Our country has many beautiful spots worthy of seeing. A road trip is a perfect way to see the sights of the United Kingdom, and a fantastic way to start your 2023. Gather up some friends, check your car, and see the natural beauty of our country in style.
The New Forest
Originally a royal hunting ground for William the Conqueror, The New Forest is one of the most beautiful spots in Hampshire. With winding roads through vast fields, a variety of local wildlife such as ponies, pigs, and deer, and some gorgeous B&Bs to spend the night in, The New Forest has plenty to see and do.
Stop off at the Beaulieu Motor Museum and see some wonderful cars from over the years, explore the ancient seaport of Lymington, and smell the wonderful flowers at Exbury Gardens. There are plenty of places to park up and take a walk through the forests, so pack your walking shoes – The New Forest is a wonderful place to submerge yourself in nature.
Land of the Lakes, Lake District
Home to the UK’s deepest lake, the Lake District holds stunning views and lakeside villages which make a perfect road trip to enjoy with your friends. You’ll see why The Lake District attracts countless visitors – be sure to pack your camera so you can take the gorgeous views home with you.
Be sure to stop off in the village of Grasmere, where William Wordsworth wrote his poem ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’, and take a detour to Near Sawry, which was the inspiration for Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.
The Yorkshire Moors
The North York Moors National Park is home to dense forests and meandering streams, grazing sheep and ancient drystone walls. If you have a furry friend, The Moors are one of the best dog-friendly regions in the country, with hundreds of pubs and B&Bs that will be happy to accommodate pets as well as road-trippers.
If you stop in Goathland it may seem familiar – this is because it was the home for Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter movies. Be sure to pack an up-to-date map though, as a satnav may not be as reliable due to the ruralness of the Moors.
Through the miles of sprawling countryside and historic villages, you’ll quickly understand why the region is an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is something new to see in each village, from medieval churches to pretty high streets, quaint pubs to iconic stone walls.
There’s something for everyone in The Cotswolds. Whether you want to relax with some birdwatching or wildlife spotting, or if you’re more of a thrill seeker who wants to give kayaking, paddleboarding or archery a go, this southern road trip is good fun for thrill seekers and relaxers alike. Remember to check ahead to see if any of the wonderful beer and cider festivals coincide with your plans.
The Mendip Hills
The winding roads through the steep cliffs of Cheddar Gorge will have everyone peering out the window in astonishment. Stop off in the village of Cheddar to sample some of the best cheese the country is famous for and take in the breathtaking views of the limestone gorge.
The Mendip Hills is the perfect road trip for history lovers – it is the site where the oldest British human skeleton was found, as well as the caves that date back to the prehistoric era. Visit the Cheddar Man Museum of Prehistory, and if you’re taking children, be sure to visit the famous Wookey Hole Caves.
The Atlantic Highway
In Southwest England lies a stretch of the A39 which stretches between Barnstaple and Newquay. There are magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, and plenty of walking and cycling routes to stretch your legs on.
This route is perfect for families as Newquay is often voted the UK’s favourite seaside town. Visit Newquay Harbour and the beaches and indulge in classic British cuisines such as Cornish pasties, fish and chips, and cream teas. Remember to put the jam on first, as that’s how they do it down in Cornwall!
North Coast 500, Scotland
Often referred to as ‘Scotland’s answer to Route 66’, the North Coast 500 showcases some of the most incredible views of the Highlands. Starting and ending at Inverness Castle, the route takes you through lovely Scottish villages and historic landmarks. Be sure to book your accommodation in advance, as the route is popular with drivers everywhere.
There is the opportunity to spot dolphins and seals off Chanonry Point, and if you’re really lucky, you could even see the Northern Lights, as this area of the country is the best place to see them outside of Scandinavia.
What Should You Consider For A Road Trip?
Before you hit the road, there are a few things you should consider to ensure the journey is as smooth as possible. Here are some things you should do in order to guarantee a successful road trip:
- Perform essential checks on your car so you don’t need to make any unexpected maintenance stops. Check your lights, your coolant and engine oils, and your tyre pressure, and rectify anything that may prevent you from putting your journey on hold.
- Plan your fuel refills. Have a look online to see where you pass petrol stations, so you don’t waste driving time trying to find a station - or worse, run out of fuel.
- If you are travelling with children, ensure you have enough to keep them entertained on the long stretches of road. Fully charge tablets, bring books and colouring, and plan regular stops where everyone can stretch their legs and use the facilities. Remember to pack snacks too!
- Ensure you have emergency gear at the ready should you break down. A first aid kit, a high-vis, and a supply of warm clothes and water are essentials.
- Never drive tired. Schedule breaks and have accommodation booked in advance so you always have a comfortable bed to retire to after a long day of driving.
Where would you like to see in 2023? Let us know in the comments!