It’s been a long few months without the ability to travel. But, finally, we’re able to venture out further than 5 miles from our home. Though many of us wish we could be relaxing on a beach somewhere tropical with a cold drink in our hand, travelling abroad isn’t the safest thing to do right now.
So, if you can’t take your preferred holiday somewhere abroad, why not explore the country you live in? Now is the perfect time to take that road trip you’ve always fancied, see somewhere new without boarding a plane. The journey might be longer, the weather might be colder and you might not come back with a sun tan to show off but you’ll definitely make some great memories.
Instead of the journey being the boring slog just to get to your destination, try making the journey part of your trip itself. Take a drive. This list features some of the best driving roads in the UK, roads and scenery like this are worth spending a little time on the motorway for and often have some stunning places to stay nearby!
West Highlands of Scotland
Scotland is well known for dramatic scenery and great roads. The west coast has got some of the most rugged landscapes in the UK and some fantastic roads weaving through it. A trip to the west coast of the Scottish Highlands makes for a great road trip.
Stay in an area like Oban or Fort William offers access to brilliant walks, beaches and most importantly, roads. The road through Glencoe is one of the best – not a particularly challenging route with long straights making it safe to overtake and plenty laybys for photos.
North Wales is a beautiful part of the country with stunning landscapes and beaches. On the edge of Snowdonia National Park, you will find three roads that make up the EVO Triangle. The A5, A543 and B4501 make up the 20 mile route, named after the performance car magazine.
Only a 40 minute route, the EVO Triangle is a challenging loop and enough to test the skill of any driver, even at low speeds – not that you should be exceeding the limit anyway, save that for the track. There are lots of great places to stay in North Wales, Anglesey is a popular destination with beautiful sandy beaches and lots of great places to eat!
A popular destination for those who enjoy driving, Cheddar Gorge has featured as the backdrop of many magazine photoshoots. England’s deepest gorge, located in Somerset, is one of the countries most impressive natural landmarks.
This route from Cheddar to Ashwick, starting on the B3135, runs right through the middle of the gorge winding and snaking among the cliff faces. After leaving Cheddar Gorge the road straightens and the landscape opens up, which is a nice break for your arms after the tight twists and turns.
Cairngorms National Park
In the heart of the Scottish Highlands lies the Cairngorms National Park, the UK’s largest National Park. There is no shortage of great driving roads in this area but one of the best is the A93 Old Military Road. The 44-mile route starting from Blairgowrie takes over an hour to drive, though you will most certainly find yourself stopping to take in the scenery along the way.
The first half of the road is the most challenging, with sharp, undulating bends and plenty dips to catch you out (take caution not to take off!) before climbing steeply up to the Glenshee Ski Centre. The Ski Centre is a great stopping point to stretch your legs and grab something to eat – the café is open all year round. After leaving the Ski Centre and back down to a normal altitude, the road is a bit straighter and flatter, though the scenery is just as good! The road ends in Ballater, a great place to stay to explore the Cairngorms!
One of the most popular national parks in the UK, the Peak District is a popular location for those who enjoy the great outdoors. How about enjoying the great outdoors from the comfort of your car? Sounds good to me. One of the most famous roads in the Peak District is the ‘Cat & Fiddle’ – named after the pub located at the top of the 12-mile route.
Starting from Buxton, the Cat & Fiddle route is popular with motorcyclists and has since been classed by many as one of the most dangerous roads in Britain – so do take caution, this road is not for the inexperienced. With tight hairpins and blind corners be sure not to ignore the solid white lines.
Before setting off on your road trip, it’s worth giving you car a quick check. Read our list of Quick Checks before you hit the road!