5 – A1, Tyne and Wear
We might be a little biased, but we think the Angel of the North is a stunning sight, and it isn’t just about Northern pride. You ask anyone who has endured the tedium that is the A1 for any more than a couple of hours and they’ll tell you that Antony Gormley is a welcome piece of wonder.
The Angel of the North stands on a hill in Low Fell, overlooking extensive grassy fields on the fringe of old industry that the North East is historically aligned with. It serves as a reminder of the regions roots, but also its future. The foot of the Angel itself is a perfect pitstop with many families picnicking on warm summer days.
4 – Abergwesyn Pass, Wales
If you like detours and little villages the Welsh mountainous road will be the perfect road trip for you. The road connects many small villages around the Cambrian Mountains, so you have your pick of routes. Over the 18 mile stretch you will find lakes, hills, forests and rivers, all making for perfect summer scenery.
The Llyn Brianne reservoir is a perfect place to stop and enjoy the view. The market town of Tregaron is also ideal for a quiet getaway so a few good places to stay the night and enjoy some good food. Be careful driving away though, you might run into sheep or cattle enjoying the roads as well!
3 – Humber Bridge, North Lincolnshire & Yorkshire
You may be thinking that this is just a bridge but it is much more than that. The Humber Bridge was once upon a time the longest suspension bridge in the world (though it is now the 7th longest) and can be seen for miles around. Not only is it a spectacular feat of engineering it also provides a platform for the most spectacular view over the Humber.
Stop off at the viewing deck to take in the scenery. Many call it the perfect place to watch the sunset, for example. Once you have enjoyed the views and the drive you have your choice of locations, just continue down to motorway.
2 – A2, Portrush to Ballycastle, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has become known for its scenery but it is hard to pick a better route than the A2 in general, particularly the 19 mile stretch between Portrush and Ballycastle. The route spans a good section of the coast opening up great opportunities to see the famous Giant’s Causeway. Beautiful greenery completes the drive as one of the best scenic routes in the country.
If you are looking for activity there is a lot to do and see. It is easy to catch a ferry to Rathlin Ireland to more supurb scenery, or you can travel on foot through the Causeway. Continue down to road to find old castles, seaside destinations, or my personal favourite, the Old Bushmills Distillery, Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery.
1 – Bealach na Bà, Wester Ross
If you were to make an effort to drive along any road I would urge you to pick this one. Scotland has many excellent driving routes but few compares to this one. Take in the Scottish Highlands in the best way possible – through a series of twists and turns on this dramatic mountain road. Enjoy the sights overlooking Skye, the Islands of Rum and the Outer Hebrides, and take in the attractions from surrounding towns.
The name comes from Gaelic meaning “Pass of the Cattle”. The road was originally used to drive livestock. As you can guess it is certainly not a route for the faint hearted – I certainly wouldn’t want to attempt it in the snow. Don’t worry though as Applecross proves to be an excellent target destination, perfect for a quiet getaway.
By Peter Jepson