Driving from London to Glasgow with two kids - is this mad and where would you stop off?

(14 Posts)

M6 Toll definitely. We do Birmingham to Loch Lomond area every year. Our new favourite stop off on the M6 is Brockholes Nature Reserve just off the M6 at Preston, I think J32. Nice play area, walks, lovely cafe and visitor centre which are floating in a lake. I think I noticed that a hotel had just opened at the same motorway Jn last time we stopped.

Pommes Fri 09-Nov-12 07:04:40

I do it regularly and our son is 7 months, we've visited relatives in Fife (further than Glasgow) from London three times alone since he's been born. We find it easier to make the most of the 'first leg' and drive as far as possible, usually aiming for about 3hrs. We've have three brief stops and have never stopped overnight, I do all the driving. It's a challenge but not crazy. Definitely worth it as the transport links in Scotland are not like London, particularly in the villages.

Baby and petrol dictate when/where we stop, so we don't plan for breaks as such. Petrol costs us (in a very small car with a 1.3 engine) about £80.

No advice on the travel sickness, but best of luck!

I recommend paying the M6 Toll to cut out traffic.

Enjoy yourselves - Scotland is beautiful.

weegiemum Fri 09-Nov-12 05:52:39

We live in Glasgow and have driven as far as/further than London on many occasions. We used to live in the very wild north of Scotland and still did it.

Personally I'd just go for it and di it in a day (or pref, night). Tebay is good to stop, other than that we tend to stop when the moaning gets too much!

We don't have one, but my brother (who does similar trips as he lives in the sw and comes up to see parents in Scotland) has an in-car DVD player that he says is a life-saver.

Are trains really that expensive? Last year we all (5 of us) went to London on the train with a family rail card and it was about £120. Once you're in Glasgow, public transport is excellent.

sashh Fri 09-Nov-12 05:37:58

Just off Junction 13 south of Stafford there is a.......... not sure what you call it but it has a holiday inn express, a pub, a Chinese restaraunt and I'm not sure what else. It's a child friendly pub.

If you come off the motorway at Junction 13, follow the sign for Stafford and literally as you come off the roundabout it is on your left. It's closer to the motorway than some service areas.

If you are travelling during the day the M6 toll is worth the money.

My parents used to take us from Yorkshire to Cornwall in the 70s (in the 80s they would drive to France, Spain and Itally) and sometimes they did the PJ thing. During the day sometimes we would have an A4 envelope with a list of things on the outside.

If we saw something on the list we could open one of the individually wrapped presents from the envelope.

The list was all things you would expect to see, a blue car, an Eddie Stobart Truck, a canal, a ......... you get the idea.

If dd1 can't read then you can give her something to look out for.

Just check the weather forecast before you set off and have a flask and warm clothes in case you get stuck.

Tricccky Thu 08-Nov-12 00:07:38

Done it a few times. With 2 childen. Depends on when you prefer to travel. I know some people who will travel all night. I won't.

Good stop offs without accommodation:
Oxford services are good
Stafford's goodish.
Tebay is essential
Gretna Green for a bit of nostalgia (no services, but go into the town and the 'retail opportunities'!).
Pay for the toll road, it will make you feel better.
Make sure you know where the Little Chefs are as well - with children I prefer to stop here for food than the big Welcome Break / BK etc options. There's not so many on the motorways now - better on the A1 which is another option - go up the east and then cross over when you get to Scotland.

If you plan to sleep at any point, then I would suggest Manchester or thereabouts. There are some lovely places near the motorway in the Lakes, e.g. around Ullswater etc and you could do a bit of sightseeing but I get the feeling you want to get there asap.

thenightsky Fri 02-Nov-12 21:26:42

Oh... should also say... I've done a similar long trip (Lincoln to Barcelona) with similar age kids. Set off early in the morning so you get to your stop-over hotel dead on check in time (ie: 3pm) for afternoon naps.

thenightsky Fri 02-Nov-12 21:24:38

If using the M6 I can highly recommend the Holiday Inn at Lancaster. Very family friendly with a nice pool etc. Restaurant is expensive, but there is a kid friendly Brewers Fayre thing with play area across the road. I think I paid about £40 for a huge room. It is right on the Lancaster North Junction.

