotland
Whilst you're based at Loch Lommond, consider doing the Heart 200 as a day trip.

I'm going to be controversial (and this isn't specific to Heart 200 as I understand they are planning a different angle ... but anyway). Despite being part of the holiday industry (in a small wall way) I have changed my mind about these newly invented "routes". I used to think they were a great way to make it easy for people to find interesting, scenic out-of-the-way locations in areas they may not be familiar with.

Scotland has thousands of miles of scenic roads. Even with visitor traffic there should be room for everyone ... that's great ... so why channel all the traffic down a particular route? There are frequent stories relating to the NC500 where previously quiet local areas and narrow roads are being in inundated by traffic that just passes by, only contributing (with ICE cars) noise and an unwelcome whiff of fumes...(so yes, an EV is at least going to be an improvement in those aspects!)

In addition to traffic density a fundamental problem is that people driving these kind of routes often have the psychological target of completion uppermost in their minds. They are less likely to choose to linger... they've planned to tick off the completed route by lunchtime on Sunday. (Scotland is good for lingering!)

This is not like a specific event that takes place on a particular day of the year .. like a car rally .. where it's busy on that day and everyone can focus on the driving and the sport ... a fun day of motorsport ... and back to normal the next day. Instead it risks becoming a summer-long trail of vehicles going a particular route just because someone has drawn it on a map!

We all have fantastic free online mapping available to us nowadays. Individual routes can easily be checked out and specific attractive locations identified. It's worth spending a little time finding an interesting looking area and staying relatively local for a while, enjoying trips out and seeing the things you might otherwise drive past. As things open up the few pounds spent in local areas make a real difference to how tourism is viewed!

Scotland is geographically varied and is of a size that's not realistic to cover in one trip. (Years ago the stereotype was American tourists who spent 2 days on a bus tour and said they had "done Scotland"!)

... sorry about all that ... I don't mean to be critical of any individual but the set route thing has become bit of a hobby horse recently so I just wanted to air my views!
 

Medved_77

TM3 SR+ | MSM+Black | No FSD
Supporting Member
Jan 20, 2020
2,087
2,124
Scotland
I'm going to be controversial (and this isn't specific to Heart 200 as I understand they are planning a different angle ... but anyway). Despite being part of the holiday industry (in a small wall way) I have changed my mind about these newly invented "routes". I used to think they were a great way to make it easy for people to find interesting, scenic out-of-the-way locations in areas they may not be familiar with.

Scotland has thousands of miles of scenic roads. Even with visitor traffic there should be room for everyone ... that's great ... so why channel all the traffic down a particular route? There are frequent stories relating to the NC500 where previously quiet local areas and narrow roads are being in inundated by traffic that just passes by, only contributing (with ICE cars) noise and an unwelcome whiff of fumes...(so yes, an EV is at least going to be an improvement in those aspects!)

In addition to traffic density a fundamental problem is that people driving these kind of routes often have the psychological target of completion uppermost in their minds. They are less likely to choose to linger... they've planned to tick off the completed route by lunchtime on Sunday. (Scotland is good for lingering!)

This is not like a specific event that takes place on a particular day of the year .. like a car rally .. where it's busy on that day and everyone can focus on the driving and the sport ... a fun day of motorsport ... and back to normal the next day. Instead it risks becoming a summer-long trail of vehicles going a particular route just because someone has drawn it on a map!

We all have fantastic free online mapping available to us nowadays. Individual routes can easily be checked out and specific attractive locations identified. It's worth spending a little time finding an interesting looking area and staying relatively local for a while, enjoying trips out and seeing the things you might otherwise drive past. As things open up the few pounds spent in local areas make a real difference to how tourism is viewed!

Scotland is geographically varied and is of a size that's not realistic to cover in one trip. (Years ago the stereotype was American tourists who spent 2 days on a bus tour and said they had "done Scotland"!)

... sorry about all that ... I don't mean to be critical of any individual but the set route thing has become bit of a hobby horse recently so I just wanted to air my views!
Fair points.

