Best Road Trips in the United Kingdom
For its small size and several national parks, England (United Kingdom) is a perfect country to explore by vehicle. It’s especially friendly to visitors who want to take in one of the country’s beautiful coasts, whether it’s a long commute into Cornwall or a walk along the Norfolk Coast. Visitors can rent a car in any large city or airport and then go on a long or short road trip around a region to get a greater sense of the little communities, natural wonders, and sunny beaches. Here are eight of England’s best road excursions, from the North York Moors to the Lake District to the Atlantic Highway.
1. Norfolk Coast
The scenic A149 runs along the Norfolk coast from Hunstanton to Cromer. The route runs straight through Weybourne, Wells-next-the-Sea, and Titchwell Marsh, as well as several nature reserves, notably the Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve. Stop in Brancaster for its famous mussels and a stroll along Holkham Bay’s beach, which was notably utilized as the setting for “Shakespeare In Love.” You can also hike a section of the well-known Norfolk Coast Path, which allows tourists to go close to the region’s natural beauty. You can make the journey as long or as short as you choose, but set aside at least a weekend to visit Norfolk. Book a stay at Wild Luxury, a glamping resort with stylish safari lodges, for a relaxing night.
2. The Cotswolds
Travel through the Cotswolds’ lovely villages and lush hills, which are best seen by automobile. There’s a lot to see in the area north and west of London, which spans roughly 800 square miles and dozens of cities and villages. Because the region is so diverse and comprises so many twisting, interconnecting roads, it’s better to pick a few places to visit and create a trip around them. Starting in Chipping Norton and traveling west to Moreton-in-Marsh and Broadway is one option. Travel south through Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Chedworth from there. The Cotwolds have a plethora of bed & breakfasts and inns, making it simple to stay overnight in a variety of locations. Along the route, don’t miss the National Trust Snowshill Manor and Garden and the Chedworth Roman Villa. Blenheim Palace, dubbed “England’s Versailles,” is located outside the Cotswolds in Woodstock.
3. Peak District
Begin your adventure in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, or Birmingham, then continue to the Peak District, a national park with charming villages and magnificent footpaths. It’s preferable to explore the park without following a rigid itinerary, especially when many routes wind through the area. Include Chatsworth House, a 16th-century stately home, and Lyme Park on your schedule, and don’t forget to take a walk through Dovedale. There are also some well-known hiking paths, such as the Ridge Walk and the Monsal Trail. Those looking for a less demanding sport can discover plenty of great taverns and boutique shops strewn across the Peak District. Expect to stay at least two nights to explore the region, but you might spend an entire week traveling about the Peak District.
4. Lake District
The Lake District, in England’s northwest, is regarded as one of the country’s most attractive locations. It’s the ideal destination for a two- or three-day road trip by vehicle or camper van. From the south, via Manchester, or from the east, via Middlesbrough, the national park can be reached. Take the M6 north and begin your journey at Kendal, which is home to Kendal Castle, before continuing to destinations such as Windermere and Ambleside, all of which are located on Lake Windermere. Whether you wish to hike the peaks or see some of the cities, your final route will depend on what you want to see and do. Some parts of the Lake District are fairly remote, with difficult roads, so prepare ahead and bring a good map. For driving directions in the Lake District, visit the region’s webpage.
5. Atlantic Highway and Cornwall
The Atlantic Highway, often known as the A39, stretches from Bath to Cornwall along the coast. Travelers can continue to the tip of Cornwall from Newquay to explore the picturesque seaside villages of St. Ives and Falmouth. Because the A39 takes more than seven hours to complete, it’s preferable to accomplish it in two or three days, with a few extra days to visit Cornwall. There are lots to see along the road, especially if you take a detour off the highway. Visit Bude for its beaches or take a trip to Bideford, a Devon hamlet. Visit The Museum of Witchcraft in Camelford, a small Cornwall town noted for its seafood, for something different. Cornwall’s roads are notoriously difficult to navigate, so bring a good map or GPS with you (there may not always be a great cell phone signal). Summer is also the finest time to go because there are more hours of daylight and more possibilities to enjoy the beaches.