The United Kingdom packs a lot of natural beauty into a relatively small area, and the best way of seeing it all is by taking a scenic road trip to explore the sharp contrasts and raw splendor of its countryside. It is a hugely varied landscape with everything from wild rugged coastlines to sleepy green valleys, where it seems as if nothing has changed through the centuries. There are dramatic mountains, tranquil lakes, beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, idyllic villages and historic cities; all linked by a network of roads that make touring by car an easy and pleasurable experience.
Pick of the best
With so much to see it is hard to pick just one road trip out all the beautiful scenic routes that thread through the UK. In the far south west of the country the coastline of Devon and Cornwall is well worth following. The coast road follows cliff tops with stunning views of the ocean and regularly dips down into rocky coves where picturesque fishing villages nestle around bays in which fishing boats and yachts rock at anchor. Moving to the midlands of England there are routes that traverse the great open spaces of the country’s eastern shores, where fertile green fields are interlaced by canals on which barges have plied their trade for hundreds of years.
Moving further north brings you closer to the great mountains and fells of Wales and the Lake District, both of which offer superb scenic routes for a road trip. Snowdonia National Park in Wales and the area between Keswick and Windermere in the Lake District are both renowned for their breathtaking scenery and atmospheric charm. Even further north the majestic mountains of Scotland offer spectacular driving routes through a dramatic landscape of plunging valleys, soaring cliffs and cool mountain tarns. The secret to touring by car in the UK is to aim to get lost – with a map in hand take the small roads and let them lead you where they will. The rewards will be unforgettable.
Image: Stas Perov – Fotolia