We’re exploring the UK by car for a month. It took us ages to come to this decision, it was a toss up between doing it by rail, buying a camper van or hiring. The first two seemed too complicated and stressful so we went with the hire a car option.
Hertz did throw in some complimentary stress the day before we left London though. There store is located around the corner from the apartment so we chose them for convenience and cheap prices. But when we learnt that lastminute.com cancelled our booking the people at Hertz wouldn’t help us to rebook. We had to call up to do that, so frustrating when we had real live employees of Hertz standing in front of us not doing anything else!
Our first attempt to get out of London was a big fat fail thanks to roadworks and our GPS who was determined to go that way and kept rerouting us back to the same spot. We have since fired Emma, and have been really happy with the new, less drunk, navigator Charlotte.
Lunch break at Oxford
Not having done any research on the place we soon found out that Oxford is trying to ease congestion in the town centre so there’s no parking anywhere on the street. They do have a park and ride scheme where you park your car out of the city and take the bus in, which we would’ve used if it wasn’t just a quick stop. Eventually we found a car park and set off to explore.
Oxford is beautiful, the university buildings in particular. Lots of people on bikes and students galore obviously. I wish we had more time here but we had a quick lunch at Costa, a walk around and back into the car for our accommodation in Birmingham about an hour and half away.
Our self serviced one bedroom apartment at Staycity was just what we needed after a week in a studio. Having a hot shower was a little too complicated, even with the instructions provided, I’m sure they get many a cranky guest asking how to work the damn thing.
In the morning we headed out to see Birmingham. I spent ages at the Bull Ring shopping centre trying to find warm boots, something not easy given they’re heading to Summer. I eventually succeeded and we moved on and found some markets which was fun to experience. Lots of people shouting at no one and everyone trying to get a sale – “Come on, Come on duck eggs for 1 pound, Naan bread for 50 p, Pint of milk for 1 pound.” We bought lots of supplies for our week in the country, the naan bread in particular was delicious.
Unfortunately it was time to move on to our accommodation about a 2 hour drive north to Hollinsclough. We are in a terrace house in a town with just 11 houses. It’s very different from London but we are loving the slower pace for now.