The best UK summer road trips

Panoramic views of Giants Causeway on Causeway Coastal route

Keen to make your summer count?

With international travel still fairly hit and miss, many are opting for certainty with their holiday plans this year.

That’s why we’re here to run through some of the best UK summer road trip destinations, for a staycation you’re guaranteed to remember.

Hopefully your trip will be smooth sailing, but it might be worth checking out how to use our simple online claims tool before heading off.

North Coast 500, Scotland

Not only is this one of the UK’s best road trips, it’s one of the world’s most beautiful. Known as the NC500, this 500-mile stretch of breath-taking Scottish Highlands runs from Inverness, past Loch Ness and through towns and villages such as Ullapool, Durness, Dornoch and John O’Groats. 

Why not go the extra mile and check out the Isle of Skye? Just across a land bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh, the island boasts dramatic landscapes, picture-book fishing villages and medieval architecture. Plus, the crystal-clear water of the Fairy Pools near Glenbrittle is waiting to be swum in…

Where to stay: Kinloch Lodge

Length of journey: 516 miles, 5-7 days

The Black Mountain Pass, Wales

This route on the A4069 is the one to pick for Brecon Beacons scenery, with show-stopping views of the River Towy and enough twists and turns to keep you in suspense. It spans Llandovery in the north, crossing Pont Aber and Herbert’s Pass, before plunging down to the village of Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen. Expect to bump into local farmers, sheep and those chasing the trail of the ‘Top Gear road’ – made famous thanks to Jeremy Clarkson.

If you have a few extra hours to spare, embark on an adventure on Wales’s longest road. Found on the eastern edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, the A470 offers some of the best countryside in the UK, with tumbling hills and green landscapes. 

Where to stay: Castle Hotel

Length of journey: 20 miles, 1-2 days

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

Spanning 200 miles between Belfast and Derry, this enchanting route is made up of aquatic blue sea and dramatic cliff edges. Pick your favourite of nine scenic routes to split the journey up nicely. You’ll spot a range of Northern Ireland’s most iconic attractions and landmarks along the way, including Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Dark Hedges and the Glens of Antrim.

Make sure you stop off at Giant’s Causeway, just an hour’s drive north of Belfast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of roughly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, left over from a volcanic eruption. A weird and wonderful spot for stretching your legs!

Where to stay: Aurora North Coast

Length of journey: 130 miles, 3-5 days

The Atlantic Highway, South West England

Enjoy the best of Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall with a journey through England’s finest countryside. Spanning Bridgwater to Bude, the A39 offers views of barley fields and rustling dunes, as well as bays and beaches for swims along the way.

Why not get some air in one of south west England’s finest national parks? Exmoor is home to moorland, woodland, coast and rivers galore. If you’re up for it, its beautiful hikes are unforgettable.

Where to stay: Beach House B&B & The Break Bar

Length of journey: 77 miles, 4-5 days

The Lake District, North West England

Cumbria’s Lake District is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of England’s most-visited national parks. Feast your eyes on stunning lakes like Windermere, Ennerdale Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and Ullswater. With ample scenic drives in the region, you’re spoilt for choice. Jagged mountains and homes of famous writers – including Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth – add drama to the journey. 

When in Ullswater, don’t miss out on a trip to Aira Force Waterfall. Listen to the sounds of water crashing while you get lost in the woodland trail.

Where to stay: Cragwood Country House

Length of journey: 30miles, 2-3 days

The Cotswolds, South Central England

If you’re after a drive through some of the most quaint and postcard-esque villages, the Cotswolds won’t disappoint. Start north in Chipping Campden and make your way to Bath to experience the best the scenery has to offer. Think rural landscapes, rolling green hills, stone-coloured houses and thatched roofs.

If real-life villages aren’t enough, take it one step further with a trip to The Model Village in Bourton on the Water – a highlight the kids will love. You’ll be able to point out some of the places you’ve seen along the way, as well as get some inspiration for where you want to explore next!

Where to stay: Artist Residence Oxfordshire

Length of journey: 70miles, 3-4 days Love a quick coffee stop to break up your journey? Check out our guide to the best service stations in the UK and places to see nearby.

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