There are plenty of choices when it comes to a UK road trip. From stretches of roads cutting through the highlands of Scotland and the rolling hills of England to scenic coastal drives in Wales, there are perfect twists, turns, and some of the best driving roads in the UK for cars and motorbikes alike. No matter what the Great British weather is doing, here are some of the best roadtrips in the UK, just waiting for you to discover them.
Did you know that you can travel through the whole of the UK, from Land’s End, Penzance to John o’ Groats, Caithness, in just over 14 hours? But there are lots of smaller, scenic road trips to be had along the way.
In fact, there are six ultimate drives that should be top of your list when it comes to planning a roadtrip in the UK. These six routes have some of the longest roads, scenic drives, and highest roads in the UK. They are suitable for almost any vehicle, from large motorhomes to sporty 80’s coupes and everything in between.
The Atlantic Highway is the name of a picturesque, 70-mile stretch of the A39, which runs between Barnstaple in north Devon and Fraddon in Cornwall. It’s all about wild beauty and big views, and the coast is nearly always in sight.
For this UK roadtrip, expect beautiful countryside, dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, and stunning beaches. Plus, there are opportunities to stop at salt-tinged towns including Bude, discover the legend of King Arthur at Tintagel Castle, and dine on fantastic seafood in Padstow.
If you need somewhere to stay, the Atlantic Highway is a perfect way to travel between one of our cottages in Devon, such as The Beach House, and another in Cornwall, such as Chance Cottage, for a lovely twin-centre stay.COTTAGES IN DEVON
Peaks and passes are the theme of this drive through the Peak District. Springtime, during the wildflower season, is a particularly spectacular time to do this scenic UK roadtrip.
The Snake Pass is one of the best-known mountain passes in the UK. It is so-called because of the serpentine shape it forms through the Pennines. At the highest point, it’s 1679 feet above sea level and each bend in the road reveals stunning views of valleys and hills.
Head south to stretch your legs with a walk at Derwent Dam, then get back in the car and travel to Winnats Pass, which cuts through a stunning limestone gorge in the Hope Valley.PEAK DISTRICT COTTAGES
One of many beautiful Scottish roadtrips is the Trossachs. Fully of lochs and glens, this route is hallmarked by the classic Scottish scenery among mountains.
It will take you into the heart of the Trossachs. As you drive to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, head to the Three Lochs Forest Drive which is a stunning 7-mile route passing Loch Drunkie, Lochan Reòidhte, and Loch Achray.
It connects with The Duke’s Pass, originally built for the Duke of Montrose in the 19th century, which runs between Aberfoyle and Loch Katrine. Pack a picnic and stop en route to savour it along with the dreamy views and stay in one of our luxury cottages near Crianlarich. It’s a long route, so you will need to plan somewhere to rest.COTTAGES IN SCOTLAND
This route incorporates some of North Wales’ most unspoiled landscapes. Expect to see everything from countryside and mountains to lakes, hills ,and sea views.
It starts in the town of Betws-y-Coed, known as the gateway to Snowdonia National Park, then follows the A5 through the gorgeous Gwydir Forest Park towards the national park and Capel Curig. At the Llanberis Pass there are spectacular views of the rugged mountains.
Travel on to the village of Llanberis, then to the coastal town of Caernarfon with its majestic castle to stop for lunch and a walk along the beach. Return via the picturesque village of Beddgelert and the Nant Gwynant Pass with its two beautiful lakes.
This route can be as long as you make it. Try staying at one of our holiday lodges in Llanrwst to give you enough time to really enjoy all this scenic road trip has to offer.COTTAGES IN WALES
The Snow Roads Scenic Route through the Cairngorms National Park is 90 miles one way from Blairgowrie to Grantown-on-Spey, but however far you choose to venture, dramatic views are guaranteed.
As you might have guessed the terrain sees a lot of snowfall, so it’s never a bad idea to check the weather forecast before setting off. This drive is all about taking it slowly, as parts of the road climb steep hills with blind summits and there are tight bends.
Enjoy the scenery, stop for refreshments at villages including Braemar, admire castles, visit a whisky distillery, or pull over to look at the three fascinating installation artworks.
To really make the most of all that the Snow Roads have to offer, stay in the Cairngorms for the perfect base. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the area by staying in a traditional Scottish castle.COTTAGES IN SCOTLAND
This road trip is about absorbing the atmosphere of the chocolate-box villages of the Cotswolds, as much as it is about enjoying a scenic drive. Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the Little Venice of the Cotswolds, is a lovely place to start a circular tour.
Head towards Stow-on-the-Wold, a great place if you like antiques shopping, then to the hilltop village of Snowshill and Snowshill Manor. Or visit Broadway with its imposing tower and superb views.
Enjoy a bite to eat in the romantic village of Stanton, look around the Elizabethan Stanway House before visiting Upper and Lower Slaughter, then head back. The choice is yours.COTSWOLDS COTTAGES
Before you set out on the trip of a lifetime around the UK, remember to consider your insurance, breakdown cover, and any spares you may need for those longer journeys. You’ll also need to remember to plan overnight stays or book a base to stay for the duration of your explorations. Especially if you can plan a race or rally visit midway through your trip.
But to start your own UK road trip, all you need is some supplies, your car, and the open road! Jump into the driver’s seat and start exploring.
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