5 breathtaking road trips in England and Wales

From serpentine roads through glorious peaks to a stretch of tarmac shadowed by towering gorges, we're dreaming of driving one of the best road trips in England and Wales right now...

6 mins

The UK has over 200,000 miles of road ready to explore. And despite the notorious reputation of some of its motorways – yes, we're looking at you, M25 – many of its roads are surprisingly picturesque.

Of course, it helps when you have stunning road trips like the five listed below – fun to drive, and with breathtaking scenery to boot.

Discover the best English and Welsh road trips...

1. Snake Pass, Peak District, England

Snake Pass during autumn (Shutterstock)

Snake Pass during autumn (Shutterstock)

Snake Pass is located in the Derbyshire section of the Peak District, which crosses the Pennines and Ladybower Reservoir. It also carries the A57, a road that connects Sheffield with Manchester.

You can expect snug corners and twisting tarmac as you tackle the tangled route. It is a truly hair-raising ride but expect the reward of magnificent views of the National Trust’s High Peak Estate.

Length: 42 miles 

Time to drive: One hour, 15 minutes 

Highest point: 347m

Show Snake Pass on a map

2. Black Mountain Pass, Brecon Beacons, Wales

The Brecon Beacons in winter (Shutterstock)

The Brecon Beacons in winter (Shutterstock)

Black Mountain Pass is also known as the A4069, a challenging road across Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons, which connects Llandovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen.

It has unrivalled views beyond its hairpin turns and you’ll want to drive it again and again. Watch out for roaming sheep!

Length: 22 miles 

Time to drive: 43 minutes 

Highest point: 495m

Show Black Mountain Pass on a map

3. A686 from Penrith to Haydon Bridge, Cumbria and Northumberland, England

Car lights on Hartside Pass (Shutterstock)

Car lights on Hartside Pass (Shutterstock)

Take a ride across the ‘roof of England’ on the A686, a route that passes from Cumbria’s Penrith to Northumberland’s Haydon Bridge. This road is very popular with motorcyclists, and drivers should watch out for the steep bends.

As this pass crosses the Pennines, drivers will be greeted with dramatic scenery and majestic landscapes – perfect for photo opportunities.

Length: 38 miles 

Time to drive: One hour, seven minutes 

Highest point: 577m

Show the A868 on a map

4. Abergwesyn Pass, Powys, Wales

You won't be alone on Abergwesyn Pass (Shutterstock)

You won't be alone on Abergwesyn Pass (Shutterstock)

This route is as tricky to drive as it is to pronounce. Abergwesyn Pass offers a feast of long straights, bridges, ascents, descents, hairpin bends and crests, so drivers can test their skills at the helm.

Expect a stunning backdrop of mountains, forests and chocolate box-like villages. Make a stop at the Llyn Brianne reservoir to breathe in the fresh countryside air.

Length: 11 miles 

Time to drive: 39 minutes 

Highest point: 479m

Show Abergwesyn Pass on a map

5. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England

A view of Cheddar Gorge from the air (Shutterstock)

A view of Cheddar Gorge from the air (Shutterstock)

Cheddar Gorge, in the heart of the West Country, is located 10 miles south-west of Bristol and eight miles east of Weston-Super-Mare.

The road’s scenery appears as though the earth is opening up to reveal deep-sliced limestone cliffs, causing many motorists to stare in awe.

Expect twisting turns and the odd farm vehicle as you weave your way through this spectacular route.

Length: 15 miles 

Time to drive: 29 minutes 

Highest point: 289m

Show Cheddar Gorge on a map

Related Articles