Who doesn’t love a road trip in the summer months?
With the sun shining and your favourite songs playing on a loop, you can take a journey around the UK that you’ll remember forever.
Whether you’re looking for an activity-filled getaway, or something altogether more relaxing, there are plenty of fascinating places to visit in the UK.
Rediscover the beauty that the UK has to offer by planning an amazing road trip this year.
What Should I Pack For a Road Trip in the UK?
Before you decide where to go, you need to be prepared to make the journey!
What you need to take with you will depend on how long you’re planning on travelling for, and how many passengers you’re taking with you.
Make sure you pack clothes, toiletries and enough food and water to sustain you until you reach your first stop.
You will need to pack your drivers licence, as well as any car documents you may need - such as proof of insurance. You should also keep the number of a roadside assistance provider close to hand.
If you are travelling in a group, then you may wish to have more than one person insured on the car. That way you can take turns driving and cover more ground without getting tired.
Do you need sat nav to help you get where you need to go? This is definitely something to think about ahead of time - a portable battery charger is worth keeping in the car too.
Speaking of which, you may want to invest in a dash cam ahead of your road trip. A quality dash cam can improve your chances of getting an insurance claim in the event of an accident, and put your mind at ease whilst on the road.
This is especially useful for new drivers who have recently passed their test.
There are a number of items which you should keep in your car at all times - jump leads, tyre inflator, high-vis jacket - so in theory you might not even have to pack these if they are already in your car.
By making sure that you pack everything you need, you can take the stress out of the situation and just enjoy the journey.
Fill up your fuel tank, and get ready to enjoy your journey!
Now, let's take a look at some of the best road trips you can take around the UK this year...
North Coast 500 - Scotland
Have you always wanted to do the North Coast 500 and never got round to it - well, now’s your chance!
The North Coast 500 is a 500-mile round trip from Inverness. Depending on the route you choose to take, your first stop could be Loch Ness, where you can keep an eye out for Nessie.
Driving west, it will take you two hours to reach Kyle of Lochalsh. You can get to the Isle of Skye via the land bridge, though this beautiful destination is technically not part of the route.
If you are planning on taking this detour anyway, why not head towards Eilean Donan Castle?
The North Coast 500 continues through the beautiful village of Ullapool on the coast, with John O’Groats being a further 60 miles north-east. Journey back down the eastern coast to get back to your starting point of Inverness.
We would recommend setting aside at least 1 week for this trip, so that you can really make the most of it. Don’t forget to book your accommodation well in advance, too. This road trip is popular for a reason.
From the beautiful coastline to the breathtaking scenery of waterfalls and mountains, it is no wonder the route is so well-loved.
Why not explore one of the other historic castles dotted around the route, or spot some of the local wildlife? You could glimpse a number of animals - anything from pods of dolphins to Highland cows.
Relax on the beautiful beaches of Sandwood Bay or Achmelvich Bay, or take an admittedly anxiety-inducing drive up Bealach na Ba - the steepest ascent of any road in the UK.
The Cambrian Way - Wales
This 185 mile journey will see you driving along the A470 from Cardiff on the south coast and ending in Llandudno on the north. A road trip around the Cambrian Way will take you roughly 5 days to complete.
A scenic drive, you can basically head in a straight line across the beautiful Welsh countryside.
Beginning in Cardiff, you can head to the Brecon Beacons and take in the history of Caerphilly Castle. Surrounded by lakes, you won’t want to miss these stunning views.
You can then visit the Pontsticill Reservoir and take in the iconic Brecon Mountain Railway.
Though it is a bit of a detour from the route, you may wish to visit Llangattock Escarpment. With views of the Usk valley and the Black Mountains, you’ll be glad you stopped off here.
Another detour you may be interested in taking is one towards Henrhyd Falls - the tallest waterfall in South Wales. Film buffs among you may recognise this waterfall from its appearance in Christopher Nolan’s Batman film The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
If you want to climb Snowdon, then you may want to take a little longer to complete this road trip.
