Is there anything more endorphin-inducing than a road trip in the summer?
Nothing beats that rush of joy and peace that comes from driving through beautiful landscapes with the sun streaming in, windows rolled down for the breeze, your favourite song playing in the background and nothing but the open road ahead.
Road trips have been especially popular with UK travellers over the last twelve months and are set to spike again this summer as local Covid-19 restrictions remain minimal and holidaymakers avoid the complexity and recent chaos involved in venturing overseas. The pandemic also reminded people of the incredible experiences that can be found on the doorstep, igniting a collective passion for exploring new places close to home.
Keep things simple and holiday in the UK this summer, getting behind the wheel to travel to new corners and old haunts entirely at your own pace. With national parks, pretty countryside, and majestic coastline at your fingertips there is no danger of disappointment, whether you are planning an exhilarating adventure with friends or an intimate romantic getaway.
Before you plan your route, do not forget the most vital preparation: making sure your vehicle is ready for the road. Important things to check include the oil and coolant levels, tyre pressure and depth, washer fluid, and lights, particularly if you are planning a long journey or lots of driving. If you are not confident making these checks yourself, book your vehicle in for an interim service and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a professional appraisal.
Browse our favourite Great British road trips for this summer and discover which unforgettable journey is the best fit for you.
North Coast 500, Scotland
Arguably the best road trip in the UK, the NC500 is often referred to as ‘Scotland’s answer to Route 66’. Although these roads through the rural highlands have existed for years, it was not until 2014 that this specific 500-mile circular route was established – and since then it has rocketed to popularity. Winding country lanes give over to spectacular sweeping coastline and there is plenty of wildlife, unique delicacies, and rich heritage to discover along the way.
North York Moors, England
Lonely Planet described the drive from historic York to Robin Hood’s Bay as the best road trip in the North of England, ranking the stunning route above more traditional English road trips such as the journey along Hadrian’s Wall and through Northumberland. See swathes of wildflowers covering rolling hills and wind through charming country villages on your way out to the protected coastline of the North York Moors which claims Dracula’s old haunt – the sensational abbey at Whitby.
Lake District National Park, England
England’s largest national park and now acclaimed World Heritage Site boasts the country’s highest mountain and deepest lake and is an ever-popular holiday destination for travellers young and old. Traverse the rugged fell mountains by car and watch in awe as the winding roads give way to magnificent valley views scattered with gleaming lakes. Picturesque lakeside market towns provide the perfect opportunity for breaking your journey with lunch at a cosy traditional inn.
Pembrokeshire Coast 200, Wales
Not to be outdone by the likes of the NC500 and America’s Route 66, in 2021 Wales launched its own long-distance road trip – the Pembrokeshire Coast 200. Great Britain’s newest road trip obviously offers breath-taking coastal scenery but also endless chances for outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, and surfing, making it a popular route for travellers who like to be active.
Jurassic Coast, England
One of the most spectacular sections of coastline in Europe, the Jurassic Coast is the 100-mile stretch between East Devon and Dorset. The highlights of this much-loved road trip are the staggering natural rock formations such as Durdle Door at Lulworth Cove, and the beautiful wild beaches including striking Kimmeridge Bay. The South West Coast Path provides safe and sensational walking trails all the way along your route.
Road to the Isles, Scotland
The Road to the Isles in the north-west of Scotland is a truly magical experience in every sense of the word. Drive out in the shadow of towering Ben Nevis and wend your way through a majestic land of lochs leading out to the ocean. You will pass the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct which was featured in the Harry Potter films. Once at the coast, get the ferry over to the Isle of Skye and spend a couple of days exploring this remote alien landscape by road.
Cotswolds Romantic Road
You may not expect the most romantic road in Britain to pass through a place called ‘Lower Slaughter’, but it does! The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Cheltenham and Gloucester in central south-west England, and this road trip route takes you along a twisting country road through quintessential English countryside. There are many pretty points where you can pause for a picnic or an indulgent pub lunch with your other half.
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