The best UK road trips provide us with picturesque scenery, allowing us to take in breathtaking coastlines, wonderful heritage sites and glorious countryside.

After all, one of the joys of pitching up at one of the best campervan sites in the UK will be exploring the beauty of the surrounding area, whether you choose to tour in Northern Ireland, the South West or Scotland. Distance can vary, with the South West 660 extending for a huge 660 miles,taking up to 14 days to complete. In contrast, the Causeway Coastal Route is 130 miles, subsequently taking three to five days.

Those after an even shorter road trip in the UK could think about pitching up at one of the best campervan sites in the Lake District and enjoy exploring the centre of this stunning part of the world, where there is a 46-mile route that allows you to take some of the highlights of this glorious touring destination.

To help you find the right route for your next tour, we’re sharing six of the best UK road trips – whichever route you settle on, you’re bound to enjoy some unforgettable sights.

The best UK road trips:

Causeway Coastal Route
Lake District: Ambleside
North Coast 500
Northumberland 250
Pembrokeshire Coast 200
South West 660

The best road trips in the UK:

Causeway Coastal Route

Causeway Coastal Route
  • Distance: 130 miles
  • Duration: Three to five days
  • Start – finish: Belfast – Derry
  • Best time to visit: Summer

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Rising and falling into splendid peaks and glens, carved out by rivers and ocean, the Causeway Coastal Route is as romantic as it is historic. The route is made up of attractions, heritage sites and beaches, with nine ‘scenic loop’ detours along the way.

Castlerock – image:

Belfast to Cushendun

Kick off in the capital: buzzing Belfast is home to the fascinating Titanic Belfast and the Ulster Museum, as well as creative centres such as the Cathedral Quarter. As you drive north, be sure to stop off to admire coastal gems, including The Gobbins Cliff Path, Glenarm Castle and the Cushendun Caves.

Cushendun to Bushmills

Soak up the otherworldly views as the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty gives way to Causeway Coast AONB, and you reach the splendours of the north Antrim coast. Along with the stunning scenery, natural wonders and historical sites, the route passes through traditional seaside towns and charming villages, including Ballycastle and Ballintoy.

Bushmills to Derry

As well as making the renowned whiskey, Bushmills is ideal for exploring the Giant’s Causeway and is also home to Ballyness Caravan Park, the winner of our Top 100 Sites Guide 2024 where the best motorhome sites are revealed. Further along the coast, beautiful stretches of beach can be found at Portstewart and Castlerock.

Giants Causeway
Giant’s Causeway – image:

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Lake District: Ambleside

Lake District Ambleside route
  • Distance: 46 miles
  • Duration: Three to four days
  • Start – finish: Ambleside
  • Best time to visit: March to June, September to October

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As a fine testament to the Lake District’s very special magic, local resident Martin Wilson was inspired by the region’s outstanding beauty to create the phenomenal catalogue that covers Lake District Drives. In fact, this is just one of the 16 routes that Martin has researched and compiled, which also include the epic 126-mile Ultimate Lake District Drive.

This rather shorter route traverses some of the finest rural scenery likely to be encountered in the central Lake District. Although Martin’s route begins and ends in Ambleside, it could be started from anywhere along the drive.

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Keswick to Grasmere

Just a stone’s throw from Derwent Water is the pretty town of Keswick, where you can enjoy local delicacies and wander along cobbled streets. Nearby is Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle, while a short drive south passes Thirlmere and brings you to Grasmere, once the home of William Wordsworth.

Grasmere to Glenridding Following gorgeous scenery along the delightful River Rothay, the route then dips south through Ambleside, a picture-postcard pretty town located at the top end of Windermere.

This stretch of the route will be of particular interest to keen hikers, who might like to take the opportunity to tackle some nearby peaks, including Red Screes, Stony Cove Pike or St Sunday Crag.

Glenridding to Keswick

Nestled in the heart of some charming woodland, the pretty village of Glenridding overlooks Ullswater and is one of the locations visited by the Lakes Steamers, so you could explore the lake vehicle-free to enjoy a rather different viewpoint. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you could scale Helvellyn!

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North Coast 500

North Coast 500 route
  • Distance: 516 miles
  • Duration: Five to seven days
  • Start – finish: Circular
  • Best time to visit: May to October

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The best UK road trips provide awe-inspiring landscapes, mysterious history and rich local life, things which are in abundance on the famous NC500. This epic route can be joined anywhere, but is loosely divided into six.

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Vibrant Inverness makes a fine gateway and finish line, offering a wealth of culture, cuisine and nightlife. Loch Ness lies to the south-west.

The Black Isle

Just north of Inverness, the Black Isle peninsula is teeming with wildlife in glens, waterfalls and woodland. Spot dolphins from the cliffs and beaches, then wander pretty villages and explore Pictish history.


Once a hub of prehistoric life in Scotland, the area is replete with memories of the Pictish and Norse civilisations. Dominating the skyline, ancient ruined castles, such as Keiss and Sinclair Girnigoe, seem to spring out from the cliffs.

