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  2. Check your passport and travel documents before you travel There are appears to be a little known issue with UK Passport validity in some European countries. Since 2020 the European Union decided that the UK Passport needs to have at least 3 months remaining on the expiry period and most importantly it has to be within 10 years of issue. Whereas previously, you could travel throughout Europe with a passport that had at least 3 months until the expiry date, now it seems that it has to have 3 months left from the 10 years from issue date. Now this is the important part that may not allow you entry onto a plane or ferry and it is because previously the Passport Agency allocated 10 years on top of any remaining time, so this was added to the expiry date if you renewed before it ran out and you could have a passport that has 10 years and 6 months on it. SO IN A NUTSHELL .... Ensure your passport still has at least 3 months left from the 10 years from the 'Issue Date' and not relying on the 3 months from the expiry date! Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements. Other articles of interest about travelling in Europe with a British Passport following changes in Brexit rules https://cheapholidayexpert.com/blog/is-your-passport-in-date-please-check-it-now/ and another one: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/jan/29/uk-travellers-could-the-new-brexit-rules-catch-you-out
  3. Ringwood (Rockford) to Linwood (Red Shoot Inn) This short journey starts at Rockford, just outside of Ringwood in Hampshire. The public school, Moyles Court is located nearby and it is a very pleasant area to go for walks into the open expanses of the New Forest or just sit by the slow running stream located at the crossroads. Travelling east along narrow carriageways, you are reminded that horses and other wildlife roam free throughout the New Forest National Park and as such could be stood in the middle of the road around any bend, so extreme caution is required at all times when driving. When the road starts opening out to provide a clear view of the surrounding countryside you can really appreciate the diversity of the landscape. It also becomes easier to drive through and appreciated the views as any hazards can now be seen in advance. Once you approach the Red Shoot Inn at Linwood, you find there is plenty of parking provided and also a campsite right next door to the pub, which is very packed during the height of the tourist season. They provide good service, great food, drink, live music and also have a micro-brewery on site when low volume batches of beer is produced. PLEASE NOTE: The New Forest is protected in many ways to preserve the natural environment and its wildlife and is governed by a maximum speed limit of 40 miles per hour on most of the roads throughout the area. Links: Red Shoot Inn - for more information click here
  4. Lyndhurst, capital town of the New Forest Lyndhurst is the administrative capital town of the New Forest National Park located in Hampshire, United Kingdom. The New Forest is many centuries old and has traditionally been a hunting ground of many Kings of England. In more modern times, it is an unspoilt area of natural landscapes and free-roaming animals, such as horses, donkeys and pigs. PLEASE NOTE: The New Forest is protected in many ways to preserve the natural environment and its wildlife and is governed by a maximum speed limit of 40 miles per hour on most of the roads throughout the area.
  5. Pack your bags and don’t forget your toothbrush! All remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions for UK-bound passengers have been scrapped As of Friday 18 March 2022 people arriving in the UK no longer need to take tests or complete the dreaded passenger locator form. This welcome news has come in plenty of time for the Easter school holidays – giving UK travellers the green light for more affordable and straightforward trips abroad. Changes to UK travel rules What do the government’s changes to UK travel rules mean for your upcoming holiday plans? The government has removed all remaining COVID-19 international travel rules, which means that whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated you have no extra hoops to jump through. For arrivals to the UK, including all four of the nations, this means that the following restrictions have been removed: Requirement to fill in a passenger locator form (PLF) for all passengers Pre-departure test for unvaccinated passengers Day 2 post arrival test for unvaccinated passengers Vaccinated passengers have not needed to provide proof of a negative test for several weeks, and quarantine requirements were also removed for all regardless of vaccine status earlier this year. What are the rules for children travelling to the UK? The government changes apply to passengers of all ages. Children aged 17 and under had been treated as fully vaccinated up until the restrictions were lifted – meaning they did not need tests or quarantine. This means that for your return journey to the UK – or for foreign visitors hoping to explore the UK – there are no more coronavirus-related measures to worry about. What about face coverings? In addition to these changes from the UK government Heathrow Airport has removed the requirement for passengers and staff to wear face coverings – although they are still encouraged to do so. A statement on behalf of Heathrow Airport said: “Passengers may still be required to wear a face covering on board their flight and should check the airlines’ requirements before travelling.” In line with Heathrow’s changes British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have removed their mask mandates for some routes. Passengers will still be required to wear a face covering where the destination country or airport requires face coverings to be worn, for example routes to the US. Virgin flights to the Caribbean from both Heathrow and Manchester will see optional mask-wearing. Jet2 and Tui have also dropped face masks for selected flights. What has the travel industry said? With PCR tests costing from £45 per person the changes mean unvaccinated passengers looking to travel abroad can save a decent chunk of change on their trip. The news has been celebrated by the travel industry, which is eager to welcome back more passengers in 2022 after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic. Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of trade body Airlines UK, said: “With travellers returning to the UK no longer burdened by unnecessary forms and testing requirements, we can now look forward to the return to pre-Covid normality throughout the travel experience.” A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “The removal of all remaining UK travel restrictions, including the Passenger Locator Form, is the final important step towards frictionless air travel, helping to further restore consumer confidence as we welcome more customers back to the skies this Spring and Summer. With these barriers to travel removed, Britain is open for business and passengers can reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues once again.” What travel rules do you need to be aware of? It’s important for travellers to remember that the UK government only sets the rules for travellers arriving in the UK. So while the UK has scrapped its testing and passenger locator form requirement, other nations continue to ask arrivals to fulfill certain requirements. Your vaccine status and the rules for children are also a mixed bag depending on where you are travelling to. For example, if you are going to Spain you need to submit an online Health Control Form before your arrival and kids over 12 need to provide proof of a negative PCR test if they are not fully vaccinated. The country also asks visitors to be boosted if their last vaccine dose was more than 270 days before travel. Other European nations have a similar requirement, with France asking you to be boosted if your second dose was more than 180 days ago. The US requires all arrivals to be vaccinated and to provide proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow test. Children 17 and under do not need to be fully vaccinated to enter the country, but are asked to take a test three to five days after their arrival. And travel to some destinations for holidays is still off the cards for now. For example, New Zealand will be opening its borders to UK passengers from 2 May. As this illustrates, while the UK has ripped up the rules other nations still have various measures in place. Your best bet to keep on top of the guidance is to check the FCDO travel advice pages for individual countries. You can sign up for email alerts to let you know when these pages are updated, to keep on top of the latest changes. Travel abroad checklist Putting all of these changes together here is a quick rundown of the things to remember when booking your trip: Check your destination is accepting UK travellers visiting for leisure Check the rules by vaccination status for your destination Organise your proof of vaccination, including your booster, if your destination requires it Book relevant pre and post departure COVID tests for your destination Fill in relevant forms required by your destination Check the mask-wearing requirement for your airline and destination Original Article Source: https://www.staysure.co.uk/2022/03/changes-to-uk-covid-19-travel-rules
  6. Road trip to Germany and Austria First road trip was on BMW GS1200 motorbike and then later on in a BMW Z3 sportscar. The trip was virtually identical covering the same roads but with subtle detours to suit the vehicle being used at the time. GOOGLE ROUTE MAP - https://goo.gl/maps/g4cJM3BpxqFLzPYt8 Day 1: Calais to Strasbourg This part of the journey was covered through Belgium rather than France due to not having to pay Tolls and also slightly more direct. Although it is a quite an arduous trip and covers some miles it does however break the back of the journey to get this chunk of motoring out of the way on the first day. Strasbourg, in the heart of the Ardenne, is a fabulous city which is strangely half French and half German and boasts a fantastic cathedral. Plenty of charming architecture and a host of bars and restaurants to choose from in the evening providing an ambience which reflects the city's historic past. Day 2: Strasbourg to Füssen Driving through the Black Forest towards Bavaria is captivating by way of scenery and great driving roads to provide many miles of unhurried and relaxing driving following the previous days epic journey. Arriving in Füssen which is a beautiful small town nestled in southwest Bavaria and is set below and near to the famous Castle Neuschwanstein which has been used in films such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and also the influence for Walt Disney's fantasy castles. Definitely worth a visit to this stunning castle and immense views and is accessible by bus and horse and cart to the top but you can also walk up if you have the stamina. Day 3 & 4: Füssen to Innsbruck The roads from Füssen to Innsbruck are some of the most picturesque and best driving roads you will encounter anywhere in Europe. This is definitely one part of the journey where you can slow down and take your time getting there as the distance is not that far and the scenery is the reason why you are there! Day 5: Innsbruck to Ypres No road trip would be complete without visiting Ypres in Belgium on the way back to Calais. Whilst there it is almost a given that you would visit the Menin Gate memorial arch to the fallen dead of WW1 and experience the sombre 'Last Post' being played each evening. Day 6: Ypres to Calais Not having to rush back to the Ferry as the port of Calais or Dunkirk is only a very short distance from Ypres. USEFUL LINKS: Accomodation: Auberge Rustique https://aubergerustique.lu/en/homepage/ - Based just outside of Luxembourg in a region known as 'Little Switzerland' and the gateway to Germany Accomodation: Landgasthop Waldhorn http://www.landgasthof-waldhorn.de/home.html - A superb Guest House based in the Black Forest region of Forbach-Gausbach, east of Strasbourg.
