Posted on: June 18, 2024 Posted by: Niru Sherman Comments: 0
What is the best road trip in the UK?

The United Kingdom, with its diverse landscapes, charming villages, and rich history, offers an unforgettable road trip experience. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first UK adventure, these scenic routes showcase the very best of Britain’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

1. The North Coast 500: Scotland’s Answer to Route 66

Often hailed as Scotland’s Route 66, the North Coast 500 is a 516-mile loop that winds through the rugged northern Highlands. Dramatic coastal cliffs, white-sand beaches, ancient castles, and charming fishing villages await. Highlights include Dunrobin Castle, John O’Groats (the UK’s most northerly point), and the enchanting Bealach na Bà mountain pass.

  • Tip: Plan your NC500 trip in advance, as accommodation can be limited, especially during peak season.

2. The Atlantic Highway (A39): England’s Coastal Gem

Running from Barnstaple in Devon to Newquay in Cornwall, the Atlantic Highway hugs the dramatic coastline, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Expect charming seaside towns, surfing hotspots, and attractions like Tintagel Castle (associated with the legend of King Arthur) and the Eden Project’s iconic biomes.

  • Tip: Make time for detours to explore hidden coves and picturesque fishing villages along the route.

3. The Cotswolds: Quintessential English Villages

The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, captivates visitors with its rolling hills, honey-colored stone villages, and idyllic countryside. Meander through villages like Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, and Castle Combe, each with its unique charm. Don’t miss the Cotswold Way National Trail for scenic hikes.

  • Tip: Visit during the spring for blooming wildflowers and charming village festivals.

4. Snowdonia National Park: Wales’ Majestic Mountains

Snowdonia boasts soaring peaks, glacial valleys, and sparkling lakes. Drive the scenic A498 through the heart of the park, stopping at Snowdon Mountain Railway for a memorable journey to the summit of Wales’s highest mountain. Explore charming towns like Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert, and discover hidden waterfalls and hiking trails.

  • Tip: Check weather conditions before embarking on mountain hikes, as the weather can change rapidly.

Related: 5 Most Scenic Roads in the UK

5. Causeway Coastal Route: Northern Ireland’s Dramatic Coast

How was the Causeway Coastal Route formed?

Image Source

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route stretches from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry, following a dramatic coastline of rugged cliffs, golden beaches, and charming seaside towns. Must-see stops include the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site formed by volcanic activity, and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

  • Tip: Experience the warmth and hospitality of Northern Irish culture in the local pubs and restaurants.

6. The Peak District: England’s First National Park

The Peak District offers a mix of rolling hills, dramatic gritstone edges, and charming villages. Drive the Snake Pass for thrilling views, explore the charming market towns of Bakewell and Buxton, and discover hidden caverns like Poole’s Cavern. Hikers will love the Peak District’s extensive network of trails.

  • Tip: Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in one of the Peak District’s charming tea rooms.

Planning Your UK Road Trip

  • Choose Your Route: Consider your interests and the time you have available to select the best route(s) for your adventure.
  • Book Accommodation: Accommodation can fill up quickly, especially during peak season, so book in advance.
  • Prepare Your Vehicle: Ensure your vehicle is in good working order, and pack for all weather conditions.
  • Drive on the Left: Remember, the UK drives on the left-hand side of the road!

Embrace the Unexpected

While these routes offer a fantastic starting point, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path. The UK is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Allow for flexibility in your itinerary, and embrace the unexpected detours and spontaneous discoveries that make road trips truly memorable.

Featured Image Source