The Water of Nevis in the Scottish moors.

Travel in Britain

Places to Stay

Plan ahead and have reservations. Budget places fill up fast! This is especially the case in London, which is an extremely popular destination, and in Scotland, where there aren't nearly as many places to stay and many places outside Edinburgh and Glasgow are only open for part of the year.


Bath Bath Backpackers — 13 Pierrepont Street Bath, Avon, BA1 1LA, +44-(0)1225-446-787
Cambridge No budget accommodation beyond a fairly institutional youth hostel:
Cambridge YH — 97 Tenison Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 2DN, +44-(0)870-770-5742
Glastonbury Glastonbury Backpackers — 4 Market Place, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 9HD, +44-(0)1458-833-353
Hadrian's Wall Along the best part of the wall, midway between Newcastle upon Tyne and Carlisle. Take a train from Newcastle to Bardon Mill, and then walk a few kilometers. Presumably you're going there to hike along Hadrian's Wall, so you should already have an OS map...
Twice Brewed Inn — Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7AN, +44-(0)1434-344-534, GPS: NY 7510 6688.
London The Strand Continental is an old hotel well past its prime now operating partly as a hostel, or at least with shared rooms. — 143 Strand, London WC2 R1JA, +44-(0)20-7836-4880.
Safestay is a new place, I haven't stayed there.
Oxford Oxford Backpackers — 9a Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EW, +44-(0)1865-721-761, GPS SP 5080 0630
Salisbury Salisbury YH — Milford Hill, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2QW, +44-(0)1722-327-572
York Safestay — Micklegate House, 88-90 Micklegate, York, +44-(0)1904-627-720


Edinburgh Castle Rock Backpackers — My favorite place in Edinburgh — 15 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW, +44-(0)131-225-9666
If they're full, I've also stayed at Edinburgh Backpackers — 65 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BU, +44-(0)131-220-2200
Not as nice, but OK in a pinch: Brodies — 93 High St, +44-(0)131-55-622-23
Fort William Fort William Backpackers — Alma Road, Fort William, PH33 6BH, +44-(0)1397-700-711
Isle of Skye Skye Backpackers — Kyleakin, Isle of Skye, IV41 8PH, +44-(0)1599-534-510
Oban Oban Backpackers
Stromness, Orkney Islands Brown's Hostel — 45-47 Victoria Street, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3BS, +44-(0)1856-850-661, +44-(0)1856-851-780 fax


UK telephone numbers —
+44-(0)1599-534-510 requires dialing:
From outside the UK: international-access-code 44-1599-534-510
From a different city in the UK: 0-1599-534-510
From the same city in the UK: 1599-534-510 or possibly just 534-510


Ask the man in Seat 61 for all details on UK train travel.

All Rail and Tube Maps
National Rail Railway maps
Main page
Coach National Express
International travel page
INFOSEC / military history tourism Page

Guide Books

I have generally been very happy with the Lonely Planet guide books, at least for logistical details of how to get around and where to stay. They have a pretty good overview of what the important things are to see.

However, as someone who speaks Colonial English, I find some of the Lonely Planet content a little hard to follow, what with their descriptions of places as "rather twee" and "cluttered with a lot of naff pikes" and other British slang.

Also, when I first bought a Lonely Planet book for a trip to Japan in 1992, they were definitely for the independent traveler. Now they are far more upscale. I have read that their current accommodations coverage is intentionally only about 20% budget, 20% ultra-expensive, and 60% medium to fairly expensive.