Introduction: Road trips are a unique way to explore a country, and the United Kingdom has some fantastic routes to offer. Whether you are planning a summer vacation or a weekend break, a road trip can give you an unforgettable experience. Here are six road trips to take in the UK that are sure to delight.
Prepping for your trip: Planning and preparation are essential before you set out on a road trip. Whether you are hiring a car or using your own, ensure that it is in good condition, and that you have all the necessary documentation, such as a spare tyre and breakdown cover. It’s also a good idea to pack a first-aid kit and non-perishable snacks for emergencies. Additionally, if you’re planning a long road trip, consider an electric car rental to help preserve the environment.
- North Coast 500, Scotland: The North Coast 500 is a circular route that spans 805 km of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes, including rugged fairways, shingle-sand beaches, tiny fishing hamlets, and peaty whisky distilleries. The route offers a scenic and cultural experience, skirting the coast from Inverness and the Black Isle, past the seaboard crags of Caithness, Sutherland, and Wester Ross. The route becomes a symphony, building note after note, bend by bend, from its rallying start through the east coast villages of Dornoch and Wick to Aultbea, Poolewe, and Gairloch on the savage west coast. The road reaches its peak at the Bealach na Bà, which loops up and over the Applecross Peninsula like a piece of gigantic spaghetti.
Best for: Escaping urban life and enjoying unexpected traffic jams, courtesy of wayward Highland cows and stags.
Duration: 4-7 days.
Need to know: Accommodation options are limited, so book in advance. In the off-season, you’ll have the route to yourself, when even a witches’ brew of winter clouds couldn’t dampen the drama or Highland spirit.
Where to stay: Inverness is the hub of the Highlands and a good place to stay before starting your road trip. Kingsmills Hotel is a luxurious option with sprawling grounds and a spa. Once on the road, Harbour Quay in Wick and the Shiskine Pod in Gairloch offer excellent accommodations.
- A Yorkshire circuit, England: The roads of Yorkshire wind through centuries of dark medieval history and create a daisy-chain link between some of the most beautiful villages, waterfalls, and rolling backdrops in northern England. The A- and B-roads lead you through fields of summer grasses over the Buttertubs Pass from Wensleydale to Swaledale. Along the valley floor, you can visit the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre to stock up on Wallace and Gromit’s favourite cheese, before plunging over into Reeth and looping back to your start point via Jervaulx Abbey.
Best for: Ale drinkers and cheese lovers.
Duration: 3 days.
Need to know: The Yorkshire Dales are a magnet for tour buses, and parking can be challenging.
Where to stay: Harrogate is an excellent starting point, and The Crown Hotel offers an affordable and comfortable option. The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham provides the perfect end to a long day on the road.
Conclusion: A road trip is an incredible way to explore a country and create unforgettable memories. It’s crucial to prepare carefully, whether you’re hiring a car or using your own. The UK offers some fantastic road trips, such as the North Coast 500 in Scotland and the Yorkshire circuit in England. Whether you’re a nature lover or a cheese aficionado, there is something for everyone.