Europe

10 Best UK Road Trips

Unless you have the stamina of Seb Coe or Paula Radcliffe and a stash of solid trainers, the best way to see vast swaths of the UK is from the comfort of a motorcar. Preferably a vintage Aston Martin, MG or Lotus. We like a Jaguar ourselves but the point is, road trips abound in the UK. Gorgeous ones, with painfully bucolic scenery en route. To rekindle a torrid love affair with your inner motorist, discover 10 of the best.

Norfolk Coast
Distance: 150 km
Roads: A47, A149

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Start in the market town of King’s Lynn and drive northeast to Hunstanton. Enjoy the sun in the only seaside resort on the east coast to face west and keep on to Brancaster, Burnham, Holkham Bay, Blakeney, Holt, Sheringham et al.

Glasgow to Inverness
Distance: 275 km
Roads: A9, A82, A827, A93

Few drives in Europe, let alone the UK, compare with this up and down tour of Scotland, from superb Glasgow and through Cairngorms National Park to Inverness. Go on to explore the rest of the Highlands at your leisure.

The Outer Hebrides
Distance: 240 km

Get off the ferry in lovely Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and experience the inimitable beauty of the Outer Hebrides. No directions necessary here; this is a one road kind of road trip.

London to Brighton
Distance: 90 km
Roads: A23, M23

Hotels in London may feel a world away from the south coast and East Sussex but within two short hours, the beautiful approach to Brighton looms.

The Cotswolds
Distance: 150 km
Roads: M4, A429, A417

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A tour ’round a vital Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is never a bad way to spend an afternoon. A who’s who of British nobilty and celebrity dwell part-time in The Cotswolds – say hi to Kate Moss and Lily Allen as you zip by.

Kendal via Keswick to Kendal – England’s Lake District
Distance: 110 km
Roads: A5284, A591, A66, A5091, A592

Outside of the occasional flood, the Lake District is a road trip must. Watch North West England unfurl before you and figure out why William Wordsworth wrote all those pretty poems.

Yorkshire Wolds
Distance: 217 km
Roads: M62, J38, J37

Neolithic and Bronze Age sites straddle the roadside as you navigate the low hills and broad meadows of Flamborough Head, the Northern Wolds, Capital Wolds, Southern Wolds and Western Wolds of Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. Pay particular attention to the Rudston Monolith and the hamlet of Kiplingcotes.

Snowdonia National Park – Conwy to Portmeirion
Distance: 62 km
Roads: B5106, A5, A4068, A498

All of Wales deserves to make our road trip cut but Snowdonia National Park is, without question, a nonpareil slice of the country.

Lynmouth to Newquay – The Atlantic Highway
Distance: 217 km
Roads: A39, A395, A399

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Postcard-perfect scenery is a significant distraction for drivers who tackle this exquisite road trip on the Atlantic Highway, which refers to a section of the A39 from Barnstaple in Devon to the A30 at Fraddon in Cornwall.

Isle of Man Circuit
Distance: 120 km

Ok, you got us. The Isle of Man is technically not part of the UK, we know. Still, a road trip circuit of the island is eminently memorable. Just avoid the drive on TT race day.

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3 Comments for "10 Best UK Road Trips"

Art says on January 11th, 2013 at 2:28 am:

We arrive in Southampton April 7 and would like to tour the country side by car before leaving from Heathrow the evening of the 10th. Can anyone recommend an itinery ?

Tiana Kai says on August 22nd, 2013 at 9:42 am:

Thank you for this! I am planning a road trip for a few weeks in the UK, very exciting!

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