Our Best Road Trips in the UK

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We’ve been up and down the UK since 2017 and have put our best road trips into a neat ‘Top Ten’ list for you.

It wasn’t easy as there are so many beautiful places and routes to choose from. And we’ve yet to hit the shores of Ireland, somewhere we plan to go as soon as we’re able to.

These routes take in some of the best scenery throughout England, Scotland and Wales and some can be easily done within a few hours whereas others should be enjoyed over several days.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best road trips you can take in the UK…

amazing motorhome road trips in the UK

It really is all about the journey!

Cliche, we know, but it’s so true: road trips are about the actual journey rather than the destination…

It’s about the way the scenery takes your breath away or the excitement – or fear – of negotiating tight hairpin bends (which is not so easy if you’re driving a larger motorhome).

And what about driving right on the edge of mountain roads with little to stop you tumbling over the side? Fair to say, there have been a few occasions of white knuckles during these best road trips!

Indeed, we like to think that this is our version of the TV programme, The World’s Most Dangerous Roads. In reality, it’s nowhere near as scary but it feels just as exhilarating to us.

Our Best UK Road Trips (so far)

1. On the A82 from Loch Lomond to Glencoe in Scotland

See the route we took here

A beautiful drive whatever the weather, the mountains on either side are rocky and wild and there is a visitor centre at Glencoe with a great campsite right next door.

Our experience driving along the A82 was one of awe and embarrassment. The former was due to the amazing scenery, especially when the sun came out. The latter? Madam blew a hole in her exhaust. People were looking for the Sherman tank coming through the glen!

Read the full road trip story here

the A82 to Glencoe, Scotland
The A82 in Scotland, heading to Glencoe

2. Horseshoe Pass on the A542 in Wales

See the route here

This is a lovely road trip. We drove from north to south towards Llangollen. There are some wonderful bends which reveal more of the stunning Welsh mountains at each turn.

It is one of those road trips where you are not sure which window to look out of. And there is a café at the top where you can enjoy the views with a lovely cuppa.

Read the full road trip story here

Driving along the Horseshoe Pass, Wales
On the Horseshoe Pass in Wales

3. The West Coast of Wales, the Llyn Peninsula and Snowdonia

See the route we took here

A stunning drive that took us two days, up the West Coast from Barmouth, onto the Llyn Peninsula for a night at a small campsite before ending up sleeping in the shadow of Snowdon on night two.

We’d started at Dolgellau on the southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park, and, once at the coast, enjoyed spectacular cliff-top views out to sea. On the Llyn Peninsula we passed through tiny hamlets of farms and cottages where seemingly nothing has changed for generations. 

Fantastic coastal and mountain scenery and places that take you back in time to when life was slower and simpler. Just how we like it.

Read the full West Coast of Wales road trip story here

Wild camping view in Snowdonia
Evening view from the Pen Y Pass car park in Snowdonia, with the mist rolling up the valley

4. Snake Pass in the Peak District, England, on the A57

See the route map

We’ve driven this on two occasions, both times heading towards Glossop. It is an exhilarating trip. We had a bit of a following at times – people seem to like travelling the “snakey” bends at speed.

The motorhome couldn’t – or wouldn’t. We were too busy taking in the surroundings anyway!

In late summer, the slopes are purple with heather.  And on a clear day, beyond the blooms and wild open hills, you can see the metropolis that is Manchester encroaching on the horizon.

Read the full Snake Pass road trip story

Snake pass road trip, England, A57
Snake Pass, heading toward Glossop on the outskirts of Manchester

5. Anglesey on the A4080 and A4545

See the route here

Being on Anglesey is like stepping back in time. The roads are quiet and the pace of life is much slower, ideal for a van like ours. We wildcamped the first night, overlooking the Menai Strait.

