Guide To 6 Of The Best Scenic UK Driving Routes
Here at Tiger.co.uk we’ve clocked up thousands of motoring miles between us and in the process have found ourselves driving through some of the UK’s most picturesque landscapes. We thought we would pull together a few of our favourite routes and places to visit so that our customers can try them out for themselves. To whet appetites we have started with 5 of the best. If any motorists reading this are planning a road trip, Tiger.co.uk hopes that they find this guide useful, but if another route is chosen to enjoy by car or motorbike let us know about it and we may well add it to the list!
Snowdonia, North Wales.
The national park of Snowdonia is a charming and beautiful haven located in North Wales, and is a favourite with tourists, being the third most visited national park in England and Wales, the park is accessible via the following roads:
The mountain routes in the area of Snowdonia provide motorists with some of the most challenging and exhilarating routes that North Wales has to offer. Prior planning of routes is advisable as some roads can be single-track and have sharp twists and turns to navigate.
One of the most stunning drives the park has to offer is along the Fforest Fawr Road, or A4069, which connects Upper Brynamman with Llangadog. This route will go via the Black Mountain with amazing views over the region and the occasional wandering cow. There are some tight corners on this route but the surface and visibility are good, particularly if the weather is good.
There are alternatives to the popular National Park, Tiger.co.uk highly recommends driving through the Berwyn Mountains where there are some truly fantastic views. The B4391 from Llangynog to Bala to crosses the mountains, taking in some beautiful villages along the way. There are some splendid valley views as Cwm Rhiwarth is climbed, although travellers need to take care as there is a steep descent to one side which at times does not have a barrier or wall. The final stretch crosses some beautiful moorland and finally descends towards Bala and its lake.
Rumours from the 1970’s regarding a UFO sighting and crash in the Berwyn Mountains are still prevalent today, making for a potentially out of this world drive! The Berwyn Mountains also boast one of the tallest waterfalls in England and Wales, (Pistyll Rhaeadr), this is definitely worth taking a pit stop for. Whilst taking in the breathtaking rapids, drivers can take time to refuel themselves and their passengers at Tan-y-Pistyll, where they will find a tea-room offering refreshments and snacks. There is a main car park, where a car can be left if anyone needs to take a break from driving. In the warm weather it is possible to can sit outside and enjoy the waterfall with a cup of tea and a cake.
Tiger.co.uk recommends Motorists planning a trip to North Wales visit:
Mid Suffolk, East Anglia
Any motorists are looking for a leisurely drive through some of the most picturesque and genteel countryside in the United Kingdom, need look no further than the A1120 in Mid Suffolk. Beginning in the historic Suffolk market town of Stowmarket, the A1120 winds and flows lazily through the depths of East Anglia, past beautiful villages which are seemingly unaffected by the pace of modern day life, until it reaches its conclusion in the pleasant little Suffolk village of Yoxford. The A1120 is a particular favourite with motorcycle riders.
For motorists with children, Stowmarket is home to the Museum of East Anglian Life which presents the agricultural history of East Anglia. For those on the lookout for a bargain, Yoxford is home to the Yoxford Antiques Centre which is considered by some to be one of the best antique centres in Suffolk. Yoxford is conveniently close to the seaside, so for visitors who wish to push on a little further, the beautiful seaside towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh are just a short drive along the A12.
Should the rural vistas along the A1120 trigger motorist’s appetites, there are plenty of places to stop and get food, from the myriad of local village pubs to farm shops and cafés, such as Eat Anglia, a delicatessen/café which sits happily in the village of Earl Soham.
Cornwall has some beautiful coastline for motorists to visit and some splendid beaches to enjoy. Cornwall can be accessed from the M5 west at Exeter, followed by the A30 Southbound, or alternatively, leaving the M5 at junction 27 and motor along the A39.
A popular route is the scenic North Cornwall drive from Bude down to Padstow. Leave the M5 at junction 27 and take the A361 to Barnstaple. On the other side of Barnstaple it is possible to pick up the A39 South. Taking the A39 and detouring along the way will reveal some beautiful ocean views along the jagged coastline.
Turning off the A39 on to the B3263 leads down into Boscastle and follows the coast down to Tintagel. When the A39 is re-joined it leads through the pretty town of Camelford before heading on to the final destination town of Padstow.
Lying on the Camel estuary, Padstow has beautiful beaches and some stunning bay views to be soaked up. There are lots of local shops to enjoy and the harbour provides some stunning views. A notable stop-off is Rick Stein’s café where visitors can treat themselves to some quality seafood.
Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, Somerset.
Cheddar Gorge is a Limestone gorge nestled in the Mendip Hills well known for its outstanding natural beauty. The gorge itself runs through the hillside North-East of the village of Cheddar and has many caves and other attractions which makes it a very popular tourist destination.
Cheddar Gorge is South West of Bristol, off the M4 motorway, the B3135 runs right the way through the gorge itself climbing some 900ft in 3 miles and taking in some dramatic landscape and stunning views where it plateaus on top of the Mendip Hills.
Driving up this road through the gorge is a great trip with some beautiful scenery and challenging roads. It is important that drivers take care when taking this route as there are a few spots where the rocks protrude out into the road! At the top of the gorge, the B3135 is a good stretch of road that winds out through some lovely Somerset villages.
There are lots of things to do in and around Cheddar. The Mendips are a great area for walking, adventure activities and outdoor pursuits and the area is very popular with geologists, fans of wildlife and archaeologists.
Tiger.co.uk recommends motorists planning a trip to Cheddar visit:
Thetford Forest, Breckland, East Anglia
It’s amazing how quickly motorists can transcend into enchanting countryside if they know the right places to go. For those that live in either Norfolk or Suffolk, the Thetford Forest is within easy reach for an easy family drive to on a summer’s day. Those that don’t live that way, it is well worth a visit.
Thetford can be accessed via the M11 for motorists approaching from the south or the A14 and for motorists are approaching from the north. Once in the area, motorists who take the B1107 heading from Thetford to Brandon, then drive along the forest road will find themselves enveloped in Britain’s largest lowland pine forest. A toll applies for the forest road and it can be visited all year round, although it is worth checking opening times as these change throughout the year.
The forest is home to a multitude of wildlife, including deer and a variety of birds including the woodlark. Motorists can stop off at the High Lodge Forest Centre, where they will find a car park so they can leave their cars and enjoy the forest by foot, or by bike if they so wish. Refreshments are also available at the café.
There are many activities for kids and for drivers who have brought their dogs the forest is a great place for them to have an exciting walk. There are designated dog areas within the forest, but dogs should be kept on the lead at all times.
Tiger.co.uk recommends that motorists planning a trip to Thetford Forest visit.
The Lake District, Cumbria.
If the weather is forecast to be clear then motorists can’t get much better than driving from Hexham to Bowness on Windermere on the A686 via Alston (reputed to be the highest village in England). This stunning route takes in views of the Lake District and features a couple of hairpin bends that would be worthy of any racing track.
The route stretches around 69 miles and features many opportunities for stopping off. The route passes through many small villages providing plenty of opportunities to stop for tea and cake before getting to Penrith at just over halfway. At Penrith visitors can drop in to the Reghed Historic Visitor Centre and beyond that slow right down to take in the breathtaking views as they drive the stretch of Lake Ullswater. The route winds gently down to finish on Lake Windermere at Bowness, a sprawling tourist town on the shores of Lake Windermere. There are plenty of places to stay in and around Bowness, but it is a very popular tourist destination so it is advisable to up in advance.
Tiger.co.uk recommends that motorists planning a trip to Cumbria visit.