Hit the road trips with these perfect UK summer road trips
As the road trips go, the diverse landscapes of the UK make for some of the most thrilling and breathtaking journeys in the world.
With rugged coastlines, enchanting forests, picture-perfect peaks, and cascading waterfalls, our roads tick every box on the exploration list.
So strap in for a summer jam-packed with adventures right on your doorstep, as we hit the road with four of the United Kingdom’s ultimate journeys.
Distance: 215 miles
Appropriately named, the Atlantic highway takes you through some of the most stunning coastlines our country has to offer.
Heading off from North Devon’s Barnstaple, the A39 takes you through the delights of Devonshire and all the way to Newquay in Cornwall. Expect sweeping beaches, jaw-dropping cliffs, and bays upon bays of beauty. Along the way, you’ll find yourself in some idyllic little villages and towns, such as Padstow and Port Isaac which both offer bag-loads of seaside charm.
We are spoilt for choice along this route, but Dartmoor National Park definitely takes the biscuit. A half an hour detour the main stretch is absolutely worth every mile. We promise.
One of England’s most renowned areas of splendour, Dartmoor spans 368 miles and has enthralled and inspired travellers for generations. There’s so much to see you might even want to park up for a couple of days.
Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
Distance: Around 200 miles
Covering coastlines from Belfast through to Derry, the Causeway Coastal Route is a road trip you’ll never forget.
Wind your way north from the buzzing city of Belfast along the coastline to discover some of Northern Ireland most precious treasures. Quaint villages, castle ruins, and world-famous landmarks are just a snippet of the places you can explore. Rounding the trip in Derry, a city stepped in rich history and heritage.
You simply cannot conclude this road trip without a visit to Northern Ireland’s one only UNESCO World Heritage site. Stand in awe as you witness over 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns cascade into the sea. Home to an array of unique birds, it’s one of nature’s most priceless gifts. According to legend, the Giant’s Causeway was built as a bridge to protect the country by the famous Irish giant Fionn. Words can’t do this place justice. Trust us: you need to go.
The Cambrian Way, Wales
Distance: 180 miles
Spanning 185 miles from north to south along the A470, the Cambrian Way is a journey that’ll take you through some of the most epic landscapes and views Wales has to offer. You can either start your journey in the Welsh capital of Cardiff and finish up in the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno or enjoy your trip the other way round, it’s up to you. Either way, the route is among the most scenic the UK has to offer.
From the majestic mountains of The Brecon Beacons, through twisting, swooping roads taking you through the Welsh heartlands, there’s so much to see and do. But take things at your own space; you will want to take your time and savour your rural adventure. It’s important to remember, however, that Wales’ weather can be very unpredictable, so make sure you pack your sturdy sports umbrellas. That way, come rain or shine, you’ll have a great time.
Your journey across the Cambrian Way will take you directly through Snowdonia, and while you’re there conquering the climb is a must.
The summit of Snowdon can be reached via a variety of paths, depending on your level of experience. If you struggle with hiking or are tight on time, they have a very convenient train service. Unfortunately, ongoing work means the Snowdon Mountain Railway Train won’t be travelling to the summit until 2023 but it will take you three-quarters of the way- all without lifting a toe. On the other hand, if you prefer to take the challenge head-on, you can set off on foot.
Road to the isles, Scotland
Distance: 45 miles
Short, sweet, and packed full of stunning scenery, Scotland’s iconic Road to the Isles is a trip with a little bit of everything.
Staring at the gateway to Ben Nevis in Fort William, you’ll travel the A830 through some of the most iconic spots Scotland has to offer. From the highlands to stretches of sandy beaches, lochs, and landmarks, you can end your trip in the fascinating fishing port, Mallaig.
Or, if you’re not ready to finish the adventures, travel on to explore the mythical lands of the Inner Hebrides.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is probably one of the most famous viaducts in the world(wizarding and otherwise), and it takes our must-see spot along this road trip. Home to the Hogwarts Express, the viaduct offers a perfect backdrop for your photo album. Alternatively, you can pre-book for an onboard experience with the Jacobite steam train.
With so much to see and do, it’s well worth considering a staycation for your next adventure, so you can explore some of the UK’s most picturesque and delightful places. All you need to do next is pick which road trip you do first.