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United Kingdom (UK) - Getting There By Road

There are only three ways to get to the United Kingdom by road. The first is to already be in one country of the United Kingdom, such as England, and then drive to Scotland or Wales. The second option is to take the Channel tunnel between Europe and England. The other option is to drive a vehicle from Europe or Ireland to the ferry terminal, take the sea route, and then drive to a final destination.

Main Road Routes from Europe

European expats can travel from any country by road and arrive in London before continuing on to Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland. Four of the potential countries one might want to travel from are listed below along with the different motorways one would take to arrive in London.

Paris, France to London, England

To get to the United Kingdom by road from Paris there are three options. Leaving France, one can take A16 or one of two routes down the A1. All routes from Paris to London take less than six hours to drive. The most direct route takes travellers from Paris through Beauvais, Amiens, and then along Boulonge-sur-Mer.

Berlin, Germany to London, England

Travel to London from Berlin also presents three options: two routes along the A2, or the A38. One A2 route takes 10.5 hours, and the other 11 hours. If taking the A38 route, the journey will last approximately 11.3 hours.

Rome, Italy to London, England

Travel from Rome to London by road takes roughly 17.5 hours. There are two possible routes, but they both use A1/E35 for the main part of the drive. Travellers have to decide if they want to head south-east towards Munich or go through Turin and Zurich.

Prague, Czech Republic to London, England

Travel from Prague to London is a little over 12 hours’ drive time on any of the three routes: the A3, A38 or A6. Two of the routes go through more of Germany, while the third drops down into Paris earlier on in the journey.

Main Road Routes in the United Kingdom

Upon arrival in England from Europe, there are numerous possibilities with regard to destinations. Assuming that main cities are the predominant choice for many expats due to work, routes to the capital cities in each country of the UK are below.

London, England to Cardiff, Wales

The main route west from London is the M4. The M4 route takes around 2.4 hours, depending on traffic.

London, England to Edinburgh, Scotland

There is more than one way to drive to Edinburgh from London. Two of the methods use the M6 motorway; another route is the M1, followed by the A1 to head north into Edinburgh. The M6 or M1 will take you northwest towards Glasgow, and will take approximately 6.5 hours.

London, England to Belfast, Northern Ireland

When heading out of London to go to Northern Ireland it is typically best to drive to Liverpool, take a ferry to Dublin and then continue north, however there is also a route through Scotland. Travel time is between 9 and 10 hours depending on the route taken. There are three possible motorway routes: M40, M1, and M6; the M40 is the quickest, and the M6 will take the longest time.

Further Road Details for the UK

In the United Kingdom, major highways are considered motorways and designated with M and then a number. These will be the fastest routes throughout the country. In Europe most of the routes are lettered with As to designate the main routes from any country. Alternate destinations may be required if there are road works, but most GPS systems will alert to any current delays.

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