The Best Short UK Road Trips for this Summer

Whether you’re travelling thousands of miles to visit the UK or you already live there and are planning on sitting tight for a staycation, a scenic drive is the best way to enjoy the open countryside and experience the nation’s most beautiful scenery this summer. But with so many fascinating towns, villages and open roads to explore, it’s tough to know where to begin! To save you hours of trawling through online search results, we’ve put together a list of the very best UK summer road trips you should definitely pencil in for this summer.

Glen Coe Scotland
Glen Coe in Scotland: Photo on Flickr by Colin Campbell / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Best UK Summer Road Trips

The Cat and Fiddle

Named after the 19th century Cat and Fiddle Inn (now closed) at the summit, this road is one of the bendiest in the country, connecting Buxton in Derbyshire with Macclesfield in Cheshire. During the journey you’ll be treated to gorgeous views across the concrete jungle of Greater Manchester, the rolling green hills of the Peak District National Park and the vast low-lying fields of Cheshire Plain. Due to the sharp and often blind bends, the Cat and Fiddle is sometimes classed as the most dangerous road in the UK, so stick to the speed limit and be cautious!

The Best UK Summer Road Trips: The winding roads of the Peak District National Park
The winding roads of the Peak District National Park: Photo highlights6 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Evo Triangle

Set in the heart of North Wales’ Denbigh Moors, the Evo Triangle is named after EVO, the popular car magazine which brought the road to fame. There are three roads which make up the route (the A5, the A543 and the B4501) but it’s the latter two which garner the most attention. After leaving the traditional villages, charming guesthouses and local restaurants of the A5, the Evo Triangle opens up to vast moorland, where bends, curves and cambers alternate along the eight-mile stretch of the A543. After that it’s onto the B4501 where the moors are replaced by dense forest with a mix of long straights with good visibility, short bends and sweeping curves.

A forest road in the Denbigh Moors Wales UK
A forest road in the Denbigh Moor: Photo Stuart Madden / CC BY 2.0

Penrith to Haydon

Crowned “One of the Greatest Drives in Britain” by the AA and the 9th best drive in England by Top Gear, the A686 from Penrith in Cumbria to Haydon in Northumberland travels just below the Northumberland National Park and boasts incredibly beautiful scenery of the Pennines Hills along the way. From thick green forests filled with wildlife and quaint villages with small cafes to the highest market town in England and steep gradients which require the full attention of a skilled driver, this scenic route is compelling from start to finish.

The Best UK Summer Road Trips: The curves of the A686 hugging the hillside
The curves of the A686 hugging the hillside: Photo Howard Russell / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you’re just visiting the UK and need to get yourself some wheels or want to trade your everyday car in for something a bit more flashy this summer, look into hiring a car in the UK. There are car rental agencies up and down the country offering every single vehicle you can imagine, as well as fantastic offers. If you plan to be on the road for a while and want something a bit roomier, consider hiring a motorhome in the UK instead. A motorhome or campervan is a great option if you don’t want to worry about accommodation or packing and unpacking over and over!

About Nicola Quinn


Nicola is a travel and food writer living in the Canary Islands who loves exploring far-off places, pushing herself to the limit and trying local eats wherever she goes.

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