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How to Backpack in Britain 

Britain is an ideal country for backpackers. It is a small island country with lots to see and do. Traveling to a different city will open up a new part of the country with different cultures and often varying dialects. The cities are only a few hours apart if traveling by train or flying which means you can get a lot done in a short time.

Here we present two areas to help backpackers out: Where to stay and how to get around the country.

Where to Stay

Accommodation on any holiday can drain the travel budget. Backpacking is about moving and sleeping on a budget (unless you want to backpack and stay in five star hotels which is fine!). The cheapest option is to stay at a youth hostel. The best thing about youth hostels is that they are often situated in interesting places that are ideal for backpackers. A list of the five best UK hostels in The Guardian ranged from a castle to a mountain hut in the Lake District. If you are planning to youth hostel your way around the country then it is wise to buy a membership from YHA that offers discounts and could save you money


If you are looking for a bit more privacy or just your own place then a popular option is Air BnB. This is a great way to explore the major cities and have your own place to rest that is cheaper than a hotel. Traveling site A Little Adrift recommend booking ahead when looking for accommodation otherwise you could find yourself eating up three days worth of budget in one night.

Getting Around

Getting around Great Britain is very simple. The country has an extensive road, rail, and flight network. The cheapest way to travel if London is your starting point is via nationwide coach services National Express or Mega Bus. The buses go to every major city in the UK including Edinburgh and for a fraction of the price of traveling by air or rail. It isn’t the fastest way to get around, the journey to Edinburgh from London can take anywhere from 9-16 hours, but it is ideal for backpackers looking to save money.

For those looking to travel with a bit more speed they can use the rail networks or fly using budget airlines. UK rail passes that cover either the entire island or just England can be bought for anywhere up to a duration of 3 days right up to 1 month.


It may not be the traditional way to backpack, but renting out a car is a great way to see the UK at your own pace. This will allow you to choose and change where you want to stay with a lot more freedom making spontaneity an exciting part of your trip.


Photo by mattcooperphotos:) via

Flying around the UK is also very simple as budget airlines go to all major city airports. While airports are the most expensive option to travel they are the quickest way to get to the cities without losing a whole day to traveling. In fact if you are driving around the UK you can combine it with air travel easily. UK travel industry experts Parking4Less state that airports such as Gatwick have summer special parking options that are ideal if you are making a return trip. If it is a one-way journey then if you chose the right company you will be able to drop the car off at or near the airport at a car rental location.

If you are planning to backpack in Britain then we hope this will help you out and offer some useful tips. All you have to do is decide where you want to visit.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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