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What's the most dependable online route planner?

TX
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What's the most dependable online route planner?

I like to be prepared, and am as yet uncertain whether or not the car we'll rent in Bury St. Edmunds will have sat nav. If it does not, I want to be sure that I have printouts of routes to take to/from the towns and villages that we want to visit. We won't be traveling with a smartphone or computer, so printouts are a must -- "20th century" though it may be. I'm wondering if those of you who utilize such online route planners in the UK can tell me which site(s) you find to be most dependable. We often use Mapquest or Yahoo Maps here in the states to get routes, but have found that they are sometimes just not quite right.

Any suggestions?

Edited: 12:35 pm, January 17, 2013
Southport, United...
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1. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

I use the AA routeplanner

www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

TX
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2. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

Very user-friendly website, Marmot12. Thank you!

London, England
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3. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

ViaMichelin.

We use it Europe wide- you can tweak it by recommended route, scenic, using or avoiding tolls.... And we also love their paper maps

And as a sample test- a young relative who tried a UK motoring association's routeplanner for what should have been a simple trip from Portsmouth to our SE London home got hopelessly lost in South London and drove round Brixton for hours. Via Michelin takes you the only sensible route, and the one we always use- via the M25- looks daft but saves hours!

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London
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4. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

I second Via michelin.

Another thing you might want to do--streetview the route on google maps. I am very much a landmark person, so I like to know what to look for in the way of landmarks, etc.

TX
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5. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

Thanks very much - I'll definitely check out ViaMichelin as well. And yes, I have already been "driving" through all of the places we want to visit on Street View, noting the main routes and car parks. I love being able to see a place before we actually get there!

Edited: 1:37 pm, January 17, 2013
Ranfurly, New...
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6. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

As an older solo female traveler I fly to UK most years and always use the AA site. its great and very clear. Go for it.

NE Victoria...
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7. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

>>We won't be traveling with a smartphone or computer, so printouts are a must -- "20th century" though it may be.<<

Apologies if I'm missing something here, although alexmac touched on it... I understand the pre-travel preparation and needing specific printouts of maps for the first day or so, but as the week goes on perhaps you could just buy an old-fashioned paper map such as an Ordnance Survey map for the part of Suffolk that you want to explore? I'm sure you'd get one in Lavenham.

Gives you a little more leeway than sticking to the pre-determined routes that you've printed out. Can't get more 20th Century than a lovely foldable paper map!

Cotswolds
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8. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

I'd second the map idea - though it does depend on having a travelling companion who can read the thing rather than saying 'you should have turned left at the last junction'...........

Edited: 4:37 am, January 21, 2013
UK
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9. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

You can buy a sat nav for £50 and up, they are even on sale in my local supermarket. So buy one when you arrive.

Manchester, United...
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10. Re: What's the most dependable online route planner?

I'd agree with the paper map backup - a GB road atlas can be found in many shops or online for a few £ - helpful if the road you were planning on has been closed for some reason.

The one route planner I'd avoid if you're in rural areas is that from Google Maps. I used it for a route a while back - it may well have been the shortest but it featured some narrow single track roads with passing places that were little used judging by the grass growing in the middle - in daylight it was "interesting". Since then I've used at least two of the online planners (AA, RAC, Via Michelin & Google) and compared with a paper map to make sure that I'm happy with the type of roads they suggest.

The other comment I'd make is that most time estimates from the route planners are at the optimistic end of the achievable - that seems more so once you're off motorways or the main trunk routes, even without travelling at peak times or encountering roadworks.