Our modern society spends half our day stuck in commuter traffic; therefore, it might be hard to believe but Britain has some of the most spectacular roads in Europe. There’s nothing like the freedom of the long open road, wide meandering country tracks and beautiful bends through some of the UK’s finest scenic routes.
Getting in your car and going on a long road trip is the best way to see the country. If you long to see the real Britain this is your ultimate list of the best road trip roads in the UK.
Located in the heart of the Denbigh Moors in Wales, the EVO Triangle is the name given to the triangle formed by the A5, the A543 and the B4501 roads.
The route starts on the A543 (just off the A5) heading North along tight sweeping bends and beautiful landscapes. Turning right onto the B4501, you’ll cruise across long sweeping bends with picturesque views of the Llyn Brenig Lake.
The road then leads back to the A5 and bringing you and you full circle. In total the EVO Triangle is 20 miles long, so it should take you around half an hour or so.
Glasgow to Fort William
When you look at a map, Glasgow and Fort William seem just a hop, a skip and a jump apart. Scotland’s biggest, boldest scenery awaits you on this bucket-list adventure from Glasgow through to beautiful Loch Lomond and land of the giants; Glen Coe, eventually taking you to the historical town of Fort William which lies on the shores of stunning Loch Linnhe.
This breath-taking 140-mile road trip follows the A82 and takes you from Glasgow right up into the Scottish Highlands. Often called the gateway to the Highlands, it takes about three hours, but allow for much longer because you won’t be able to resist the urge to stop off along the way to take in the amazing views.
The route takes you northbound on the A82, and on the way you will see Loch Lomond, Loch Ness and Ben Nevis – the tallest mountain in the British Isles.
Dartmoor National Park
Dartmoor has been described as Devon’s wild heart, considered the UK’s most evocative landscapes. Its vast open terrain is home to a variety of unique features — peaty bogs, oak forests and icy mountain waterfalls.
There’s really one route if you want to experience the wonders of Dartmoor, situated in the heart of Devon. Simply take the B3212 from the cathedral city of Exeter and this will guide you right across the middle of Dartmoor via Moretonhampstead.
Switch to the B3357 at Two Bridges and then follow the signs to Tavistock. Around 33 miles in all, you’ll be rewarded with fast sweeping bends and undulations in an ancient landscape of stunning views, epic granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged open spaces. Just watch out for the Dartmoor ponies and sheep.
Black Mountain Pass
Quite possibly the best driving road in Wales, the Black Mountain Pass is a 23-mile stretch of the A4069 that rollercoasters through the Brecon Beacons connecting Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. The road runs parallel to the edge of the national park, before taking a sharp left and plunging down a long river valley before climbing out into the hills.
Reaching a height of climbs to 1,600ft, there are stunning views of South Wales from the top of the pass – just watch out for roaming sheep. Jeremy Clarkson famously drove a Mercedes-AMG CLK 63 Black through here for an episode of Top Gear.
North Yorkshire Moors
With its variety of landscapes, picturesque villages and rolling roads, the county of Yorkshire is a haven for petrol heads. Fancy a twisty, undulating 21-mile drive, punctuated by long straights through spectacular moorland, followed by a breath of sea air? Take the A169 Whitby Road from Pickering to Whitby and you can do just that.
Best avoided during peak summer when everyone else seems to have the same idea, you can reward yourself with traditional fish and chips for lunch in Whitby Harbour.
The NC500 starts in the northern city of Inverness, weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards the towns of Torridon and Ullapool. From there, you’ll venture to some of the most northerly coastal points in Scotland, passing by Caithness and John o’ Groats before heading south again through Dingwall and finally back to Inverness.
The North Coast 500 route offers visitors the opportunity to see rugged landscapes, frolic on sandy beaches, spot wildlife, visit museums and heritage sites, stay in castles, sip whisky, sample the local produce, and get to know the people who live there. The NC500 route was designed to encourage more visitors to visit this sparsely populated region of Scotland and it has been very successful.
Causeway Coastal Route
Known as one of the world’s great drives, the 120-mile Causeway Coastal Route hugs the coastline between Belfast and Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland and is more popular than ever thanks to the wild landscape’s starring role in TV hit Game of Thrones. Belfast is home to the studios where much of the series is shot, plus the brilliant Titanic Belfast exhibition.
There are plenty of attractions along the way including the dramatic tubular suspension bridges of The Gobbins, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and beautiful Ballintoy Harbour, but it’s the dramatic Giant’s Causeway that is the highlight. A geological wonder, you can walk down to the intriguing polygonal stones – 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
The old County Antrim coast road leads through the rural heart of Northern Ireland, with lighthouses winking on the horizon and lobster pots bobbing in the swells below. This is great driving country, with plenty of wave-crashing vistas beyond the windscreen and a slew of interesting pit stops along the way to explore.
The Lake District
The Lake District has so much amazing scenery to see that it can be difficult to fit it all in! And while there’s nothing better than a pleasant walk in the Cumbrian countryside, sometimes the Great British weather permits the dry and warmth of a car. This beautiful drive takes in the amazing Keswick and Derwent Water, then passes through the breathtaking valley of Borrowdale, up over Honister Pass to Buttermere and through Newlands Valley. The trip is 33 miles in total.
Take your time to explore the Lake District at your own pace and enjoy some of the best countryside and coastal drives in the UK.
From its incredible cliffs to its subterranean stalactite show caves, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset was forged some 1.2 million years ago and is one of our most spectacular natural landmarks. Our 14-mile journey starts in Cheddar and ends in Ashwick and takes about 30 minutes.
The first section as you leave Cheddar is the most dramatic, offering incredible views of England’s deepest gorge. The B3135 snakes through rocky outcrops as it climbs away into the Mendips. After the gorge, there aren’t so many tight bends and the roads opens up so you can sit back and enjoy the countryside passing you by.