In Great Britain alone, there are over 245,000 miles of road. Only 1% of these are motorways, leaving plenty of minor roads that meander from the peaks of Scotland to the fertile valleys of the South West. The UK boasts a rich landscape of rugged coastlines, mountainous peaks and rolling fields, giving way to some of the best driving roads Europe has to offer. So pack up your car, choose your favourite tunes and dust off your map, because on trips like this, the journey is the destination.
At 140 miles long, this road is the second longest primary road in Scotland, stretching from Glasgow in the south to Fort William in the north. Sweeping past Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, the A82 curves beneath the majestic Grampian mountains and sweeps over the desolate Rannoch Moor. Heading north, after hitting the village of Tyndrum, you enter the unforgettable Glen Coe, an ancient volcanic glen that is perhaps the most awe-inspiring sight in Scotland. You’ll recognise this area if you’ve seen the James Bond film Skyfall! The road is smooth, well maintained, and offers jaw dropping views for over 100 miles.
According to a study by the University of Warwick, this is the best driving road in Britain, and the third best in the world. By achieving a balance between key elements, such as acceleration and cruising, as well as being situated in an area of outstanding beauty, the A591 has everything a driver might want for the most enjoyable drive. Stretching for 30 miles from Windermere to Keswick, the road meanders along the banks of Lakes Windermere and Thirlmere, as well as passing over Dunmail Raise. Snow peaked fells rise in the distance, as you wind through an unimaginably pretty landscape straight out of a postcard.
The A476 travels the length of Wales, crossing almost 200 miles along it’s backbone. Beginning in Snowdonia National Park in the north, the road winds through medieval towns, past ancient castles and across swathes of rugged countryside. As you descend south, you’ll reach the majestic, desolate Oerddrws Pass, sitting at just over 1000ft in the Cambrian Mountains, as well as sweep through the wild and otherworldly Coed-y-Brenin forest. The road takes in all that Wales has to offer, including expansive moorland and old slate mines, harkening back to this country’s industrial past.
Following the A2 for this 25 mile stretch will reward you with some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world. The road snakes between towering cliffs and sandy beaches, passing through picturesque villages and ancient monuments. Visit quaint Cushenden for an afternoon tea, before driving past the imposing ruins of Dunluce Castle, once home to the chiefs of Antrim, until it began crumbling into the sea. Of course, a drive here wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site of huge proportions, featuring tall basalt columns that disappear into the sea.
Crossing the Brecon Beacons between Llandovery and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, this stretch of road, also known as the Black Mountain Pass, offers incredible driving with world class views that disappear into far distant horizons. Reaching over 1600ft above sea level, the road is a twisting snake of hairpin bends, with staggering views across the Tywi Valley from almost every corner. A fun drive for motoring enthusiasts - just make sure you stop to enjoy the scenery!