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Driving to Cornwall
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# 1
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Moomin21
Old 14-07-2010, 2:07 PM
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Default Driving to Cornwall

Hi Everyone

Not been to Cornwall before and we're driving down to St Ives in August.

I know the traffic is bad at this time of year, but we were planning on leaving Birmingham about 6 in the morning (Saturday) and google said it was about 4 hours 45 mins, so would be at St Ives by 11. Would we miss a lot of the traffic or would it still be bad and we should leave earlier?

Thanks!!
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# 2
cajef
Old 14-07-2010, 3:11 PM
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Driving into Cornwall in August on a Saturday is never good no matter what time you set off, you may be lucky but I would plan for longer than 5 hours.

Although the A30 is mainly dual it will be very busy and congested, expect delays and queues on the single carriageway bits, also there are major roadworks at the Chiverton Cross roundabout on the A30 at the start of the Redruth/Camborne bypass for the next 40 weeks and roadworks with lane closures and contraflow on the same bypass for 5 miles with 50mph speed limit and average speed cameras lasting till October, so expect long delays at peak times.
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Last edited by cajef; 14-07-2010 at 8:25 PM.
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# 3
HOWMUCH
Old 14-07-2010, 3:23 PM
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Could you travel over night and sleep in the car for afew hours, check in to hotel and them finish sleeping on the beach and top up the tan?
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# 4
dangers
Old 14-07-2010, 4:37 PM
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If you're going to hit any traffic, it will be around Junctions 18 to 20 of the M5. Especially around the Avonmouth Bridge and then up past Gordano Services to where the motorway splits. You can never tell what it is going to be like, especially on a Saturday in the height of summer.
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# 5
sunshinetours
Old 14-07-2010, 5:26 PM
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We go there fairly regularly and in August it will be busy. Going into St Ives itself will be very busy. IF you are staying outside consider walking in if close enough or getting the St ive's branch line or bus as parking is also very difficult in August

And yes I would leave earlier than 6 personally. We normally leave about 4 in the morning and arrive for a late breakfast
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# 6
POPPYOSCAR
Old 14-07-2010, 5:58 PM
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Yes I agree with everyone else.

Last time we went to cornwall it took us 5 hours from Bristol(we stayed in a hotel there and left straight after breakfast at around 9.30am.)
Never again!! The next time we go we will leave very early probably about 4.00am.
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# 7
dangers
Old 14-07-2010, 6:14 PM
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Re-read your post to see you are going in August. In that case, expect traffic from anywhere south of the Almondsbury Interchange (where the M4 meets the M5).
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# 8
billy the kid
Old 14-07-2010, 6:19 PM
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In the summer months we always set off from Surrey at about 4 in the morning. We normally arrive in the Wadebridge area just in time for breakfast.
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# 9
PasturesNew
Old 14-07-2010, 6:20 PM
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Go the night before and stay at a nearby hotel. There's a Premier Lodge on the A30 at Fraddon. http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/N...ay-a30/fraddon - although that's likely to be about 70-80 for the night. There are other cheaper places around. That was just the first one that came to mind.

If you leave at 6, you'll hit the traffic at Bristol ... and queue all the way to St Ives.
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# 10
PasturesNew
Old 14-07-2010, 6:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billy the kid View Post
In the summer months we always set off from Surrey at about 4 in the morning. We normally arrive in the Wadebridge area just in time for breakfast.
And St Ives is a LOT further down than Wadebridge (45 miles)
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# 11
MoneySavingMakesMyDay
Old 14-07-2010, 9:27 PM
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The only advice I can offer is to leave as early as you can. Traffic will be bad on any Saturday in August and if it's hot tempers can flair and kids get bored. I would get to your accommodation as early as possible and even if you can't get in due to cleaning, etc you can probably leave the car and wonder round St. Ives or go to the beach, pub, anywhere, it's got to be better than sitting in a traffic jam. Hope you have a great holiday, it's a lovely part of the country.
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# 12
pollywiggle
Old 14-07-2010, 10:44 PM
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We usually travel down on the Friday night & stay overnight in Plymouth, leaving Oxfordshire at around 6 when there is very little traffic. The following morning we have a reasonably leisurely start to the day & then stop off somewhere like the Eden Project or Maritime Museum before arriving at our accommodation in Mousehole in the late afternoon. This avoids the worst of the queues but will admit it's not a particularly money saving way of doing things. It does save your sanity though if you have kids in the car!!
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minerva_windsong
Old 15-07-2010, 10:01 AM
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Driving into Cornwall on a Saturday in August will be mental, especially if you're going to St Ives. How we used to do it when I was little was set off in the middle of the night (so around 3 AM from North Yorkshire), stop in Exeter for breakfast and then carry on from there, normally arriving around lunchtime.

Definitely agree with the suggestions of trying to find somewhere to stay over the night before if you can, or finding something else to do in the daytime and getting there slightly later.
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# 14
chocolatepennyfarthing
Old 15-07-2010, 1:04 PM
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We are going to Devon, thinking of staying over night before and then going somewhere on the Saturday. Does anyone know any hotels ad places to visit that we could go with a dog.
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# 15
Moomin21
Old 15-07-2010, 1:46 PM
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Thanks everyone, might reconsider our plans!!

Staying in Birmingham was actually our overnight stop over as we're actually driving all the way from Leeds!!! My boyfriend wanted to drive through the night all the way in one go but I don't think he'd cope very well with it to be honest!!
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# 16
sunshinetours
Old 15-07-2010, 1:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moomin21 View Post
Thanks everyone, might reconsider our plans!!

Staying in Birmingham was actually our overnight stop over as we're actually driving all the way from Leeds!!! My boyfriend wanted to drive through the night all the way in one go but I don't think he'd cope very well with it to be honest!!
Depends how confident a driver he is. Its just under 400 miles. We do it from our part of Essex to St Ives with the kids in one drive (with a couple of stops of course) but that is 360 miles. No problem if you leave early enough

If you have to stop off overnight I would stop near Bristol area so you split the time in half roughly
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# 17
daveyjp
Old 15-07-2010, 2:00 PM
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You don't say what time you are leaving - please don't say Friday evening immediately after work. Leeds to Birmingham is only 120 or so miles. You can do it in a couple of hours, although leave Leeds at 5pm on a Friday and it can take over 4.

If you are leaving on a Friday evening I suggest you don't leave Leeds until at least 6.30pm to let the rush hour go - you'll still be well south of Bristol by 11pm - and you won't have spent two hours doing the first 60 miles Hotel stop, leave early next morning and you'll be in St Ives in time for a lunchtime pasty.
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# 18
cyclonebri1
Old 15-07-2010, 2:02 PM
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Excuse me for not having read all the replies.

20 years ago for matbe 5 years we drove down to Cornwall from Derbyshire a couple of times per year. Kids were young and they were the most memorable hols of our lives.

325 miles from near Chesterfield to near Newquay, Treyanon Bay for anyone that knows.

Always set off at around 11 pm, 1 or maybe 2 stops for the obvious.

Kipping in the car waiting for the site to open at 6am, actual driving time with a caravan was around 6 hrs.

It can go wrong however, we once spent 3 hours on the A30 near Oakhampton at 1 in the morning after 2 bikes drove off the road and killed themselselves
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# 19
qetu1357
Old 15-07-2010, 3:06 PM
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Drive to one hour's or so away. Stay overnight. Then set off at 8 am. No problem
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# 20
cyclonebri1
Old 15-07-2010, 6:13 PM
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Actually what we ended up doing was to drive all the way down the M5 to Plymouth. This avoided the nagging problems of the A30 although they may not exist now?

Good breakfast and fresh air and then the pleasant cross country drive to north Cornwall in the afternoon. Must go back there.
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Will the grammar and spelling police respect I do make grammatical errors, and have carp spelling, no need to remind me.

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