13 Sensational Scenic Drives

31 July 2020 Blog

Summer is here so what better way to celebrate than by heading off for the day in your car to enjoy some of the most striking scenery that the UK has to offer. From the rugged Scottish Highlands through to the natural wonder that is Cheddar Gorge (and everything in between) there really is something to suit everyone with these drives.

Scotland

1. Loch Lomond to Glencoe

No Top 10 list of scenic drives would be complete without this utterly charming route along the A82 from the shores of Loch Lomond to Glencoe on the West Coast.

A leisurely two to three hour drive, the route skirts the waters edge along Loch Lomond before heading into the spectacular Trossachs National Park and then up through the Highlands before finally arriving at Glencoe.

An absorbing 116-mile round trip that can be easily be done in day but if you’ve got the time, then why not use the trip as  an excuse for an overnight stay in a B&B around Loch Leven. You won’t be disappointed.

Journey Time: 2-3 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch - Glasgow

 

North East

2. Bamburgh Castle to Alnwick Castle 

Thanks in part to its turbulent history; Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England. Over 70 to be precise (in case you were wondering).

And what better way to soak up some history and enjoy the wild North Northumberland coastline at the same time (as well as recognise some of the scenery from movies as varied as Elizabeth to the Scarlet Pimpernel) than by driving up the B1430 from Alnwick Castle in the south to Bamburgh Castle.

If you’ve got time then we would recommend carrying on towards the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve from where you’ll be able to see Holy Island (if you’ve timed it right it will be low tide and you can visit Lindisfarne Castle) before heading back down south along the A1.

Journey Time: 1 hour (unless you stop off on Holy Island)

Nearest Motorpoint Branch - Birtley

North West

3. Eskdale to Wrynose Pass

Not for the faint hearted, this route takes you from Eskdale via Boot to Wrynose Pass in the heart of the Lake District.

A test of your driving skills with lots of hairpin bends and hills, over the summer months the surrounding scenery, including Scafell Pike, makes this roller coaster of a drive along Hardknott Pass nothing short of spectacular.

Plus, afterwards, with Windermere only a few miles away, you can begin the journey home by unwinding with a spot of people watching outside one of the many cafes that line the shores of the famous lake.

Journey Time: 1 hour

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Burnley

 

Yorkshire

4. Hawes to Thwaite

If you like your climbs, then the Cliff Gate Road is one for you, as its winds its way lazily through the Yorkshire Dales from the small market town of Hawes to Thwaite, allowing you to take in the panoramic views of ‘Buttertubs Pass’ at your leisure from behind the safety of the wheel.

Although only six miles long it still featured as one of the two ‘King of the Mountains’ climbs when the Tour de France visited Yorkshire a few years ago, giving you some idea of the steep gradient, while non-other than a certain Jeremy Clarkson (remember him), called it ‘England’s only truly spectacular road’.

Journey Time: 30 Mins

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Castleford

 

5. Sheffield to Manchester 

The A57 between Sheffield and Manchester is a joy to drive during the summer. Snaking its way through the Peak District for 20 miles, be prepared for some tight bends, blind summits and some very steep hills leading to some equally fast descents.

It’s well worth all of the trials and tribulations especially if you stop off for a swift half at The Snake Pass Inn along the way.

Journey Time: 1 hour

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Sheffield

 

Midlands

6. Buxton to Macclesfield

If you’re looking for a drive that comes with somewhere scenic to stop for a drink and a bite to eat then try the Cat & Fiddle.

The 12-mile drive, named after the 200 year-old pub along the route (and which at 1,690 feet is the highest pub in England we hasten to add) twists and turns through the Peak District National Parkalong the A537 between Buxton and Macclesfield taking in the stunning Erwood Reservoir along the way.

Journey Time: 1 hour

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Derby and Sheffield

 

7. Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon

The winding B4632 from Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon is ideal for anyone who wants to soak up some quintessential English countryside with the rolling Cotswolds Hills, wildflower meadows, woodland and picture postcards towns such as Chipping Campden along the way.

There’s also the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of ‘The Bard’ when you arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon. What’s there not to like.

Journey Time: 2 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Birmingham and Oldbury

 

8. Shrewsbury to Shrewsbury

No, before you ask, this isn’t a typo, more a lovely drive through the Shropshire countryside that starts and finishes in Shrewsbury.

Start by heading out on the A458 towards Much Wenlock before passing the limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge until you pick up the Shropshire Way and use the A49 to take you back to Shrewsbury via Craven Arms and Church Stretton (the latter was affectionately known as ‘Little Switzerland’ during Victorian times because of the way in which its homes tightly hug the hillside). A charming drive from start to finish.

Journey Time: 2 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Birmingham and Oldbury

 

Wales

9. Llanberis to Pen-y-Pass

Right up there with Loch Lomond to Glencoe is the Llanberis Pass in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales. The A4086 takes you to Llanberis via the Pen-y-Pass not forgetting the mountain ranges of Glyderau and Snowdon itself.

A mecca for rock climbers through the ages, most notably Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who trained in the area prior to their famous ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, its worthy of a visit anytime of the year. Just make sure to bring your walking boots as you’re very likely to stop along the way and go for a wander.

Journey Time: 1 hour

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Widnes

 

10. Chester to Llanddona

If you’re thinking of a drive out to coast then you could do worse than head to North Wales where you will find tons of great beaches where you and the family can lose yourself for the day.

The pick of the bunch is Llandodna on Anglesey. Simply head on the A55 from Chester towards Anglesey and when you’ve arrived on the island following the signs for Beaumaris and then Llandodna.

Not only is the sand lush, ideal for building sandcastles, but there’s plenty of space to have a picnic in piece and a kick around with the kids on the beach. The only downside is you won’t want to come back.

Journey Time: 1.5 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Widnes

 

East of England

11. Kings Lynn to Cromer

One of the UK’s best kept secrets thanks in part to its lack of major roads, North Norfolk is ideal for anyone who wants to get away from it all in their car.

This route, which takes you through the heart of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, takes you from the ancient architecture of Kings Lynn to the impressive beaches of Blakenham, Brancaster Bay and Hunstanton via the quaint old-world charms of Burnham Market before arriving in Cromer just in time to enjoy a Fish Supper. A word of warning though. Watch out for the seagulls – they love nothing more than swooping down and helping themselves to your chips when you’re not looking.

Journey Time: 3 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Peterborough

 

South East

12. London to Canterbury

While this route lacks the breathtaking scenery of say the Scottish Highlands, it does make up for it on other ways, not least the opportunity to meander through the pretty villages of Charing, Chilham and Lenham at your leisure in Kent as well as take a quick detour to Whistable to sample their oysters before arriving in Canterbury and a chance for a bit of retail therapy down the King’s Mile (as well as a chance to enjoy the sights of this famous old Cathedral city).

Journey Time: 2 hours

Nearest Motorpoint Branch – Chingford

 

South West

13. Cheddar to Ashwick

We thought we’d save the best till last. Only 10 miles from Bristol in the heart of the Somerset countryside lies the Cheddar Gorge.

Smack bang in the middle of the Mendip Hills, for many the drive along the B3135 through the Gorge is routinely voted the Best in Britain thanks to its 22 sweeping bends as you drive from Cheddar to Ashwick through one of the country’s most spectacular natural landmarks. Spare a thought as you do though for the people who built the road in the first place. Must have been hard going!

Journey Time: 1 hour

Nearest Motorpoint Branches – Newport and Swansea

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