Best road trips to enjoy after lockdown

After steering through lockdown 3.0 there’s one thing many of us all need and that is a holiday. A road trip is the perfect post-lockdown escape, thanks to the fact that you’re able to easily socially distance yourself from others whilst still being able to explore the UK’s incredible landscapes.

Under the roadmap out of lockdown and under the latest restrictions being eased, it means we can travel out of our local areas and stay overnight in self-catered accommodation such as campsites and Airbnb’s, while from 17th May hostels, hotels and B&Bs will reopen.

Caroline, the writer behind the family lifestyle blog Mrs Magovern, talks about why going on road trips is a great way to explore the UK: “Going on road trips is something that people have been doing since the advent of universal car ownership in the 1970s. The idea is to pack everything you need for a break into the back of the car and just drive, seeing where the open road takes you. It’s an expression of freedom, and a way to get away from your hometown and just explore the world.

“You might think that road trips are only something you can do stateside. But don’t forget that England has a large number of hidden gems.”

If you have bought one of the latest Ford car models over lockdown, then here are some of the best road trips in the UK that you can test your new car out on.

The best UK road trips to enjoy after lockdown

  • Gloucester to Stroud
  • The Atlantic Highway
  • North Coast 500
  • The Lake District
  • Tenby to St Davids

Gloucester to Stroud

Estimated time to drive route: Around 30 minutes

Location: Gloucestershire, England

Road trip from Gloucester to Stroud

If you are looking to enjoy scenic road trips in the UK, then one of the best to enjoy is one of the routes from Gloucester to Stroud.

This is one such route that money and lifestyle blogger Lylia Rose has previously driven and highly recommends, she said: “There's a lovely drive from Gloucester to Stroud along the A46 in Gloucestershire. The road has currently been closed for landslip repairs, however, it opened at the end of March, in time for lockdown 3.0 to come to an end, at least for us to explore the UK.

“From Brockworth, the road creeps up into the hills giving amazing views over Gloucester and Cheltenham. Before coming to Stroud, you will twist and turn through the beautiful Cotswold countryside, woods and rolling hills, passing through the picturesque village of Painswick where I recommend you stop and visit the 99 topiary yew trees in the churchyard and explore the streets lined with beautiful Cotswold stone houses, village shops and cafes. 

“The road is also home to Rococo Garden, the famous cheese rolling hill (Cooper's Hill) if you take a turn upwards at Green Street and the monastery garden at Prinknash Abbey, so there is plenty to stop and see along the way for a full day out.”

Attractions to visit along the route:

  • Painswick
  • Rococo Garden
  • Cooper's Hill
  • Prinknash Abbey

The Atlantic Highway

Estimated time to drive route: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Location: Cornwall and Devon, England

The Atlantic Highway in Devon and Cornwall

The Atlantic Highway is a stunning stretch of road that passes well-known holiday spots and lesser-known ones too.

Although the road is called the A39 and it actually stretches from Somerset to Cornwall, the stretch between Barnstaple in North Devon and Fraddon in Cornwall is called the Atlantic Highway thanks to the virtually constant views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Along the route, you can stop off at picturesque places such as Clovelly, Bude, Padstow, Boscastle, Tintagel and Newquay. Whichever one you decide to visit you can enjoy coastal hikes and incredible, locally sourced food.

Attractions to visit along the route:

North Coast 500

Estimated time to drive route: 5 days

Location: Scotland

North Coast 500 road trip

Enjoy 500-miles of beautiful Scottish landscapes along the North Coast 500 route, which is regarded by many as one of the best road trips on the planet.

The loop goes through the Scottish Highlands and takes in beaches, peaks, lochs and even castles. You can also stop at several roadside eateries along the way.

Jessica Norah, the writer behind the travel blog Independent Travel Cats, wrote an article on the North Coast 500 website and she talks about ensuring you plan in enough days.

She said: “The North Coast 500 is not a route to be driven quickly. Not only would it be unsafe to race along it, but you’ll want to drive it at a relaxed pace to take in the wonderful scenery! Our advice is to allow at least 5 days to drive the full route round-trip, although more days will obviously allow you to see more.”

Attractions to visit along the route:

The Lake District

Estimated time to drive route: 2-3 days

Location: Cumbria

Lake District road trip

Some of the most popular UK road trips are around the Lake District as the national park is home to some picturesque routes and stunning scenery.

You can start your journey in Kendal and drive towards Windermere as it is home to England’s largest lake. Then you can continue on to the pretty lakeside villages of Ambleside and Grasmere and find out more about some of the great poets and authors that lived in the region such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

You are able to hire boats to explore the lakes or bikes to cycle around them, but if you are after a real challenge then you should consider hiking up the mountains.

Attractions to visit along the route:

READ MORE: Top scenic UK drives to enjoy this spring

Tenby to St Davids

Estimated time to drive route: 1 hour

Location: Pembrokeshire

Road trip in Wales

The Pembrokeshire coastline is home to some of the UK’s best beaches and the best way to explore them is to go on a road trip.

You can start your road trip from Tenby, which is a popular seaside resort, and then drive further west where you will have to decide which of the stunning beaches you want to spend time on.

After some spectacular coastal views, you can follow the route to the UK’s smallest city, St Davids. Here history buffs will be able to explore a plethora of historic buildings, including the cathedral.

Attractions to visit along the route:

These are just some of the incredible road trips that the UK has to offer and are ones you should consider driving now that the lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease.

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