Driving in the UK is a real pleasure. With so many varied landscapes and stunning national parks, you can experience some amazing scenery on even a quick trip to the shops. But, if you are looking for some of the best roads to drive in the UK, we’ve listed them here for you. From coastal drives which take advantage of our sweeping coastline to picturesque drives through some of the stunning UK national parks, this list has some of the best routes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Black Mountain Pass, Brecon Beacons
A 19-mile drive through the stunning Brecon Beacons, The Black Mountain Pass (A4069) lets you climb and twist through some truly spectacular countryside. Not only that, but the nature of this mountain road itself makes it an exciting drive, with some tight turns and fast straights letting you really enjoy being behind the wheel.
Wales is home to a myriad of amazing options for drives thanks to its beautiful landscapes. Author and Podcaster Segilola Salami explains how he fell in love with this part of the UK: “My favourite driving route is from Manchester city centre to Aberystwyth, Wales. The first time I travelled this route was with a friend of mine when we were students. I found the landscape very picturesque and thankfully because I wasn’t driving, I could enjoy the view throughout the journey. I recommend this driving route as I found it very soothing!”
READ MORE: The most scenic drives in Wales
The Norfolk Coast Road, Norfolk
Cutting across this coastline, which by the way is an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Norfolk Coast Road is certainly one of the best roads to drive in England. There are plenty of great stops along this road so be sure to give yourself time to take in the market towns and views you’ll come across.
Colin from Iceni Magazine suggest this route to anyone in the area, explaining to us: “Norfolk’s A149 AKA The Coast Road holds special memories for me. I learnt to drive last year, in spite of the many hurdles thrown in my way, and this was one journey that I made whilst learning. My partner and I jumped in the car and decided we just needed to get some fresh sea air. Norfolk is a stunning county anyway but being free to explore and roam as we wanted to in my car meant it was a perfect day… until the heavens opened. However, it’s definitely a road I enjoy driving on and offers plenty to see and do.”
The Antrim Coast Road, Northern Ireland
Now to Northern Ireland, where you’ll be able to take in some of the country’s most popular tourist sites including Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Giant’s Causeway, Derry and more on the Antrim Coast Road. Its length and the range of sights along its route means that you may want to take some time to explore this route and plan a road trip, giving yourself time to really take in some of the attractions along the way.
The North York Moors, Yorkshire
When it comes to spectacular areas of the English countryside, the North York Moors are certainly hard to beat. There are a plethora of nice places to drive here which you’ll enjoy and remember as the sweeping landscapes are breathtaking and have inspired novelists such as the Bronte sisters, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, to name a few.
Vicki from Blossom Education recommends this area: “Yorkshire is God’s own country, right? Anyone who was lucky enough to grow up there, as I did, would probably tell you the same thing. While driving in Leeds isn’t exactly a pleasure, doing so in the North Yorkshire Moors certainly is. The countryside is spectacular. The roads aren’t the best by far, but that means your journey is slower and you have more time to appreciate the wonders around you.”
Steph from the Family of Wanderlusts loves this area too, giving us her recommendation: “We found our favourite road in the UK on a road trip around Yorkshire with family back in 2016. The A170 links Thirsk with Scarborough and takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery that the UK has to offer, passing through Sutton Bank which has a National Park Centre as well as cycle trails for keen cyclists out there. For fans of Heartbeat, you can also easily reach Goathland from the A170 by turning onto the A169 at Pickering. Other attractions such as Rievaulx Abbey, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Flamingo Land Resort are also easily accessible from the A170, meaning that there is truly something for everyone when doing a family road trip!”
For a specific route which travels between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, Jo from A Rose-Tinted World tells us: “My favourite driving route is the A1 between Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Driving on this road always takes me back to great times travelling between my Leeds home and University days in Newcastle. The road has changed a lot in the 25 years since I graduated. It’s got wider and faster, becoming much more like a motorway. But it still runs through some gorgeous countryside, with stunning views. And it even has its own colossal piece of art on the route. You can’t miss the Angel of the North as you pass close by, as it beckons you to the gorgeous North East!”
The Cat and Fiddle Road, Cheshire
From stunning landscapes to a unique road. Technically one of the most challenging stretches of road on our list, The Cat and Fiddle Road, named after the local inn, is known for both its views and tight bends. In fact, it’s been called the most dangerous road in the UK before, so we recommend anyone who visits takes it incredibly cautiously. Some of the hazards presented are tight and often blind bends, busy traffic and the chance of livestock on the road from the surrounding fields, these come once you’ve passed The Cat and Fiddle Inn. However, for those who take the route at a sensible pace, you’ll be rewarded with a challenging and unique drive through some stunning moorland.
The Loch Lomond Road Trip, Scotland
The A82 in Scotland is known as the Loch Lomond Road Trip as it closely hugs the west coast of this great lake. If you are visiting Scotland to explore some of its majestic wilderness, then making sure you enjoy this scenic drive is a must. Whilst travelling down this road, for an excellent adventure take the exit at Arden Roundabout and you can get the ferry over to Inchmurrin Island, the largest island in the lake.
The Northumberland Coastal Route, Northumberland
Our final recommendation sits in northern England in Northumberland. This coastal road is laced with ancient attractions including illustrious castles and Roman ruins, as well as beautiful towns and stunning beaches. People often don’t think of the north of England as a great UK staycation destination, but this route goes a long way to show what it has on offer. We suggest you start or end your drive here with a visit to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne which can be accessed by the causeway when the tide is out.
READ MORE: Which region is home to the best UK drivers?
The top driving routes in the UK
- The Black Mountain Pass, Brecon Beacons
- The Norfolk Coast Road, Norfolk
- The Antrim Coastal Road, Northern Ireland
- The North York Moors, Yorkshire
- The Cat and Fiddle Road, Derbyshire
- The Loch Lomond Road Trip, Scotland
- The Northumberland Coastal Route, Northumberland.
Before you leave on any trip, it’s important to ensure you have the right cover. So whether you need temporary car insurance for under 21s or are borrowing a motorhome and need temporary campervan insurance, we can get you on the road in as little as 15 minutes.
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