Driving 'home' for Christmas?

(15 Posts)
MyPatronusIsABadger Fri 14-Oct-16 20:17:13

DH and I have been invited to visit family on the other side of the country where we're both originally from. Due to various (sad) events in the family (plus us happily buying our first home) we've been unable to head 'home' for about 5 years.
I am desperately trying to get the Friday (and hopefully more) off before Christmas so we can have a leisurely drive over 2 days, but if I need to go on Christmas Eve or even the (Mad) Friday before how bad are the roads? I'm talking m6 as well as general dual carriageways in Scotland. Literally going from one side of the country to the other..... Doesn't sound great! Any advice? Have you been out and about on these days?

FireflyGirl Fri 14-Oct-16 21:01:16

I haven't driven the length of the country, but I had a lengthy commute to work and I did find it quieter on Christmas Eve. However, it could be different with it being a Saturday this year. So, nothing useful to add, but I've bumped your thread <helpful> grin

Palomb Fri 14-Oct-16 21:03:47

Where do you live and where are you going?

NerrSnerr Fri 14-Oct-16 21:08:38

How far is the journey? What part of the country are you travelling from/ to? We do the m42 and m1 a lot over Christmas and find it's quite busy but the traffic is usually moving, even if it's slowly!

INeedNewShoes Fri 14-Oct-16 21:14:40

All major South-North routes will be busy but not as horrendous as you might imagine. Set off as early in the day as possible or, even better, drive overnight.

When I go to the North from Chilterns area now I often opt to set off at around 9pm as the roads are quietening down.

Obviously this relies on you staying alert for driving but plenty of sleep the night before and good coffee en route are enough to keep me awake.

BikeRunSki Fri 14-Oct-16 21:20:39

Instead send to do Newcastle u Tyne to London or Somerset often and Christmas Eve was always really quiet.

BigcatLittlecat Fri 14-Oct-16 21:25:17

The last three Christmas eves we have driven nearly 500 miles to see dh parents. Due to work we haven't been able to leave til 3pm. Roads have always been very quiet. Drive straight through occasionally stopping for a 5 min toilet stop and to swap seats for driving! This is south west to Scotland so miles and miles of m6. Whenever else we drive up there we just drive through the night.
Might sound odd but it's one of my favourite parts of Christmas. We take nice nibbles and chat!

electricflyzapper Fri 14-Oct-16 21:29:16

For years we have driven home on Christmas Eve. In my experience, the roads are not that bad. I think people often travel earlier, or maybe they travel on Christmas day itself.

For sad reasons, we have not been able to travel home for 3 years now, and probably never will again. But if for some reason we could travel again, I wouldn't hesitate to be on the roads on Christmas Eve.

MrsBungle Fri 14-Oct-16 21:32:17

I drive from the midlands to Scotland every year at Christmas and it is usually totally fine.

DinosaursRoar Fri 14-Oct-16 22:23:40

this year it's going to be spread out, people going after work on Friday, takign their time on Saturday (christmas eve). So it's not going to be as bad as previous years.

Obviously if the weather looks bad, it's going to be hell! If you can't get the Friday off, I'd going early on Chrsitmas eve rather than Friday night, or could you drive half way on Friday night and do the rest on Christmas eve morning early.

MyPatronusIsABadger Sat 15-Oct-16 09:09:22

Thank you so much for all of your replies, I went to bed super early to didn't mean to be rude and leave you!
I think I may just be worrying too much.....well hopefully!
We're South, south East going to border of highlands/Aberdeenshire but have seen a travel lodge at a service station for £29 at knutsford which I think would be good for just having a good nap/short night and washing at.
I might be overly worry as due to some ill health in the family we had to go back and forth over summer, but obviously that was holiday maker traffic, so I think I've just got that stuck in my head.
(Well, at least I can makea good playlist of songs or even listen to a Christmassy talking book)
Thank you again!

MyPatronusIsABadger Sat 15-Oct-16 09:10:11

Oops, I meant we live in the south west, not South east!

IsItGinTimeYet Sat 15-Oct-16 09:48:42

DH and I frequently drove Exeter to Edinburgh. Knutsford is too soon to stop. We often left at 5pm the day we broke for Christmas and arrived by the early hours. I would say drive as far as you can that
night, possibly book in between Lancashire and Gretna then complete the next morning with time for a festive pit stop on the way.

MyPatronusIsABadger Sat 15-Oct-16 09:59:06

Thank you isittineforgin, good advice, and if we've got nice snacks and sitting all the time I guess we're not really stopping for dinner time. Also if we've battled through going home traffic at Bristol we might as well keep going when the roads are quieter.

IsItGinTimeYet Sat 15-Oct-16 12:00:31

Definitely. Regardless of the time you hit that traffic at Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester confused, but the rest tends to be plain sailing, even at Christmas.
Enjoy your trip.

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