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Cross The British Coast On This South England Road Trip

Difficulty

1,152 km

Distance

12

Recom. Days

Culture

Trip type

Jenn Zajac

Ice coffee-addicted, pun-loving, Oxford comma-embracing writer. Currently based in beautiful Bali after too many winters in Boston and London. Specializes in crafting content for hotels and travel.

Cornwall landscape South England road trip itinerary

South England Road Trip Itinerary

With sprawling moors, staggering cliffs, and beautiful beaches, the south of England is really the ultimate South England road trip from London. With nearly two weeks to explore, this road trip itinerary spans over 1,000 kilometres from Land’s End in the west to the White Cliffs of Dover in the east.

Along the way, you’ll unearth fossils on the Jurassic Coast, wander the mysterious landscape of Dartmoor National Park, and discover hidden stories behind Southampton port’s most famous maritime disaster. Crisscrossing England’s stunning southern coastline in a campervan rental is an epic London road trip you won’t soon forget.

Cornwall landscape South England road trip itinerary
Pick-up in
London Depot
1

Journey back in time to the Jurassic Coast

With 150 km of stunning beaches and rugged cliffs, England’s Jurassic Coast is deserving of its own itinerary on this South England road trip.

For a little taste, use the seaside town of Weymouth as your base in order to explore some of the top sights in just three days. Arriving in Weymouth around midday, spend the afternoon sunning on Chesil Beach then take in a local Punch & Judy show at Weymouth Harbour. Some of the Jurassic Coast’s most famous sites can be seen in one full day.

Jurassic Coast landscape South England road trip itinerary

Head first to Lulworth Cove, an unusually round, sheltered bay with multiple walking trails leading to scenic viewpoints like the iconic Durdle Door. Explore the coastline by foot, then drive inland to see more of the peninsula, including Corfe Castle, a war-ravaged site dating back to the 11th century.

Day three of your South England road trip is best spent on a leisurely drive west along the A35, with a planned detour for fossil hunting at the Lyme Regis beachfront.

Visiting

Jurassic Coast

3

Recom. Days

Main route

170 km

from London

1h56min

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Lulworth Cove

Distinctive, round bay with path to Durdle Door

Corfe Castle

Centuries-old castle ruins with spectacular views.

Lyme Regis

Top beach for Jurassic Coast fossil hunters.

Eat at

Fish 'n' Fritz

€€

The best fish ‘n’ chips shop in Weymouth

Crab House Café

€€€

Upscale seafood resto with fresh crab

Billy Winters

€€

Local favourite, views over Chesil Beach

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parking

Monmouth Beach Car Park

€€

For your pit stop at Lyme Regis

Stay at

Rosewall Camping

€€

Scenic sea view camping near Weymouth

2

Discover Cornwall, home to legends new and old

What do King Arthur, the television series Poldark, and singing pirates have in common? Each has left an enduring mark on the southwestern county of Cornwall, your next stop on this England road trip itinerary.

Wild moorland stretches toward towering cliffs and sandy beaches which culminate at Land’s End, mainland Britain’s most south-westerly point. Visit nearby Penzance, home of the so-named operatic pirates, and make your way to the tidal island of St. Michael’s Mount.

inside a wall looking Cornwall on a Jurassic Coast road trip

Along Cornwall’s rugged northern coastline, venture to Fistral Beach for excellent surfing and sunbathing, followed by a bite to eat in Newquay. Easily spend a full day touring various Poldark filming locations like the charming port village of Charlestown and imagine a dashing rogue sweeping you away on horseback over Bodmin Moor. (Sigh.)

If knights and kings are more your thing, get a dose of Arthurian legend in North Cornwall, where Tintagel Castle is believed to be at the centre of it all and if you are looking for something a bit more magical visit the quirky Museum of Witchcraft & Magic, which reputedly has the world’s largest collection of items relating to witchcraft, and certainly one of the more unusual things to do in Cornwall.

Visiting

Cornwall

4

Recom. Days

Main route

239 km

from Dorset

2h49

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

St. Michael’s Mount

Reach the island’s castle by foot in low tide

Fistral Beach

Sandy beach with great surfing

Bodmin Moor

Be swept away into a scene from Poldark

Tintagel Castle

Walk in the footsteps of King Arthur

Eat at

Ben's Cornish Kitchen

€€

Casual spot near St. Michael’s Mount

Gilmore's

€€

Popular Mexican resto in Newquay

Ye Olde Malthouse Inn

€€€

Cosy pub with locally-brewed beer

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parking

Bellamins Tor Car Park

Pull over for a stroll in Bodmin Moor

Stay at

Blue Hills Touring Park

€€

Beautiful, scenic campsite with showers

The Headland Caravan & Camping Park

€€

Stay overnight near Tintagel Castle

3

Unravel the mysteries of Dartmoor’s wild moorland

Driving west into the English county of Devon, the next stop on your South England road trip is Dartmoor National Park. This vast, craggy moorland is one of the last remaining wildernesses in the country.