The Atlantic Highway - England
Driving along the A39 in South West England, you can take a journey around the Cornwall Atlantic Highway in 7 days.
This 70-mile section of the road connects Bath to Falmouth, and the area between Barnstaple and the seaside town of Newquay is particularly beautiful.
With incredible views of the Atlantic as you drive through Bude, Camelford and Wadebridge, you may wish to stop off and take a walk or cycle through North Devon’s Adventure Coast.
The South West Coast Path follows the cliffs from Newquay towards Park Head.
There are several impressive beaches around Bude to explore, with stunning Tintagel Castle located atop a cliff overlooking the sea.
The Wild Atlantic Way - Ireland
1600 miles in length, the Wild Atlantic Way is one of the longest coastal routes in the world. The route begins just before Malin Head at the tip of the Inishowen Peninsula, journeying from Ireland’s most northerly point to Ireland’s most southerly point.
The Sliabh Liag rock formations in County Donegal are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. You can kayak over the Atlantic, or visit the hidden beach at Silver Strand. If you’re lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights during the winter months in the Donegal Headlands.
You can visit Fanad Head Lighthouse and look for dolphins in the surrounding waters of Ballymastocker Beach. In the Northern Headlands, you will find Doe Castle, a moated stronghold located in Sheephaven Bay.
Surfers may enjoy Sligo, which is also the perfect destination for history buffs thanks to the ancient sites and tombs located there.
Downpatrick Head is a headland home to an array of wildlife, from puffins to cormorants. Dún Briste is a fascinating sea stack which used to be a part of this headland, and you can marvel at the layers of rock protruding from beneath the waves.
In County Mayo, the relaxing vistas of white sand and the clear water of the Inishkea Islands are a calming sight. On Blacksod Bay, you can find Ireland’s largest colony of Atlantic grey seals.
Also in County Mayo, the Blue Flag shores of Clew Bay will take your breath away. You can take a boat trip to get the full effect - or go kayaking, water-skiing or paddle-boarding if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
If you still have more energy to burn during your journey, you can climb to the top of Diamond Hill in the village of Roundstone. Alternatively, why not visit Killary Harbour - one of Ireland’s only fjords?
To get the most out of your journey, you will probably want to set aside between 1 and 2 weeks for this road trip. You could even spend 3 weeks if you want to fully explore the route.
The Peak District - England
You can take a meandering drive around the Peak District in about 4 days.
Journey around the Snake Pass - the route that weaves through the Pennines. Be warned that this route is not for those with a fear of heights - at times you will find yourself 1679 feet above sea level!
With the river Ashop running alongside, you will likely be surrounded by fields of wildflowers during the spring and summer months.
You can take in spectacular views at the Site of Special Scientific Interest Winnats Pass - a limestone valley which boasts an array of ancient rocks and fossils.
The village of Edale, located at the start of the Pennine Way, is also a pretty sight, dotted with cottages and farms against a backdrop of rolling hills. A popular destination for walkers and runners, why not stop off here for lunch and take in the beauty of the English countryside?
Where Else Can I Go On My UK Road Trip?
If you still haven’t found your perfect destination, there are countless other locations around the UK which are ideal spots for your road trip.
For any movie-lovers out there, you might be interested in visiting some of the most interesting movie filming locations around the UK. Whether you like action movies or romantic comedies, these destinations are sure to make you want to rewatch some of your favourite flicks.
As the year draws to a close, there are plenty of ways to get into the spirit of the season. If you’re feeling brave in October, why not gather a group of friends for a Halloween drive down one of the UK’s most haunted roads?
If you celebrate Christmas or are travelling around this time, you can plan a festive trip with the winter weather in mind.
There are lots of routes you can take across the UK to ring in the new year too.
Just make sure you take regular breaks from driving, and ensure that your car is in good condition in order to make the trip in the first place!
Do you have fond road trip memories? Let us know in the comments below!