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The best UK summer road trip routes

Home > Blog > The best UK summer road trip routes

Embarking on a road trip is one the best ways you can explore the UK in all of its glory. Offering spectacular landscapes, quaint towns, and historical landmarks, there is so much to explore. Whether you’re looking to travel through Scotlands Highlands, relax through the Cornwall coastline, or discover the serene villages of the Costwolds, a road trip offers the freedom to explore everything you could think of. In this blog, we will list some of the best road trips the UK has to offer. 

 

The North Coast 500 – Scotland 

  • Distance: 516 miles

  • Starting Point: Inverness

Highlights:

  • Dunrobin Castle: A fairy-tale castle with beautiful gardens.

  • John o’ Groats: The northernmost point of mainland Britain.

  • Bealach na Bà: A challenging mountain pass with stunning views.

 

This road trip route will take you through the vast Scottish Highlands which stretch for 500 miles starting from Iverness. If you begin your route driving clockwise the first stop you will reach is Loch Ness which is well worth the stop – monster or no monster. From there you can drive west towards Kyle of Lochalsh which is a two-hour drive. 

 

The North Coast 500 also take you through some of Scotland’s most beautiful villages, not forgetting Land’s End.

 

Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

  • Distance: 1,500 miles
  • Starting Point: Donegal

Highlights:

  • Cliffs of Moher: Iconic cliffs offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Ring of Kerry: A scenic loop with picturesque villages and stunning landscapes.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Known for its rugged beauty and charming towns.

 

The Wild Atlantic Way consists of 1,500 miles of coastal road from Donegal in the north, to the south coast of Cork, the route goes into spectacular Ireland towns and places. Taking the distance of this route this is a route that will need a bit more time than just a weekend adventure. 

 

Driving from Donegal you will see some of Ireland’s best beaches, you will then drive through Sligo and into Connemara. From here you will reach Galway, which has grown in popularity over the years. The route finished in the fishing town of Kinsale in County Cork. 

 

The Cotswolds 

  • Distance: Varies (typically 90-100 miles)
  • Starting Point: Cheltenham

Highlights:

  • Bourton-on-the-Water: Known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” with its charming canals.
  • Bibury: Famous for Arlington Row, a picturesque row of cottages.
  • Sudeley Castle: A historic castle with beautiful gardens.

 

A popular favourite, the Cotswolds offers a great place to visit for either a long weekend or a week-long adventure. A route has been created starting in Wilshire’s Castle Combe, heading to Bibury where you can walk along the River Coln. 

 

From here you can head into Kingham where the Daylesford farm shop sells fresh fruit and vegetables that you can stock up on before hitting the road again. You can then drive through towns including Bourton-on-the-water, Lower and Upper Slaughter and stow on the wold. Eventually, you will reach North Cotswolds, known for its antiques and lunch spots. 

 

Snowdonia

  • Distance: Varies (typically 75-100 miles)
  • Starting Point: Betws-y-Coed

Highlights:

  • Mount Snowdon: The highest peak in Wales, offering hiking trails and a mountain railway.
  • Portmeirion: An Italian-style village with stunning architecture.
  • Harlech Castle: A majestic medieval fortress with panoramic views.

 

When it comes to Snowdon there is only one mountain people come to see, standing at 3,560ft to the summit it is the ultimate challenge. However, if this is something you don’t fancy hiking it then there is a circular route you cand rive that might offer the perfect alternative. It’s recommended by local tourists to drive anti-clockwise for the best experience. This means you will start your journey in Caernarfon, and journey up higher ground passing Rhyd-Ddu offering the best view of Snowdon’s western face. 

 

Once you reach Beddgelert continue on the A498 providing more chances to view the summit but with jagged peaks and cliff faces. From here you can head towards Llanberis Pass, a spectacular point of the drive that is between Snowdon and Glyderau. You can then journey towards Llanberis where you will then return back to Caernarfon.  

 

When embarking on any of your road trips, whether it a weekend of exploring or a complete off-grid journey, it is important to have everything you need, at Nomadic Leisure as fellow travellers we understand the importance of making your campervan conversion or motorhome feeling as close to home as possible. View our range of products today!

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