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Europe,  United Kingdom

Top UK Road Trip Ideas For Your Next Trip

The top UK road trip destinations for a unforgettable self drive holiday in Great Britain


I’m convinced that a road trip across Britain is the most fantastic way to see all the different countries. The UK is a great start. England , Wales and Scotland have a wide variety of vibrant cities, adorable villages, and beautiful nature on offer to keep you mesmerized during your vacation. A self-drive holiday in the UK gives you the flexibility to see as much or as little as you want. All in your own time. We’ve compiled our top UK road trip destinations for you:

  • Canterbury

The historic city of Canterbury is obviously most known for Canterbury Cathedral, the impressive Unesco World Heritage site. However, there’s more to this town: historic alleyways and stunning canals. Canterbury is also great for shopping and the typical Afternoon Tea.

UK road trip Canterbury

  • Portmeirion

Portmeirion is located in the stunning Snowdonia National Park, Wales. Breathing the vibe of an Italian village, this man-made town is an absolute gem on the Welsh coast. The bright colors of the buildings bright up your day even if it’s a rainy one.

UK road trip Portmeirion

Jurassic Coast

Reminding us of the ’93 movie Jurassic Park and this year’s blockbuster Jurassic World, Jurassic Coast is the real deal. Another Unesco World Heritage site, this time in Exmouth and Dorset, which is absolutely worth a visit. A geology treasure chest, covering 185 million years of history.

UK road trip Jurassic Coast

Brighton

Probably England’s most famous coastal resort. Brighton features the renowned Brighton Pier with its fun fair and the country’s most eccentric palace: the Royal Pavilion. A young destination boasting with boutique hotels, shops and beach side bars.

Brighton

Stonehenge

A classic in the UK road trip. One of world’s mysteries not yet resolved. Who built this gigantic structure which they call Stonehenge? What methods did they use? A guided tour can teach you all about the structure, but won’t answer these questions. If you’re not interested in history too much, you can see the massive construction from behind the fence.

top-20-road-trip-uk-stonehenge

Bath

The town of Jane Austen and the Roman bathhouses. The vibe and Georgian architecture of Bath is incredible, and absolutely deserves a place in the top UK road trip ideas. The covered market is a personal favorite of mine.

Bath

Bristol

A vibrant city on the border with Wales that features the impressive Clifton’s Suspension Bridge and the steamship SS Great Britain. The latter is turned in a fabulous museum. Music, theatre, modern architecture, there’s not much that Bristol doesn’t have.

Bristol

Snowdonia National Park

Wales’ largest national park and also home to the the tallest mountain in Wales: Mount Snowdon. Plenty of panorama views are there to enjoy. In addition, Snowdonia National Park is perfect if you’re into hiking and mountain sports.

UK road trip Snowdonia

  • Seven Sisters

Your feet tingling, the strong sea breeze blowing through your hair and the best chalk cliff views of England. Looking down into the Sea from the Seven Sisters isn’t for the faint-hearted. The chalk cliffs are really high, which makes the hiking experience even more extraordinary.

UK road trip Seven Sisters

  • Conwy Castle

Wales is a true castle-country. You could easily spent your entire vacation visiting all the castles (if that is what you’re looking for of course). Conwy Castle is one of the most celebrated examples of medieval fortifications that Wales is known for. A massive construction serving as a major tourist attraction.

Conwy Castle

Lake District

Being a literary hotspot (think Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen for example), the Lake District is a beautiful area in northern England. A place where luxury travel and adventure travel meet. With beautiful boutique hotels and lake cruises on the one hand, and a wide rang of mountain and water sports opportunities on the other.

Lake District

  • Oxford

Featuring a blend of English architecture and one of the world’s most famous universities (Oxford University), Oxford is a tourist attraction for a good reason. Very laid-back, yet bustling with life due to all the students inhabiting the town. BONUS: Did you know that the dining hall in the Harry Potter movies was a replicated version of the dining hall at Christ Church College?

