Yes, it’s finally happened. The clocks have changed and the winter solstice has passed which can only mean that summer is well on its way. With more daylight and (God willing) good weather at our disposal, those with a sense of adventure will be busily planning the next road trip.
Route 66? The Stelvio Pass? Please. Why travel so far when some of the best driving roads in the world are in the British Isles? So buckle up and dust off the A to Z, because here are the five best driving roads in the UK.
Blakey Ridge, Hutton-le-Hole to Castleton, England
From the quaint Yorkshire village of Hutton-le-Hole, the switchback Blakey Road stretches across the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, past the well-known Lion Inn pub, and down into the village of Castleton. Its twists, blind rises and breathtaking views across the moors make for a breathtaking drive but watch out for the odd ill-placed free-roaming sheep.
A470, Cardiff to Portmerion, Wales
Drives with a particular destination are all the more satisfying. In this case, the A470 from Cardiff travels across the Brecon Beacons, taking in some of Wales’ finest vistas to the quirky Italian-styled village of Portmeirion. Nestled in the foothills of the Snowdonia National Park, the village is better known as the set of the 1960s TV show The Prisoner.
Buttertubs Pass, Aysgarth to Thwaite, England
Buttertubs Pass sprung onto television screens around the world during the Grand Depart, as part of the Tour De France in 2014. While the climb may be painful on a pedal bike, it’s most pleasurable behind the wheel of your favourite motor. Starting in the picturesque village of Aysgarth, North Yorkshire, the road (officially called the Cliff Gate Road, for Satnav’s sake) stretches across the Yorkshire Dales to the village of Thwaite. With sheer drops and tight bends, it’s another road to watch for the odd rogue sheep, so pay good attention.
A887/87, Loch Ness to Uig, Scotland
Alongside miles of untamed Scottish wilderness, runs the A887/87, the main road from Loch Ness to the small town of Uig in Skye on the West Coast of Scotland. Starting at the home of the mythical Loch Ness Monster, the road sweeps through valleys, past dense pine forests and on to the Isle of Skye, finishing in the port of Uig.
Cheddar Gorge, Bath to Cheddar, England
As one of the best-known limestone features in the UK, the Cheddar Gorge is part of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. The Cliff Road – or B3135, if we’re being technical – twists through the gorge, sheltered by towering limestone walls, which line the pass. Going can be slow on a busy day with walkers and wildlife unusually placed along the way but pick the right moment and it’s a drive on your doorstep you’ll never forget.