Kamala Puligandla

by Kamala Puligandla

posted on November 14, 2022

From its majestic rolling pastures to its towering sea cliffs, the UK plays host to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. The myriad of A and B roads tying these vistas together offer pitstops in sprawling cultural hubs and picturesque villages alike, so what better way to explore this little island than with a suitably spectacular road trip.

Before you book a Turo car of your choice, we thought it only appropriate to collect the most stunning drives for a maiden journey. These are the top 10 cities and trails, villages and sights, that merit your exploration.

Yorkshire Dales, England

The Dales offer a scenic glimpse into an area of England nicknamed ‘God’s Own County’ by its locals – and for good reason. Meandering roads carve their way across vast stretches of glorious countryside, with dramatic backdrops on offer at every pitstop.

Start your journey from the A65 into Ingleton and explore the 5-mile waterfalls trails – with unspoiled surroundings and curious geological features, perfect for a lazy autumn ramble. Make your way up to Wensleydale – the namesake of the cheese made famous by Wallace & Gromit – stopping off at the jaw-dropping Ribblehead Viaduct on the way. Single-track roads skirt south through pastoral scenery toward the stone settlements of Kirkby Malzeard and Lofthouse, before ending in the stunning town of Pateley Bridge, where you’ll find the ‘oldest sweet shop in the world’ buried amongst other traditional shops

Landscape view over the Yorkshire Dales
Things to see
  • Ribblehead Viaduct
  • Malham Cove
  • Hardraw Force
How long to spend here

3-4 days

The Atlantic Highway, England

Stretching from Barnstaple in Devon to Fraddon in the centre of Cornwall, the Atlantic Highway coastal road – or A39 to give the road its official title – traverses three iconic counties as it skirts its way down this picturesque stretch of British coastline.

Kick off your journey in Exmoor National Park, 693 square kilometres of rolling valleys and towering sea cliffs. Take an extended stay here for a spot of stargazing. If you’re travelling with family, a stop at Widemouth Bay is a must, with aches of sand perfect for a sunny summer day. Continue along the patchwork of rugged coastline and enchanting woodland to the quaint fishing village of Padstow, for seafood that’s second to none. The seaside town of Newquay offers a great night out, or bring the surfboard and catch a wave at one of the area’s renowned beaches. Finish your trip at Land’s End for spectacular views from England’s southwestern tip.

Beach in Newquay
Things to see
  • Tintagel Castle and Bridge
  • Widemouth Bay
  • Land’s End
How long to spend here

4-5 days

The Lake District, England

With its stunning landscapes, one-of-a-kind attractions, and bustling market towns, it’s easy to see why the Lake District is considered one of the most beautiful places in the UK.

To take in everything this enchanting northwest corner of England has to offer, start off on the southern tip of the gigantic Lake Windermere. In the warmer months, stop off for a ride on Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway for a steam-powered scenic trip around the stunning Leven Valley. If you’re travelling with family, a pitstop at The World of Beatrix Potter exhibit is a must. Head north for a stroll around the village of Grasmere – described as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found” by William Wordsworth – before crossing over to Wast Water (England’s deepest lake) straddled by a string of jagged mountains, including Scafell Pike (England’s tallest mountain). Finish your trip with a picturesque drive down to Muncaster Castle, a haunted fortress buried in idyllic settings amongst the Western Lake District fells.

Two-story house surrounded by tree in the Lake District
Things to see
  • The World of Beatrix Potter exhibit
  • Helvellyn Hiking Trail
  • Aira Force Waterfalls
How long to spend here

3-4 days

North Coast 500, Scotland

Providing a full circular route along the dramatic coastline of northern Scotland, this 516-mile long highway (830 km) is an iconic road trip route – sort of the Route 66 of Scotland.

The trip begins at Inverness Castle, and extends east toward Black Isle, along the heavenly sea cliffs of Caithness and Sutherland, past the placid Loch Maree, and finally through the Highland crags of Ross-shire on the way back into Inverness. Along the way, travellers are treated to the finest peaty whiskey distilleries, cosy fishing towns, fairy-approved castles, mysterious ruins, and quiet beaches. It’s a variety pack of Scottish goodness and a drive that won’t bore you. Plus, when it’s not summertime, this meandering road will be all yours.

Inverness Castle in Scotland
Things to see
  • John O’Groats
  • The Black Isle
  • Inverness Castle
How long to spend here

5-7 days

The Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds is the quintessential English countryside destination. With its oolitic limestone architecture and endless rolling hills, it’s no wonder this 800 square-mile expanse of cosy towns and villages makes the top 10 list of British must-see destinations.