Oxford UK

  • Cambridge

Being the second main university city on this list, Cambridge often gets compared with Oxford. While both town boast exquisite architecture, Cambridge feels a bit more authentic. Traditions still play a large role in the daily life of Cambridge University and you’ll come across these everywhere you go.

Cambridge

This adorable little town in Suffolk boasts a collection of crooked half-timbered houses, some of which range back to the Middle Ages. Add to that the sumptuous Tea Rooms and beautiful countryside, and you’ve the perfect stop on your road trip.

Lavenham

An open door in this list of must sees, but London is the city you can’t ignore. Shopping, the best restaurants, bars, entertainment, parks, architecture… there isn’t much you can’t find here. You might want to consider stopping for a few days!

St Paul's and Millenium Bridge, London

Isle of Skye

When you enter the Isle of Skye from the bridge on the west coast of Scotland, you enter a true road trip paradise. Its natural beauty is incomparable to anything else. The island seems to breathe this kind of peacefulness that you rarely find anywhere else.

Isle-of-Skye-northern-point

Scottish Highlands

A road trip in the Scottish Highlands is a unmissable thing to do. The natural beauty is eye-popping and the views breathtaking where ever you look.

En-route-to-Isle-of-Skye

There you go, 17 must sees on your next UK road trip. What are your additions to this list? For more inspiration, head over to the Facebook page and click the lovely like button!

Note: all photos, opinions and views in this post are mine.

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30 Thoughts on Top UK Road Trip Ideas For Your Next Trip
    Alissa Apel
    28 Jun 2015
    4:34am

    My kids would go crazy for number 3, my husband would love to go to number 5, and I’d like any of them.

    I’ve always wanted to visit the UK.

    The castle that commented about on my blog no one was visiting. It wasn’t open at the time, and it was early on a Sunday morning.

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      3:22pm

      It’s hard to choose right? I hope you get to go to the UK one day :).

      To have a castle to yourself (even if it’s just from the outside) sounds fantastic to me!

    Ruth
    28 Jun 2015
    7:03am

    Lots of good ideas in here. First time I hear about the Seven Sisters.

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      8:32am

      Thanks Ruth! It’s a great visit 🙂

    Paula McInerney
    28 Jun 2015
    8:44am

    So many good ideas for when we explore more of the UK.

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      8:54am

      I’m glad it could be of help Paula 🙂

    Corinne
    28 Jun 2015
    9:36am

    Maaike, I want to do all of these. Jim and I were talking just now; we’re going to have to live in the UK for a few years to do everything we want to do!

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      3:20pm

      Haha, well luckily not a few years, but a few months maybe! That’s what I did. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance, and if you’d like to know more about a certain destination or region in the UK. I would be glad to help you with your itinerary! 🙂

    Eden
    28 Jun 2015
    6:14pm

    Great list, I’d love to visit Canterbury and Stonehedge someday. Beautiful photos!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      7:39pm

      Hi Eden, thanks for visiting and for your lovely feedback. Canterbury is a wonderful village and Stonehenge is something spectacular indeed!

    Gina
    28 Jun 2015
    6:37pm

    I loved reading this post and getting an inside look into the U.K.! I have several friends who have traveled to London and over England, and one studying abroad in Brighton right now. I would love to visit one day and stop by all these incredible places! Thank you so much for sharing and adding this to Wanderlust Stories! 🙂

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      7:40pm

      Hi Gina, I’m so glad you like this post! I hope you get to visit your friend in Brighton soon (and any of the other places!).

    Linda Bibb
    28 Jun 2015
    7:35pm

    It’s amazing how many wonderful road trips you came up with, and yet you didn’t even begin to list what Scotland or Northern Ireland have to offer. Truly, there is so much to see in the UK that it can keep one occupied for a lifetime.

    If you’re interested we would love to have you join us on #TheWeeklyPostcard travel blog linkup, which is open every weekend.

