We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Which Halifax hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
139 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

My husband and I had booked on a 10 day coach tour of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We had booked other trips and accomodation all to fit in together. Now our tour company has cancelled the Nova Scotia tour due to not enough numbers. We would still love to see the area so are wondering if it would be 'doable' for us to do it on our own, hiring a car and following the same tour route. The biggest problem we can see is that we drive on the left hand side of the road here so would have to adjust to driving on the right hand side whilst there. We would like to start from Halifax, then north to Lilscomb Mills, Ingonish Beach, then Sydney, Charlottetown, Digby then back to Halifax. My husband is a very competent driver here, so would this be fairly easy driving, given that he's not used to the 'wrong' side of the road? Would appreciate advice about this. Thanks.

Chester Basin...
Level Contributor
3,781 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

ants:

Yes--I do understand your dilema...lol..

I wonder how I would comprehend things on the "wrong side".

I am looking at the itinerary and am wondering about Digby?

Is this for purposes of seeing the Fundy Coast..??..

I might advise otherwise if this isn't the case.

You have not included the Lighthouse Route on the south shore..Chester--Peggys Cove--Mahone Bay--Lunenburg..

Was this on your original itinerary??

London, UK
Level Contributor
547 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Hi

We drove around Canada on 'the wrong side' last summer and had no problems at all. The roads are generally good, signs are easy to follow and the drivers are extremely courteous.

I agree with Blondie091 regarding Mahone Bay, Lunenburg and Peggy's Cove. Possibly the coach route included driving from Digby via Yarmouth to Halifax. In which case you would be passing through Blondie091's list. But you can't just pass through as each deserves little time to be savoured. The other suggestion is that the coach tour operator planned to do day trips from Halifax to these places. This is feasible since you are within range from Halifax and your tour would have been there twice (at beginning and end of trip).

I'm assuming, as Blondie091 does that the Digby stop is to allow a tour along the Annapolis Valley.

I think your itinerary is achievable. I suggest you have a look at three recent forums here which will help you plan:

Travelling Nova Scotia this summer

Feedback on this itinerary, please

Day trips

Whilst, of course, you have to plan everything yourself there is one major benefit of going alone. You can select places to stay in suitable locations which might accommodate large touring coach parties. During the last two weeks there have been posts on this forum giving information about great places to stay. You can now choose B&Bs too. Canada's B&Bs are by far the best in the world. See www.bbcanada.com or ask on the forum for feedback from other travellers.

canada
Level Contributor
7,404 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Whenever I have to change from L to R driving or vice versa, I treat it as driving on a oneway lane to start with. The tension will wear off in an hour. Losing the jet-lag helps, and renting an automatic saves me scratching the door panel. Driving in the Maritimes is easy going, without the high tension (speed) of the notorious #401, nor the sedative effect of the Prairie section of Transcanada Highway (like crossing the western Australian desert).

Enjoy your hoildays free from group tour pressure.

New York, New York
Level Contributor
5 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

My girlfriends and I vacationed in Ireland last summer and were nervous about the "wrong side" issue too! On some of the narrow roads we did have a few nervous moments when facing oncoming tour buses, but we caught on and felt comfortable after an hour or two. Just drive slowly - people can always go around you! Enjoy your trip and happy driving! It is a fun adventure.

Moose Jaw, Canada
Level Contributor
302 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Nova Scotia and PEI are very drivable. If you are used to driving in general I think you will be fine. Most of the roads are excellent, with some of the hiways divided.

Taking a quick look at you listing of places to visit you will be doing alot of driving. I would suggest skipping Digby unless there was a specific reason to go there.

If you are starting in Halifax you can easily day trip to Peggy;s Cove, Mahone Bay, and Lunenburg, which in my opinion are all must sees. You can do all these in one day and be back in Halifax by early evening.

From there you can head north and do the Cabot trail, taking a couple of days to see it properly. Then on to Charlottown. Take the bridge back and you can see the bay of Fundy area, and then back to Halifax for your flight home.

