If you’re looking to take the stress out of life and relax, there’s no better way than a UK road trip.
Summer is the perfect time to take in the most breath-taking and iconic countryside you can imaging, get in touch with nature and discover some of the best road routes in the UK.
The team at OSV have now put together a great infographic of the top six road trips you need to try if all you like to do is get in your car and disappear for a day or two.
The North Coast 500
Scotland is one of the best places to visit and this famous route has practically everything you could hope to see and do. You’ll not only encounter beautiful scenery and sites of historic interest but there’s plenty of challenges along those winding roads too.
It’s the kind of route that changes almost mile on mile, from open wide roads to narrow winding lanes. You can be a on flat section one minute and riding up a steep incline the next.
You’ll need at least a week to explore the route properly as it covers over 500 miles of Scotland’s finest countryside. That means planning ahead for accommodation – something that’s even more important during the summer when the route is at its most popular.
There are some notable sights to take in along the way, including Dunrobin Castle, the Ruins of Ardvreck and the stunning beaches of Achmelich.
The Causeway Coastal Route
We cross to Ireland for the next UK road trip treat. The Causeway Coastal Route starts at either Londonderry or Belfast, both of which you can get to from England and Wales via the ferry. It covers around 154 miles and is a straight coastal journey which can be completed in either direction.
If you’re a fan of nature or love Game of Thrones, you’ll certainly be enthralled by this 5 day journey. You’ll certainly recognise the Cushenden Caves that were made famous by the GoT series. Of course, there’s also the world famous Giant’s Causeway and, if you want to head off shore, there’s Rathlin Island which is a must for all bird lovers.
The Atlantic Highway
Stretching from Devon to Cornwall, the A39 has long been a favourite with UK road trip enthusiasts and there’s plenty of challenging countryside to take in and drive through. If you’re a passionate surfer, you’ll find several stops along the route like Newquay where the boards are out and the waves are high.
You’ll discover small villages and iconic Cornish towns along the route including Bude and Tintagel with high cliffs and rolling beaches. The UK road trip covers around 135 miles and you should be looking to take between 4 or 5 days to really explore the region.
The Road to the Isles
If Scotland is your destination but you don’t want the challenge of the NC500, the Road to the Isles is a perfect alternative. Stretching from Mallaig and Morar through to Glenfinnan and beyond, the route only covers just under 50 miles but you should, nevertheless, be dedicating at least four days to exploring the area.
This is a region that is steeped in Jacobian history and some of the most spectacular scenery that Scotland has to offer. You’ll recognise the Glenfinnan Viaduct from the Harry Potter movies, of course, but don’t forget to take in the breath-taking site of Loch Morar and the nearby beaches.
The Yorkshire Dales
No UK road trip would be complete without the Yorkshire Dales. Covering just under 40 miles, it’s ideal if you want a one or two day break in the country and recharge your batteries. While it can be a bit of a headache during the height of tourist season because of all the buses, you’ll find challenging roads and beautiful scenery in equal measures.
Buttertubs Pass is generally thought to be the best place to drive but along the way there are a whole host of small villages and picture postcard sights to take in. Roads like the undulating and challenging B6160 are a must if you want to challenge your driving skills.
The Black Mountain Pass
Finally, the Black Mountain Pass is the shortest drive on the list but absolutely perfect for a day out. Running from Llandovery to Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, there are plenty of sharp, hairpin bends to test your motoring acumen.
For some reason over the years, this has become known as the ‘Top Gear Road’ probably because Jeremy Clarkson was so often found on it test driving his latest ride. The cuckoo turn, or Tro Gwcw in Welsh, is one of the highlights on the road and something you need to be prepared for.
Along the way there are plenty of places to stop including Careg Cennan Castle and Llyn y Fan Fach. If you prefer to do some shopping while you’re out on the road, on the other hand, a visit to Llandeilo with its small boutiques should be on the cards.
There’s no doubt that getting out on the road can help rediscover your mojo. There’s something for everyone on each of these road routes. If you love challenging roads in the country, you’ll be in seventh heaven. If you simply want to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK, that’s covered too.
You can find the full infographic on the OSV website here.