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Not touristic places for UK road trip


my husband and I are going to travel across UK by car and we are looking for places that are not usual touristic spots. We are going to travel from London to Isle of Skye
If someone knows some amazing scenic places to see, please let me know. it's hard to pick just a few spots but we won't be able to cover too many.
Maybe some small but cultural villages or something like that
Thank you in advance. :)
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Where to begin.....

What sort of places are you looking for - small towns and villages, stately homes, churches, castles (lived in or ruins) museums, scenery?

How many days are you planning to take getting between London and Skye and what sort of mileage are you planning on each day?
Loads of options. I'm tempted to suggest using B&Bs as a way to avoid a schedule and grab somewhere if you like the look of the town, village or area, before moving on the following morning

Route would be a good place to start e.g. M40/M6 and up up the west coast, or M1/A1 up to Edinburgh and then up and across.

Are there any modestly touristy places that might appeal e.g. the aircraft museum at Duxford, or heading over the Stratford upon Avon to soak up a little Shakespeare? Or is the focus genuinely small and untouristy - in which case I applaud your attitude. I reckon a mix might be sensible though, just to keep things fresh.

Places like Stamford or Oundle might appeal on the A1 route (the latter a charming large village). On the M6 route, how about finding time to venture a short distance to walk along a canal towpath, or visiting England's smallest city - Lichfield.

You should find the options open up much more the further north you go


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Having thought about your question, and having read Ian's answer...

I tend to prefer the A1 route up the east coast but that maybe because I am more used to it.

Some ideas to get you to Edinburgh.
Coming out of London - Hatfield House where Elizabeth I grew up and not on the usual tourist map

I like Ian’s suggestion of Stamford, which is a lovely unspoilt town. It used to be an important staging post but in the 1840s, the town refused to have anything to do with the new fangled railway and since then has rather been bypassed by time.

Moving north, Haddon Hall in Derbyshire is another undiscovered gem

A bit off the A1 but never the less worth visiting is Beverley, the county town of East Yorkshire. It is a thriving market town with a lot of small independent shops and a stunning Minster. This is possibly the best Gothic building in Europe (and unlike nearby York Minster) you may have the building to yourselves.

Durham is a bit more ‘main stream’ but again is worth visiting for its glorious Norman Cathedral and castle (now part of Durham University, but running tours) built high above the River Wear.

Hadrian's Wall certainly fits the description for amazing scenery, particularly if you have time to walk along any of it.

In Northumberland, there is the small town of Alnwick with its castle which is the Home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and award winning gardens, Close by is Warkworth with its ruined castle.

One you cross the border there are the ruined castles of Dirleton and Tantallon on the coast. Alternatively head more inland for the great border abbeys of Jedburgh, Melrose and Dryburgh. If you take this route, think about adding in a visit to Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland.

If you want something completely different there is Cairnpapple Hill, to the west of Edinburgh, with a history dating back over 4000 years.

How are you intending to get to Skye - the bridge from Kyle of Lochash, the ferry from Mallaig or the tiny Glenelg Ferry? This decision will decide route and suggestions for off the beaten track.

I've deliberately kept descriptions brief but could wax lyrical about all of the places mentioned...


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We enjoyed our visit to Northumberland a couple of years ago and found it to be beautiful, wide-open country with few (if any) giant groups of tourists. We stayed in Warkworth at Virginia Cottage from a company called Coquet Cottages. We loved the location right by the river, and we were close to Alnwick, where we visited the wonderful Barter Books (home of the revived Keep Calm posters--see this video about their finding the posters in a box of stuff). We didn't choose to go to Alnwick Castle as we knew that it would have lots of visitors given its connection to Harry Potter.

Nearby are great coastal walks to Amble, to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, and to Bamburgh Castle. You can take a boat out to Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands as well (we had planned to do that, but for some reason it didn't happen...I can't remember why!).

We also visited Cragside and its gardens (a National Trust property)--an amazing house with a wonderful history.

We found Northumberland to be a great place away from tour buses and crowds--it felt more like locals and British travelers predominated. And, all of the above from other posters! :)
Don't want to sound too negative, but if you're looking for places that haven't been over-touristed there are plenty of places that would welcome a shift of interest away from Skye.


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