This one’s been a long time coming! 🙂

A bit of background…

When we first started travelling (many years before we even started blogging on here), travel for me was all about explore new destinations in different countries and as lovely as it was (and still is) to do so, one thing that can be said for travel is that it does make you appreciate things at home a lot more. Especially when you call somewhere as beautiful as the UK home.

Seeing the Cathedrals in France, the architecture in Italy and soaking up the history in Spain only serves to make you appreciate this even more when you’reback at home (the UK does have some pretty great sights!). You start to see St Paul’s in a different light (and pretty much every sight in London), the Royal Mile in Edinburgh isn’t just this place you walk past on your way home from work, Bristol starts to reveal itself as an artistic goldmine and you even find stunning islands right here at home that rival the Caribbean!

London at Sunrise

What is it then?

With this in mind, Lloyd and I planned to try as much as possible to just get a car and do a road trip across different parts of the UK and we’ve just not gotten round to doing this… until now!!! We’ve teamed up with IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group – you know, the team behind the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn…etc) to fully experience their #WhyOverpay ethos (N.B.: I’ll give you the lowdown on this once we experience it fully as it promises to save you quite a bit of cash) and over the next few days, Lloyd and I are going to be going on our very first English road trip!

A Tinggly Experience In London, The Shard, Azzuro Restaurant (15)

What’s the plan?

We’re going to be driving around Southern England with no real plans whatsoever. We’re gonna be making things up as we go along and our main aim is to try to see, explore and truly appreciate the English countryside.

So far, all we have sorted out are the stops we’re going to be making along the way (more on those below) and one day, we could be exploring Stonehenge or the stunning Cotswolds villages and the other day just getting holed up in a country pub doing nothing but sipping on tea and catching up on reading in front of the fireplace – that’s the beauty of this – the freedom that comes with having no plans and we’re sooooooooo looking forward to it!

Gothic Bristol, Vintage Cameras, Dinosaurs And Trolls! (50)

What stops will we be making?

So far, we’ll be setting off from London and looking to stop over in Bath…

The Great English Road Trip! (1)

The Great English Road Trip! (2)

…carrying on via the Cotswolds

These Photos Are Guaranteed To Make You Want To Visit The Cotswolds in England! (11)

These Photos Are Guaranteed To Make You Want To Visit The Cotswolds in England! (1)

These Photos Are Guaranteed To Make You Want To Visit The Cotswolds in England! (3)

…to Oxford (and wider Oxfordshire)

The Great English Road Trip! (3)

The Great English Road Trip! (5)

The Great English Road Trip! (10)

…then onto Cambridge

The Great English Road Trip! (6)

The Great English Road Trip! (7)

The Great English Road Trip! (8)

…before finishing off in London!

The Great English Road Trip! (4)

The Great English Road Trip! (9)

Fancy coming along?

We’d love it if you could join in, even if that might just be online! 😉

We’ll be posting everything we get up to on Snapchat (@ HandLuggageOnly), with photos Instagram (@ HandLuggageOnly), nattering away on Twitter (@HLOBlog) and loooots of photos and videos on Facebook (also @ HandLuggageOnly)!

More importantly, if you have any recommendations on things not to miss out on, restaurants, bars or anything else you think we’d miss out on please do let us know! Your recommendations have come in pretty handy in the past so please do send them our way!

Equally, we’re gonna be scouting for the very best things to see, do and eat in this area so that we can return the favour in the future (…and yes, that may just be my excuse to ‘taste’ as much cake as I can over the next few days).

We’re so excited about this! Can’t wait to head on this road trip with you!

Images via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

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  • MissLilly

    I love all of the places! This is a gorgeous country indeed. Recently was in Bibury (Cotswolds) and its such a gorgeous place! Going back to Cambridge in July and Bristol next week. If you stop and Bristol and need restaurants let me know )

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Bibury! Ahhhh gorgeous! We’re so excited to be seeing more in England too – it’s been far too long since we went on an epic English road trip!

      Thanks so much re the recommendations for Bristol! We’ll definitely let you know if we do!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Love this idea!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Angie! We’re really excited about the trip too! We’re already buzzing for tomorrow! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • This is literally the best thing ever and definitely something I need to check off my bucket list. I’m so envious but excited to see what your journey will be like! Have loads of fun and take care xx

    hannie from missing wanderer.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Hannie! We’re literally so excited! We’re already trying to plan some of our stops for tomorrow – we can’t wait until morning! Haha!

      Thanks so much! Big hugs,

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • it’ll be a great trip! I’ve done all the places on the list apart from Cotswolds. what about coast to coast road trip?from Kent to Cornwall for example?:))

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Kent to Cornwall! What a great idea! We so need to go punting in Cambridge too! We’re desperate to do that! 🙂


  • This is so exciting, there’s nothing better than exploring your own country. You should try and head over to Greenwich too, and perhaps Kings Lynn. I have a feeling this is going to make me miss London so much, but I’ll be back soon. Enjoy! x

    insta: katewilson96

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh, we’ve never been to Kings Lynn! We should definitely try it! It’s so great to explore our own country too! We are just itching to get out and see more tomorrow! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • All the pictures you posted are so so so so beautiful! I love the one with the sheep and the fog behind! Anyway, it must be an AMAZING trip and I would love sosososo much to follow your footsteps


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Aria – we’re so excited to get out and explore even more tomorrow! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I love exploring England and Southern England is a favourite of mine. I visited Castle Combe in the Cotswolds last year and it was definitely one of my travel highlights.. such gorgeous country side. My main tip, which I’m sure you’ll do anyway, is getting off the main road – exploring country lanes/roads is the best way of seeing anywhere

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re so right about the roads, Sarah! It’s a great idea, rather than being stuck on the motorway conveyor belt! We’re already planning our route to stop at some little places for tomorrow! Hopefully we’ll be able to include Castle Combe – we’ve wanted to visit it for ages!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • If you come to Oxford you have to experience more than the university. Food is pretty good at Turn Street Kitchen on Turn Street in town and a stroll along the river up to The Isis for a drink is a must. Cowley is full of great bars and The Magdalen Arms on Iffley Road does amazing food. And if the weather is good embrace the stereotypes and go punting! There is a spot at the top of south Park where you get an amazing view of the city. Enjoy the trip!! If you want more recommendations for Oxford just ask!

    Inma x

    • Oh! Another two things! The terrace at the top of the Ashmolean Museum is fab for evening drinks as is The Varsity Club and G&Ds is great for an ice cream stop.

      • HandLuggageOnly

        O-M-Gosh! Thank you so much Inma for the amazing recommendations! They are so helpful and we’re definitely going to try to visit Turn Street Kitchen the terrace at Ashmolean Museum if the weather stays pleasant! Fingers crossed!!! 🙂

        Thanks again for the awesome tips! big hugs,

        Lloyd & Yaya xx

        • My auto correct was playing against me last night, ha ha – it is Turl Street Kitchen. And this is the last thing, I promise, but as well as the ashmolean there are two cool museums – Modern Art Oxford and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The building is awesome and you have to walk past a giant dinosaur to get there! x

          • HandLuggageOnly

            We’ll be checking them out for sure! Thanks so much for all the tips Inma!


  • I can’t wait! I’ve already been to many places in the UK and I can’t wait to see more through you!
    I’ll be in Wales next month and I’m sooo looking forward to it!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! You’re going to LOVE Wales! Okay, there is literally so much you need to see – what are your plans? If you have any questions, pop us a message – we will try to help as much as we can.

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

      • Well, I hope to decide today if I’m doing a South to North road trip or if I’m just focusing on the North. Decisions… 😀

  • Aaaaaah your English road trip sounds like a DREAM! I’ve only ever travelled to a few counties but never all in one trip, I’d love to have a whole month to devote to just driving around the country. If you guys need a map-reader (well, I’ll use Waze on my iPhone and repeat the directions to you in my own monotone), hollaaaa! x

    Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ha! O-M-Gosh… how much fun would that be! If you’re good at stopping Yaya eating all MY biscuits whilst I drive, then you’re in! 🙂 Haha! 😉

      Lloyd xx

  • Emma

    I don’t know when you’re going to get to Cambridge but their Uni rowing races are happening this Saturday. They may be preppy as anything but are a good day out (weather permitting).

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yaaaaaaas! So hoping the weather stays nice! This would be EPIC!

      Thanks Emma! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • So glad I found this post because next May, I’m planning on doing a Great English Road Trip of my own! I live in Toronto but I try to visit the UK once every couple of years and so far, I’ve yet to drive a car over there. So yeah, next time I arrive, I’m renting a car and driving through England <3

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! You’ll love it Vanessa – we will get our full posts live over the coming weeks too! Can’t wait to share them with you 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Oh great! Can’t wait to read your full posts – I’m gonna have to take plenty of notes before my trip haha! x

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Definitely ask us too, we’re happy to help if we can 🙂

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

          • I certainly will! Thank you both very much – I appreciate it!

            The only thing I’m wondering right now is which rental car company is best/most reliable.

            • HandLuggageOnly

              We used Avis for our most recent trip.. but the biggest ones seem to be Hertz, Avis and Sixt – we’ve had good experiences with all of these 🙂

              • Nice, thanks! I’ll definitely check those three out before any others. You’ve been a great help x

  • rebecca beesley

    We did a uk road trip a couple of years ago and it was fab. Tricky with 3 young kids in tow but so much fun…We did bournemouth, fowey and st ives in cornwall, cardiff, newport and portmerion in wales, liverpool, leeds, somewhere nr bristol and bray. In Newport we stayed in a doctor who themed lighthouse with a tardis on the roof! Leaving Wales we stopped at Bounce Below (underground caves with trampolines). We blogged about it in 2014 (posts went up in sept, oct, nov that year). It was so great. For london I would highly recommend the RIB london voyages – seeing london by speedboat has been addictive for us and we keep going back! Haven’t been there myself but the Dans le noir restaurant sounds amazing too with it being pitch black and having blind waiters to guide you. If you get to Wales then the Doctor Who experience in Cardiff is great as is the National Museum in Wales. x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow, that sounds like an epic road-trip Rebecca! St. Ives is stunning and I’m so happy you went to Portmerion.. I used to visit every summer as a youngster – it’s a beautiful little village isn’t it!

      Dans Le Noir is also a restaurant we soooooo badly want to visit! It’s always been our our ‘list’ of must visit! You really had such a varied and epic time, seriously… I want to go on your trip. We’d love to read your blog post too Rebecca?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • How fun! So funny that you added a header about tagging along. As soon as I read road trip through the UK I was thinking I’m in/got any more room in the car?! This sounds like so much fun! As much as I loved visiting London a couple years ago, I really want to explore more of the UK too!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! That would have been so cool!

      There’s so many places outside London that are just breathtaking! You’ll love it Rachel.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx