The UK is a small, but mighty country when it comes to holidays and breaks. Though the weather isn’t always on our side, we do have some absolutely breath-taking areas of our country. It can be quite difficult to choose one specific place to stay, for multiple days or nights. The choice is simply overwhelming. Here’s where a road trip comes in handy. It gives us a chance to see various locations, or places for however long we like, one-day trips or week long adventures. Perfect for those wanting their own schedule.
Road trip areas are abundant in the UK. The sheer diversity of landscapes we have here means that something different awaits us at every turn. From green meadows for miles on end, to rough mountainous terrain lining the roadway. Something awaits everyone on a road trip.
Read on to explore some of the UK’s best road tripping adventures…
The Coniston Loop, Lake District
One of the most famous, and most beautiful spots in all of the UK is the Lake District. An expanse of rustic hills and valleys weave through the lakes which are dotted regularly throughout. A true feast for the eyes.
No area more so than that around Lake Coniston. Follow the remote roads around the lake and visit some rarely seen parts of the district. The 42-mile long round-trip is ideal for those wanting to see many different areas in a day.
On your trip, you will stumble across Duddon Valley, a famed beauty spot. Here, two of England’s highest mountain passes offer panoramic views of the rugged landscape and kilometres wide views. Imagine the photo opportunities here!
Further along in your drive, near the village of Boot, Stanley Ghyll Force Waterfall is sure to inspire wonder. This is a 60ft high waterfall, with white waters plunging into the dramatic, deep gorge. Rhododendrons lining the steep cliff face give the location a more exotic feel, as if you’ve left the Lake District altogether.
Carrying on until you’ve reached Ravenglass, a unique experience awaits you here. Take a short few mile ride in their authentic, miniature vintage steam train. Slalom through the complex terrain at speed, while being treated to otherwise unseen views of the surrounding area. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Throughout your road trip on the Coniston Loop, the various scenic towns and hamlets you will pass all have pubs and inns to keep you refreshed. The beauty of a road trip is, you can choose whichever takes your fancy!
North Coast 500, Scotland
Of course, quick day trips are all well and good if you’re struggling for time. But what if you want a more lengthy escape into the wilderness. Well, the North Coast 500 route may be just perfect for you.
This dazzling roadway circles 516 miles of the most beautiful Scottish Highland terrain and coastline. Starting and ending at Inverness Castle, this route is expected to take between 5-7 days. Though, the longer you take on the North Coast 500, the better.
On your route, a dynamic mix of juxtaposing landscapes and settings mean you will never get bored. See the white sand beaches and toothpaste waters of the North Highland heart in Sutherland. And the next day, drive past monument-scale mountains and dramatic valleys in the surrounding area. You will never see the same things twice.
Along the way, the sheer volume of natural wonder and curiosities the North Coast 500 will hold can be overwhelming.
The Stac Pollaidh is a large ridge in Wester Ross. This mass of gritty stone juts out from the sea of emerald grass, like a natural lookout. A definite must-see on your adventure.
Smoo Cave in Sutherland should also be a location to put on your list. Here, take a journey framed by the ancient cave walls. This magical sea cave has an immense 50ft entrance, and a mesmerising cascading waterfall. A great cool-off spot on a summer adventure.
At Chanonry Point, Black Isle, try and see if you can spot the resident dolphins that call the area home! During the summer months, you can even take a boat trip out onto the Moray Firth to take a closer look at these playful creatures.
It’s not just mother nature’s creations that will inspire awe on this trip though. Culinary delights and charming eateries will also follow you all along the way.
A more unique food experience you can have on your Highland tour would be a visit to The Cheese House in Cromarty. Here, sample and buy some of your favourite dairy delicacies. It is the only Dutch cheese shop in the Highlands!
All along the road trip, chances for adventure are never far away. Whether it be diving or surfing in translucent waters. Or, mountaineering and hiking in the rugged Highland plains and inclines. You are never too far from a good time here.
Covering everything on the NC 500 is impossible. The over-500 mile route is extensively populated with things to do and see, of which only some can be detailed. But this is one of the plus-sides of a road-trip. You can always stumble upon something not on your plan, and enjoy it all the same. You never know what you’re going to get!
The Cotswolds Road Trip
Postcard villages and babbling brooks are the hallmark of a trip in the Cotswolds. The area of outstanding natural beauty is an ideal day-trip for those with a car.
The 40 mile drive is best with an entire day put aside for exploring. Starting in Bibury and ending in Winchcombe, you will drive through idyllic country fields and hopefully open blue skies.
Traditional stone buildings and winding paths all contribute to Bibury’s reputation as “the Cotswolds prettiest village”. Explore the picturesque village in an hour or two, before setting off back on your road trip. A visit to Arlington Row is a definite must here. This set of cottages is one of the most photographed places in the Cotswolds, and is a quintessential English country village.
Further on in your tour of the Cotswolds, you will enter the village of Bourton-on-the-Water. Often called the Venice of England, this gorgeous little village is cut with various canals and waterways. A model replica of the village is one of the main attractions here, being the only grade 2 listed model replica in the UK. Bourton-on-the-Water is also home to the Cotswold Motoring Museum, almost like a road trip was meant to be, right?
Continuing down your route, Stow-on-the-Wold is another wonderful spot to stop at. Investigating the church here, St Edwards, you will find the Great Yew Tree growing directly into and out of the entrance. This gives the location a mystical atmosphere, along with giving you the urge to take a photo! Also, a stop at The Porch House pub would be ideal for refreshments. It also happens to be one of the oldest pubs in England.
Finishing off in Winchcombe, if you’re a keen antique or vintage shopper, you’ve come to the right place! The Winchcombe Antique Centre is a treasure box of old items looking for a new home. They also serve food and drink to accompany your shopping. The surrounding area of this town is also covered with ancient castle ruins and burial grounds to scout, along with still-standing fortresses also.
Ensure you begin this road trip early in the day though. You want to ensure you make the most of the daylight hours to traverse and investigate all the areas you find interesting.
Hit the Road!
The benefits of the UK’s extensive roadway system are often quite obvious and practical. Yes, cities are connected. Of course, goods and services can travel and be moved more easily. But the interconnected nature of this country is not the only thing put into practice by the roads here. Road trips offer complete accessibility to all with a car. No matter the age, living location or budget. As long as fuel can be bought, a road trip is a very feasible option.
From the south to the north of the country, it is rare to find a lack of roads as a problem. Because of this, you can simply pick where you want to visit, and go! No more questions asked. So hit the road and take advantage of the veins of the country. Visit the heart and soul of the UK.