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Our top 3 UK road trips

Searching for your next summer holiday or Bank Holiday break? Put away the passports. Planning a UK road trip is one of the best (and most cost effective) ways of exploring your new home. And trust us, there’s plenty to see. 

So dust off your driving sunnies, stock up on car snacks and buckle up. Here are our top three UK road trips.

Bannau Brycheiniog, Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Scenic National Park countryside? Check. Quirky market towns? Check. One of the most picturesque roads in the UK? Check. The Brecon Beacons in Wales has everything you could want from a UK road trip and more. 

Our recommended route begins in Hay-on-Wye – otherwise known as The National Book Town of Wales due to (you guessed it) the 20+ bookshops in the area. From there you can take a meandering route to visit a handful of unique Welsh towns such as Llanthony, Abergavenny and Cricklewell.

But what about the drive itself? Luckily, this route also encompasses the famous Black Mountain Pass – an iconic road that winds through some awe-inspiring vistas. And thanks to an appearance on the tv show Top Gear in 2011, it’s very popular with many a car fanatic. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to drive a Mercedes to enjoy the views. 

Distance: 100 miles


  • Book shopping in Hay-on-Wye 📕 
  • See the sights of Abergavenny 👀 
  • Ystradfellte Four Waterfalls Walk 🥾
  • Drive the Black Mountain Pass 🚗

Read our full driving itinerary

The Cotswolds, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Think winding country roads. Fairytale honey coloured cottages. Cosy village pubs. Yes, the England that you see on the postcards does exist – and this is it. 

This official Area of Natural Beauty crosses into five counties, so there’s no shortage of driving routes to take. But if you’ve only got a day or two to explore? Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is an excellent place to start. For history buffs, there’s the Grade 1 listed house to tour, while nature lovers will delight in the formal gardens and woodland trails.

From there, you can head for Burford and Bibury; two quintessential chocolate box villages that are only 20 minutes from each other by car. Keep your camera ready – Arlington Row in Bibury is one of the most photographed spots in the Cotswolds! 

Driving north you can take in other iconic Cotswolds towns such as Bourton-on-the-Water (the Venice of the Cotswolds), Broadway, Chipping Norton and more. End your drive by looping back to Cirencester, the Cotwolds’ largest market town and its unofficial capital. 

Distance: 70-90 miles


  • Tour of Blenheim Palace 🏰
  • Photos at Arlington Row, Bibury 📷
  • Walk the Cotswolds Way, Chipping Norton to Broadway 🥾
  • Cream tea, Anywhere 🫖

North Coast 500, Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

This is the grandaddy of UK road trips. Encompassing just over 500 miles, this epic loop starts in Inverness and stretches through the wild and rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. Spotless, near deserted beaches. Wild mountain ranges. In terms of UK scenery, this road trip offers up the crème da la crème. 

On a clockwise route, you’ll travel up the picturesque west coast first. The brave can dare to drive the legendary Bealach na Ba - a single track road complete with many sharp hairpin bends and a steep ascent of 2000 ft. But you do get rewarded with some of the best views Scotland has to offer. 

From the village of Applecross, continue north though the beautiful harbour town of Ullapool before heading on to John O’Groats, one of the most northerly points in Britain. Then travel down the eastern coast, ending back in Inverness.

Some things to remember for this one. The whole NC500 is a big trip – the whole route takes roughly 7 days with stops. And it’s popular too, with limited accommodation options. In other words, book ahead. 

Some of the roads are also pretty challenging. Make sure your vehicle isn’t too large and that you’re very confident driving on steep, rural UK roads before taking on the challenge. 

Distance: 500+ miles 


  • Visit Loch Ness 🌊
  • Drive the Bealach na Ba Road 🚗
  • Walk up Achmelvich Beach 🏖️ 
  • Explore Smoo Cave 🔦

UK road trip driving checklist

Think you’re ready for your UK road trip? Make these essential checks before setting off.

Is your car in order?

Nothing ruins a driving holiday more than a break down. Check your car’s tyre pressure and tread depth and make sure your oil, engine coolant and windscreen washer fluid are all topped up to the recommended levels before setting off.

Remember, breakdown cover is often an added extra on car insurance policies – not included as standard. Make sure you’ve got breakdown cover included with your car insurance policy for full peace of mind. 

What’s the weather?

Heavy rain. Snow. Ice. High winds. They’re all common in the UK and can make driving on unfamiliar roads (especially rural ones) difficult and sometimes dangerous. Check the forecast and plan your route accordingly. 

Got a plan?

It’s important to plan regular stops to rest (and refuel) – especially if you’re the sole driver on the trip. Make sure you know where the best places to pause on your journey are – ideally for at least 15 minutes every two to three hours. 

Driving in Europe? Check out our EU driving holiday checklist