One of the best things about the United Kingdom is how diverse it is. Whether you're after a seaside getaway, a lively city visit, a jaunt to the mountains, or a wander around ancient landmarks, the UK has you covered. One of the best ways to see the UK is by car; arguably the freest form of travelling, you can stop wherever you please. With that in mind, we've put together a list of our favourite road trips around the United Kingdom. From England to Wales, Northern Ireland to Scotland, here are the best road trips in the UK!
The North Coast 500, Scotland
If you have at least five days to a week (or more), heading to Scotland to drive the North Coast 500 is an excellent plan. This coastal route around the north of Scotland (actually 516 miles in length if you start and end in Inverness) showcases the very best of Scotland, taking you along the coastline and through the Highlands for some truly magnificent sights. If you're feeling especially adventurous, head off-route and take a ferry to one of the nearby islands such as Isle of Skye. No matter what, you're bound to have a road trip to remember on the North Coast 500.
The Lake District, England
The Lake District of England is one of the most scenic spots in the UK, and there's no better way to see it than a road trip! Perfect if you only have a few days (though easily extendable into a week's holiday or longer), the only problem you'll run into as you drive around the Lake District is trying not to stop every mile or so for a photo. With gorgeous little towns, stunning mountain views, and - you guessed it - plenty of lakes to explore, this region is perfect for a UK road trip. Two of our favourite stops along the way? Wrynose Pass and Honister Pass, although you can't miss the famous Windermere Lake, either!
The Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
One of the most stunning driving route in the UK, the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland shouldn't be missed! If you're looking to pack a lot of adventure into your holiday, the Causeway Coastal Route is perfect: think charming seaside villages, natural landmarks, and all the coastal views you could ever want. Popular stops include the Giant's Causeway, The Dark Hedges, Rathlin Island, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Mussenden Temple, and Dunluce Castle, although you should plan to make many stops along the way.
The Cotswolds, England
Perhaps one of the most photographed part of the UK, the Cotswolds makes for an incredible road trip destination. Whether you have a weekend or a few weeks, there's plenty to do and see here, especially if you're after quaint villages that make you feel as if you've stepped back in time. The region is also popular for nature enthusiasts, so make sure to bring your walking and/or hiking shoes to be able to take advantage of the many walking paths. While this is certainly a region that is best seen with a heavy dose of spontaneity - it's always fun to go wherever the wind takes you - we recommend adding Castle Combe, Cirencester, Bibury, and Painswick to your road trip itinerary!
Read more: The best villages in the Cotswolds
The Coastal Way, Wales
Another coastal route, but this one is just too beautiful not to include! Head to gorgeous Wales and drive its Coastal Way, a route that takes you the 180 miles along the entire length of Cardigan Bay. While you'll be tempted to stop dozens of times, our top picks include Criccieth Castle, Harlech Castle, and the towns of Portmeirion, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, and St Davids. With both mountain views and sea views - with a hope that you'll spot some wildlife along the way, including puffins and seals - this is a road trip you'll be talking about for years to come
The Peak District, England
Yet another region of England worth exploring by car, the Peak District is perfect for those who love sweeping countryside views and mountain vistas. Found in Central England, head here for some of the best of the UK's dramatic landscapes, including steep limestone valleys and moorland plateaus. Snake Pass is sure to inspire a photo (or twenty) and is often included on lists of the best driving roads in the UK, while Winnats Pass is chock-full of of jaw-dropping views that will make you want to pull the car over. No matter where you venture in the Peak District, you're bound to fall in love with this road trip.