Get back out on the road this summer with TomTom and RoadTrips. To inspire your summer RoadTrips planning, my team and I have put together a set of stunning routes around the UK. Enjoy!
This scenic road trip traverses the iconic counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall on England’s South West Peninsula. Dense forests, picturesque villages, rugged coastlines and endless patchwork quilt countryside prevail on this captivating road.
In the first stretch the road takes you through the heart of Exmoor National Park, home to red deer. Driving up and down the rolling hills, magnificent woodlands unfold before your eyes. The road sweeps through numerous charming villages, with plenty of opportunity to pull over for scrumptious cream tea. The further you descend south, more magnificent sea views come into sight. Catch a wave at one of the renowned surf beaches in Newquay, or just enjoy the calming sound of the sea at the shore. The trip ends at Land’s end, the westernmost tip of Cornwall. Here, the rugged cliffs, off shore rock islands, arches and sea stacks offer incredible panoramas for your perfect RoadTrip selfie.
Don't let the name fool you, there is nothing treacherous about this road. The Snake Pass is merely a hill pass that connects the cities of Sheffield and Manchester. This scenic road will provide you with astounding views, and incredible hiking opportunities for your stops along the way. Should you want to extend your stay, the famous Snake Pass Inn is a perfect stop after a long day’s hike.
Day one: depart Edinburgh and drive up into the Highlands. You'll make a stop at Loch Lomond, a stunning fresh water lake between Central Scotland and the Highlands. The drive along winding roads leads you to Inverness, a cathedral city regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Make a stop at Urquhart Castle on the shore of Loch Ness and see if you spot Nessie.
Day two: Return to Edinburgh. Start your day at Scotland’s largest ski resort, Glenshee. With 22 lifts and 36 runs it is Britain's largest snowsports resort. Spend the afternoon touring (and tasting) at the famous Glenfiddich Distillery, one of the oldest family-owned Scotch whisky distilleries. Your journey will take you through every part of the tradition, learning how the world’s most awarded whiskies are created.
Sure, visiting the UK without a stop in London may seem like sacrilege, though since you are here for on-the-road adventure, best to give the city (and its notorious traffic) a miss. Instead, start out from Liverpool for a riot of charm, bustle, art (see: the Walker Art Gallery), and architecture. Once you are ready - no rush! - we leave for Wales.
Cadair Idris Mountain
Near the town of Dolgellau and at the southern end of Snowdonia National Park, Cadair Idris rewards your tenacity in getting to its summit with sublime views. If you arrive to find the mountain shrouded in clouds or being battered by storms, a (cautious) drive around the surrounding countryside instead is quite spectacular.
A friend suggested the Welsh language was created mostly from the Scrabble pieces hardest to use. Do your best with the place names on the drive south to Powys and then through Abergwesyn Pass. You can pick up the scenic roadway in Tregaron and test your reflexes along winding paths through some magnificent scenery. Lower your heart rate with a walk around Llyn Brianne reservoir.
Pass Rated one of the best roads in Wales, Black Mountain Pass, set in the Brecon Beacons National Park and connecting Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, is a delightful mix of outstanding scenery, winding roads, and, this being Wales, flocks of roaming sheep. If the drive has not quite sated your adrenaline lust, Brecon Beacons is a phenomenal spot for hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing.
Back in England, your jaunt through Shropshire Hills, designated for conservation as one of the UK's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) due to its "significant landscape value." This, of course, criminally undersells the tranquility of this destination, defined by its rolling hills, moorland, castles, and, if you visit in the summer, fields in bloom.
If you are pining for the clamor of city life, we end our journey in Manchester. While there is plenty to do, we recommend visits to the Science and Industry Museum, the John Rylands Library, the Fletcher Moss Park and Botanical Gardens, and the National Football Museum.
Scenic road trip through the New Forest and down to Dorset's Jurassic Coastline. This is the perfect way to see some of the most beautiful spots in Hampshire and Dorset.
Take the scenic route through the New Forest, stopping at Lyndhurst for a coffee in a quaint village setting. There are plenty of photo opportunities as you drive through the New Forest, so take your time and enjoy - and keep an eye out for the New Forest ponies!
Next stop is Sandbanks Beach in Poole. Swing by Rick Stein's for lunch to sample some of the local seafood, or simply head to the beautiful beach for a swim in the bay.
Take the ferry (£4.50 per car) across from Sandbanks to Studland, a rugged beach of sloping sand dunes and wild seagrass. The drive through Studland Nature Reserve is exquisite! Next stop is Corfe Castle, an ancient ruined hilltop castle that is a true Dorset icon. Stop in at one of the tearooms in Corfe village if you're in need of a pick-me-up, or explore the castle itself.
Drive down to Weymouth for another of Dorset's best beaches. If you want to make this a weekend trip Weymouth is the perfect place to spend the night. Be sure to stroll along the harbour and enjoy some of the best fish and chips in England for dinner!
From Weymouth you can make an u-turn to drive back along the coast to two of Dorset's star attractions. Durdle Door is a natural rocky arch over the sea, with a gorgeously calm bay for swimming and some fantastic views. If you leave the car in Durdle Door carpark you can walk over the cliff to nearby Lulworth Cove - but be warned, it's a steep path uphill! The bay at Lulworth Cove is stunning, and a great place to hunt for fossils. Head to the visitor centre to see some of the best ones found along this stretch of the Jurassic Coast. And be sure to stop by the Doll's House sweet shop for some local fudge!
Finally, the drive back to Hampshire from Lulworth via Wimborne Minster is another lovely one, through idyllic countryside and farmland.