UpYaKilt Fri 02-Nov-12 21:21:08

Can you arrive in Glasgow in the middle of the night? Are you both drivers? If so then it might be worth just doing the whole journey at once, leaving at kids bedtime or just before with them in pyjamas and just keeping going, with quick stops to swap drivers so the other one can snooze.
We do Glasgow to Surrey very regularly and do it like this, as we've found that stopping overnight and driving during the day makes the journey very long and more likely to hit traffic.
This does depend on being able to arrive at friends or relatives at 1 or 2 am, but most of the time we find we can carry kids in and put them straight into beds.
Recommend getting a good audio book if you do this - nighttime radio is rubbish!

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 02-Nov-12 21:03:58

Its crazy but with good planning it can be done. I go with my husband regularly between coventry and edinburgh, it's about 5-6 hours drive. Our best stop is tebay, it's clean and has good facilities. I've been doing this since kid number 2 and I now have 4 kids between 6yrs and 6 months old. 2 of them are Travel sick. since you mentioned a 5 yr old who is sick, you can get 'joyrides' sick tabs. They're tiny your child should be able to swallow it, does the job. I'm not Tavel sick but since travelling this far I have been, all the winding country rounds don't help. on our last trip my husband took a different route which meant we couldn't go to tebay but it was more motorway driving rather than country roads, and it was a bit quicker. I'm sure it was the a1 our usual route is the m6. The a1 was not as busy so we arrived slightly quicker, and less nautious.

Keep a bag of spare clothes for all ya kids within easy reach, because my son was sick too and he doesn't get car sick. avoid giving them liquidy food in the car or anything with strong flavours it can make it worse. Milk before a journey a big no no unless its an infant who lives on the stuff. biscuits lots of them good for the kids, sweets, especially boiled ones or lollies, water rationing lol.

We don't usually stop @ a hotel although I used to complain about it, I've just become accustomed.

If you can afford to stay the night in a hotel or b&b then do so it will take out the stress and hardship especially with the kids. If not plan it well. I think you should leave early, my husband is not a morning person but he agrees early is best because it usually gets busy around the Wolverhampton region, you can get stuck there. We usually leave @8am and arrive by 2.30pm. I used to leave earlier but since the kids have multiplied I need to chill or I will go crazy.

My nutty husband often travels further than London to buy products for his job, he doesn't stay over I couldn't do it!

Btw keep an eye on your tank there aren't many stations my husband overlooked it but luckily we went off motorway and managed to find one. Just makes your journey longer and the kids start whining.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Fri 02-Nov-12 20:36:13

i'd break the journey in Manchester as a natural half-way point.
Glasgow to Tebay is not far at all - maybe 2hrs driving?
the big trafficky bits are around birmingham and london, so you need to get as far as you can on the first stretch IMO

Tobagostreet Fri 02-Nov-12 20:34:41

Tebay is Westmoreland Farm Sevices. I second it as a great place to stop (it's a long drive from London there though!).

CoucouCache Fri 02-Nov-12 20:32:40

Off to google Tebay!

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Nov-12 10:16:26

I'd try to do it as two legs, starting off around 6pm with the children in pyjamas, then if you and dh both drive, you could get to Tebay and stay at their hotel overnight. Then after breakfast, you could drive for an hour and a half, have lunch wherever that brings you to, let the children run round, then you wouldn't have far to go.

Its 440 miles odd each way, which for my A class would be around £120-140 in diesel total

CoucouCache Fri 02-Nov-12 10:05:11

Want to go up to see friends for New Year and flights are £300 shock and trains are not much better.
Thought we might drive as DH not back at work until 7 January, so we can do it in a leisurely way.

Has anyone else done this? We have a 5 year old DD1 who is prone to being car sick and a DD2 who will be 17 months.
Also, how much will this cost us in diesel?
And, where would you stop off? Any hotel recommendations would be welcome!

TIA smile

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