Looking to plan a trip close to home? These 5 classic road trips let you see some of the UK’s best sights all in one holiday.
The Dragon’s Spine — Wales
Don’t let the name put you off — this relaxed path takes in basically the entirety of the idyllic Welsh coast. It’s also a tough one to get lost on — the drive starts in Cardiff down south and follow the A470 all the way to Conwy in the north.
Distance/duration: 186 miles, 4-6 days
Highlight: You’ll hit two of the UK’s best national parks, Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.
The Atlantic Highway — England
This breathtaking stretch of road connects Fraddon (near Newquay) to Barnstaple (in Devon), and earns its name for the practically never-ending views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Highway is part of a much longer route, the A39, making it easier to add a day or two on to your journey to explore even more of the South West.
Distance/duration: 77 miles, 1-2 days
Highlight: Stop off in beautiful Bude for fish n chips and an afternoon on the beach.
North Coast 500 — Scotland
One of the UK’s most iconic road trips, this loop begins and ends at Inverness Castle. This road trip has a mix of everything, from the homey Scottish comforts of whiskey distilleries and cozy local restaurants to the unparalleled views of vast lochs, crumbling ruins, and fields of heather (not to mention the coastal views for which it’s named).
Distance/duration: 516 miles, 6-8 days
Highlight: Too many to choose from, but you’ll catch particularly great views on the Bealach na Bà road.
Causeway Coastal Route — Northern Ireland
This path, winding along the Northern Irish coast from Belfast to Derry, is best suited to adventurers. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to duck off the main road and explore small towns as well as iconic sights galore (Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and Gobbins Cliff Path, to name just a few).
Distance/duration: 120 miles, 4-6 days
Highlight: Take a slight detour and drive down the famous Dark Hedges road, framed by a “tunnel” of beech trees.
The Norfolk Coast — England
The Atlantic Highway isn’t England’s only coastal gem — this chill route around Norfolk lets you explore the eastern coast at your leisure. Enjoy a relaxed day or two by the rivers and lakes of the Broads National Park and mosey up towards coastal towns like Cromer.
Distance/duration: 90 miles, 2-4 days
Highlight: A stop off in Norwich for a look at glimpse at the towering 11th-century cathedral.