      Travellous World
      28 Jun 2015
      7:42pm

      Hi Linda, I know, the UK is amazing! Sadly I only have been to Edinburgh and I’ve never been to Northern Ireland. It’s all on the bucket list though! Thanks for sending me the link, I will surely check it out! 🙂

    Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi
    30 Jun 2015
    3:04pm

    HECK yes to all of these – they are all so quirky each in their own right!!

      Travellous World
      30 Jun 2015
      11:22pm

      Haha yay! Glad you like them Emma!

    Aijika
    1 Jul 2015
    5:24am

    We did not disappointed about the entrance fee and its very beautiful especially after the facade has been cleaned So beautiful, with a lot of wonderful carvings, and architecture. The atmosphere inside was wonderful spent over an hour & a half in this beautiful cathedral. Expensive maybe on entry, but considering all the renovations in progress you can see what they are trying to achieve preserving this amazing building.

      Travellous World
      1 Jul 2015
      10:26am

      Hi Aijika, thanks for visiting! Are you referring to Canterbury Cathedral? It is really beautiful 🙂

    drew
    1 Jul 2015
    10:23am

    So many good road trip options in the UK. It has been one of the pleasant surprises about moving to London. We can rent a car and drive only a few hours to some truly stunning landscapes. Love the chalk cliffs in Beachy Head near Eastbourne. Can walk right up to the edge!

      Travellous World
      1 Jul 2015
      10:27am

      Absolutely! I recently saw a website where people from London get together and rent a car, to split the costs. I was already planning on doing that too 😉 Beachy Head is incredible! A photo of the lighthouse was on the cover of my Lonely Planet and that was basically the reason I went there 🙂

    Charles McCool
    2 Jul 2015
    8:26pm

    Great ideas for exploring UK.

      Travellous World
      2 Jul 2015
      8:33pm

      Thanks Charles! Which one is your favorite?

    3 Jul 2015
    8:44am

    Nice blog! Thanks for sharing!

      Travellous World
      4 Jul 2015
      8:14am

      Hi Paulo! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’m glad you like it

    cliff
    21 Sep 2016
    8:18pm

    Great article but Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain in the UK, not Snowden

      Maaike - travellousworld.com
      22 Oct 2016
      12:16pm

      You are absolutely right Cliff, all updated now! (+ some new additions to the list!)

    Janine Good
    24 Oct 2016
    2:08am

    What a great list! I lived in Cambridge for nearly 2 years and was happy to see it included in your post. I thoroughly travelled through the UK while living there and must agree with Brighton, Stonehenge, Lavenham, Bristol, Bath and Catebury! London is of course a given for anyone heading to the UK! I also LOVED heading down to Penzance and seeing the Gardens of Helligan when I was there 🙂 Scottish Highlands are also fun. I truly loved Inverness.

      Maaike - travellousworld.com
      24 Oct 2016
      8:33pm

      Thank you Janine! I have yet to visit Gardens of Helligan!

    Ryan
    5 Dec 2016
    11:12am

    I have been to London before, in 2014, but I am going back with a couple family members for a trip in late April 2017. We’ll be visiting their grandmother in Suffolk but we’re making our trip two weeks long and we’d like to get in several other destinations. This list is the first thing that showed up when I searched via Google, and while we’d already made notes of several of these locations, there are also a couple new ones I’d not heard of.

    Out of curiosity, is two weeks enough time to try and get up to Scotland? I think we’re not as interested in the typical tourist-y stuff that you’d find in London, but are thinking more along the lines of ruins/historic sites/castles/scenery.

      Maaike - travellousworld.com
      5 Dec 2016
      10:58pm

      For non-typical-touristy stuff, do feel free to check out the London page on here. The focus of Travellous World is on the less obvious when it comes to London 🙂
      Two weeks is enough, but it depends on the amount of stops you are planning to make along the way.

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