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The UK road trips you won’t forget

Thinking of going on a scenic drive? Forget Route 66, there are plenty of destinations in the UK that are jam-packed with beautiful and historic roads that you can explore. We’ve listed five epic road trips that can be enjoyed by solo travellers, couples and families alike.

1. The Causeway Coast

Culture Trip’s Niamh McGovern says that Northern Ireland’s Causeway coastal route in Co. Antrim is “fast becoming one of the best road trips in the world”, awash with breathtaking cliffs and idyllic harbours made famous in recent years by TV show Game of Thrones.

There is an impressive amount of activities to fit in along the drive. Enjoy top-class golf at Royal Portrush Golf Course, which is considered one of the world’s top courses, or sample some of the finest whiskey from Bushmills Distillery (not while driving of course!).

2. The beaches of Pembrokeshire

There are several road trip options across the beautiful Welsh landscape, but we have focused on the beach-hopping experience on offer in Pembrokeshire.

Travel writer Kevin Rushby, writing in the Guardian, says: “Forget the Caribbean or Thailand, Pembrokeshire has the world's best beaches.” It’s obviously not an isolated view; the county has been used as a location by countless TV and film productions, including the BBC’s Sherlock and the Harry Potter film series.

Drive along the coast to discover one of the many beaches, which have picked up several awards, including the world-renowned Blue Flag status, or encounter St Davids, the UK’s smallest city.

3. North Coast 500

Described by Culture Trip as “Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66”, the North Coast 500 has it all – bursting with history, wildlife and adventure.

The route covers some of the most northerly points of Scotland, including John o' Groats, before swooping down to the city of Inverness. This interactive map allows you to design your perfect itinerary, pointing out all restaurants and cafes on the route, as well as many other attractions, including castles, cathedrals and nature reserves.

VisitScotland recommends setting aside at least 5-7 days to get the most out of the trip, and to book accommodation far in advance.

4. The magic of Somerset

View of the road through Cheddar Gorge, a great location for a UK road trip

Now for a trip that takes in England’s answer to the Grand Canyon! – a title often awarded to Cheddar Gorge.

The spectacular landmark, less than an hour from Bristol and Bath, is a whirlwind of cliffs and caves that unlock many secrets about prehistoric life. It can be discovered along a Somerset road trip that has found many admirers.

Plan your route to incorporate any of the amazing experiences waiting in Somerset. You could start with a drive along the North Devon Coast through Exmoor National Park, stopping off at the abbeys of Glastonbury and Wells. And why not finish up with a refreshing Roman spa trip in Bath?

5. Roads built for a thrilling drive

OK, so the Isle of Man is not technically in the UK, but this British island is a world-renowned motorcycle racing destination that’s only a short ferry ride away from Belfast or Liverpool. You could be the next one to zoom around the island’s roads, including those used in the famous TT race. When the race events are not being staged, the track is open to road traffic. 

The island may be small, but it offers a treasure trove of activities; several beaches, museums covering more than 10,000 years of history, and one of the Europe’s best-preserved medieval castles, Castle Rushden.

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