The Most Scenic Road Trips in the UK You Will Absolutely Love

The Most Scenic Road Trips in the UK You Will Absolutely Love

These scenic views you can witness when travelling around the UK prove that sometimes the journey is so much more beautiful than the destination.

The UK is the perfect place for a road trip. Relatively small and compact in size and yet hugely varied in landscapes and cultures, it is a good place to discover on the open road. There are plenty of great routes to enjoy but if you are looking for the best of the best, here are five scenic road trips in the UK that you are sure to love:

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Stirling – Glencoe, Scotland

united kingdom scenic road tripsImage credit: Stirling Council

Discover a Little of the Western Highlands of Scotland:

Arriving in Scotland, you will most likely find yourself at either Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Prestwick or Edinburgh Airport. It is easy to hire a car in any of these locations. However, if you are not as confident driving on motorways and in more densely populated areas then you might want to consider taking the train from one of the above airports to Stirling. Stirling is the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, which are the most rugged and arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. The driving from here will be easier and the scenery will be immediately outstanding.

Take the A84 and head into the Trossachs National Park. You will head through the charming town of Callander and see the rugged hills, mountains and forests all around. Cutting west on the A85 you will join up with the A82. Climbing from Crianlarich you will reach the eerie and breathtakingly beautiful mountain plateau of Rannoch Moor, ringed by towering peaks. Be sure to spot for a photo op.. Amazingly, after this, the scenery becomes even more stunning as you round the sweeping bend of the road and head into Glen Coe. The ancient, rocky mountains that loom over this valley will take your breath away.

Also read: A Week-Long Hike Along England’s Hadrian’s Wall Path

Yorkshire Dales Loop, England

Yorkshire Dales LoopImage credit: Charmaine

Discover the Bucolic Charms of the Yorkshire Dales National Park:

In the north of England there are plenty of beautiful spots but perhaps some of the most charming are those found in the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. The countryside here is predominantly given over to farming land and sheep dot the gentle hills and high moors. The green hills are criss-crossed with little dry stone walls and here and there you will stumble across small villages with lovely stone buildings. Taking a road trip here, the best thing to do is simply loop round the national park, taking in some of the highlights: the Buttertubs Pass, for example, and the Ribblehead Viaduct.

On this route, you will find some single track roads on which care must be taken. The weather can be changeable. However, the roads away from the honey-hot villages are relatively quiet and you can enjoy a tranquil time in pretty scenery. On this road trip, it is less about individual roads and more about simply taking the time to really explore and get to know this picturesque part of England.

Also read: 15 Steps to Travelling London On a Budget

Adventure in the Lake District

Lake DistrictImage credit: Barney Moss

Confident Drivers can discover the steep gradients of Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass:

In the heart of the Lake District, in Cumbria, England, this road-trip route winds up and over some of the steepest roads in the UK through some of the most beautiful scenery England has to offer. This hilly, watery region is famous for its picturesque views, its lakes, meres and waters. This route will allow you to explore deeper into this district, away from the main honeypot villages which are thronging with tourists during the summer months.

This route will take you past the Hardknott Roman Fort, though it is not a route to be attempted unless you are a confident driver. This remote, single track route winds steeply up the hillside with a series of sharp, steep hairpin bends! Nonetheless, if you feel confident enough and prepared enough then this is definitely one of the best and most scenic drives in England.

Caernarfon – Aberystwyth, Wales

Snowdonia National ParkImage credit: Hefin Owen

Enjoy the delightful scenery of the Llyn Peninsula and Snowdonia National Park

Almost all of Wales has beautiful scenery and there are many lovely mountain passes and other roads across the country that would make wonderful road trip destinations. Perhaps the rugged and wild beauty of the Snowdonia National Park should be top of the list.

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Starting at Caernarfon where you can see the grand, historic castle, you should not head direct for Snowdonia National Park but should instead take your time and detour to see the charming Llyn Peninsula. Be sure to stop in and see the eccentric whimsy and beautiful gardens by the sea of Portmeirion.

After that, swap the coast for the mountains and perhaps enjoy some adventure in the Welsh Hills. In the Snowdonia National Park you can have all sorts of adventures, from camping to hiking, caving to ziplining. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding how to enjoy the scenic splendour of Snowdonia.

Coast Roads of Cornwall, England

CornwallImage credit: Francisco Antunes

Enjoy spectacular sea views on roads that hug the coast around Cornwall.

At the far south west of the UK, Cornwall is a sunny county with a strong and independent cultural history that is not quite the same as anywhere else on the British Isles. Famous for Cornish pasties and clotted cream, Cornwall is a great choice of road trip for those who love their food. Small scale artistry and local produce is the order of the day, with a strong history of fishing – as well as smuggling – around this spectacularly picturesque coastline.

While it can be very busy in mid-summer, Cornwall can be just as pretty outside the main tourist season. If you would prefer a road trip with less traffic, then perhaps it would be a good idea to visit in the spring or in the autumn. With or without the crowds, Cornwall is a lovely setting for a road trip with the added bonus that on this beach-strewn coastline, you can enjoy a good, old-fashioned British holiday by the seaside.

Also read: 8 Places You Must Visit in United Kingdom

Wherever you are drawn to visit, road trip adventure awaits you on the British Isles.

About Author

Elizabeth Waddington
Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington lives in rural Scotland with her husband and her dog. She is part of a small community who are trying to live as sustainably as possible. A professional freelance writer who works from home full time, she has over ten years of writing experience and an MA in English and Philosophy. She mostly writes about travel, sustainability and permaculture and has a particular interest in adventure holidays, camping, walking and sustainable travel. She travels whenever she can.


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