PlaneCrazy's Excellent 2016 UK TDI Trip


Top Post Dawg
Jan 3, 2000
Province of Quebec, Canada
From July 24th to August 7th my wife and I travelled to the UK via Glasgow. Our trip took us from Glasgow to Yorkshire, then to South Wales for my wife's class reunion, then back to Scotland for 5 days on the Isle of Skye. We had initially booked a car via Europcar which I have used for the past 12 years. They had a special deal with a VW Golf guaranteed for extra charge. Since I would be driving on the opposite side of the road, shifting with the left hand, I thought this would make my life easier as I'd be in familiar surroundings. To our great disappointment the car was not available on arrival. They offered us an "upgrade" to a Citroen C4.

I refused and insisted on what I had reserved but they said the only Golf was buried 40 cars deep and would take up to 4 hours to retrieve. Angry, I checked with Avis two counters over and to my surprise they had one Golf left which they let me have for 200 GBP LESS than the Europcar rate, and with zero deductible instead of 2000 GBP deductible, and one extra driver included. So we jumped on it and told Europcar to stuff their C4.

We scored the jackpot: a 2.0 TDI with Driver Assistance Package, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights. The only thing "manual" on the car was the transmission :p

We drove it from the airport to our airbnb about 15 minutes away in the West End, where we slept off the jet lag until our departure bright and early the next day.

Our first destination was the Yorkshire Dales, specifically to case out cycling routes for a future trip, in the area where the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France was held.

We then drove down to the Gower Peninsula in South Wales for a pre-reunion get-together for my wife's class (Atlantic College class of '76), and where we did some splendid cliff walks.

Then we moved nearer to the college, staying in an old lighthouse keeper's home (another airbnb) near the Nash Point lighthouse.

After the reunion, we took on a marathon drive of nearly 1000 km to the Isle of Skye, arriving at our destination near 10 pm, with light still in the sky. It was our second visit to Skye since 2014. In this pic, we are about 5 km from our destination, a rental cottage, at the end of a single-track road on Sleat; in the distance you can see the formidable Black Cuillin Hills.

Some fantastic, other-world walks were the highlight of our time on Skye, in particular the Old Man of Storr and the cliffs above it, and the Quiraing. This shot shows Storr (that's me, PC, in the distance):


In addition we enjoyed the many other delights of Skye.

The day before our departure, we were met by some of the locals very sad to see us leave.

Finally, on the 6th we sadly drove back to Glasgow and flew home the next day (not uneventful: long delays, missed connections, and all the other pleasures of modern airline travel).

The stats: 3104 km in 14 days, average fuel consumption of 5.0 L/100 km (corrected for MFD error: I hand-calculated one tank and noted that the MFD error was the same 0.4 L/100 km as on my TSI). That's about 1.0 L/100 km more than my TSI.

Impressions of the car: it was brilliant, and even though the nominal torque is the same as on my wife's wagon, it felt much torquier and the increase in power was noticeable. Lots of fun on the many single-track and B-class roads we drove. Noise level was about the same as my wife's wagon but with more road noise. Both my wife and I were struck by how much quieter my TSI is, when we got back to Montreal.

We brought back some Talisker Dark Storm single-malt; when the 1 L bottle is empty we will have to go back. I hope to brush up on mountaineering skills so I can go up one or two of the easier Munros on the Cuillin range.