Since we’ll likely be travelling a lot more locally again this year, I’m making it my mission to share some of the top places to discover around the United Kingdom. And in my opinion, road trips are the perfect way to discover the UK!
From dramatic coastlines to picturesque countryside, and from seaside towns to quaint villages… you can explore the very best of Britain from the comfort of your car.
So if you’re looking for some ideas for your summer vacation – I’ve got you covered! This is a round-up of some of the best places in the UK for a road trip, including many of my personal favourites.
You might even want to rent a bigger car (or even an off-road vehicle) to make the trip more comfortable. Self-driving means you can pack everything you need, which is perfect for exploring the UK as you’ll want to cover every weather eventuality in case the British summer doesn’t play ball!
Wherever you decide to go, you’re sure to have an amazing time. There are so many unbelievable places to discover right here in our own backyard. Like these amazing UK road trip spots…
Best Places to Take a Road Trip in the UK
1. Dorset, England
I’m biased because I live here, but I truly think that Dorset is one of the best places in the UK for a road trip. From the rugged splendour of the Jurassic Coast to the charming countryside villages further inland, there’s so much to discover.
Check out my Dorset road trip itinerary for loads of ideas! If you’re coming via Bournemouth, be sure to take the car ferry across Poole Harbour to Studland on the Isle of Purbeck.
From there you can drive all along the coastline, hitting the famous spots like Durdle Door and Golden Cap along the way.
2. Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
The striking, perfectly uniform basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway are synonymous with Northern Ireland. Touring the entire Causeway Coast on a road trip offers a fabulous overview of Northern Ireland. Not to mention a wealth of gorgeous sea views and incredible wildlife, including dolphins!
Explore Game of Thrones filming locations like the stunning “Dark Hedges” – a tree-tunnelled road made famous by the series – and stop at picturesque seaside towns for seafood, beach days, and ice creams!
Don’t miss the world-famous whisky distillery at Bushmills, or the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, built by salmon fishermen over 300 years ago.
3. West Highlands, Scotland
After driving there myself a couple of weeks ago, I can confirm that Scotland’s West Highlands area is an incredible place for a road trip.
The drive from Glasgow to Fort William is a ridiculously scenic one. I must have doubled the drive time thanks to all my photo stops!! Head through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park first, calling at scenic spots like the pretty loch-side village of Luss and the stunning Falloch Falls.
Continuing along the absurdly scenic A82 leads past Rannoch Moor, an open area with nothing but complete natural beauty, and eventually to Glencoe, one of the country’s most historic and spectacular locations. Bursting with heritage, myth and legend, spend a few days wandering through the alluring, world-famous countryside to immerse yourself in some fantastic Scottish scenery.
4. The Brecon Beacons, Wales
Covering 520 square miles across Mid- and South Wales, the Brecon Beacons mountain range and national park has a wealth of stunning spots to explore by car.
You’ll find so many lovely locations to relax in and enjoy here. Get your walking shoes on and go for a hike amidst mountains and moorland, or explore some of the scenic local villages.
Be sure to spend some time admiring the clear night skies on a visit to the Brecon Beacons. You’ll enjoy every minute, looking up at the glistening stars above you.
READ MORE: Check out my Wales Way Road Trip Itinerary for Inspiration
5. West Cornwall, England
From the dramatic scenes of Land’s End, the impressive beauty of St Michael’s Mount, the rugged cliff walks around St Agnes, to the intriguing sights that surround you in the Lost Gardens of Heligan… Cornwall is one of the most popular places in the UK for a road trip – and it’s easy to see why.
Epic coastline, pretty fishing villages, great food, and rich forested valleys further inland. You’ll be amazed by the abundance of beautiful sights to be seen on a road trip through Cornwall!
6. The Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
While the Causeway Coast is becoming one of the most popular road trip locations in the UK, there are still plenty of less-travelled roads in Northern Ireland!
Comprising of 28 dramatic peaks, the Mourne Mountains offer some spectacular scenery both high up and on the ground. Perfect for a scenic road trip hitting some more “off the beaten path” locations.
Plus the chance to lose yourself in a fantastical landscape – it’s said that the Mourne Mountains provided a lot of inspiration for CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
7. Lake District, England
This world-famous national park situated in Northern England has plenty of photogenic landscapes, picturesque villages, and glorious hikes to suit all abilities. If you fancy a challenge, Scafell Pike is England’s tallest mountain and offers some incredible views of the surrounding national park.
Be sure to stop by the lovely villages of Grasmere and Ambleside, both of which perfectly capture local life in the Lake District. Visits to Kendal Castle, Castlerigg Stone Circle and Shap Abbey are a must for history lovers.
8. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
This huge national park offers up some incredible backdrops for a road trip. Glistening lochs, impressive mountain peaks, and dense forests… not to mention the abundance of local wildlife that resides here.
Plus the park is home to the Snow Roads Scenic Route; a 90-mile journey from Blairgowrie to Grantown-on-Spey following the highest public road in Britain.
9. The Isle of Anglesey, Wales
Wales’ Isle of Anglesey has the potential to excite all of your senses – especially your sight! Offering gorgeous coastal scenery, along with fantastic inland countryside, you won’t struggle with filling up your photo album on a weekend away here.
Follow the coastline for lovely sea views, scenic lighthouses, and a rich array of bird- and wildlife!
Quaint and quirky fishing towns and villages will provide the perfect place to stop for refreshments, as well as capturing the loveliness of local life. If you need a break from driving, there are also plenty of walking and biking trails across the island.
Are there any other amazing places for a UK road trip that you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments!