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Questions about driving to/from York

United States
Level Contributor
233 posts
53 reviews
Questions about driving to/from York


We are planning a trip next spring, and we are thinking about starting from Bath and either taking the train or driving up to York and then on into Scotland. We have visited some of Scotland before, so we are thinking about heading up to Inverness and then traveling back south along the western coast.

Train tickets from Bath to York and York to Inverness in particular are pretty pricey. Since we plan to rent a car in Scotland anyway, we are thinking about possibly driving the entire way instead of going by train.

I was wondering if someone could tell me how difficult the Bath to York and York to Inverness drive would be? Since we would just be starting the trip, we would like to "ease" into the driving until we get the hang of driving on the left side again.

I would also appreciate any advice on which method you would recommend for these two parts of our trip - car or train? This would be for both driving between destinations and for having a car in Bath and York. We have visited a number of towns on past trips where a car is just not practical for parking and getting around.

Thank you very much for your help!

Level Contributor
4,001 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: Questions about driving to/from York

Hi WhereAreWe.

Both trips can be done very easily by car. You may find this link of some use.



London, United...
Level Contributor
33,613 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Questions about driving to/from York


Bath and York are both old towns and not car-friendly. But you will find plenty of places to park on the outskirts, with shuttle buses into the centre ("Park and Ride").

The drives shouldn't be difficult - mainly motorway or A-road. As for Scotland, if you look at a map, you'll see it's actually quite difficult to follow the coast. North of Inverness, no problem; but south is largely long east-west lochs which indent the coast and aren't very efficient for road transport.

If you look at the road from Inverness to Skye (A87 ) and then the road from Mallaig to Fort William (A831) you might notice, there is no road in between - just wilderness - except the main trunk route down the Great Glen to Fort William.

However, the roads I've mentioned are amongst the most scenic in Scotland, and the ferry from Skye to Mallaig will complete the route.

Skye is worth a few days. And south of Fort William is Glen Coe, Rannoch Moor and Loch Lomondside - well worth touring through.

See these sites for more details -



Level Contributor
11,394 posts
3. Re: Questions about driving to/from York

Whilst not disagreeing with the advice so far given, where did you get your rail fares from and for what date?

If it was from britrail, or was for more than 12 weeks ahead, then you are not going to see the cheapest fares. Britrail don't sell them anyway, and UK train companies don't release the cheap fares until 12 weeks before travel - often less.

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
15,526 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Questions about driving to/from York

Fares from York - Inverness are showing from £16.50, there may be even cheaper ones out there. Less 10% discount for booking online with eastcoast.co.uk.

Bath UK
Destination Expert
for Bath
Level Contributor
2,809 posts
69 reviews
5. Re: Questions about driving to/from York

it can be a very scenic drive from Bath to York if you are prepared to get off the motorways and add a few sites into the journey. As you will just be getting used to you (round the wrong way) hire car, then I would advise breaking the journey and overnighting en route if you find left hand driving a bit stressful/have never done it.

Bath is very hilly and perhaps not the best place to re-acquaint yourself with a manual gear shift (perhaps remember to get an auto if you hire)

Your other option is to get a train from Bristol Temple Meads to York (I've just checked fares for 16 Jan and I'm getting "advance" singles coming up at £19.50 each for a 4 1/2 hour journey on www.fgw.co.uk) - even on the 8am train.

If I were time poor, I would be inclined to just jump on the train for the Bath/York leg and use the time saved to see some of the North York moors/Northumberland on the way up to Scotland. If you did want to see the Cotswolds or Stonehenge, there are a couple of companies that do day/1/2 day tours out of Bath in smalll buses that get rave reviews on here.

6. Re: Questions about driving to/from York

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