10 scenic bank holiday drives
top tips for the weekend
Even if you can’t soak up the sun this bank holiday, you can soak up some of the UK’s glorious scenery. Here’s our armchair guide to some of the most stunning routes for you and your motor.
1. Towards Glencoe on the A82, Scottish Highlands
If you’re yearning to see mythological landscapes, a journey along the A82 from central Scotland will be your nirvana, taking-in Loch Lomond before leading into the Trossachs National Park.
2. Belfast to Derry, Northern Ireland
The dramatic north east coast of Northern Ireland offers some of the region’s best known views. Look out for the Glens of Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the town of Ballycastle and the rugged Northern Sperrins.
3. A1 past Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
It’s well worth the tedium of mile-upon-mile of dreary tarmac for a drive by Antony Gormley’s giant Angel of the North.
4. Lake District
The 30-mile road between Kendal and Keswick is mesmerising – the only road running through the heart of the Lake District's National Park, meandering past five lakes, scores of peaks, hundreds of meadows and dozens of picturesque villages.
5. Peak District
Known as the 'Cat and Fiddle' road – you’ll find out why when you get there* – the drive from Buxton to Macclesfield rises high into the Peak District National Park. But it’s not a trip for the faint-hearted! The many twisting turns make it quite hazardous.
6. Conwy to Portmeirion, Wales
Keeping Conwy’s famous castle in your rear-view mirror, you’ll marvel at the beauty of Snowdonia National Park before reaching Portmeirion, the Italian-style village, famous for its bright colours, elegant architecture and pottery.
7. Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds, England
Winding through the lush hills of the Cotswolds, you’ll get views of woodland, wildflower meadows, sheep galore and ‘chocolate-box’ village scenes.
8. North Northumberland Heritage Coast, England
Travelling the wild North Northumberland Coast offers dramatic views of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne as you follow the coast before arriving at Alnwick Castle.
The Cheddar Gorge is a perfect ‘just for pleasure’ drive. Take the B3135 to see no less than 27 cliffs. The scenery opens-up after the climb out of Cheddar. An early morning drive, as it gets quite busy.
A drive along the ‘Atlantic Highway’ for 165 glorious miles between Barnstaple in Devon to Newquay, takes you along some of England's most dramatic coastline, and it’s easy to follow.
* It’s named after the pub at the summit!