  7. @Alfa4 Finally happening in August 2022....long awaited trip which has been on the boil since 2020 and now that restrictions are lifted we have a green light to do this road trip 🙂
  8. Got a superb road trip planned to Switzerland and just poking our heads into Italy before coming back through France. Taking in such places as Colmar, Lucerne, Troyes, Lugano, Lacorno and Interlaken with a total distance of around 1700 miles
  9. Steve takes a 300,000+ mile Audi A6 to Europe. Will he make it? Read on to find out! This topic is about my road trip to Belgium including the pre planning. Research is key when driving in Europe as rules and regulations change from country to country. Things you'll need before you go: 1. European breakdown cover - I have found there are too types of cover available. 1. Covers you for recovery like your normal cover. This cost approx £37 for my 5 day trip. 2. Cover that will cover the cost of your repair bills. This cover cost £54 for my 5 day trip. The prices are from the AA of which I am a member. Just be mindful that with the break down cover they only cover you up to the cost of the vehicle. So if you have an old Audi like me you could be at risk of having to fork out extra. 2. Inform your insurance company - I had to pay £17 extra to cover my car for the trip. Again there are 2 options available and are charable regardless of what UK cover you have. 1. 3rd party cover. 2. Fully comprehensive. 3. European kit - for driving in France it is compulsory to have a breatherlizer, warning triangle, GB sticker, a high vid jacket for every occupant, headlight converter stickers. 4. Check French toll roads - 76% of the roads are tolled in France and for which you will need a transponder which you have to pay for from the toll road company managing the roads your travelling on. You also set up an account with them. However the main road to Belgium the a16 is not tolled. 5. Check to see if the EU country you are visiting has any Low Emissions Zones. France requires you to have a sticker when traveling in Paris for example. Belgium hasn't brought any emissions rules into effect yet but will do as of 2018. 6. Don't forget to pay for the Dartford crossing. The crossing consists of a suspension bridge heading towards Dover and a tunnel coming away from Dover. If you have never used the crossing before you can pay before or up to 24 hours after you have made the crossing. Now onto the trip Day 1: Leicester-Dover Calais-Brussels The run from Leicester to Dover was straightforward with no hiccups or traffic delays. But we did leave in plenty of time to avoid most of the bank holiday traffic. We arrived in plenty of time for our P&O ferry and it was a good job we did as it took over an hour to get through boarder control & check in. However I think this was down to Volume of bank holiday traffic. The port has a reasonable terminal with facilities consisting of a Burger King, WH Smith's, Costa and toilets. If you have forgotten any key European items you can get them in the Smiths Newsagents. We boarded the ferry which was straightforward and made our way on to the passenger areas. We had decided to go with a premium ticket which proved well worth the extra money. We got free drinks and snacks (fruit, biscuits, crisps, tea, coffee, soft drinks etc) as well as a free glass of champagne on arrival. Papers are also free. The key benefit of premium however is the extra space (far less people) and plenty of seating including private outside space. I would strongly recommend the premium to anyone. It was superb and had a waiter service! Disembarkation was again quick and road signs were easy to follow. We picked up the 16 for Brussels and set into a comfortable cruise. In France the speed limits can change quite often on the motorway so keep an eye out. Oh and obviously they are in kph! We also stopped for fuel in France which thankfully is similar to the U.K. The difference being is that a pre payment system is used. For this you can either put your card in the machine at the start or ask the cashier how much fuel you would like. We encountered heavy traffic near to Ghent and Bruges due to the lanes merging from 3 to 2. But after we got through, we had a clear run to Brussels. Driving in Brussels is entertaining to say the least. Partly as there are hardly any road signs (this is not an exaggeration!). Brussels has its m25 equivalent which is a tunnel system that runs under the city and only pops to the surface for exits. We got lost at this point and came off to find somewhere to park to recalculate our route. The traffic in Brussels is like London. There's a lot of it!! For example a 5 mile drive in Brussels took us 25 minutes. But there are the added risks of trams. Traffic lights only change from red to green and there are hardly any speed limit signs. We finally reached our destination at 6:30pm Belgium time after travelling 12 hours. Total miles covered (including being lost) was 335 miles. Day 2 So until 2:30pm we were trapped at our accommodation due to a marathon taking place in Brussels. The marathon was the Belgium equivalent to the London marathon and as such thousands of people took part! The morning wasn't wasted as we decided to have a BBQ for lunch as the weather is gorgeous here. It's reaching mid to high 30s (degrees) each day! We finally left at 2:30 and decided to travel the 1:40 minutes to Yepre. Yepre saw a lot of the fighting during WW1 and was completely rebuilt to its 14th century design after the war. This has allowed the town to keep a true Belgium feel with cobbled streets and Gothic architecture. As well as the traditional chocolate shops and bars. We also visited the Menin Gate, a war memorial built to show the names of the missing servicemen and women from WW1. We then also visited Ypres war cemetery which was a somber experience. Ypres is a town well worth visiting and not far from the French border. Parking was straightforward and thankfully we did not need to pay. Stay tuned for day 3. However, I must warn you as there won't be any driving involved as my siblings and I are going to Disney land Paris by Eurostar. We are big kids really. My sister and I are in our 20s and my brother