10 best road trips in the UK

It’s time to start planning for the Great British staycation. And a road trip is the perfect way to discover the UK 🚘

Wherever you decide to go, taking the car can be a great way to see more of the best sights the UK offers and give you the flexibility to make the most of your trip. Check out 10 of the best road trips in the UK to help you plan your next staycation.

1. Snowdonia – North Wales

Rhyd Ddu Snowdon routeSnowdonia National Park is full of classic Welsh beauty in the form of green valleys, rugged mountains and lots of wildlife to see. If you’re feeling energetic, Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, makes a great climb, but there are also plenty of small market towns to enjoy a more relaxing side of Wales.

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2. Peak District – Central England

top 10 staycation locationsMake your way through Wirksworth and Bakewell and you’ll see some of the most idyllic countryside in Britain’s first national park. The Peak District is all about rolling hills, splendid farmland and quaint market towns. If promises of Bakewell tarts aren’t enough to keep the kids excited, you can always add a trip to nearby Alton Towers Theme Park too!

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3. Scottish Highlands – Northwest England

Edinburgh is a great place to begin a road trip tour of Scotland. Head towards the spectacular Stirling Castle, and on to the natural wonder and richly historic place that is the valley of Glencoe. Then make the drive up to the beautiful Isles, which are unlike anywhere else in the world. There’s no better way to explore Skye and The Orkneys than at your own pace by car.

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4. Cornish Coast – Southwest England

The Atlantic Highway will get you down to Cornwall in no time, but once you get there, don’t expect to move anywhere quickly. This is partly due to the wiggly little Cornish roads and the amazing views you can see from them. Every new turn or hill promises a new vista, of waves crashing against cliffs or of the perfect sandy beaches. This is a great road trip to go on with little kids, as there is nothing like the seaside to keep them entertained.

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5. Lake District – Northwest England

top 10 staycation locationsStart at our Penrith Hotel, then drive to Ambleside and the famous Lake Windemere. From there, head to Coniston, but before you arrive, turn off onto the spectacular Wrynose and Hardknott passes, which require a head for heights and a steady hand on the wheel! But the views are absolutely worth it. Continue onto Carlisle via Cockermouth and you will have seen the best of what the Lake District has to offer.

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Planning an adventure-packed UK road trip? Check out our top tips for a budget-friendly road trip here!

6. The Cotswolds – Southwest England

UK's best roadtripsThe Cotswolds is an amazing place to visit however you choose to explore it, but if you want to journey out on 4 wheels, there are plenty of picturesque country roads to travel, quaint villages to visit, and plenty of scenery to admire.

For a classic Cotswold tour, start at the market town of Burford and head to Northleach- a Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) before passing through the villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter following the stunning River Eye lined with iconic Cotswold yellow stone cottages and houses. You’ll then pass through Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Chipping Camden and then join onto the Cotswold Way before finishing off at the ancient Anglo-Saxon town of Winchcombe.

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7. Atlantic Highway – Southwest England

One of the best road trips in the UKIf you want to see the best of the south west then the Atlantic Highway is well worth packing your car up for. From the salty smell of the ocean to the lush vast green landscapes, this is a coast-lover dream road trip route. The route starts at Barnstaple and follows the beautiful southwest coastline all the way down to Newquay. Start your journey off by exploring Barnstaple before heading out to the surrounding towns and villages such as Bideford, Bude and Camelford known for their famous southwestern charm and character.

Once you’ve arrived in Newquay, the beach is a must-see, while its restaurants serve delicious locally sourced fish.

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8. Cambrian Way – Wales

UK's best road tripsOn this epic Welsh journey you’ll be able to see the whole country top to bottom following the A470 with some breathtaking stop-offs along the way. Start at the Welsh city of Cardiff before heading up to Rhondda Heritage Park through the South Wales Valleys where you can stop off and learn all about the area’s Industrial past. After that, head to one of the UK’s best National Parks, the Brecon Beacons and explore its miles of open green spaces and wildlife before heading north again through Rhayader and the stunning Elan Valley lakes.

Your last stop off is Conwy Valley, home to Conwy Castle and Snowdonia National Park before rolling into Llandudno in north Wales.

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9. Norfolk Coast – East England

UK's best road tripsA trip along the Norfolk coast offers a mix of beautiful sandy beaches, salt marshes and nature reserves that stretch out between Hunstanton near Kings Lynn all the way to the seaside resort town of Cromer with its Victorian Pier. As you head east you’ll have the opportunity to stop off at one of the 3 neighbouring Nature Reserves; Holme Dunes, Scolt Head Island and Blakeney and enjoy the resident birds and wildlife.

There are also plenty of villages and towns to call into, all boasting fantastic fishing opportunities and that classic harbourside atmosphere.

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10. Coast to Capital – Southampton to London

Uk's best road tripsThis road trip is the perfect choice for those wanting the best of both worlds: the coast and capital.  On this tour, you’ll pass through some of the UK’s most popular coastal cities on your way to the UK’s capital city, London. Start at Southampton, the port city home to hundreds of years of history including its association with the RMS Titanic.

From here, head to Portsmouth, another port city with naval significance and links to the author Charles Dickens. It’s then time to pay a visit to the characterful resort city of Brighton for some arcade fun and pier games before embarking on the final stretch into London where you can indulge in some of the best food, shopping, tourist attractions, art and culture in the world.

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