Wild ponies roam freely and hundreds of trails twist their way through valleys, villages and even the odd Neolithic tomb. This haunting landscape even served as the setting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

A white horse hidding behind yellow flowers in a South England Road Trip

Plan for a day or two of leisurely wandering, exploring the unusual tors (granite rock formations) and enjoying lazy pub lunches in any of Dartmoor’s many charming inns. 

Before heading off, give yourself a few hours to tour Castle Drogo. Completed in 1930, it is the last castle to be built in England, now owned and operated by the National Trust.

Visiting

Dartmoor

2

Recom. Days

Main route

112 km

from Cornwall

1h33min

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Dartmoor National Park

Scenic trails, waterfalls, ponies, ruins, and more

Castle Drogo

Explore the last castle to be built in England

Eat at

Two Bridges

€€€

Award-winning hotel resto on the moors

The Who'd Have Thought It Inn

€€

Charming pub with fresh, seasonal food

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parking

National Park Visitor Centre Princetown

€€

Good base to start exploring

Stay at

Stover Caravan and Motorhome Club Site

Simple site that’s easy on the wallet

4

Sail into Southampton for a bit of maritime history

No road trip along the southern coast of England is complete without a stop in Southampton, one of the country’s busiest port cities. It might also ring a bell as the departure port of RMS Titanic; the ill-fated passenger ship sailed from here on 10 April 1912, with four in five crew members on board hailing from Southampton.

A medieval ruin in Southampton in a Southampton South England Road Trip Itinerary

Learn more about the ship as well as Southampton’s long maritime history at the local SeaCity Museum and visit the moving Titanic Engineer Officers Memorial to pay respects. Without your sea legs, Southampton still entertains with live shows at the Mayflower Theatre and Premier League matches at St.

Mary’s Stadium. In the city centre you’ll find the Bargate, a Grade I listed medieval gatehouse that once served as the main entrance to Southampton. The surrounding cobblestoned blocks contain many more medieval ruins, like the old town walls and historic guard towers.

Visiting

Southampton

2

Recom. Days

Main route

227 km

from Dartmoor

3h10min

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

SeaCity Museum

Local maritime history with interactive exhibits

Bargate

Area of medieval ruins, old city walls, and towers

Eat at

Halladays Tea Rooms

€€

Cosy spot popular for breakfast & brunch

Sulas Greek Taverna

Hidden local gem of delicious Greek food

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parking

Civic Centre Forecourt Car Park

€€

Simple lot close to city centre

Stay at

Sunnydale Farm Campsite

€€€

Secure, modern site just minutes to town

5

Stop in Canterbury on your way to Dover

Plan to depart Southampton early in order to enjoy a full day trip to Canterbury. Founded in 597 A.D., Canterbury Cathedral still serves as the Church of England’s HQ to this day.

Stick around for a bit to explore this pretty medieval city’s gardens, ghost tours, or art galleries, before travelling onwards through Kent to Dover, your final South England road trip destination.

The White Cliffs of Dover is a must-visit on your South England Road Trip

This strategically important coastline is perhaps best known for its staggering, chalk-white cliffs. The White Cliffs of Dover create a symbolic defence against would-be invaders from across the Channel. This makes Dover a fitting location for graffiti artist Banksy’s bold statement on Brexit, a mural depicting a star’s removal from the EU flag. 

Nowadays, the cliffs are easily explored on foot along a well-worn coastal trail with absolutely stunning views. Save some energy for your final day, best spent taking in the secret wartime tunnels at Dover Castle before starting the short drive back to London.

Visiting

Dover

3

Recom. Days

Main route

241 km

from Southampton

2h34min

drive

You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.

Visit

Canterbury

Pretty medieval city with a famous cathedral

White Cliffs of Dover

Chalk-white stretch of world-famous coastline

Banksy’s EU Mural

The iconic artist's bold statement on Brexit

Dover Castle

Significant castle stronghold turned museum

Eat at

The Goods Shed

€€

Food hall & farmers market in Canterbury

Cullins Yard

€€€

Fresh seafood in restored Dover shipyard

The Allotment

€€

Creative dishes in a relaxed setting

Indie Campers has a fleet of 1200 camper vans and RV available for rental as well as an integrated marketplace for private and professional rental.

Parking

Queningate Car Park

€€

Park right in the centre of Canterbury

Stay at

The Chequers Caravan Park

Simple, comfortable site in Dover

Drop-off in
London Depot

160 km

from Dover

1h49min

drive