Have a great trip.

Level Contributor
139 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Thanks everyone for your excellent input. We think we'll do a day trip to Peggy's Cove etc. from Halifax and forget Digby and take off north to PEI and the Cabot Trail etc. We'll be coming around 22 August so do you think we would need to pre book accomodation? We thought we'd book in Halifax but then really would like to drive and then stay overnight where we like somewhere rather than be too structured but don't want to get caught out if it would be hard to find accomodation at that time of the year. Help with this would be appreciated.

London, UK
Level Contributor
547 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Generally, I think you can travel round and find somewhere to stay. Our tour of NS and PE was at end of July last year. We did book our B&Bs in advance but whilst in Nova Scotia called ahead to reschedule about half a dozen stops, i.e. moved the date but still stayed in same B&Bs. It was okay. On a couple of occasions visitors would turn up at the B&B and request a room for the night and were able to get one.

On the other hand when staying in some places we were aware that the B&B was full. I would guess the end of August would be quite busy. When booking in advance we didn't always get our first choice in a particular town.

There are plenty of places to stay, some in slightly out of the way locations. You may find that really popular tourist stops have less availability. Also some of the more natural attractions tend by their very nature to be less inhabited, eg around the Cabot Trail.

I'd think you could tour without prebooking. On any particular day I'd make sure I was not looking for a place to stay too late in the evening just incase it is busy and you need to drive on to the next town. Remember that distance in Canada can be deceptively large. But in saying that, within NS there are little towns scattered across the province and particularly along the popular tourist routes. So hopefully you wouldn't need to travel on too far. If you find a B&B is full then ask whether there the owner knows of another place locally they can recommend (since some places may be down a side road etc).

Remember to carry a good listing of B&Bs with you as it is easy to use mobile phone to call around.

Good luck, and enjoy.

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
235 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Hello Ants, am finally getting to you. I think you would be sorry to miss some of the prettiest parts of Nova Scotia, such as the Annapolis Valley, even if you do it as a day trip from Halifax. At Hall's Harbour you will find the highest tides in the world and a lobster restaurant to die for. Then across the top of the "mountain" to the Look Off where on a clear day you can see 5 counties in N.S. and across to New Brunswick. When heading to Cape Breton, taking the route down through the eastern shore, be sure to visit Sherbrooke Village, and I can recommend the Sherbrooke Village Inn as a lovely motel, restaurant has home cooked meals and all. You will make out just fine driving on the right hand side of the road. If I could drive in England on the left, your most capable husband will manage just great. Have a great trip and keep the questions coming. Are you still doing the California, New York, Toronto, etc. trip? So sorry about the N.S. bus tour being cancelled.

Level Contributor
139 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Hi Pidge, thanks for your reply. We've managed to get ourselves on a shorter tour which goes to PEI and Cape Breton. We're also going to do a day tour of Peggy's Cove and L.....(can't remember the name). It's not as good as what we originally were going on but we'll see everything except Digby (some say Digby isn't really worth seeing) although I would have liked to see the Bay of Fundy. We'll have 3 extra days in Halifax and there seems to be plenty of things to see there. My hubby is happier about not having to drive as he feels he can see a lot more when not having to concentrate on driving. Also we usually meet some very nice people while on a tour. We're still doing the rest of our trip - 4 days in Chicago, 10 days around French Canada (on a bus tour), the 10 days in Nova Scotia, 5 days in New York. We're only going to California to catch the plane back to OZ (we have been all around the west coast and Canadian Rockies on a previous trip). We've loved all the places we've seen in the US and Canada to date and I'm sure we'll love what we're seeing this time. I shall post a trip report when we come back in early September.

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
235 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Hard to drive on 'wrong' side of road????

Hi back, Ants, if you have three extra days in Halifax you can easily do a day trip to Digby, or at least to the Kentville area and see the Bay of Fundy here. Kentville is just over an hour from Halifax and the scenery at Hall's Harbour and the Look Off are some of the best around. Will you stay right in Halifax?