Thrilling country drives have long been a dream of many across the country and with the popularity of staycations on the rise, we’re here to round up the top 6 roads to explore. Many great contenders didn’t quite make our top 6, however they are most definitely worth a drive. They include the Cat and Fiddle Road that lies between Buxton and Macclesfield, and the Land of the Lakes taking in the beautiful Lake Windermere.
The longest and most famous in our list is one of the most desired routes in Europe, the North Coast 500. Known as Scotland’s answer to Route 66, this scenic route showcases the very best of fairy-tale castles, white sand beaches and historical ruins. The official route starts and ends at Inverness Castle and makes its way through quaint little towns and villages such as Ullapool, John O’Groats and Dornoch.
For the drive, we recommend the Audi RS range. Driven by hunger for innovation and unstoppable passion, Audi have developed a range that will explode into its element in the highlands. Breath taking views can be explored in exquisite comfort and the long, winding coastal road of the A896 will have you wondering whether you have ventured into the Alps. With road height of 2,053ft and gradients of 1:5, you’ll be grateful to have all the power that the German engineering provides.
A drive that wouldn’t look out of place in the mountainous region of Canada, is actually in Somerset. Awe-inspiring cliffs greet drivers of the Cheddar Gorge, which was forged some 1.2 million years ago. Driving through Britain’s deepest gorge provides you with dramatic views and some of the most winding and snake-like roads this country has to offer.
For the drive, we recommend the Volkswagen Golf. You have 14 miles of challenging roads, so you’ll want a car that not only performs under pressure but excels and this is exactly where the undeniable VW Golf comes into its own. A dynamic drive, enhanced aerodynamics, performance styling, and much more will have you looping back around for more.
One of the most beloved national parks this country has to offer is the Peak District, with spectacular sights spotted throughout. You can take a drive across the great mountain pass of the A57, more commonly known to locals as the Snake Pass for its unforgiving nature of steep climbs and daring bends. Not far from the drive you’ll be able to take detours to Derwent Dam, Mam Tor and Kinder Scout for undeniable trekking opportunities.
For the drive, we recommend the BMW X1. By fusing seductive design and plug-in hybrid fuel efficiency you can trust the X1 will get you to where you’re going and do it in style. Distinctive double grille and an envious drive height also help you tackle the Snake Pass and all its challenges.
Our only coast-to-coast drive to feature on the list is in the land of mythical dragons and err, sheep. Yes, the Dragon’s Spine is as devilish in drive as it is in name. The stretch from Cardiff in the south to Conwy in the north is one of the country’s hidden gems, with a road that hugs the Welsh coastline and takes in eye-watering views. Additionally, you’ll be able to take in the EVO triangle which traverses the edge of Snowdonia and drive the Top Gear famous A4069 in the Brecon Beacons.
For this drive, we recommend the Ford Ranger. Having undergone rigorous testing on some of the most challenging terrains you can trust it to have optimal performance as you tackle the Dragon’s Spine. Powerful in performance and confident in design, you’ll be sure to make the most of your coastal stop offs with best-in-class luggage capacity.
Possibly the most dog-friendly route on our trip, the North Yorkshire Moors is home to everything from idyllic B&Bs to dense forests and meandering streams. Taking the 21-mile stretch along the A169 you finish up in Whitby, for a spot of traditional fish and chips or tackle the 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey.
For this drive, we recommend the Mercedes Benz A-Class. Being in the top 10 of the UK’s best-selling cars, the Mercedes Benz A-Class is as iconic as ever. The latest generation is by far-and-away the most comprehensive and versatile model combining modern technology with striking design. It has everything for your drive across the North Yorkshire Moors, and then some.
Surfers will know the Atlantic Highway like the back of their hand as the stretch takes in some of the most popular surfing beaches in northern Cornwall. Starting in Fraddon, 20 minutes outside of Newquay and ending in Barnstaple the 70-mile route, which can be doubled if you head further north to Bridgwater, makes us realise why we don’t need to leave the UK.
For this drive, we recommend the Ford Kuga. When you combine a drive as sleek as the Kuga with a road as beautiful as this, dreams of the French Riviera vanish. Rewarding the adventurer within, the Kuga delivers first-class efficiency and performance whilst a much-desired design allows you to travel in style.