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.
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: 1 hour 15 minutes Highest point: 347 metres
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: 495 metres
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: 1 hour 7 minutes Highest point: 577 metres
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: 479 metres
Cheddar Gorge, in the heart of the West Country, is located 10 miles south-west of Bristol and 8 miles east of Weston-Super-Mare. Causing many motorists to stare in awe, the road’s scenery appears as though the earth is opening up to reveal deep-sliced limestone cliffs. 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: 289 metres
For more information on these road trips – and more – visit Continental Road Trips
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