The NC500 has its flaws as you've correctly identified. The planned routes such as the Heart 200 are good for inspiration but with some forward planning you can define your own and Scotland certainly has a whole lot of great options to chose from.
 
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TJ63

Member
Jan 4, 2020
87
46
Derbyshire
Good point about the 2-day bus tour. I've been to Scotland for long weekends and weeks away many many times over the last 15 years, and I still don't think I've "done Scotland".

Mind, I've not "done England" either, despite living here for 65 years. ;)
 

darkNstormy

Member
May 1, 2020
284
195
North East
Maybe consider not going as far as Edinburgh on one of your legs. Northumberland is beautiful with great beaches (Embleton is my favourite). Bamburgh Castle worth a visit.

Coast

Above link is some photography of the area. They also have a portrait section - we were their first ever subjects!

The Ship Inn

Alnwick Castle

Berwick

You'll not regret it.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,164
3,129
Scotland
Mind, I've not "done England" either, despite living here for 65 years. ;)

The range of fantastic places across the UK is really quite remarkable ... but I agree, there are so many places I haven't been! You expect somewhere the size of North America to have extraordinary variation ... it's a continent after all ... but the nooks and crannies to be discovered close to home still surprise and delight me!
 

cezdoc

Member
Aug 15, 2015
492
744
Aberdeen, UK
Any tips for the trip?
Sounds like you'll be well covered for charging having already decided to rent a CHAdeMO adapter for the Scottish section. The ChargePlace Scotland card can also be used with Charge Your Car chargers (and vice versa) and some polar chargers.

In terms of Superchargers on your route, be wary of the York-Edinburgh leg as the Edi supercharger only has two stalls and is prone to be busy and slow. The fastest route is to go from Scotch Corner over to the M6 but that misses out some lovely drives up through Northumberland and the Cheviots or Berwick. We once broke a journey at Jedburgh and left the car on the CPS rapid there while having lunch in a local cafe, before continuing which was much nicer than waiting at the airport. However there is always the risk that single rapids are in use or out of order. At least chargeplacescotland.org (and some apps) show live status and there is a helpline to assist with any charging issues. Have a look at Plugshare and ZapMap for comments about access/reliability of particular chargers.

On the way back down, I tend to avoid Gretna as that's just 4 bays and gets busy at peak times. I'd recommend stopping off at Tebay instead which is arguably the nicest Supercharger in the UK. If you do end up coming north on the M6 you can also use Tebay by crossing over on the access road between northbound and southbound service areas (I don't think the car Nav knows about this).

If you haven't used a CHAdeMO on a rapid before it's a good idea to test it out when everyone is well fed and the sun is out. It's straightforward enough although not all chargers are the same. I tend to attach the adapter to the charge unit cable first, then plug in to the car before swiping the card/use the app to initiate the charge. Try to have the card/app ready - I have the impression the car gives up and doesn't let the charge start if there's too long a delay before starting the charge (could just be me though!).

Also be aware that some EV drivers don't like drivers to leave their cars unattended while charging at a rapid. Many have a 1 hour charge time limit anyway but it's good to avoid someone else turning up and needing to wait more than, say, 30 minutes in the worst case. I do leave my car if a location seems quiet but put a note on the dashboard with contact details and when I expect to return just in case. Some places need a parking ticket; charging used to be free in most of Scotland but more areas are bringing in fees now (a good thing as someone needs to pay for the upkeep!). Details of charges are on the CPS website.
 
Last edited:

Alset2go

Member
Mar 21, 2019
122
100
Oxfordshire , UK
I am off to Skye in a few weeks with a stopover at Glencoe,then heading East to Fife via A9,Perth etc..

My MS has the CCS conversion but I think I will rent a CHAdeMO too as just watching PlugShare,Zap-Map and Chargeplace Scotland Sites the last week I notice some chargers with CCS out of order,some with CHAdeMO out etc so prob best making sure all options are planned for including of course a 3 pin option and decent extension cable...

I was up East recently and absolutely no probs but going west is a little more plan worthy .

have a great trip and good health.
 

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