is in his teens! There are still plenty of adult rides i.e. Rollercoasters there! Oh and by the way, the A6 has just clocked over 322,000 miles!! Day 3 Today was more unusual as we spared the car and took the train to Disney Land Paris for the day. I appreciate this isn't everyone's cup of tea so stay tuned for day 4 as we're planning to go to Spa race circuit. This meant a very early start as It took us 3 hours travelling on 3 trains and a taxi each way but was so worth it. Just like the UK the train system in France and Belgium is very busy and in parts of France they use double decker trains to cater for the volume of people. Despite the train network being busy all the trains were on time. Disney Land Paris is a great theme park and isn't just geared towards children. Some of the rollercoasters and other rides would be unsuitable for little ones. But just like most theme parks the queues are long but luckily fast passes are available on the more popular rides. If you are limited for time in the park, then the rides I'd strongly recommend are: Main park: hyperspace mountain rollercoaster, star tours (Star Wars), buzz lightyear lazer blast, phantom manor, big thunder mountain rollercoaster, pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana jones temple of peril rollercoaster. Studio park: Rock and roller rollercoaster, vehicle stunt show, the twilight zone tower of terror (massive drop tower), studio tram tour. After we had finished the rides we got dinner at planet Hollywood before heading back on the train system home. Day 4 Today we visited Circuit De Spa Francorchamps, Belgiums F1 racing circuit which was an amazing experience. From Brussels it took us 1 hour 40 mins each way but that was partly due to roadworks. Due to the traffic issues we weren't able to drive into Germany as planned. However, we have decided that we will do a road trip of Germany on its own in the future. Luckily the circuit was being used for a track day and as such there were various race cars, super cars and road cars on track. Including multiple Audis such as an a1, x2 TT, rs4, r8 and even an a8! And the best bit was that we got in for free. The track day also allowed us to park in the paddock and walk around the pit garages and along the pit wall. Spa also has fantastic viewing spots for spectators despite its size and the obstruction of the forest. Just to add to the excitement the track day got red flagged as a Volkswagen golf mk2 had run into the back of a BMW 1 series coupe which spilled fluids and glass right near the pit entrance. On top of this we were able to drive around the outside of the track as there are roads running round the outside and inside of the circuit, these roads are also at varying gradients and are a mixture of tarmac, concrete and even dirt. After leaving the circuit we visited the local museum in the town to view their collection of race cars and motorbikes. There are a mixed bag of vehicles from Ferrari f40 and Daytona right through to f1 cars. The museum cost 9.50 euros each but the cars were great. The museum also has 3 other floors but unfortunately we were pressed for time. There is limited parking at the museum but luckily we just parked on the street outside. On arriving back to Brussels we caught a train into the centre to take in some of the local sites and grab a bite to eat for dinner. Now obviously Belgium chips and chocolate were on order, but not together mind you! After a bit of souvenir hunting we headed home so we can chill out for the drive home. Day 5 - the journey home So, all good things must come to an end and today we made our way back to the U.K. However before we left Brussels we helped my sister move into her new accommodation just 10 minutes down the road. The car was packed to the rafters but the move went smoothly. We left Brussels at 12noon and headed for the euro shuttle (channel tunnel). We chose to come back via the tunnel for the experience and this inadvertently proved to be a great move. As we passed the junction for the Calais docks and ferry port the queue of cars were backed up on the skip road and in the slow lane of the A16 motorway! This compared to the tunnel significantly as we piled off at junction 42 for the tunnel and arrived at the check in gates in 5 minutes. As you pull up the gate automatically recognises the vehicle so you just have to select which train time you want. As we had made good time we were able to catch the 15:20 instead of the 16:16! Once you're through you will arrive at French boarder control and security and then UK boarder control. After clearing border control you follow the road round to what looks like a motorway services and at which point the wait begins. Luckily we had only 8 minutes to wait till we were called to board our train. The boards are similar to what you would find in an airport, accept they are outside in the car park. Once you get called for your train, you end up queuing in two lines similar to if you were waiting to board a ferry. At this point our train was delayed due to an oil spill but I wasn't overly bothered as we were on an earlier train. Boarding the train is a straightforward affair and is similar to boarding a ferry. It is a tight squeeze to get into the carriage but it's nice and large once your inside. When on the train you have to leave your Windows down which is nice as the carriages are fully airconditioned. The journey is fairly smooth and only took half an hour to get through the tunnel. Oh and don't forget to put your clock back! Once you've cleared the tunnel it's a straightforward exit and onto the motorway for your journey home. Unfortunately for us we were using the dartford crossing which has chocker! Total miles covered: 1056.7 in 5 days Car mileage: 322,573 And no issues presented during the trip! Thanks for reading! Steve