Over the next couple of days we travelled all around the island and found two spectacular locations. This island really does have everything and you can read more about it in our Anglesey Road Trip here

Menai Strait, looking towards Wales mainland and Snowdonia
Wild camp by the Menai Strait with Snowdonia across the water

6. The A470 in Wales from Pen Y Fan to Rhayader and the Elan Valley

The A470 stretches for miles and we’ve driven along it a few times. After climbing Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons we then drove north into Mid Wales following the river Wye, before eventually arriving at the spectacular Elan Valley. And it’s here that things get really interesting as you negotiate tiny mountain roads, described by the AA as, “one of the best drives in the world.”

We’ve done the trip twice; firstly in our van and the second time in a car – after we realised there were hills our old VW Cree wouldn’t get up!

Read the full Elan Valley road trip story here

View from Claerwen Dam in the Elan Valley, Wales
View from Claerwen Dam in the Elan Valley, Wales

7. The North Norfolk Coast

With the pandemic of 2020 limiting travel options we decided to stay closer to home.

This 90 mile road trip along the North Norfolk Coast starts at the Wash in the west and follows the coastal road all the way around to Gt. Yarmouth in the east, taking in some wonderful scenery and drives through little fishing villages and tourist towns.

Read about our North Norfolk Coast road trip here

the crumbling coastline at Happisburgh, Norfolk
The eroding cliffs at Happisburgh on the North Norfolk Coast

8. From Ben Nevis to the Isle of Skye

We had parked at the visitor centre and walked some way up Ben Nevis, beautiful if somewhat busy. Due to lack of time (we started out far too late) we decided instead to check out the road winding its way back down in the glen.  

Stopping to speak to fellow walkers, they recommended it as a wonderful drive. And it was! Narrow in places, but we felt that we were in the real Scotland. We had to retrace our route back out as the road became too narrow for the van after the ‘River Nevis Walk’ car park.

But this was just the start! From here we decided to head to Skye for a road trip all the way around the island before coming back onto the mainland and an overnight stop at Loch Ness.

Read the full story of our road trip from Ben Nevis to the Isle of Skye

a magical drive on the isle of skye
A magical drive on the Isle of Skye

9. From Loch Ness through the Cairngorms and Fife in Scotland

“Let’s go on Britain’s highest road!” Gav announced, emphatically. Trudi found it funny. Our Cree doesn’t do hills.  However, Gav was not joking.

map of Scotland and roads with numbers of fatal accidents

This road – the A93 – is listed as ‘one of Scotland’s most dangerous roads’ on one website we found as we did our research for the trip. And here we are in a near three-ton slowcoach with the pulling power of a snail…with a broken ankle.  

The Cairngorm’s scenery might not be as dramatic as the Nevis range, with the roads mostly going over the tops of the mountains rather than in between. However, Cree managed it because, luckily for us, the long drag was downhill and the 33% gradient of the Devil’s Elbow has long since been bypassed.

And the header picture on our homepage shows where we wild-camped one night, right by the roadside, overlooking the mountain range.

Read the full story of our road trip through the Cairngorms

Our VW motorhome in the Cairngorms
Wild camping by the roadside in the Cairngorms

10. The A169 across the North York Moors

On paper, the A169 looks like a fairly straight road which just gets you to Whitby. But off paper, it traverses mile after mile of wild moorland.

Recently voted the UK’s 3rd best road trip, the scenery is straight out of Heartbeat – a popular English TV series set in the 1960s.

A great adventure and it’s easy to see why it votes so highly in the UK’s best road trips and scenic drives.

Read the full North York Moors road trip story

The wonderful desolation of the North York Moors

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our best road trips and that you’re chomping at the bit to hit the road yourself.

But is your van ready for the journey? Check out our road trip planning, tips and ideas to ensure your campervan or motorhome is up to the task.

And in our road trip essentials page we list the items we never leave home without.

We’d love to hear your own road trip stories so please get in touch. Where would you recommend? What’s been your best ever road trip?

Contact us here and tell us about your favourite road trips.

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