Eight scenic driving routes in the UK

Winding road and hills at sunset in the Peak District

What plans have you got in store for summer 2022? A road trip is never a bad idea, but a road trip with breath-taking scenery is even better.

With the UK being home to some of the most stunning and dramatic drives, it’s time for you to get together with family or friends and travel down some scenic routes.

To help you out, we’ve highlighted eight routes in the UK which showcase the true beauty of this country.

  1. North Coast 500

Driving along the north coast of Scotland is the perfect way to take in the impressive mountain scenery, fairy-tale castles and pretty beaches this part of the country has to offer.

The North Coast 500 begins and ends in the northern city of Inverness and weaves across to Applecross on the north-west coast, then towards Ullapool. It will take you a few days to drive the entire route but you’re guaranteed one-of-a-kind views.

  1. Loch Lomond to Loch Ness

Sticking with Scotland, there’s also the A82 route from Loch Lomond to Loch Ness to add to your list of stunning drives.

Starting in Glasgow, the A82 stretches north into the Scottish Highlands, passing Loch Lomond before heading into Glencoe, one of the UK’s most spectacular spots. If you’re a James Bond fan, you’ll recognise this place from Skyfall, so don’t forget to take a camera with you!

After Glencoe, you can drive around Loch Leven before passing through Fort William, where you’ll easily be able to spot Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. As you continue driving north to Loch Ness, you should keep an eye out for the legendary Loch Ness monster.

The route is 140 miles altogether and can be completed in roughly three-and-a-half hours.

  1. Snowdonia National Park

Drive through Snowdonia National Park to experience some magnificent sights.

Wind down the window for a breath of clean, fresh air and cast your eyes over the mountains and lakes that cover 823 square miles of diverse landscape.

The picturesque scenes don’t stop once you’ve driven through the park. If you go through historic Caernarfon – home to Wales’ most famous castle and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – before heading over the water to the Isle of Anglesey, you’ll discover more beautiful landscapes.

  1. Kendal to Keswick

Enjoy a drive from Kendal to Keswick, two of the Lake District’s most popular towns. Even though it can be quite a busy route at times, there’s no shortage of breath-taking views.

At under 30 miles, the route takes around an hour to drive, and is regarded as one of UK’s best road trips, with its award-winning scenery. From Lake Windermere to the village of Grasmere (home to the famous Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop and the reservoir of Thirlmere), there’s plenty to keep you fascinated.

  1. Cat and Fiddle Road

Cruise the road between Buxton in Derbyshire and Macclesfield in Cheshire. Known as the Cat and Fiddle road, it’s considered one of the best scenic drives in the UK.

If you want to escape city traffic, this 30-minute route is perfect for you. Drivers and passengers can take in stunning views of Greater Manchester, the Cheshire Plain and the Peak District National Park. You’ll also see Poole’s Cavern, a two-million-year-old natural limestone cave on the edge of Buxton and Tegg’s Nose Country Park.

  1. North York Moors National Park

Driving with kids in the car and a dog in the back? Take your car for a short run through the North York Moors National Park.

Get your passengers counting sheep as you drive the A170 towards Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale. You can then take the A169 for a scenic journey up to the coast through Goathland and Grosmont, and stretch your legs when walking on the pet-friendly beaches.

  1. Leeds to Haworth

If you want a drive filled with history and culture, as well as beautiful scenery, the route from Leeds to Haworth is for you.

Take your car through Haworth, a picturesque village surrounded by rugged  moorland (which inspired the Brontë sisters to write classics Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), drive past quaint little galleries and boutiques, and embrace Yorkshire in all its glory.

Just drive west of Leeds on the A647, circle around the top of Bradford, get onto the B6144 and you’ll reach Haworth in 45 minutes.

  1. Bristol to Blackpool Sands

Prefer a beach view to greenery? Feel the sea breeze as you drive from Bristol to Blackpool Sands via the M5 south.

During the journey – which takes roughly two-and-a-half hours – you’ll see high wooded cliffs looking down on a golden shoreline, as well as pretty flower fields, and more.

Make the most of your drive by enjoying some time on the beach (if it isn’t your final destination).

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