Spanning no less than 5 counties, the Cotswolds has plenty to offer. Come off the M5 for a quick detour to the stunning city of Gloucester and its mesmerising cathedral. Continue on to Painwick’s Rococo Gardens, an exotic 18th-century pleasure garden, perfect for a spring afternoon wander. Take in the idyllic views from Leckhampton Hill on your way up to the historic town of Winchcombe – home to Sudeley Castle – a honey-stone stronghold nestled between the rolling pastures. Finally, dive into the heart of the Cotswolds at Bourton-on-the-water – straddling the river Windrush, this quant village is teeming with activities and attractions. Stay a night here to take in everything the village has to offer.

Row of honey-stone cottages in The Cotswolds
Things to see
  • Broadway Tower
  • Blenheim Palace
  • Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
How long to spend here

2-3 days

Brighton, England

The most classic of seaside resort towns cannot disappoint. The London day-tripping spot was made popular by royalty himself, the young Prince Regent, who built the lavish Royal Pavilion before he became King George IV. Brighton continued to flourish well into the Victorian era and beyond with the addition of fly, fancy accommodations, a pier packed with amusements, and fashionable beaches, including Britain’s first naturist or nude beach that opened in the 1980s. These days the city is well-known for the Brighton Festival in May, which brings in flocks of artists, and the bumping gay scene.

Front view of Brighton Palace Pier
Things to see
  • Royal Pavillion
  • Brighton Palace Pier
  • Devil’s Dike National Trust
How long to spend here

1-2 days

The Dragon’s Spine, Wales

The A470 – known as The Dragon’s Spine – skirts its way through the heart of Wales, from Cardiff in the south up to Conwy in the north, traversing two national parks and a myriad of majestic landscapes and market towns along the way.

Start your journey in the Welsh capital before heading north to the rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons, 520 square miles of sweeping escarpments and patterned valleys – stop by Henrhyd waterfall, the highest waterfall in South Wales. Cut through the heartland and the market towns of Talgarth, Rhayader, and Dolgellau, before diving into the majestic Snowdonia national park.

Ferris wheel and Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay
Things to see
  • Henrhyd waterfall
  • Pen y Fan
  • Upper Tarell Valley
How long to spend here

2-3 days

Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, England

To be sure, the Jurassic Coast is one of the highlights of England, it was certainly designated a UNESCO Heritage Site for a reason.

To get the most of out this road trip, start in Sidmouth, where you’ll find a friendly seaside town full of shops. Grab an ice cream, and head east up the coast toward Lyme for your fine dining fix at HIX Oyster & Fish House. Stop into Bridgeport for a gander at the arts and antiques in the “Notting Hill on sea” and then get back in the car to prepare for the stunning natural beauty of the moon-shaped Ludlow Cove and Durdle Door, an impressive white limestone arch. Don’t miss Corfe Castle for an uphill hike through the majestic ruins of what once was a formidable fort, and a spectacular view from the top.

Beach in Lyme Regis
Things to see
  • Lyme Regis
  • Durdle Door
  • Corfe Castle
How long to spend here

2-3 days

Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

The route from Belfast to Londonderry gives travellers the great opportunity to be wowed by some of Northern Ireland’s wondrous ruins and land formations, as well as fine Irish whiskey.

From Belfast, travellers head north toward Antrim, where fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones, might recognize the thin branches of the tree-lined road, reasonably named The Dark Hedges. Heading farther north, the coast unfurls before you, and the adventure-seekers won’t want to miss the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge that runs across a chasm nearly 75 ft (23 m) deep. Farther west, the unusually shaped columns of basalt rock from ancient volcanic eruptions draw visitors to the Giant’s Causeway, and just beyond, the Old Bushmill Distillery treats travellers to the same tasty whiskey they’ve been producing since the 1600s.

Geological beach formation on the Causeway Coastal Route
Things to see
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • The Ruins of Dunluce Castle
  • The Dark Hedges
How long to spend here

3-4 days

Snowdonia, Wales

North Wales and Snowdonia National Park is home to a disproportionate amount of beauty for its small size, making it a perfect place to road trip.

It begins with Snowdon peak, an extremely popular mountain that hikers adore, but also available to experience via railway, for those who prefer a scenic ride. Heading just southwest, Llyn Gwynant is a glacial lake caught between mountains that awes visitors with its tranquil peace, and heading south, you’ll encounter the gem that is Portmeirion. Renowned for the vibrantly coloured, Italian-inspired buildings that line the hills, this town was created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis to evoke the Mediterranean feel of Portofino on the coast of Wales. For more delights along the way, the Llechwedd Slate Caverns offer a historical spelunking adventure, and the Trefriw Wollen Mills keep up the local tradition of weaving beautiful Welsh tweeds and rugs.

Rolling hills in Snowdonia National Park
Things to see
  • Snowdon peak
  • Llechwess Slate Caverns
  • Llyn Gwynant
How long to spend here

3-4 days

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Kamala Puligandla

Kamala Puligandla

Kamala Puligandla is a writer, editor, and bon vivant in LA. She is the author of two books, Zigzags and You Can Vibe Me On My Femmephone, and is always on the look-out for strange stories, excellent eats, and relaxing locales.

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