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Travelling to Cornwall dilemma

(31 Posts)
marinablue Thu 07-Jul-16 22:25:43

Ok so I'm planning a holiday to Cornwall with the LO's but I'm trying (and failing!!) to figure out the best way there. I live in Cheshire. I do drive but I am a complete nervous wreck when it comes to motorways. Sounds crazy but I went on google maps and found out it will take 7 and a half hours to drive to Newquay on A roads. Is that right?!

Thought about flying to Newquay from Manchester airport but the cost will probably be about £300 and then there's the problem of not being able to explore around where I'm staying if I have no car.

I have ruled out trains completely for various reasons. Any help/advice/personal experience is appreciated. Thanks smile

JassyRadlett Thu 07-Jul-16 22:34:04

The thing is, even taking motorways will take you over 5 hours. Is an extra 2 to avoid motorways a deal breaker?

It's a lot of driving for one day if it's just you, but it's doable with 2-3 stops. However I'd be more inclined to stop overnight somewhere halfway - cheaper than flying + car hire, and less stressful than the big drive in a single day.

JassyRadlett Thu 07-Jul-16 22:35:40

(Bath would be pretty much exactly halfway for an overnight stop I think? And a pretty place to spend an afternoon/evening before hitting the road again after breakfast.)

megletthesecond Thu 07-Jul-16 22:41:43

If you're heading to Newquay I'd stay somewhere overnight and break the journey up. I've even had an overnight in Devon en route to west Cornwall from hampshire with young kids. Devon and Cornwall roads are insane in the summer months, Bodmin can grind to a halt at times and there's only so long you can play spot the Beast for without going nuts.

sonlypuppyfat Thu 07-Jul-16 22:45:02

I travelled from Coventry and it took us 6 hours, small car! It's lovely but it's a proper drag

eckythumpenallthat Thu 07-Jul-16 22:45:30

Ive driven to st ives from Preston a couple of times with DH the dog and dd who was 18months and 2.5years when we have been.

With setting off early, splitting the drive with DH and a couple of well timed stops (always stop at Taunton Deane for a picnic dinner) it wasn't as bad as I was expecting and the 7 hours flew by. Especially when you get off the m5 at Exeter and it's just an A road I was expecting that to be the worst bit but it's quite a quick flowing easy to drive road

PuraVida Thu 07-Jul-16 22:45:40

Would it not be best to get an instructor to give you a few lessons on a motorway to give you your continence?

eckythumpenallthat Thu 07-Jul-16 22:46:48

That is the best auto correct I have seen in a long time confusedgrin

maddiesparks Thu 07-Jul-16 22:47:03

I think you have to add on at least a couple of hours to what google maps suggest on a drive into Devon or Cornwall in the summer holidays to be honest. We drive down every year from the north east and stop over in Bristol for a night on the way there and way back. A travel lodge or holiday in will probably be about £99 a night so still cheaper than flying.

maddiesparks Thu 07-Jul-16 22:48:05

grinat PuraVida!!

randomsabreuse Thu 07-Jul-16 22:51:15

We're Shrops and used to live in Devon so know the options well. The only bit where Motorway is definitely your best bet is the stretch from Bristol to the end of the M5. The other options are rubbish.

Best motorway avoiding trick for most is go down the edge of Wales. For us to Devon it's about 10 minutes slower go Hereford, Monmouth, M4, cross the Severn (Free to leave Wales!) Then M5. Can leave M5 at Tiverton but you have to be able tolerate twisty narrow roads to cut down to the A30 just short of Okehampton but for Cornwall would only consider this if it's queuing horrendously.

Trains certainly used to exist from Birmingham to Cornwall but are £££££.

Make the journey part of the fun - stop off somewhere in the Brecon Beacons, or Somerset and don't do it all in one day. Definitely would not recommend the A38 to avoid the M5 south of Bristol though - worst idea of my life!

marinablue Thu 07-Jul-16 23:05:14

Yes I was thinking about motorway lessons, I'm just a bag of nerves even thinking about motorway driving. Just wondering, when you stop at a travelodge overnight have you prebooked it or not?

