The best places to see on a UK EV leisure tour

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by Hertz - 08 September 2023

One of the best ways to see the UK is on the road with electric vehicles. And to get your UK holiday off to a perfect start, pick up your EV hire car from Hertz at Heathrow Airport.

You can see some of the best sights that Southern England has, from breathtaking coastlines to stunning rural areas and historic cities. And behind the wheel of an EV, you won’t need to worry about noise, pollution, or queueing at petrol stations. We’ll explain the best round routes to take from Heathrow, the top attractions at each destination, and where to charge your EV while you explore.


Once you’re at Heathrow, you’re less than an hour’s drive from central London. You can start your holiday in the UK by heading into the heart of the capital where you’ll find the major attractions, including the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben.

Westminster has 1,832 chargers. So, it’s a great place to park up and charge your EV while you explore on foot. The charging station on St Anne’s Gate is a short walk from St James Park tube station, or the birdcage walk.

From here you can wander to the historic Hyde Park, with cultural highlights including the Serpentine Gallery. If you prefer to shop, you can walk to London’s major shopping hub Oxford Street in under 20 minutes. Or for a more relaxing afternoon, why not wander along the Thames, stopping for food and drink at the numerous eateries along the iconic Southbank.


Your driving holidays started in one of the top capital cities of Europe. From here, you’re just 30 minutes drive from the peaceful seaside town of Southend-On-Sea. One of the most popular tourist spots in Essex, Southend is home to the world’s longest pleasure pier. There are several fun family attractions, including Adventure Island and Sealife Adventure that offer a full day of fun for people of all ages.

Essex is also home to holiday parks – a chance for the perfect UK staycation. Enjoy a caravan park for example at Parkdean Resorts. Or for a more relaxing afternoon, hit the beach and wander along the pier. There are ten EV charging points in Southend-on-Sea, with the most central being Alexandra Street. Leave your car here and explore this charming resort town.


If you’re on your family holidays in the UK - the historic town of Canterbury in Kent is an ideal spot. Best known for its medieval castle, beautiful cathedral, and being the titular location of Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales.

The best way to avoid the busy streets of the old town is to head a short drive away to the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable. It’s just a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Southend-on-Sea and is a must-visit destination when you’re in the southeast of England.

Whitstable has around eight EV charging points, so you can plug in your car while you explore the town. Park at Nelson Road, and you’ll easily be able to walk to the famous beach, take a walk along the beautiful Swale Estuary, and wander the sleepy streets, stopping for a famous British fish and chips along the way.


On the south coast of Kent is Dover, home to one of the UK’s most famous sights. The white cliffs of Dover are just a 45-minute drive from Whitstable and can be easily accessed on foot. Surely a must-visit on your holiday in the UK – enjoy at your leisure.

If you park your car at the Savill St James Retail and Leisure Park, you can charge up your EV while you walk over to the white cliffs. From here, you’re also close to the historic Dover Castle, which overlooks the town and is home to an incredible maze of medieval tunnel systems. Dover Castle was once one of Britain’s major defences against Europe and has a rich and impressive history that makes it one of the town’s most popular attractions.


A two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Dover, you’ll find Portsmouth. Another of England’s charming coastal towns, Portsmouth is best known for its historic harbour, where the Tudor ship the Mary Rose is still docked. In the centre, you can explore the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the wooden warship where Admiral Nelson died during the Battle of Trafalgar – the HMS Victory – and the HMS Warrior.

The town is bigger and busier than some of England’s other seaside resorts and is a cultural spot for those with an interest in maritime and naval history. Portsmouth is also home to the Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum, beaches, and plenty of beautiful parks. For easy access to all these spots, charge your EV at 115 High Street and explore the city on foot while you wait.


An hour along the south coast from Portsmouth is another seaside town, Bournemouth. Best known for its long, sandy beach, Bournemouth is a popular town with tourists from the UK and abroad. Families will enjoy the historic pier and the Oceanarium which is also close to the beach.

As a university town, Bournemouth has a buzzing atmosphere and some great spots to stop for food and drinks. The iconic rock arch at Durdle Door is also nearby, in Lulworth Cove. Using the EV charging station at Christchurch Road, you’ll be able to explore the town and beach on foot while your car charges for the next leg of your road trip.


At the south western tip of the UK is the rural county of Cornwall, known for its stunning landscapes, rugged coastlines, and quaint villages and harbour towns. It’s a three and a half hours drive from Bournemouth to the county’s capital of Truro. But you can explore the county further north for a longer drive, or further south west for a truly unique experience. Cornwall is famous for its tin mining history, and across the county, you’ll find lots of tin mines that are still open to visitors, many run by the National Trust, including Wheal Coates, Geevor, and the Poldark Mine.

However, the most popular tourist destinations in Cornwall are the iconic Minack Theatre, which is built into the cliff face overlooking the sea near Lands’ End, the Eden Project which is perfect for plant lovers, and the medieval Tintagel Castle. The good news is, each of these attractions has EV charging points so you can leave your charge to power up while you explore at your leisure.


In the west of the UK, not far from the Welsh border, you’ll find the Cotswolds. A three-to-four-hour drive from Cornwall, this rural area is known for its beautiful villages and farming landscapes and is one of the most-visited areas of England.

Popular with foreign and local tourists alike, the winding country roads and quaint towns of the Cotswolds make it a must-see spot on your British road trip. Arlington Row in Bibury is thought to be one of the most photographed streets in the country.

If you prefer to base yourself in more urban settings then the charming cities of Gloucester, Oxford, and Cheltenham are close by. Most charging points can be found in these towns as well as Cirencester and Didcot, but many villages also have one or two stations as EVs become more popular in the area.

Back to Heathrow

There we have it – we’ve made our trip and we’re back to Heathrow. Simply return your UK electric vehicle to the rental location here. One of our friendly staff members will ensure your drop-off is as smooth as possible.

With all these sights and more to discover on your UK holiday, what better way to improve your experience than with an EV hire car from Hertz? Driving an EV is guilt-free as the engine emits no pollution and is quiet so you can softly and respectfully explore some of the sleepiest villages in the UK.

Plus, the super smooth drive is ideal for longer stretches, and even short stints along motorways, highways, and windy country roads. But that’s not all there is to see of the UK. You can explore even more British leisure routes with Hertz.

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