5 Stunning Destinations You Can Drive to in the UK
Car packed, Spotify playlist ready, GoogleMaps to navigate and adventure on the horizon — it’s time to get in the car and start driving. There’s nothing quite like a good old car journey — the chance to cruise along to a new destination with a playlist packed full of your favourite songs and your loved one next to you — especially if the route is scenic!
While many of us use our cars on a daily basis, it’s not often our transport of choice when we want to visit a new destination.
However, driving needn’t be seen as a chore, as it can be one of the best ways to explore a country and reach your end-destination. It also gives you the freedom to chose when your next stop is and flexibility in adjusting your travel plans. Time to embrace your beloved car and hit the open road.
Is your car not fit for the trip? No problem, Wagonex is here to help.
First, see five must-do drives and get to know the beauty of the United Kingdom better!
1. North Coast 500, Scotland
The Scottish answer to the famous American Route 66. This breathtaking circuit, called North Coast 500, begins and ends at Inverness Castle and takes 516 miles. Right at the beginning, in Inverness, you might want to take a bit more time and visit Outlander and Jacobite Rebellion sites of the Highlands and enjoy the journey back in time. One of the most amazing European fortifications, Fort George built in XVIII century is also worth a visit.
When you continue on the route up north, you’ll see in the Sutherland area more of an unspoilt and stunning nature waiting to enchant your senses. Ben Loyal may not be Scotland’s highest peak but it’s certainly worth a hike, also known as Queen of Scottish Mountains, it is suitable to climb for a seasoned walker. The walk to the top takes 9.5 miles and has an ascent of 878m, quite a challenge. While you continue to drive, more scenic routes awaits you, the beaches of Achmelvich and UNESCO North West Highlands Geopark, to name only a few.
Along the way, you’ll find plenty of B&Bs, hotels and cottages to rest between exciting parts of the circuit, here you can find most of them.
2. Ambleside to Windermere, Lake District, UK
The Lake District is home to some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes. This route is 50 miles in total and starts from Ambleside, through Keswick and Ullswater, closing at Windermere, home of the Great North Swim, and dozens of other outdoor activities to make your trip a great family adventure.
What to do on the way? Plenty of pubs and cafes, so you’ll be able to stop en-route to refuel your stomachs and quench your thirst. If you wish, you can stop in Grasmere where you’ll find the home of William Wordsworth — a poet born in the 1700s.
On your way to Windermere, you’ll take the A66 and A591, and the Kirkstone Pass, Lake District’s highest pass open to motor traffic, to your final destination. Upon arrival you can choose from a wide variety of accommodation: glamping and luxury log cabins if you’re on a romantic getaway, wild camping in the National Park if you’re willing to stay close to nature or caravan sites and country house hotels if you’re on a family adventure.
3. Abergavenny to Penderyn, Wales
Stunning but short drive along the south edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, reaching this beautiful location from London will take less than 4 hours by car.
On the way you simply can’t miss the stop at Blaenavon Ironworks to admire the views of Pen y Fan (pictured above).
Once you arrive there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Caving, horse riding, gorge walking, sailing, fishing, the list goes on and there is plenty to do in the Brecon Beacons during your active weekend getaway. Moreover, the park has been awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status, meaning it is one of the best places in the world to go stargazing. We think that Londoners might appreciate this especially.
Of course, we have a list of B&Bs, camping areas and glamping locations in the park.
4. The B1257 from Helmsley and back through Whitby, England
Roads that guarantee to satisfy anyone who loves a bit of a roller-coaster ride over the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Helmsley located less than 5 hours drive from London, is a picture perfect Yorkshire market town and marks the beginning of the scenic, 94 miles long route.
While on the road, several places can’t be missed. Stopping at Bilsdale offers amazing views including Rosebery Topping which resembles an extinct volcano and Captain Cook’s hilltop monument.
Further down the road, just before completing the circuit in Helmsley, you’ll drive through Hutton-le-Hole and you may stop at Ryedale Folk Museum which recalls local life over the past 400 years.
Looking for a place to stay overnight? Here you can find a few great suggestions.
5. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
One of the greatest drives on earth. It begins in Belfast and continues up north along the coast for 120 miles to end in Derry-Londonderry, with 9 shorter scenic routes to enjoy along the way. This is the perfect trip for a Bank Holiday weekend or for a longer getaway. Ideally, you should allow yourself 3 to 5 days to drive in a relaxed manner and explore several major attractions on the way.
Apart from the beauty of the capital city where the route starts, you can’t miss the Giant’s Causeway (pictured above), Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. Fans of the TV series Game of Thrones will also enjoy visiting The Dark Hedges and Ballintoy Harbour which served as the filming locations of King’s Road and Iron Islands respectively.
Where to stay on the way? Fancy a night in a castle or bubble dome? Along the Causeway Coastal Route you can find it all, including more traditional options and pet friendly locations. Find the best spot here.
Ready to go? Enjoy! (Don’t forget to let us know how it went.)