Glad none of you think I'm not mental for wanting to travel such a huge distance on the slower roads, just wondered if it could be done x

TheABC Thu 07-Jul-16 23:07:39

We have family in Cornwall and make the drive regularly. Your best bet is to go in the early morning or later on in the evening to avoid the wonderful M5 congestion ( especially around bristol), with added bonus of sleeping kids. An overnight stay will also help to break up the journey. I would use the motorway as much as possible - once you are on the A roads, your average speed will drop as you will encounter tractors, caravans, horseboxes and really (torturous) slow drivers with no way of safely overtaking. Allow at least another hour on top of your travel time unless you are driving at the dead of night.

If its any consolation, motorways are statistically safer than country roads as they were built for driving long distances with clear sightlines, deliminated lanes etc. When I get nervous, I find a lorry and drive behind it at a safe distance - its then a lot easier for you to maintain an even speed and avoid the race boys in the outside lanes.

morvoren Thu 07-Jul-16 23:12:14

If you can... Try not to arrive in Cornwall on Friday or Saturday. These are the days most holiday accommodation changes occupancy and are the busiest on the A30. (Which can be a bit like a car park over Bodmin Moor...)

maddiesparks Fri 08-Jul-16 08:04:53

Yes we pre book our travel lodge as we learned our lesson a couple of years ago when we didn't and had a nightmare trying to find somewhere.

mummymeister Fri 08-Jul-16 15:51:57

always prebook your Travelodge in holiday season or you will pitch up tired and find they are full.

angelicjen Thu 14-Jul-16 16:06:42

The traffic is always so bad you'll only crawl on the motorway anyway!
Hope you figure something out, Cornwall is amazing.

Littleballerina Thu 14-Jul-16 16:16:22

Absolutely do not go to Cornwall car less. You NEED a car.

Mrscog Thu 21-Jul-16 12:02:50

How about using A roads until Worcestershire and then join the M5 around Bromsgrove? I don't mind motorway driving, but the M6 south is particulary awful, whereas the M5 at the right time of day is what I'd describe as a fairly relaxed, straightforward motorway - just avoid Bristol at rush hour.

hooliodancer Sat 23-Jul-16 17:10:23

Motorway driving really is the easiest driving- just point the car and drive once you're on really- and remember everyone is going in the same direction, si much less to think about. But I do understand your fear. Book some lessons, then just practice if you can, even just doing 3 junctions over and over again will help. I was scared when I passed my test; but just forced myself to do it until it became second nature. I now prefer it to town driving.

AnyFucker Sat 23-Jul-16 17:14:49

Did you not consider this when you booked the holiday ? confused

AnyFucker Sat 23-Jul-16 17:16:01

Oh sorry, I see you are considering it

I am not a good motorway driver either so I would not consider it in the first place

DubiousCredentials Sat 23-Jul-16 17:18:42

I don't like the motorway either but just stick in the "slow" lane and occasionally overtake if it's clear. The worst part for me is if there are huge roundabouts at the exit. I understand your worry. Can't you go to north wales instead? grin

DropZoneOne Sat 23-Jul-16 17:20:03

Set off early (by which I mean 5am) or your 7 hour journey can turn into 10. We made this mistake travelling Mid Sussex to Newquay. 2 stops, 2 road closure detours. We only just made it to the caravan park before reception shut.

The following year we set off on the Friday and broke it up with a premier Inn stay in Dorchester.

champagneplanet Sat 23-Jul-16 17:22:07

We went to Newquay in May (we're a bit further north than you). We left at 4am, roads were empty, stopped twice for toilet/tea & breakfast and it took us approx 7 hours. It wasn't too bad.

An overnight stop is something we considered and if you can do it and get a day out at the same time it round be a nice addition to your trip.

Agree with PPs you definitely need a car down there!

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