The UK’s most beautiful stretches of road
High mountain peaks, lush green valleys and rugged cliff tops with ocean views. Take in Britain’s most beautiful bits from the comfort of your car, from the Welsh coast to the peaks and lochs of the Scottish Highlands, or the gently rolling hills of the Cotswolds.
See mountains soar up around you as you drive through Glencoe, a region of Scotland famed the world over for its spectacular landscapes. Fertile valleys, dizzying peaks and clear mountain rivers together give this landscape an almost mythological feel, and on the A82 from central Scotland, you can take it all in as you drive by.
Drive along the dramatic north east coast of Northern Ireland and take in some of the region’s best known sights. Here the Glens of Antrim surround you – nine green valleys with a patchwork of fields and woodland flanked by the sea to the north. Visit the famous Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, then stop for lunch and take a dip in the sea at the bustling coastal town of Ballycastle.
With Conwy Castle in your rear view mirror, prepare yourself for the rocky outcrops and mountain waterfalls of the Snowdonia National Park. You’ll pass close to the towering peak of Snowdon itself and if you take a detour out to Llanberis, you can catch a train to the summit. You can walk too of course, but be ready for a good hike, check the weather first, and put aside five hours. Back on the road, you’ll soon reach Portmeirion. Built in the style of an Italian village, its bright colours and elegant architecture are a seaside must-see.
This lesser-used road winds through the green hills of the Cotswolds, so get ready for views of woodland, meadows full of wildflowers, sheep pasture and picture-perfect English villages. These are some of Britain’s finest and most recognisable landscapes.
On the way, be sure to explore the historic town of Chipping Campden, a quaint spot for lunch and some great sightseeing. When you reach Stratford-upon-Avon, you can explore Shakespeare’s birthplace, and even see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre.
Travel along the wild North Northumberland Coast and take in the dramatic sight of Bamburgh Castle, an impressive medieval fortification looming up above the neighbouring village. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is just offshore here, cut off by the sea each day at high tide, and the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve sees a multitude of rare birds wading here in the mud flats.
Take a boat ride out to the Farne Islands and see puffins, seals and lots of other wildlife, or continue down to Alnwick Castle, a historic gem with plenty of family fun on offer.