Bucket list places to visit on your 2019 road trip
Hugely underestimated as a location to explore, the UK is the perfect map for a year of unforgettable road trips. No matter where you’re heading on your journey, or the time of the year, you’re not going to be left disappointed by the sights you’ll see as you gaze out of your car windscreen. Historic landmarks, gardens with the royal seal of approval and homes of the big cats, we’re going to take you on a road trip of discovery as we travel from spring through until winter. Fasten your seatbelts!
Destination 1: Kew Gardens, Kew
Spring doesn’t only mean the beginning of a new year, it’s also peak season for the flourishing of flowers across the country. That’s exactly why Kew Gardens is the first stop on our 2019 road trip. One of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sites offering everything from unique and cultivating landscapes and just 30 minutes from Central London, you’re spoilt for choice at this top tourist attraction.
We asked Kew Gardens why they think they are the perfect spring road trip locations: “Spring is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As the seasons change, March sees Kew host the biggest flowering display in the country, with 5 million bulbs including daffodils and crocuses washing the Gardens in colour. The Waterlily House closed to the public through the winter months, reopens its doors once more, and swathes of camellias begin to bloom. Moving into April, visitors must head to Kew’s Cherry Walk to witness the springtime wonder of Cherry trees exploding with pink and white blossoms.”
Destination 2: Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
If your road trip is taking you north, the weather may be colder, but the entertainment continues to thrive. Take shelter from the elements at Camera Obscura, the oldest visitor attraction in Edinburgh. Perfect for family travellers, enter a world of camera obscurer, puzzles and illusions, following in the footsteps of 150 years of Edinburgh history. Learn about the city’s history in a way you had never imagined!
Claire from Camera Obscura says: “Discover Edinburgh’s oldest visitor attraction, Camera Obscura & World of Illusions. Explore five floors of fascinating, interactive hands-on exhibits; where 21st-century tech meets classic illusions and historic science. It’s a great day out for everyone, right beside Edinburgh Castle. Venture through five floors jam-packed with over 100 illusions. A swirling light vortex; a maze of mirrors; a chance to swap noses with a friend; see yourself grow, shrink and stretch; play eye-spy with our city viewcams; mess with your mind with brilliant visual effects. It’s all here at Camera Obscura & World of Illusions.”
Destination 3: St Michaels Mount, Cornwall
Cornwall, the perfect setting for a spring getaway and a visit to the historic setting of St Michaels Mount, avoiding the summer high season. With ancient cobbles and castle views, the Cornish island is calling. Low tide or high tide, this is a must-visit location for passing tourists and is easily accessible off the A30.
Destination 4: Land’s End Landmark
Staying in the south, you’re not going to find a better summer attraction that encompasses the true story of Cornwall than Land’s End Landmark. But what makes this the perfect road trip location? David from Land’s End Landmark tells us:
“Escape to a place of stunning scenery and natural beauty at the westernmost point of Cornwall. Whether it happens to be storm-watching over Longships Lighthouse, taking in the breath-taking views from the First & Last Point, or having a picture taken at the famous signpost, for centuries Land’s End has been a place of real discovery and outstanding natural beauty. Follow the same path walked by early nineteenth-century visitors, who travelled on foot or horseback to complete the final stage of their journeys to Penn-an-Wlas.”
Destination 5: Bristol Zoo, Bristol
With the faint roar of lions and the chirping of tropical birds, Bristol Zoo is an all-round great family attraction, and just off the M5 it’s the perfect stop-off on any road trip sat-nav. Explore the wonders of the world, ride the zip wire or enjoy a bite to eat in many of the on-site eateries. Make sure you plan for this top-notch location in your itinerary.
Destination 6: River Exe Cafe
A unique dining location just a short water taxi journey from Exmouth Harbour. If you’re looking to stop for a bite to eat just outside the city of Exeter, then this bucket-list location is unlike any other. River Exe Café is a floating restaurant situated in the middle of the River Exe in Exmouth. Enjoy local seafood dishes that have won numerous local awards and sip on world-renowned tipples, a great day out for all the family.
“River Exe Cafe is Devon's only floating Gastro Shed. The brainchild of directors, David Foa and Paul Craven, the Cafe is a custom-built barge floating in the middle of the Exe Estuary. Open from the 1st April to the 30th September, the Cafe can only be accessed by boat, either by Puffin Water Taxis from Exmouth Marina or by customers' own boats. Part of the whole River Exe Cafe experience is the boat journey when customers can enjoy the many sights of the Estuary, including seals that can often be seen basking in the sunshine. Offering delicious, locally sourced food and, of course, many seafood dishes, the Cafe offers customers the chance to soak up the wonderful and ever-changing views whilst enjoying some of the finest produce available in Devon”
Destination 7: Blenheim Palace, Oxford
A historic house like no other, the former home of Winston Churchill and our next recommended road trip location, a 20-minute journey from Oxford. Blenheim Palace is the perfect autumn location for the lovers of Baroque architecture and a house full of historic treasures. Coming to life with the warm colours of the post-summer weather, the house and gardens flourishes in a pop of amber.
We wanted to find out why Blenheim Palace think they’re the perfect road trip location:
“A visit to Blenheim Palace offers an unforgettable experience. It’s a chance to share the splendours of Baroque architecture, to wonder at the collections of art, tapestry and antiques, and to explore the Park and Gardens and discover landscapes crafted by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Whether enjoying a day visit to this magnificent home to the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill or as a regular visitor able to appreciate the changing seasons and an annual programme of historical and cultural events, you will be sure to feel enriched by the Blenheim Palace experience, Britain’s Greatest Palace.”
Destination 8: West Wittering Beach, Sussex
Who says you can’t visit the beach during autumn? Wrap up warm and enjoy the sand between your toes at this West Sussex location. West Wittering beach offers panoramic views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs. Unspoilt for hundreds of years, this vast expanse of land is the perfect playing ground for humans and animals alike.
Destination 9: Bath Christmas Market, Bath
It goes without saying that Christmas is the time for festive markets and a splendour of smiles and carols, but where can you head on your winter road trip? A short distance off the M4 and Bath Christmas Market greets you with the stunning smells of mulled wine and allspice candles. Only open for several weeks throughout November and December, this location is one you must visit when you get the chance, the setting is truly magical.
If you’re looking to find out more about some of the best Christmas displays and experiences in the country, make sure you check out our article: ‘Where to drive to get in the festive spirit’.
Destination 10: Tamworth Snowdome
The epitome of December and the last stop on your year-long bucket list of road trip locations, Tamworth Snowdome adds the festive finishing touch to the year. Named ‘The ultimate snow, ice & leisure experience’, you can enjoy snow trails, snowboarding and let the little ones meet Santa’s reindeer. The perfect roundup for the perfect road trip calendar.
No matter the end destination, you are bound to find the perfect road trip pit stop in the UK, and our range of Ford cars are the perfect choice for a smooth and steady ride, find out more today.