Discover the Best of the UK: Top 10 Unmissable Road Trip Destinations

Jan 03, 2024

Discover the Best of the UK: Top 10 Unmissable Road Trip Destinations

Discover the Best of the UK: Top 10 Unmissable Road Trip Destinations

Embark on a journey through some of the UK's most captivating landscapes, from the rugged Highlands of Scotland to the pristine beaches of England's southwest coast. Whether you're seeking weekend getaway inspiration or planning an extended road trip holiday, we've curated a list of the top 10 road trip destinations in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for you to explore.

Before you hit the road, ensure your vehicle is road-ready by conducting essential checks, and don't forget to secure the right breakdown cover and insurance for a worry-free journey.

10. The Cotswolds

Immerse yourself in the quintessential charm of the Cotswolds, where idyllic villages, winding lanes, and iconic Cotswold stone walls paint a picturesque landscape. Begin your journey in Chipping Campden, meandering south through villages, such as Broadway, and exploring the natural beauty of Slimbridge Wetland Centre.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Broadway Tower offers panoramic views of 16 counties.

Top Tip: Check for local festivals and ensure compliance with Bath's clean air zone rules.

Distance and Duration: 70 miles, 3-4 days.

9. Norfolk Coast

Experience the tranquility of England's eastern coastline with a drive along Norfolk's serene roads. Explore Norwich, delve into The Broads' scenic waterways, and unwind on the wide, windswept beaches of Cromer and Brancaster Beach.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Happisburgh Lighthouse provides an Instagram-ready sight.

Top Tip: Plan your trip to avoid peak season crowds in resort towns.

Distance and Duration: 90 miles, 2-3 days.

8. Atlantic Highway, South West England

Navigate the A39, one of South West England's longest roads, for a visually stunning journey from Devon's Barnstaple to Cornwall's Newquay. While the road itself doesn't hug the coast closely, breathtaking views of the Atlantic can be enjoyed as you pass through Bude, Camelford, and Wadebridge.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Bideford, Tintagel Castle, and Bedruthan Steps Beach offer diverse attractions.

Top Tip: Avoid peak holiday season and bank holidays for smoother travel on the A39.

Distance and Duration: 77 miles, 1-2 days.

7. Lake District

Embark on an adventure through Wordsworth country, exploring the Lake District's picturesque roads. From Kendal, head north to Windermere, Grasmere, and Ambleside, enjoying serene lakeside villages and opportunities for boating, biking, or scenic railway rides.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Visit Beatrix Potter's Farm in Near Sawry for a literary detour.

Top Tip: Grab Kendal Mint Cakes for energy if trekking up mountains.

Distance and Duration: 30 miles, 2-3 days.

6. North Wales

Discover breathtaking scenery with a drive through Snowdonia National Park and across the Menai Strait to Anglesey. Start in Betws-y-Coed, explore Snowdonia, and enjoy watersports in North Wales.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Caernarfon and the Isle of Anglesey offer historical and scenic attractions.

Top Tip: Learn a few Welsh phrases for a more immersive experience.

Distance and Duration: 50 miles, 1-2 days.

5. Yorkshire

Explore the North York Moors National Park, a region of dense forests, meandering streams, and vast heather moorland. Journey from Helmsley to Staithes, taking in the beauty of Pickering, Thornton-le-Dale, and Goathland.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Dalby Forest and Goathland's Mallyan Spout waterfall are must-visit attractions.

Top Tip: Carry a map, as sat-navs may be less reliable in rural areas.

Distance and Duration: 42 miles, 1-2 days.

4. The Dragon’s Spine, Wales

Experience Wales by driving coast to coast on the A470, connecting Cardiff to Conwy. Pass through the Brecon Beacons, Llyn Clywedog reservoir, Dolgellau, and Snowdonia's majestic mountains.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Explore Brecon, Betws-y-Coed, and historical sites like Carreg Cennen Castle.

Top Tip: Check road conditions in hazardous weather before setting off.

Distance and Duration: 186 miles, 4-5 days.

3. Peak District

Tour one of the UK's beloved national parks, the Peak District, starting in Glossop and traversing the Pennines via the Snake Pass. Explore the Derwent Dam, Blue John Cavern, and take a cable car over the Derwent Valley.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Alton Towers and the neo-Gothic Derwent Dam offer diverse attractions.

Top Tip: Check weather conditions, as mountain roads may close due to snow.

Distance and Duration: 40 miles, 1 day.

2. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Embark on a coastal journey from Belfast to Derry along the Causeway Coastal Route. Explore landmarks like the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Dark Hedges, and the Glens of Antrim.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Gobbins cliff path, Rathlin Island, and Old Bushmills Distillery are noteworthy attractions.

Top Tip: Be cautious on narrow and winding roads.

Distance and Duration: 120 miles, 3-5 days.

1. North Coast 500 (NC500), Scotland


Embark on Scotland's answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. Revel in the Highland's breathtaking scenery, from Ullapool to Dornoch, with opportunities for surfing, canyoning, and experiencing the Northern Lights.

Road Trip Stop-Offs: Achmelvich Bay, Chanonry Point, and the NC500 website for trip planning.

Top Tip: Plan ahead for fuel stops, as distances between stations can be significant.

Distance and Duration: 516 miles, 5-7 days.

Embark on your road trip adventure and explore the diverse beauty the UK has to offer. Safe travels!