These are the best UK road trips to take this summer

Pining for a quick escape?

If you’re getting sick and tired of your little town, you can always head off on a trip and you don’t even need to go far from home. Travel expert Expedia has pulled together a list of the very best UK road trips, most of which can be completed within a couple of hours of setting off. So grab your SatNav, fill up the tank and hit the road.

From London: Brighton and the South Downs

Route: A23, around 2.5 hours round trip

If it’s picturesque countryside that you’re after, head down south from the capital towards Brighton and the South Downs National Park. Brighton itself is just an hour’s drive from London and makes for a wonderful and relaxing seaside break (especially when the sun’s out). Take in the coastal beauty, enjoy a cliff-side walk at Seven Sisters, and grab some fish and chips by the beach – by the time you turn around for the return leg, you’ll be thoroughly de-Londonised. Chances are you’ll probably fall in love with this little seaside town when you’re there, so we’d also recommend booking yourself into the Waterfront Jurys Inn hotel and making the most of your bank holiday weekend when it eventually crops up to really explore all Brighton has to offer.

best uk road trips

From Bristol: Cheddar Gorge

Route: A38, around 1.5 hours round trip

Located 10 miles south-west of Bristol, driving by Cheddar Gorge may just compel you to pull over, roll down the windows and stare out. The scenery here is simply stunning, with deep-sliced limestone cliffs combining with the twisting and turning road to give you one of the best landscapes to drive through in the country.

best uk road trips

From Wales: Abergwesyn Pass

Route: A4085, 3 hours round trip

Long straights, bridges, ascents, descents, hairpin bends and crests – as a road, Abergwesyn Pass has it all. Add to it a spectacular mountain backdrop, forests, and some of the most charming villages you’ll ever see, and you’ll know why it makes it on the list of the UK’s top road trips. This isn’t one for novice drivers though, as Abergwesyn Pass can be particularly tricky to navigate around.

From Cumbria and Northumberland: Penrith to Haydon Bridge

Route: A686, around 2.5 hours round trip

Pretty sights abound as you drive up this stretch of road, from the Instagram-ready villages of Langwathby and Melmerby to the magnificent panoramas of the Solway Firth and Scotland from the 1,904 ft Hartside Pass (which the A686 climbs up to). And on the way down into Alston, you’ll also come across the perfect spot for a quick pit stop at the ‘highest market town in England’.

best uk road trips

From York: Yorkshire Moors

Route: A19, around 1.5 hours round trip

This particular road trip is all about the activities on offer along the route. Stretch your legs on the Cleveland Way National Trail, enjoy a family day out on Whitby’s ‘Dracula Trail’, brave the roller coaster over the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, and check out the numerous attractions dedicated to Captain Cook and Castle Howard before you finally call it a day and turn the car around.

best uk road trips

From Manchester: Snake Pass

Route: A57, around 2.5 hours round trip

Drive towards Sheffield from Manchester and you’ll hit Snake Pass. The clue is in the name: lots of loopy twists and turns as you descent down this breathtakingly beautiful valley, and extra-careful driving is advised. Returning from Sheffield also gives you another great view if the weather holds up: the entire city of Manchester in the distant horizon.

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