The best road trips in the UK this summer
Summer is almost upon us and alongside anticipating plenty of sunshine, there’s an endless list of activity that greets the appearance of the good weather that we so desperately want.
Having had a few bouts of rain mixed with rare spots of sunshine recently, I admit I do cling to the optimism of having the sun rear its head and plenty of blue sky in the coming weeks for an extended period.
It’s with that very thought in mind that we’ve decided to pick out the top 5 road trips you can undertake in your car this summer across the UK, choosing locations that provide a combination of beautiful scenery, coastal drives and charming back roads.
Naturally, there are plenty of hotspots across the country and we’ve narrowed it down into a top 5 list, although any list is always certain to leave out some of the best and there were some tough choices with the UK really having some amazing road trips to choose from.
I’m sure you’ll have lots of your own to add to the debate and we’d love to know what you think, especially if you are planning to hit the road on a long journey yourself soon.
Let’s kick-off the road trips with the Yorkshire Moors, and a route not too far from our very own offices in Macclesfield! It’s best to start by saying that this particular trip will see you take-in some breathtaking scenery.
No trip to the Yorkshire Moors would be complete without taking in the historical city of York with its stunning architecture and cobbled streets, the fishing village of Whitby and Castle Howard, which includes free guided tours. I’d also recommend a night out in Leeds while you are here, but that’s likely to be less on the relaxing side!
Top tip: Set off on the A1079 towards York.
To be honest this came down to a choice between the Lake District and the Peak District, not merely because they both have the word District in the title, but because they are renowned for stunning scenery, deep valleys and epic lakes.
Frankly both would have been a good bet for a road trip, but to try and provide something different with each location, we’ve gone for the Lake District. In truth, nothing encompasses a scenic road trip better than here, while if it’s a family trip you could always take-in some hiking along the way around the lakes and mountains.
Must-see sites include Lake District National Park – the largest in England – which also has the highest mountain in England in Scafell Pike and the largest lake at more than 10 miles long in Windermere Lake, as well as Ullswater Lake and Coniston Water.
Top tip: Start your journey on the A592 at Ambleside with endless destinations such as Keswick and Windermere.
I’m pretty sure that as a kid we’d try to get at least one trip booked to go down to Norfolk every year, but alongside fond childhood memories, Norfolk is a beautiful coastline location to visit and more importantly, a road trip that takes in plenty of picturesque settings, especially if you start by driving through Great Yarmouth.
A road trip to Norfolk wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop to Burnham Market for some shopping, but there are plenty of other hidden gems to see along the way including the medieval bridge over the River Thurne and beautiful Norfolk Broads, with the option to ditch the car for the day and go boating on the tidal rivers.
Top tip: Start by driving through Great Yarmouth on the A149.
I recently went on holiday to the Cotswolds and while this was less a planned road trip and more a short break, we still took in enough sights to know that an extended drive here has to be done. As a renowned ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, Cotswolds is absolutely beautiful.
It’s also a road trip whereby you need to make regular stops to make sure you enjoy the quaint villages and countryside walks. I’d best describe the Cotswolds as a very relaxing and old-fashioned part of the country, with a real charm to it.
Top tip: We recommend kicking off this road trip to the Cotswold from the M4.
Having picked four road trips that just so happened to be in England, it seemed only fair to pick somewhere different and that leads us to recommend the Scottish Highlands.
With some truly stunning landscape and mountain views, this is reason enough to drive here, but naturally there’s plenty of places you have to visit and see that include Stirling Castle, the valley of Glencoe with its highland scenery and Northwest Highlands Geopark. You’ll want to take your time on this road trip to enjoy all the wonderful sights on offer.
Top tip: Take the A835 at Inverness and off you go.
Do you think we missed any road trips out that you’d highly recommend? Have you already driven across any of these locations, and what did you think? Let us know in the comments box below.