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10 best UK road trips you must experience in your lifetime

The great thing about the UK is that it boasts some of the most picturesque stretches of Tarmac in Europe.  Whether it’s the coastal roads of isolated Northumberland, the breath-taking mountain passes of Scotland, or the ‘Atlantic Highway’ that links Devon with Cornwall, you’ll find vistas to drop jaws. 

The list has been compiled by experts at Select Car Leasing, the UK’s leading car leasing firm. James O’Malley, Director at Select Car Leasing, says:

“The UK is home to so many different landscapes, from the high mountains of Scotland and Wales, to the epic coast road of Wales. 
“This selection might not necessarily offer the most fun to the petrolhead, who crave hairpin bends and somewhere they can really get a hustle on. 
“But if you’re looking for a picturesque cruise with the ‘wow’ factor to impress the entire family, these are the routes for you.”

A82, Glasgow to Fort William, Scotland 

A route of real contrasts, this driving road saves the very best for last – and if you’ve not travelled this route before, you’re in for a treat. You’ll leave the outskirts of Glasgow and negotiate the western flanks of Loch Lomond before heading north into the wilds. As you pass through Rannoch Moor into Glencoe the scale of the landscape is awe-inspiring, as towering mountains like Buachaille Etive Mor and the Aonach Eagach ridge dominate the skyline on both sides of the road. 

A5, Llangollen to Bethesda, Wales

Start near the Welsh-English border, close to the iconic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and head west, passing through the sun-dappled forests of Llangollen (petrolheads might want to take a detour north to the Horseshoe Pass at this point…). From here it’s vast, isolated nothingness until you hit Snowdonia National Park. The A5 runs through the amazing Ogwen Valley, a hiker’s paradise, before spitting you out in the cafe-rich village of Bethesda. 

A39, Barnstaple to Newquay, England

Otherwise known as the Atlantic Highway, this journey along the north Cornwall coast is to be savoured. It covers around 80 miles, including stop-offs like Tintagel Castle and the charming fishing port of Padstow. A detour to the lighthouse at Trevose Head is well worth a look, too. 

A1068, B1339, B1340 - Alnmouth to Bamburgh, England

Northumberland is one of the UK’s most underrated coastal destinations. And those who know the secret will want to keep it that way - because it’s also surprisingly quiet and peaceful. This route passes through a collection of incredible fishing villages, including Beadnell, Seahouses and Craster, and should be enjoyed as a slow jaunt not a sprint, including plenty of stops for fish and chips. 

A49 Whitchurch to Ross-on-Wye, England

If you’re making your way south from the Midlands to Gloucestershire, you could take the M5 and the M6. Or, a much more pleasant way to complete that journey, would be to jump on the A49 in Shropshire and head south to Ross-on-Wye, passing through mile-upon-mile of straight, cruising road combined with an ever changing rural landscape. 

B1053 Braintree to Saffron Walden, England

This is only a short stretch, but crammed full of personality and offering some of the best scenery Essex has to offer. It passes through picture-postcard villages full of timber-clad houses as well as places with significant medieval history. Don’t forget a pitstop at the historic Swan Hotel in Thaxted. 

A85, A84, Crianlarich to Stirling, Scotland

The Trossachs of Scotland are a bit of hiking paradise - but they’re also great for a scenic jaunt in the car. There are undulating roads across moorland and mountain passes, as well as forests and lakes dotted alongside the Tarmac. The views across Loch Lubnaig near Callander are particularly stunning. 

A35, Christchurch to Southampton, New Forest, England

The New Forest sits between Southampton and Bournemouth, and while its main artery is the A31, the A35 between Christchurch and Southampton is a great alternative route. It cuts through open heathland pastures as well as more covered areas of forest, and there are campsites dotted throughout. The New Forest covers some 200 square miles, so despite its popularity you should be able to find your own peaceful spot. 

A487, Dolgellau to Fishguard, Wales

This is arguably one of the greatest coastal roads in the whole of the UK, running between Dolgellau in the North down to Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, while also winding its way through countless bays and beaches. It’s worth the drive purely for the views across Cardigan bay as you approach Aberarth. 

A684, B6255, B6479, Leyburn to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, England

This route represents the quintessential tour of the Yorkshire dales, and can easily be extended into a circular route by continuing on south to Skipton before heading back to Leyburn on the B6160. The route first takes you to superb ‘Aysgarth Falls’ waterfalls of the River Ure before you drop down from Hawes through open moorland and passing rocky crags. You’ll end up surrounded by the famous ‘Three Peaks’ of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent, as the infamous Ribblehead Viaduct (you’ll have seen it in the Harry Potter movies) looms into view. 

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Tuesday, 10/05/2022