Best UK road trips according to experts ahead of February half term - including The Peak District
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This February half term school children will be looking forward to getting away from it all but with budgets stretched, a staycation might be the furthest most people will get. But fear not as the UK is home to some stunning scenery if you know where to look.
So, if you’re looking for a trip away closer to home why not consider hitting the road on a trip around the country’s most valued vistas. To remove any guesswork, researchers at vehicle expert Vanarama have revealed the top five best road trips in the UK.
Using search data from YouTube, Vanarama analysed which driving roads are being searched for the most. Through this, you can add a range of road trips to your own bucket list.
According to the research, The Lake District tops the bill for the best driving roads in the UK. Other areas on the list include Snowdonia in North Wales and the Peak District.
Here are the top five UK road trips on Brits bucket lists according to the research from Vanarama.
The Lake District
The stunning Lake District topped Vanarama’s list for the best driving roads in the UK with a total of 37,200 yearly searches on YouTube. As England’s largest national park, the region spans around 912 square miles throughout the historic counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and Lancashire. The vast landscape of the Lake District means there’s always plenty of tarmac to keep your journey going.
Although the entire region is surrounded by beauty, some of the more famous and well-travelled routes for motoring enthusiasts include the Keswick Loop via Buttermere and Borrowdale, Grasmere to Windermere, and Ambleside to Ullswater. However, most would agree that the most challenging of routes is the Coniston Loop. Taking you through a mixture of picturesque villages, jaw-dropping valleys, and craggy mountains - a testing route for even the most experienced drivers. The 34-mile drive is a must for anyone seeking to experience the best the UK has to offer.
With more than 25,000 yearly searches on YouTube, the outdoor adventure capital of Snowdonia provides some of the most memorable driving experiences in the UK. Packed with a variety of diverse landscapes over an 823-square-mile stretch, including nine mountain ranges, the national park is the ideal place to visit if you’re seeking a memorably scenic driving experience.
Scotland’s North Coast 500
In third place is perhaps VisitScotland’s greatest-ever success, the North Coast 500 has become a firm favourite with both driving enthusiasts and scenery lovers since the route was launched in 2015. Over the course of a year, it generates no less than 14,400 YouTube searches. The longest drive on our list, the NC500 stretches across a 516-mile route around the picturesque Scottish Highlands, complete with an array of stunning coastal scenery. Beginning and ending at Inverness Castle, it’s recommended that you take at least five days to complete the drive, enjoying the popular local villages such as Ullapool, Durness and Thurso along the way.
The Peak District
In fourth place is The Peak District with 14,300 searches every year. Only a stone’s throw from the three cities of Manchester, Sheffield and Derby, the Peak District was the first of the UK’s national parks to receive an official designation in 1951. Ever since, the national park has risen in popularity, attracting around 13 million visitors every year from all over the country. What makes the Peak District such a favourite with adventure-seeking drivers is the extraordinary variety of roads and scenery that’s on offer. An impressive concoction of winding country lanes and sudden peaks and troughs makes for an exhilarating driving experience.
Black Mountain Pass
Located in the stunning Welsh national park of Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountain Pass is one of the most challenging and exhilarating stretches of road in the UK. The route features a tantalising 19-mile line-up of thrilling turns, dips and twists that was made famous after an appearance on BBC’s Top Gear. Perhaps due to this, 13,400 people now search for the route on YouTube every year. Taking a total of 40 minutes to complete, the road stretches from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen in the south to Llandovery in the north.