So avoid the mad rush for post-lockdown flights, stay safe in your own space and get on the road with friends or family members you’ve been missing these past months and discover the beauty and natural wonder of the amazing British Isles whilst supporting our local economies
The UK has plenty of spectacular road trip itineraries to rival America’s Route 66. From stunning coastline, hairpin mountain passes, new sporting adventures, open moorland, to picturesque villages, cityscapes, or routes to feed foodies, there are self-drive options to suit every different holiday desire.
Here, expert road tripper and Head of Wanderlust at Camptoo, Ed Bassett, provides a guide to his top ten UK routes.
“The UK offers so many surprises,” says Ed. “There’s really no need to go very far to enjoy award-winning beaches, fantastic food, picturesque villages, new sports, impressive forts, castles or spectacular scenery. Pair all of that with a trip that focuses on adventure, new experiences, and the opportunity to really bond with your fellow roadtrippers, and you have holiday memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are our recommendations for the best routes in the UK. Happy driving!
- North Coast 500 (NC500), Scotland Perfect for more well-seasoned road-tripper, this iconic coastal touring route of the North Highlands begins and ends at Inverness Castle. Although a relatively new route, NC500 is awe-inspiring, with 516 miles of fairy tale castles, rugged mountains, white sand beaches and historical ruins. Roadtrippers should ensure they try the delicious local produce along the way. There is a blog on the Camptoo website with more details
- Moors and dales, Yorkshire Heather moorland, rolling hills, pine forests and stunning coastline dotted with historic abbeys and castles, traditional pubs and picturesque villages and hamlets is what to expect on a Yorkshire road-trip. You’ll enjoy visiting Harome, Wensleydale, Buttertubs Pass, Blakey Ridge, North York Moors National Park, Whitby and Hovingham
- Norfolk & Suffolk From the raw beauty of the Norfolk countryside and the endless expanse of beach at Holkham Bay, to the picturesque seaside town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Covering just 286 miles across relatively flat countryside, this road trip is ideal for those wanting a slower, scenic break. A place many Londoners call home from home
- Wales Coastal Way Running the entire length of Cardigan Bay, from Llŷn to Pembrokeshire, this 180-mile odyssey encompasses quaint harbour towns, sandy beaches, ancient castles and even the occasional dolphin. This road trip isn’t just about picturesque vistas though, you will be able to visit many award-winning producers of sweet-treats – from chocolatiers to ice cream makers – make sure to stop off at New Quay Honey Farm in Ceredigion and The Hive in Aberaeron. For those wanting to try surfing and some amazing walking head to Snowdonia Surf Centre just 50 miles off your route near the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales for a day or two.
- Coastal Causeway, Northern Ireland Grab your friends and enjoy this winding coastal road that passes through picturesque villages and unforgettable scenic locations. Game of Throne fans will be in their element with visits to Ballycastle, Cushendun, Ballintoy Harbour, Larrybane and The Dark Hedges
- The Snake Pass, Pennines Passing through the Pennines, between the northern cities of Manchester and Sheffield, the Snake Pass is not for the faint-hearted. Weaving through dramatic countryside, expect a sharp incline followed by a long, scenic descent with twists and turns along the way. The road is often closed in the winter months, but if you’re up for a challenge it’s worth tackling in the summer months.
- Atlantic Highway, Devon & Cornwall Often included in ‘best road-trip’ selections, the Atlantic Highway is Britain’s answer to Route 66 and the name given to the long and winding 70-mile A39 running from Barnstaple in north Devon, down to Fraddon, on the outskirts of Newquay in Cornwall. Enjoy picturesque barley fields and beautiful bays galore, finishing at the famous granite rocks of Bedruthan Steps. Start your roadtrip in Cornwall here.
- Cotswold Village Hopping From Arlington Row in Bibury, the set of stone cottages built in 1380, to the vintage markets in picturesque Burford, to afternoon tea at The Slaughters Manor House Hotel, a Cotswold village hopping road-trip is ideal for people wanting to enjoy a slower pace and who are happy to just go with the flow. Expect chocolate box cottages made from local honey-coloured stone.
- Seafood Trail, Scotland’s west coast A meandering drive along the rugged and unspoilt west coast of Scotland with some of the best seafood and shellfish in Scotland thrown in for good measure. Whether you’re after fresh crab rolls served with a zesty squeeze of lemon and home-made mayonnaise at the Seafood Cabin in Skipness, or to sample a Michelin recommended menu at the Cairnbaan Hotel, this road-trip caters for all foodies and whiskey lovers
- Lakes to Peaks Start your road-trip surrounded by the lush green hills and tranquil lakes of the Lake District, setting off through the rugged Yorkshire Dales and on towards the Peak District. A treat for all literary fans, this area of the UK inspired poets William Wordsworth and John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. Make sure to visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead in Cumbria, to learn about this accomplished children’s author, illustrator and passionate farmer and conservationist. A treat for young and old.
To rent a campervan, motorhome or caravan, visit www.camptoo.co.uk.
NOTE – Keep an eye on UK travel restrictions and campsite openings before you book and keep your cancellation policy to most flexible when you make a booking