By: Giles Kirkland
Although being made up of a number of small islands, the United Kingdom is arguably one of most beautiful places in the world. Undoubtedly, London is the biggest center for tourism across the four countries but it doesn’t necessarily belong to the most car-friendly cities in the UK. However taking to the road and visiting some of the other attractions the UK has to offer should not be missed, or equally experienced if you are a resident.
Not only does an adventure in the UK offer a variety of experiences, but due to the relatively small distances, most places of interest can easily be explored within a few days.
In this article, we take a journey through the top five road trips in the UK and highlight why they are worth getting behind the steering wheel.
We kick off the list of top travel routes on the island of Ireland. Stretching between the two renowned cities of Belfast to Londonderry, this course takes you along 195 km of the stunning coastal path of Ireland.
Of course including both cities, other areas of interest on this course include the Norman built Carrickfergus Castle, The Glens of Antrim, Giant’s Causeway, Magilligan Point, Roe Valley Country Park and Old Bushmills Distillery.
This trip takes about 3 to 5 days depending on your rate of travel. To find out more about the route you can visit the Discover Northern Ireland website.
Recently gaining a significant amount of media attention due to its contribution to tourism in some of the remotest parts of Scotland is the North Coast 500. This is the most northerly trip on this list and arguably the most visually stimulating. Looping through 805 km of Scotland’s single-track lanes, rugged mountains and stunning lakes it offers a true disconnect from busy every-day life and the stress of traffic.
This trip will take 4-7 days of driving. However, as this builds in popularity the narrow tracks with occasional passing places are becoming busier as other trippers take on this track. This increase in population also means an increased strain on the fairly scarce accommodation, so booking this well in advance is recommended.
Short and breath-taking
By far the shortest journey on our top five list is the one that carves it’s way through Cheddar Gorge in the West Country of England. This option is less of a road trip and more of short journey that takes you through some of the most appealing countryside that this region has to offer. Measuring at about 23 km, it is unlikely that it will take you a huge amount of time to drive, but instead is a relaxed cruise through the surroundings.
There are a number of sites of interest such as caves, museums, cafes and restaurants. However, the biggest attraction is the drive itself, a long winding track that cuts through the gorge. As you continue the drive down, the cliffs on either side of the course get stepper and you start to feel you are driving through a set of Lord of the Rings.
Wales, dragons & dream driving
In this next trip we visit the picturesque country of Wales. Starting in the north of the country in Llandovery and finishing in the village of Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, the Black Mountain Pass is not to be missed when visiting the country. This course is especially attractive for keen drivers or Top Gear enthusiasts. The twists and bends of the roads make for a truly thrilling driving experience, so make sure to take care of the summer car maintenance to avoid surprises.
Again, there are many sites of interest along the track, but little will truly compare to the incredible scenery of the Brecon Beacons or the spectacular views of the Tywi Valley through which the road winds. Another short one for the list and easily achievable within a day…you may even want to do it twice!
Steeped in history and ridiculously beautiful countryside, Yorkshire is undeniably one of the most dazzling in the UK to take a trip. Taking to this journey will see you driving a mixture of A & B roads and visiting some of the quaintest villages, stunning waterfalls and rolling scenery that the world has to offer.
Having taken a journey through the top routes to follow in the UK, we can see that there are some fantastic options when it comes to planning a trip, whether than be in Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England. Although there are some brilliant sites to visit along all of these, the biggest benefit of all of them are the impressive tracks and surroundings.