  10. CREATE YOUR OWN TRAVELOG & SHARE YOUR ROAD TRIP You can now create your own Travelog describing your own Road Trip experience and include map routes, recommended places of interest and where to stay. Feel free to include images (you may need to keep each image to between 200kb to 500kb as it displays easier when viewed on all devices). Also, if you found a great hotel, campsite or anywhere that you would love to share with others then please feel free to mention it in your Travelog (Please be aware that all content will be moderated to ensure that it is suitable for viewing by all readers) Feel free to include images (you may need to keep each image to between 200kb to 500kb as it displays easier when viewed on all devices). Also, if you found a great hotel, campsite or anywhere that you would love to share with others then please feel free to mention it in your Travelog CLICK HERE TO START
  11. Essential information and helpful tips and advice for driving on the continent Read our tips and advice on driving in France, Spain and Portugal which explain all the essential facts you need to know, including advice on roads and public transport systems. Find out about road signs, speed limits, different road types, drink driving limits and more in France, Spain and Portugal. There is also a handy continental driving checklist so that you can make sure you have everything you need to be safe and legal on the roads during your holiday. You'll also find some links to useful sites for more information about continental road safety laws, on the spot fines and toll prices. Reading up on a little bit of road knowledge now will make sure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible! CONTINENTAL MOTORING CHECKLIST Ensure you comply with European Motoring Requirements by carrying the following essential items of accident, emergency and breakdown equipment. To drive in France you'll need the following: Driving licence Vehicle insurance Vehicle registration document UK sticker or plates Warning triangle Reflective jacket Minimum age at which UK driving Licence accepted 18 National Driving Licence required YES International Driving Permit required NO Vehicle Registration document required YES Motor Vehicle Insurance required YES Bail Bond required NO UK sticker or UK plates C Warning Triangle required C Reflective jacket/ waistcoast C Spare Headlamp bulbs required R Headlamp adjustment needed R Seatbelts required front and rear C Minimum age of children allowed in front seat 10 Wide acceptance of credit cards for petrol YES Wide availability of unleaded petrol YES Motorway Tolls payable YES Maximum Motorway Speed Limit 130kph/ 81mph On the spot fines YES Safety camera warning devices allowed NO R = Recommended. C = Compulsory. CRIT'AIR VIGNETTE ENVIRONMENTAL BADGE The French government set up the Crit'Air scheme to categorise vehicles according to how polluting they are to the environment by using a system of colour-coded stickers. The scheme is operating in Paris, Grenoble and Lyon and is expected to roll out to other cities in the future. Foreign vehicles must adhere to the scheme so, if you plan to travel in these cities, you will need to order the correct sticker for your vehicle in advance. You can find more information about the scheme and how to get a sticker for your vehicle at www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en If you travel in an area where the scheme applies and you do not have a sticker then you may face an on-the-spot fine of up to £117. The RAC has some very thorough advice about what British drivers need to do to comply with the scheme at www.rac.co.uk MINIMUM DRIVING AGE AND INSURANCE The minimum age for driving in France is eighteen, and your UK insurance should give automatic third party cover. We would recommend you contact your insurers to check you have adequate cover. However, be aware that French law requires all car occupants to wear a seat belt - also that no child under ten years old is allowed to travel in the front of a vehicle unless it is in a specially adapted rear-facing seat. ROAD SIGNS If you have never driven on the right before, don't worry. French signposting is very good once you understand it, with place names rather than road numbers being prominent. If reading a road map of France, you can assume that anything shown in bold capitals will be signposted from a great distance. A common sign is TOUTES DIRECTIONS (literally meaning 'all directions'). It is frequently used for diverting traffic around a particular town or village, so unless this is your destination, follow the sign. A variation is AUTRES DIRECTIONS (other directions). This will always appear in conjunction with a second sign indicating a specific place. So for instance, if you see RENNES plus AUTRES DIRECTIONS, unless Rennes is on your route, go the other way. Further along you will find signs to wherever it is you are heading for. Positioning of signposts can sometimes confuse - the sign that means go straight on is often tucked very close to the junction, on either side of the road, pointing across rather than straight ahead. Unless on main highways, priority can be given to traffic joining a road from the right, so keep an eye open for the warning sign PRIORITÉ À DROITE. SPEED LIMITS Radar speed traps are very common, and fines (which must be paid on the spot) are heavy. If oncoming vehicles flash their headlights at you it often means that there is a speed trap ahead. However, flashing headlights can also mean the driver is warning you that it is his right of way, the complete opposite of its accepted meaning in the UK. Radar detectors are illegal in France whether in use or not. If you are caught with such equipment in your vehicle, you are liable to a fine, confiscation of the device and the vehicle. You should therefore ensure radar detectors are removed from your vehicle before commencing any journey to France. Speed regulations start at the town name sign and end when you pass the same sign crossed with a diagonal red line on leaving the town. SPEED LIMITS BY WEATHER CONDITIONS Type of road Dry weather Wet weather Toll Motorway 130kmh/ 80mph 110kmh/ 68mph Dual Carriageway 110kmh/ 68mph 100kmh/ 62mph Other Roads 80kmh/ 50mph 80kmh/ 50mph Built-up Areas 50kmh/ 31mph 50kmh/ 31mph FUEL Leaded petrol is usually sold as super/super 97, and unleaded as sans plomb 98 & 95 or Eurosuper 95. Diesel is known as gas-oil. The cheapest fuel is usually found at the large hypermarkets. It pays to remember that few rural garages are open 24 hours, also that they are