10 unforgettable driving routes in Britain

Escape Britain's motorways, and you'll be amazed at what you can discover. From mountain passes to scenic coastal drives, Britain has plenty of stunning driving routes that are ideal to build a driving holiday around.

A82 - Loch Lomond to Loch Ness

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This scenic route is widely regarded as one of the most iconic in Britain, with multiple spectacular moments. Starting in Glasgow, the A82 stretches north into the Scottish Highlands, passing Loch Lomond before heading into arguably the highlight of the route – Glencoe. This stunning area has been called the most spectacular location in Britain, and one look makes it easy to see why. Film buffs will also recognise the area from the James Bond film, Skyfall.

After Glencoe, the A82 rounds Loch Leven before passing through Fort William. On this stretch of road, you’ll be able to spot Britain’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis towering above you. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, stop in Fort William and attempt to climb the mountain’s peak.

Continue your journey north on the A82, and you’ll encounter another iconic British location – Loch Ness. Drive alongside the Loch and see if you can spot the legendary Loch Ness Monster, or stop off and take a relaxing walk around the area to finish your road trip in style.

Loch Lomond

A3055 - Military Road (Isle of Wight)

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Running parallel with the west coast of the Isle, the A3055 (aka Military Road) is a road trip that needs to be taken sooner rather than later, as erosion along the coast could see parts of the road disappear!

With sweeping views across the ocean on one side and rolling hills on the other, this short but memorable drive has been named one of Europe’s top roads.

Military Road

B3135 - Cheddar to Ashwick

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Primarily known for its cheese, the village of Cheddar is also surrounded by lush, scenic country routes. Adventurous drivers can enjoy twisting, tight bends through the spectacular Cheddar Gorge, before sweeping turns lead to the quiet village of Ashwick.

Despite not being the longest drive, the stunning surroundings will make you glad you took the trip to England’s West Country. There’s plenty of other attractions in the area too, but none offer a sense of adventure quite like your drive through Cheddar Gorge.

Cheddar

Wrynose and Hardknott Pass

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If you’re up for a challenge, Wrynose and Hardknott Pass is ready and waiting. Featuring some of the steepest roads in Britain (Hardknott Pass has a 33% gradient at one point), this route is not for the faint-hearted.

However, you’ll be treated with spectacular views across the Lake District if you brave the route, along with one hell of a story to tell when you head home.

Hardknott Pass

Evo Triangle

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Named after Evo magazine which often uses this route to test or review new cars, the Evo Triangle is three roads in north Wales. Starting on the A5, head west towards the quiet village of Pentrefoelas, before taking a right turn onto the A543, where the Evo Triangle really starts to shine.

Tight bends and sweeping vistas make the uphill climb a joy, with the road veering off ahead almost endlessly. Eventually, you’ll pass the Sportsman’s Arms, where you’ll want to take a right onto the B4501. This is arguably the finest stretch of the route, featuring panoramic views across the Alwen Reservoir and a twisting, turning road that supplies plenty of thrills. You might even see the latest sports cars being tested!

Evo Triangle

Alnmouth to Lindisfarne

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Driving through the countryside can sometimes be a chore, but not on the Northumberland Coast. This route from Alnmouth to Lindisfarne Nature Reserve follows the coast, offering spectacular views across the North Sea. The Northumberland Coast is also littered with castles, towering above the roads on hillsides; Bamburgh Castle is a particular highlight on this route.

At the end of your journey, you’ll arrive in Lindisfarne, and you’ll see why this is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle are both picturesque sights from afar.   Beware if you intend to get closer; the causeway leading to Holy Island becomes unusable at certain points because of tidal shifts, and you don’t want to end up stranded!

Alnmouth

Bealach na Ba

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Historically used to drive livestock across the mountains, Bealach na Ba (aka Pass of the Cattle in English) has been transformed into one of the most scenic drives in Britain. It’s a little intimidating at first, but that will all melt away when you near the midpoint and surround yourself with glorious views across the Scottish Highlands.

There’s no complex directions to follow on this one; just follow the road south of Tornapress towards Applecross, and you’ll begin your ascent across the Bealach na Ba. There’s plenty of stopping points along the way, so make sure you get out and take time to enjoy the view!

Bealach na Ba

A470 - Brecon Beacons to Snowdonia

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The A470 runs across most of Wales, and if you venture north on the road, you’ll be able to see some of the best views that the country has to offer. North of Merthyr Tydfil, the A470 enters the Brecon Beacons National Park, surrounding you with rolling hills and a near endless horizon.

Continue onwards and the A470 heads into the Welsh countryside, passing through numerous tiny villages and communities. There’s plenty of opportunity to break off and explore the surroundings, but stick with the A470 and you’ll eventually arrive in Snowdonia. You’ll be surrounded by mountains in the distance and the views will keep getting better as you journey further north.

Brecon Beacons

Snake Pass

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Located in the Peak District, Snake Pass provides a route across the Pennines between the market town of Glossop and Sheffield. As you might expect from the name, Snake Pass is full of curves and bends, with each one offering a glorious view of its own. In the late summer, heather blooms across the surrounding hills, bathing in the area in a gorgeous purple colour – it’s a spectacular sight.

Snake Pass

B3306 - St Ives to St Just

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The B3306 might not be the quickest route between St Ives and St Just, but it’s definitely the most exciting. A 13-mile stretch of coastal road, the B3306 twists and turns between quaint villages and hills sloping down to the ocean.

With striking views all around you, those 13 miles are going to fly by. That’s okay though – you can always turn around and do the whole road again!

St Ives
26 Sep 2018(last updated)