Take The Scenic Route

Posted on: 19 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

We recommend five of Britain’s most scenic driving routes for you to enjoy.

With more of us than ever hitting the roads this summer and spending our holidays in Britain, many holidaymakers prefer to put their heads down and stay on the motorway.

But many are missing out on the true beauty of the British countryside found just a stones-throw from many of the heaving highways. 

The most enjoyable drives you'll ever have are on quiet country roads, and here, we recommend 5 of Britain’s most scenic driving routes that will ensure you get the most from your experience with a variety of corners, open views of the road ahead, gentle slopes, breathtaking scenery and interesting places to visit along the way. 

1) Snowdonia, Wales

The spectacular views and the mountainous landscapes makes this a must-drive. Start at Betws y Coed, stopping off at the breathtaking Pont-y-Pair Falls before you head along the A4086 towards the Snowdon summit.

Continuing on the A4086 takes you through the Pass of Llanberis on a 1,169 feet ascent into the mountains and then on to Beddgelert, deep in the heart of Snowdonia.

2) Hardknott Pass, Cumbria

Hardknott PassHardknott Pass is a minor road between Eskdale and the Duddon Valley in the Lake District National Park. It’s a single track road that goes right through the middle of the Lake District, it’s very steep and twisting, but this just adds to the fun of it all.

You’ll get amazing views on your way down, but you’ll need to use your concentration for this road. There are some lovely pubs along the way, famous for their good food, that’ll make great stop off points.

3) Scottish Highlands

From Glasgow, heading along the A82 (Loch Lomond road) then onto the A83 to Inverary is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in Scotland.

Loch LomondThe diverse landscapes are stunning from high country of to sea lochs of Argyll. When you pass through Loch Lomond, drive along the high road and the banks of this largest of freshwater stretches in Britian enjoying wide views across to the grandiose heights of Ben Lomond, the most southerly of the 'Munroes'.

Carry on to the shores of Loch Long, the mountainous pass of 'Rest and be Thankful' and the banks of Loch Fyne famous for its oysters.

4) A39, Cornwall

A splendid route in the South West of England is the A39 from Lynmouth to St Ives. It has lots of fun sweeping bends and several slopes with gentle ups and downs.

Part of the drive is through a forest of trees which cover the roadway entirely and the narrow roads are flanked by high flowering hedges and rock fences overgrown with ferns and plants. It’s a very magical drive, but make sure you drive slowly and enjoy the surroundings properly. 

5) Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Cheddar GorgeFollowing signs from the M5, this drive through Cheddar Gorge has a mix of stunning scenery. Wind slowly through the immense cliffs and rock formations of the Gorge, one of Britain’s greatest natural wonders. 

Make sure you stop off and explore the caves before hitting the road again, as you descend through rolling countryside and a pretty tree-lined valley, towards the edge of the Mendip Forest.

Of course all scenic routes should be ventured upon with a good map on hand.  Phillip's have released their new updated Road Atlas of Britain and Ireland for 2009 and you can order your copy online at Amazonfor £7.26.

What's your favourite scenic driving route? Have you driven any of our top five?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below. Alternatively, share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.


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