liable to be closed for up to two hours at lunchtime, and all day on Sunday. Sometimes you can drive for many miles in rural France without seeing a garage, so don't let your tank get low. AUTOROUTES AND OTHER ROADS France's network of autoroutes, and unlike motorways in the UK, congestion is rarely a problem. However, this comes at a price, and there is a charge for using these roads, payable by cash or credit card at the frequent tollgates (péages). This may seem expensive, but if you are intent on covering large distances as quickly as possible, it is the only realistic way. That said, the older main roads (prefixed with N or RN), and even the smaller roads (prefixed with a D), are often as wide and well maintained as Britain's major highways. It is frequently possible to travel on these for mile after mile in extremely light traffic, so don't ignore them, particularly if you are not in a big hurry. An excellent guide to these alternative routes, (often referred to as itinéraire Bis and indicated with large green arrows) is the Bison Futé map, which is available free from most petrol stations. Driving through France's beautiful countryside can be a genuine pleasure, so why rush if you don't have to? For motoring abroad, the Direct Gov website is a useful source of additional information http://www.gov.uk PENALTIES SAFETY CAMERA WARNINGS It is now illegal to use safety camera warning devices when travelling in France even if this is in-built within your Sat-Nav. The advice is to disable safety camera alerts before driving in France. Fines may be heavy if you are caught. FAILURE TO COMPLY In the event of prosecution and conviction for failure to comply with the legal requirements, the courts in all EEC countries have wide powers to impose stringent penalties, and the arresting officers have extensive powers to impose "on the spot fines". ON THE SPOT FINES The moment these are demanded, they have to be paid in cash, in the local currency, to the arresting officer. Credit cards or travellers cheques are not accepted. Radar detectors are illegal in France whether in use or not. If you are caught with such equipment in your vehicle, you are liable to a fine, confiscation of the device and the vehicle. For motoring abroad, the Direct Gov website is a useful source of additional information www.gov.uk MOBILE PHONE USE Use of a mobile phone whilst on the road in France, without a hands-free kit, is illegal; even if you have pulled over and switched off the engine. The only exception is if you’re vehicle has broken down or you are in a designated parking space. All compulsory items are available from the onboard shop (subject to availability). Original Article Source: Brittany Ferries https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/driving/france
  12. So who's going on a Road Trip this year?
  13. Here's a copy of our blog for the trip ☺️ So me & Ronan Quinn started our trip yesterday (19/09/21) and visited Diddly Squat farm,, Torquay, Plymouth on the way down to.our over night stop in Penzance. 3 intermittent faults on the way down with the old a6. Knocking from the engine, and airbag warning light both intermittent and a leaking washer bottle. Who said doing it in a car was easy! Miles covered: 367.7. Then started today (20/09/21) from Lands End 10am, going onto Lizard point, St Michael's Mount, Turo, Newquay then initially taking the coast road to Southampton but bailed on this as it would have got us into Southampton far too late. Luckily no new major faults on the car as yet, even the boot catch and central locking was being intermittent! The latter was only repaired a month ago! 🤦‍♂️ We finally arrived at 8:50pm. Miles covered 336.6. I appreciate we're going round the houses but we visited places we wanted to see as we've never been this far south before. I also appreciate I'm not portraying the car in a good light but at 19 years old with 337k miles on it with no engine rebuilds or gearbox rebuilds I think it's doing well. Bearing in mind it's had no expense spared! So carrying on with our trip: 21/09/21 We made our way from Southampton to Portsmouth where we did the naval.dockyard tour. Definitely worth the money to see HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the harbour tour and see the Mary Rose exhibit. But we have struggled to get stamps in Southampton or Portsmouth to go towards the certificate. Has anyone else struggled to get stamps? Then after spending a few hours there made our way back to Leicester which is our stomping ground. If anyone is staying in Leicester whilst doing LEJOG and having any R&R then I'd recommend visiting the National Space Centre or Great Central Railway as they are two of the best attractions. Total miles covered: 217.9 22/09/21 So today we headed from Leicester up north and visited York. As history steeped in history abd we took in the sites of the shambles, city walls, York minster & a visit to the Jorvik museum. All of which are worth seeing if you're heading up this way on your LEJOG trip. Nothing report to report other than someone decided to scuff the car bumper in the carpark! We then made our way North stopping off at the angle of the north, before carrying on to our rest stop for the evening in Newcastle which include d driving over the Tyne bridge. We intend to explore Newcastle tommorow as it bares some historical significance to our family. Total miles covered: 191. 24/09/21 - Lands end to John o groats continued... So today we started of exploring The Royal Research Ship Discovery in Dundee which is worth a visit especially if you have an interest in world exploration. Then we headed along the a9 towards Inverness. We then made a stop in Inverness for a late lunch at the Filling station for some great burgers. Then headed towards our overnight stop in Wick. Compared to last year whilst on the nc500, this year I've at least been able to explore Wick. It does have an interesting fishing history. Tomorrow we'll finish our LEJOG journey and head to John O Groats. 25/09/21 So we did it! My brother and I got to John O Groats thus completing the trip! Lands end to John o groats officially ticked off the bucket list! 2,224.1 miles covered from home to home!
  14. I was very fortunate to do the NC500 last year. The Scottish Highlands are beautiful and I'd strongly recommend this road trip. We ended up doing 2,253 fault free miles. Here's a few pics and the route. Will be uploading more pics in the next few days.
  15. 322 miles in one day. Steve travelled to Las Vegas to take a 2018 Ford Mustang convertible on a short road trip through two glorious states. Las Vegas – a city synonymous for gambling, partying and generally a play ground for the rich and famous. However, what if you want a change from the hustle and bustle of the city and see more of what the silver state has to offer? The answer is to hire a car and I have devised a perfect road trip which allows you enjoy some of the amazing scenery, ghost towns, mining towns and route 66 which all helped make the states of Nevada and Arizona both famous and rich. Below is a picture of the planned route. Tips for driving in Nevada & Arizona · You can turn right onto a road even if your traffic light sequence is on red if it is safe to do so. · We would recommend obeying the speed limits as he had been warned we would see lots of Police cars. We only saw four marked Police vehicles but there were probably plenty of unmarked cars we didn’t see! · Plan your route as phone signal can be limited in certain remote locations. · Fuel stations can be limited when you’re out in the desert and as such we would recommend not letting the fuel tank fall below the ¼ tank mark. · Always where your seatbelt whilst driving · Never pass a school bus with the stop sign out. · Never use your mobile phone whilst driving except through a hands free device. · Children 6 years or younger are required to have a child restraint system. · Do not drink and drive. Speed limits 15mph - School Zones 25mph - residential areas 45mph - Areas going into towns 65mph - Urban freeways, rural highways 70mph - Rural interstate freeways Our recommendations · Don’t stop at fort Mohave unless you require a break · Do visit the Hoover Dam · Consider visiting Chloride ghost town (off route 93) · Take plenty of pictures · Have fun! Starting location Most of the car rental companies are situated near to the McCarran Airport, which are a short taxi ride from most of the hotels situated near to the strip and cost approximately $20 for a ride there or back. To get the best deals on hire cars my advice is to book as early as possible and pay in full at the time of booking. Besides getting a cheaper price this also allows you to splash out on a nicer vehicle is desired. For example a similar Ford Mustang to the one I have on test would cost you £111 from Alamo if booked months in advance, whereas on the day it would have cost you more than double the price. The rental charge is for a full 24 hours from the time of booking and we’d recommend collecting your car at around 7am. This sounds early, but believe me the trip is worth it. Rental car location address: McCarran Airport Rental Car Return, 7231 Gilespie St, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA Red Rock Canyon The first point of interest on our road trip is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area and features a 12 mile drive around beautiful scenery. Leaving the rental car lot its approximately a 30 minute drive to Red Rock Canyon along Route 215 & 159. Arriving at red Rock there is a toll booth where you pay the $15 vehicle fee to drive around the site. You will not be disappointed in spending the $15 as the views are breath taking and the following pictures do not do the area justice. Red Rock address: Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA Nelson ghost town After leaving red rock Canyon you have to back track yourself along route 215 and subsequently join the freeway, which becomes route 95 that takes you directly out of Las Vegas and into the wonderful Nevada desert. You need to keep an eye out though for the left turn for route 165 which takes you directly to Nelson. However there are two parts of Nelson, the first part that will come into view is the more modern buildings. Don’t stop here, instead carry on around the corner and you’ll be met by the rustic mining town. Once you’ve parked the car, head over to the visitor centre to check in and be given relevant safety information but to be fair your main danger is rattle snakes. The owners of the ghost town are lovely and they kindly ask if you’re going to take lots of pictures to pay a measly $10. The visitor centre does have cold drinks for sale in the freezer, but be warned you might get a surprise, as the carcases of the rattle snake caught in that year are kept in there! Nelson is lovingly preserved and you cannot be impressed by the town’s charm. From Red Rock Canyon, Nelson is an hour’s drive and approximately 60miles . Nelson address: Nelson, NV 89046, USA Colorado River As you leave Nelson turn right out of the carpark to head through the Eldorado Canyon and drive the 5 miles