With travel abroad still uncertain, many people are staying in the UK. And what better way to enjoy the great British summer than with some scenic drives? Here we look at four possible routes you could take in England, Scotland and Wales. At their heart, all feature roads that are brilliant to drive on with awe-inspiring backdrops and fun activities for all the family.
Scenic drive along the south coast
If you like to be beside the seaside, then this is the drive for you. The A259 meanders along the south coast through Kent and Sussex. Where it gets really interesting is the stretch from Pevensey Bay to Bognor Regis.
Heading west, the fun driving begins at Eastbourne where the B2103 tracks the coastline before winding up the South Downs and then turning back towards the sea and running along the top of Beachy Head.
Duck back onto the A259 and head through the Seven Sisters Country Park towards Brighton. Stop here and you won’t be short of things for all ages to do. But we’d continue along the 259 towards Worthing and then Littlehampton where the stunning East Beach Café will provide some high-quality sustenance in a spectacular setting.
Scenic drive in the Yorkshire Dales
The Dales are awash with hills and river valleys meaning there are some amazing roads for driving on. Probably the most iconic view is from the B6255 looking towards the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, a sight the kids will recognise from the Harry Potter films.
After that you have the choice of continuing along the B6255 heading further into the National Park towards Hawes. Alternatively, you could drive south along the B6479 towards Settle. Whichever route you choose, you’ll enjoy the sweeping turns and the beautiful lush-green landscape lined with dry stone walls.
We’d continue north and take in the Buttertubs Pass between Hawes and Thwaite. It’s a road that’s featured on BBC’s Top Gear programme many times because it’s brilliant for testing cars and accompanied by stunning views.
Scenic drive in Wales
In the UK some of the most magnificent scenery is in Wales. And the nearer you get to the Snowdonia National Park the more awe-inspiring it becomes. But if you want somewhere that’s beautiful to look at and fantastic fun to drive, try what’s been dubbed the Evo Triangle.
Used by performance car magazine Evo to test sporty motors, it’s a 20-mile round trip from the A5 to the A543, then back to the A5 via the B5401. The roads are stupendous and the scenery around the Alwen Reservoir in the middle of the triangle is lovely.
If you want a more typical scenic drive, simply head into the Snowdonia National Park. Here you’ll come across famous family attractions such as the Ffestiniog Railway, Porthmadog and the National Whitewater Centre.
Scenic drive in Scotland
You don’t get much more beautiful, or remote than the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. Start on the A9 at Pitlochry and head north. Then at Aviemore take the B970 and enjoy the beautiful views as the road ambles through a remarkable backdrop.
At Speybridge the A939 takes you loosely south towards Ballater and the A93. You’ll pass the Lecht ski area and when you join the A93 you’ll spot the Queen’s residence, Balmoral Castle.
The A93 is known as the Snow Road because in heavy winters it can become completely blocked with the white stuff. Take it in the summer and you’ll enjoy all the things the Cairngorms are famous for. Along with the panoramic vistas, there’s the opportunity to stop for hiking and mountain biking in one of the UK’s only truly mountainous environments. The Cairngorms really does offer so much more than an amazing drive.