The UK's top scenic routes for the ultimate staycation have been unveiled

The UK's top scenic routes have been revealed—and we finally don't feel so bad about another summer in lockdown

The UK's top scenic routes have been revealed—and we finally don't feel so bad about another summer in lockdown
(Image credit: john finney photography/Getty )

We may not be able to book an overseas getaway any time soon, but that doesn't mean we can't recreate the holiday vibe here at home. 

If you've ever thought road trips were just an American thing, you'd be sorely mistaken. 

While we'd love nothing more than a summer vacation in the US right now, the current Covid-19 travel restrictions have forced us to embrace our local lands yet again for the upcoming sunny season.

So if you've had enough of your garden inflatable hot tub and are looking to get away then luckily, there's no need to hop on a plane to escape the stress of urban life in lockdown. The UK boasts an abundance of scenic routes to enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle, with awe-inspiring gems just waiting to be discovered in every corner of the nation. These stunning roadmaps, hand-picked by, arrive at some of the island's most gorgeous nature retreats—including beaches in Scotland that'll take your breath away—meaning you'll be in the holiday spirit from the moment you set off on your journey. 

Atlantic Highway, England 

The Atlantic Highway in England is undeniably one of the country's most beautiful coastal stretches. The 170-mile long road covers the southwestern counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, touching a number of picturesque seaside towns and villages along the way. Travelers will be treated to majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean on their journey, as well as sprawling beaches and historic monuments. With such idyllic sights only a few hours' drive away, we think we'll manage to put our Joali Maldives trip on pause—just about. 

Peter Cade

(Image credit: Peter Cade/Getty)

Buttertubs Pass, England

Before you ask—no, Buttertubs Pass is not a scenic highway made of butter. This windy North Yorkshire road, which is only a mere seven miles, is actually named after the cluster of limestone potholes that line its route. The natural wonders offer a delightful viewing experience for drivers, providing a much-needed diversion from the monotonous hills that shape much of England's landscape. 

Edwin Remsberg

(Image credit: Edwin Remsberg/Getty)

Great West Way, England

The Great West Way is named so for good reason—it's simply spectacular. Stretching from London to Bristol, this 125 mile-long route is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the UK capital without venturing too far north. Day-trippers can expect idyllic scenery dotted by several famous British attractions, including the Queen's residence at Windsor Castle and the iconic historical site of Stonehenge.

Marianne Purdie

(Image credit: Marianne Purdie/Getty)

Hardknott Pass, England

Hardknott Pass is another road that's name hints at its distinctive traits. The single-track 2.2km route is one of the steepest roads in all of England, promising lots of twists and turns that'll keep even the weariest of travelers entertained. It also cuts straight through the Lake District in Cumbria, making it ideal for any cyclists or runners looking to put their aerobic fitness to the test. 

Oh, and if you start feeling a little dizzy from the heights, there are gorgeous views to help keep you motivated. 


(Image credit: Westend61/Getty)

Snake Pass, England

If you're still on the hunt for the perfect hill, Snake Pass might be just the ticket. This steep route, which can be found in the Derbyshire section of the Peak District, has long had a reputation as one of the best driving roads in England. It spans a distance of 5km and boasts stunning views of the surrounding countryside, making it a popular spot for cyclists and motorists alike. 

Snakes pass

(Image credit: john finney photography/Getty )

North Coast 500, Scotland

Of course, there's plenty of beautiful routes to explore outside of England. 

The North Coast 500 in Scotland spans a colossal 516 miles along the coast of the Northern Highlands and is rightfully hailed as the UK's answer to America's Route 66. Weaving through Sutherland, Wester Ross, and Inverness-shire, it is known for its jaw-dropping mountains, historic landmarks, and sandy beaches. Travelers can choose to enjoy the natural landscape by wild camping in Scotland or opt for a more luxurious break by booking into one of these spa hotels or lodges with hot tubs

Guy Butler / EyeEm

(Image credit: Guy Butler / EyeEm/Getty )

The Cambrian Way, Wales

If Scotland is a little too far north for you, why not check out the scenic routes in Wales? 

The Cambrian Way is known as one of the most stunning trails in the world, let alone the UK, thanks to its divine mountainous views and beautiful historical sites. Starting on the south coast city of Cardiff and ending on the north coast town of Llandudno, the journey will take you over the course of 185 miles. Along the way, you'll find two national parks, as well as quaint villages and gorgeous natural wonders. 

Charles Hawes/Getty

(Image credit: Charles Hawes/Getty )
Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for woman&home. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.


Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.