America’s Route 66 and Australia’s East Coast are two fantastic road trips that many people around the globe travel to pursue, but have you ever thought to explore what’s on your doorstep?
Below you’ll find some picturesque routes throughout the UK.
The coastal route of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s coastal route is a must for scenery lovers. Journey across the Irish Sea which offers bustling towns, peaceful lakelands, forests and cliffs. With such amazing things on offer, it’s no wonder Lonely Planet labelled the ‘wee country’ a must-visit destination.
Hotspots worth visiting along the route include the Ulster American Folk Park just outside of Omagh, which details why two million people left Ulster for America in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the ruins of medieval Dunluce Caste which teeters on the edge of the ocean. Northern Ireland really is a green dream.
Before taking a break to venture across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which hangs tentatively over an 80ft chasm, be sure to take the Causeway coastal route for exquisite views over the Mull of Kintyre. This adventure will last approximately five days and is home to the world’s oldest licensed distillery and natural wonder such as the Giant’s Causeway. Make sure you ask the locals about the mythological Finn McCool!
Wales, Black Mountain Pass
The Black Mountain Pass in Wales is labelled by fans of Top Gear named, “The Top Gear Road”. Its windy roads allow you to test your driving skills as you sweep through the twists and turns down in the valleys. It’s recommended you tackle the route from north to south. Thanks to Jeremy Clarkson’s journeys on the route, and you’ll be likely to spot rustic farmhouses, farmers and the odd sheep.
Being only 22 miles long, it’s simple to complete the Welsh route and head home after a day, but it’s certainly worth spending more time here. The epic mountain road takes in the amazing scenery of the Brecon Beacons and unrivalled views of the Tywi Valley.
A popular pick – The Lake District
Any people around the world travel to admire the natural beauty of The Lake District. There are as many as 15 wonderful driving routes to take in all it has to offer and bask in its awesomeness. Home of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, the North West’s idyllic location offers up an array of stunning landscapes, mountains and pretty towns in which to have a pit stop.
Try to take in Lake Windermere for a play about on the water and Coniston Water, where Donald Campbell set many of his water speed records. Highlights that are a necessity include the quintessential scenery on show around Keswick, Borrowdale and Buttermere — you’ll be sure to fall in love with the area come rain or shine.
The North Coast of Scotland
With the trip recommended to take between four and seven days, a wise word of warning is it only offers sparse accommodation options, so be sure to plan your pit stops accordingly.
While the Proclaimers may believe in walking 500 miles, this route of the same distance is more suited to the car. The circular route takes in some of Scotland’s finest countryside, offering up an array of ruins, rugged fairways, castles and beaches for your viewing pleasure along the way. The isolated route is an amazing way to escape the urban life and traffic congestions, skirting the coast from Inverness towards Bealach na Bà.
The Atlantic Highway
Stretching from Barnstaple and finishing in Newquay, this 76 mile route takes in some of the most breath-taking coastlines that the UK has to offer. With access to some of the county’s prettiest fishing villages, as well as being the setting for Doc Martin, the route also known as the A39 leads to a mass of impressive beaches and the picturesque clifftop castle at Tintagel.
Constantine Bay and Bedruthan Steps are both visible along the route, giving any budding photographers an opportunity to capture the perfect snap. And, of course, key to any road trip is having a car worthy of spending your time in – Vauxhall dealers have a variety of cars which would adapt to such routes. Twenty-five years on from the first model, the surprisingly spacious vehicle is suitable for the long roads and offers a budget-friendly option for you to hit the road in.