Top 10 UK Scenic Driving Routes

As part of Towergate’s Great British Summer guide, we’ve enlisted the help of our friends at Footman James to compile a list of the best driving routes in the UK. So classic car or not, we can all make the most of our trips away this summer.

Penrith to Alston

A686 - North West England

In the North West of England you’ll find the A686, a 20 mile road journey that has been named ‘one of the greatest drives in Britain’. Starting from the outskirts of Penrith, near the M6 at junction 40, you’ll drive to Langwathby. Along the way you’ll cross a temporary metal frame bridge that has stood there for over 30 years. Throughout the journey you’ll pass through quaint little villages until you climb 1904ft to the top of the Hartside summit. From there on you have the opportunity to stop at Alston which is known as the highest market town in England (around 1,000 ft), situated on the River South Tyne.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route A

Loch Lomond to Loch Ness

A82 - West Scotland

Bigger is not always better, but in the case of the A82 bigger is definitely best. The A82 takes you on a 140 mile journey which begins at the largest lake in the UK, Loch Lomond, a fresh water Scottish loch which crosses the Highland Boundary Fault. Along this road you’ll pass the sights of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain within the UK and make your way through the bends and curves of the winding roads that lead you to the prehistoric mountain terrain. Soon enough you’ll be driving along the famous Loch Ness, with picturesque views for miles around.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route B

Evo Triangle

A5 West, A543 North-East to B4501 - North Wales

Many enthusiasts have heard of the ‘EVO Triangle’, a 20 mile trip across north Wales where you encounter quick straight roads, sharp corners and long extended bends. The rural moorlands stretch as far as the eye can see, with civilisation fading into the distance. It’s just you and the open road that leaves a memorable mark on your driving experience.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route C

Bealach na Bà

North West Scotland

Beachlach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle) offers stunning scenery in the Scottish highlands. It is an unforgettable drive for those who take the adventure, with remarkable views across Wester Ross, Skye, Rum and the Outer Hebrides. The journey begins at Lochcarron and leads you uphill through the mountain scenery to the summit (2053ft). This magical road explores the Applecross Peninsula, with challenging single track roads that provides difficultly with passing cars. A recommendation for the summer months as weather conditions can prove hazardous in the winter.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route D

The Cheddar Gorge

B3135 - South West England

This route offers 14 glorious miles that take you through the Somerset countryside. Situated in the West Country, the route incorporates the likes of Cheddar Gorge; 10 miles from Bristol and only eight miles east of Weston-Super-Mare. The stunning scenery encapsulates you as you drive between cliff faces on either side with a variety of different roads to take; the choice is up to you. The Somerset countryside offers tight corners and sweeping bends for any enthusiast to enjoy. Enthusiasts can also take time out and visit the Haynes National Motor Museum nestled in the south Somerset countryside, a perfect day out for motor-heads.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route E

Belfast to Derry

Northern Ireland

Take your journey to Northern Ireland. Drive along the north east coast and capture the sights of the magnificent Glens of Antrim which comprises a total of nine glens that radiate from the Antrim Plateau to the coast. At the foot of Glenarm you’ll find a charming little village which provides the setting of the grand Glenarm Castle. Carry on past Cushendun and Bushmills and you’ll enter the walled city of Derry/Londonderry. The only completed walled city in the British Isles.

New Forest

Southern England

Located in southern England, enthusiasts can enjoy the sights and sounds of the New Forest National Park. This alluring drive provides the views of scenic pastures and acres of forestry as you wonder through nature’s wildlife. Take time from your classic drive as there are a bunch of attractions to dive into, whether pondering through the Exbury Gardens, enjoying a game of golf or exploring the world of classic vehicles at Footman James’s partner Beaulieu’s National Motor Museum, where you can experience the FJ start up area amongst other amazing exhibits and interactive motoring features. Or for the lover of two wheels, then why not visit another of Footman James’s partners in the form of the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum. The New Forest is indeed a wonderful drive out for any motoring enthusiast.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route G

Barnstaple to Newquay

South West England

England is full of charming routes for classic enthusiasts to appreciate and another great journey from Barnstaple to Newquay (along the A39) takes you along the Cornwall coast. Drive through long meandering roads with around 160 miles of Britain’s beloved coastline to savour. Stop off at the winsome village of Constantine Bay and stroll along the beautiful sandy beaches, taking in the sea breeze.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route H

The Cotswolds

Cheltenham to Burford - Midlands

A rural medieval area that is home to thatched villages, defined rolling hills and impressive scenery, the Cotswolds holds a special place in many visitors’ hearts. By starting your journey in Cheltenham and heading eastbound along the A40 towards Oxford you will soon enough reach Northleach where you can take a quick pit stop at the Cotswold Heritage Centre, a place of outstanding natural beauty. Continuing down the A40 you will enter into Burford, a beautiful quaint Cotswold town, with sloping hills and pleasant views over the open countryside and the River Windrush. Just outside leaving Burford is the Cotswolds Wildlife Park, popular for classic car clubs and family days out.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route I

Buttertubs Pass

North England

5.5 miles of pure Yorkshire roads that Jeremy Clarkson once described as ‘England’s only truly spectacular road’, allows enthusiasts to test themselves as they encounter challenging corners, steep hills and rapid descents; but lets not forget the gorgeous views! Buttertubs Pass winds its way from Thwaite to Hawes, giving drivers the experience of twisting roads and picturesque locations.

Map reference: Classic Driving Route J

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