Easter Ross

Pausing to explore charming towns such as Dingwall, Tain and Invergordon, and the villages of Contin and Evanton, you’ll find ample opportunities to sample the superb local food and drink. Along with beaches and nature reserves, you can discover the Pictish Trail.


Serene roads wind their way into heathland, coast and remote wilderness. Beaches at Durness and Sangomore offer crystal waters, while villages such as Lochinver and Kinlochbervie lie beside mountains and open water.

Wester Ross

Scotland’s past can really be appreciated here, from ancient woodland in the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve to fine mountains, villages and beaches.

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Northumberland 250

Northumberland 250 route
  • Distance: 250 miles
  • Duration: Four to seven days
  • Start – finish: Circular
  • Best time to visit: May to September

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As the best UK road trips go, this one is fairly unique, having been split into sections, each with their own appeal.

Berwick-upon-Tweed – image:

Country: Corbridge to Alnwick

Between peaceful stretches of road that are surrounded by splendid countryside, some of Northumberland’s most spectacular heritage sites can be found on this leg of the route.

Visitors can discover the renowned Roman ruins of Hadrian’s Wall in Corbridge, or perhaps do a little ghost hunting on the medieval Chillingham Estate.

Coast: Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed

Following along the region’s uniquely captivating shores, this section meanders its way through the beauties of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

While here, make sure you sample the local seafood specialities in Craster, and explore the great castles of Alnwick and Dunstanburgh.

Borderlands: Berwick-upon-Tweed to Carter Bar

Time to make the most of the county’s neighbour to the north – the Scottish Borders! Winding through dramatically remote areas of wilderness, this beautiful route is simply littered with fascinating sites, such as the Bronze Age stone circle of Duddo. It culminates on the edge of Northumberland National Park.

Dark Skies: Carter Bar to Derwent Reservoir

The longest leg, at 102 miles, this stretch is famous for having some of the darkest skies in Europe. It rambles through the heart of the National Park and into the North Pennines AONB, among rolling hills, ancient woods and pretty villages.

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Pembrokeshire Coast 200

Pembrokeshire Coast 200 route
  • Distance: 200 miles
  • Duration: Three to seven days
  • Start – finish: Amroth – St Dogmaels
  • Best time to visit: June to September

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Devised by the team of experts at CaravanCloud, this community-centred road trip was launched in 2021, to highlight the best of one of the most beautiful stretches of Welsh coast.

With this route, they have created a three-day itinerary which you can download from their website. For ease of use, the route is divided into three sections.

Day 1 Amroth to Dale

The first and longest section of the Pembrokeshire Coast 200 is packed with gorgeous beaches and vibrant seaside resorts, on coastal roads that offer breathtaking views.

Immerse yourself in the culture of Tenby, or explore the gems, such as Stackpole or Freshwater West.

Day 2 Marloes to St Davids

A paradise for walkers and surfers, this stretch reveals glorious beaches and hiking trails on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Birdwatchers will love the famous islands of Skomer and Skokholm.

Day 3 Abereiddy to St Dogmaels

After the bustle of popular spots such as St Davids and Broadhaven, it’s time for a change of pace in peaceful North Pembrokeshire.

The area is rich in heritage, including the Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy and prehistoric sites at Carreg Coetan and Gorsedd Stone Circle.

As the route winds its way up the coast, take time to stop at some of the beaches tucked away along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

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South West 660

  • Distance: 660 miles
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Start – finish: Poole, Dorset – Watchet, Somerset
  • Best time to visit: September to June
South West 600 route

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In terms of distance, this road trip is longer than a drive from London to Denmark – it’s no wonder the route has been divided into four. You can begin in Cornwall and North or South Devon.

Following a similar line to the South West Coast Path, it’s ideal for walkers and nature-lovers.


Best for… Bustling towns, unique beaches, wildlife

  • Sandbanks to Weymouth
  • Weymouth to Lyme Regis
  • Highlights… Lulworth Cove, Portland, Brownsea Island
  • If you like… Sandbanks, try the Isle of Portland
Portland Bill, Dorset
Portland Bill, Dorset – image: Getty

South Devon

Best for… Fossil hunting, traditional seaside resorts

  • Lyme Regis to Exeter
  • Exeter to Dartmouth
  • Dartmouth to Plymouth
  • Plymouth to St Austell
  • Highlights… The Jurassic Coast, Slapton Sands
  • If you like… Plymouth, try Looe


Best for… Beaches, heritage sites, eating and drinking

  • St Austell to Penzance
  • Penzance to St Ives
  • St Ives to Padstow
  • Padstow to Clovelly
  • Highlights… Porthcurno, St Just, Tintagel Castle
  • If you like… Land’s End, try Lizard Point

North Devon & Somerset

Best for… Watersports, the buzz of fashionable beach towns

  • Clovelly to Lynton
  • Lynton to Watchet
  • Highlights… The Hangman Hills (Great Hangman and Little Hangman), the Atlantic Highway, Lundy Island
  • If you like… Croyde, try Mortehoe

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