approx to the majestic Colorado River. You’ll find the road is a dead end but offers great views of the surrounding area. Oatman Arizona Leaving the Colorado River you head back along the 165 and re-join the 95 to head towards Arizona. On our trip we stopped at the town Fort Mohave which was 1 hour 35 minutes from Nelson but other than getting a bite to eat we didn’t find anything else of note at the town. Therefore we’d recommend driving straight through the town to another famous ghost town – Oatman. To get to Oatman you have to come off route 95 and take route 163 through the Mesquite creek to reach the town. On the way you’ll go through, yet more stunning scenery in the Mojave Desert. As you get nearer to Oatman you’ll discover that you have come onto the world famous Route 66 which not only passes through Oatman but will take you to our next destination as well. Oatman is another well preserved ghost town with plenty of shops, bar and hotel. There’s also a small mine you can enter as well as a jail and museum which were both closed on our visit. It’s worth noting that if you intend to visit the town on a weekend, they often do wild west style shoot outs on the main road. Another curiosity for the town are the semi wild Burros that roam the streets. These donkey like creatures were once domesticated in the twos boom years but as they escaped from their owners throughout the decades the breed became more wild. But it has to be said they love to be fed and fussed over! Kingman Arizona Leaving Oatman, you continue along the historic Route 66 for just under an hour to arrive at the town of Kingman. However before I discuss Kingman I want to talk about the fantastic drive to the town via the world’s most famous highway. The drive between Oatman and Kingman is breath-taking but can alos be dangerous if you chose to drive irresponsibly. The stretch of 66 we were on had shear drops, uneven surfaces at the edge of the highway and tight turns. It is truly an amazing experience but as already mentioned it would not suffer fools. On arriving at Kingman there is a fantastic traditional diner where food and drink is served with enthusiasm. The staff were friendly and genuinely interested in talking to us both about our trip but also about the UK. Next to the diner was a second-hand car lot which sold muscle cars and hotrods which stood out. I definitely wanted one or two! Unfortunately because we had arrived at Kingman at 9pm not a lot of places were open and couldn’t get a full flavour of what the town had to offer. After we were finished at the diner we picked up route 93 and headed back towards Las Vegas with a plan to visit the Hoover Dam before it closed at 9pm. unfortunately we arrived 15 minutes late and thus couldn’t visit the Dam. After this setback we decided to return the car to the rental company and which concluded our road trip. The Motorists Guide View: Thanks for reading our Nevada & Arizona road trip, we hope we have inspired you to complete a US road trip of your own and we can assure you that you won't be disappointed!
  16. This French Road Trip took us down the eastern side of France, down to the mid-region across it to the western side and up to the north, effectively in a horseshoe shaped route. We set off in a 9 year old Alfa Romeo GT Diesel coupe which was a superb choice for this trip as it is incredibly economical, powerful and comfortable. It also had superb air conditioning which was definitely needed on this trip in August, one of the hottest times of the year to travel through this region. Day 1: Dover - Calais - Reims - Dijon No trip through Northern France for a petrolhead would be complete without visiting the now defunct but restored Reims race circuit. If you are not into motorsport then maybe indulge in the Champagne as Reims is from where all Champagne originates. Upon arriving in Dijon and feeling quite exhausted from breaking the back of the journey in one hit, we found out hotel for the night. Dijon has undergone some considerable revitalisation in the city centre and is now an up and coming city worth visiting for its many architectural wonders along with many fine restaurants, markets and shops. Day 2: Dijon - Annecy Setting off from Dijon, we headed down to Annecy and you can see the landscape changing quite dramatically the more miles you drive. Day 3: Annecy - Chambery Once you arrive in Annecy, you are struck by how beautiful this town actually is. Annecy is set within a network of canals with buildings arranged on the bank and also within the canals. Lac d'Annecy, one of the largest lakes in France, sits among snow-capped mountains and is known as the cleanest lake in Europe. Day 4: Chambery - Brantome . . After an overnight stay in Chambrey, we set off for Brantome in Dordogne region. The landscape changes once more and comes out of the twisty snow capped mountain roads to more lush countryside.
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