One of the best ways to see the UK’s most beautiful scenery is by car. From national parks to much-loved coastline here is our Top 10 of the best and most scenic drives in the UK…
Glen Coe, Scotland
Easily one of the most beautiful car journeys in the UK, this place is home to the infamous Glencoe massacre of 1692, this is some of the most hauntingly beautiful scenery in the country. As you wind through towering craggy peaks and experience (probably) a bit of wild weather, expect it to look a little familiar – many scenes from Braveheart, Rob Roy and even Harry Potter were filmed here.
Anywhere in the Peak District, England
Britain’s first national park is also one of the finest, and a drive here will take you through unspoilt wild landscapes, attractive traditional villages and towering mountains. If you want to see the best of the centre start on the A623, then turn left by the Wanted Inn in Sparrowpit. You will find a dramatic change in scenery as you head towards the park’s wildest landscapes. Check out our post on the dog-friendly hotels in the Peak District.
Lake District – Kendal to Keswick, England
One of the UK’s best-loved national parks is filled with miles of mountainous countryside interspersed with lush pastures, wide lakes and ancient forests. For a thirty-mile drive through unspoilt scenery (which once inspired poets such as Wordsworth) head for the road which links two of the area’s most popular tourist towns. You’ll get to see beautiful views of the Lakeland fells and the banks of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere along the way. The Lake District is also a great place to hire a motorhome so shop around for a good deal before you head off.
The Cotswolds – Cheltenham to Stratford, England
An area of outstanding beauty, the Cotswolds is known for its chocolate-box pretty villages and traditional way of life. For a little taster try the B4632 from Cheltenham which takes you through many of honey-colored cottage villages that the Cotswolds is famous for. A typically English drive, also expect to acres of sprawling green countryside. There are many fantastic choices for accommodation in this beautiful part of England including many great dog-friendly hotels in the Cotswolds and this Cotswolds log cabin with a hot tub also makes a great option.
Llanberis Pass, Wales
Llanberis village is located in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Nearby, twin lakes cut through a vast mountain range creating the ‘Llanberis Pass’. With an otherworldly quality, the pass is the kind of unforgettable journey your car is made for.
Northumberland Coast, England
Another place designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty, this stretch of coastline offers some of the most dramatic – and unspoilt – coastal scenery in the country. A drive here will take you past sweeping sandy beaches, rolling dunes, high rocky cliffs, isolated islands and the odd castle or two.
Black Mountain Road, Wales
The Brecon Beacons is a mountain range and a popular beauty spot in South Wales. The Black Mountain road (A4069) – once featured on BBC’s Top Gear – twists, dips and climbs its way through the gorgeous scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Definitely one of the most memorable miles you can drive in any country.
Cornwall Coast, England
For a drive along the coast of the UK’s most loved holiday destination, start at North Cliffs and then head to the famous beachside town of St Ives. This stretch of virtually sheer 250-foot high cliff provides a number of dramatic viewpoints and when you get to your destination expect golden beaches and a quay lined with traditional Cornish cottages.
Loch Lomond to Garelochhead, Scotland
Once voted Scotland’s most scenic drive, the A817 from Loch Lomond to Garelochhead is renowned for magnificent views. It’s a ten-mile stretch of road which rises up through Glen Fruin and crosses part of the beautiful Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
The Yorkshire Dales, England
The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area in the North of England – a mix of wild rugged moors and lush green pastures, part of which has a national park status. There are many scenic roads which cross through this part of the country, but try the B6160 which takes you through peaceful green rolling hills, fields lined with stone walls and more than a handful of postcard-pretty villages.
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam