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Home Lifestyle Things to Do The best scenic drives in the UK
Last update on April 22, 2022

One of the best things about a career that involves international travel is that it offers the opportunity to see the most beautiful places in the world. The British Isles are no different, as it’s home to some of the best scenic drives in the UK.

Sometimes, business travel involves driving from one place to another within an area; those drives should be seen as an opportunity. Even the busiest, most business-minded people should take some time to enjoy the beautiful and historic sights they come across. A lot of people can only dream of seeing those places.

The United Kingdom offers some of the best scenery in the world. With natural beauty, breathtaking architecture, and ancient wonders, driving through the UK is picturesque.

If you’re about to drive through the UK, put on some scene-setting music and get ready to see some amazing things. Here are the 10 best scenic drives in the UK:

1. Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park is essentially bordered by trunk routes that are scenic enough, but there also are roads within the park that can be driven, with restrictions. Within in the park is the town of Keswick, which dates back to at least the 13th century. It is home to a famous market, and also hosts annual events such as a film festival and a half-marathon

2. The city of Bath

The city of Bath gets its names from the ornate Roman bathhouses. The hot waters of the Thermae Bath Spa uses water from the area’s hot springs, which many consider to be restorative. The city is rich in history. It is home to Royal Victoria Park, and is famous for its Sally Lunn teacakes. It also has a thriving theatre scene, two universities and a Rugby team. With amazing architecture represented by such landmarks as Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and the Royal Crescent, driving through Bath can feel like driving through a giant museum. Book lovers should know that Jane Austen lived in Bath for five years, and the city is home to the Jane Austen Centre.

3. Winchester

Winchester, by the River Itchen, dates back to the Roman Empire. It is home to the Great Hall, which contains the remains of Winchester Castle and the Round Table, which legend has it is the table King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table met. Other highlights of Winchester include Winchester Cathedral and Wolvesey Castle, and the Hospital of St. Cross, an almshouse, which is the oldest charitable institution in the United Kingdom. It also is home to the City Museum, the University of Winchester, and the Winchester City team.

4. Cotswolds

Cotswolds is one of the places that make the English countryside so special. With its famed limestone villages and rural setting, this town offers scenes for walking and biking. Visitors love its gardens and farmers’ markets. Some of its accommodations date back to the 16th century, and include hotels, bed and breakfasts, pubs with accommodations and even camping. It’s worth spending a night here if your schedule allows it. Cotswolds hosts a wide variety of festivals celebrating everything from cheese rolling (in May) to science and opera (in June) and literature (in October).

5. Cornwall

Fictional characters from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter have had adventures at Cornwall, and this very real place could be the setting of your very own adventure. Driving through Cornwall offers beautiful views of the Celtic Sea, with views of beautiful cliffs. The county’s warm climate has led to the growth of palm trees, ferns, moss and flowers and clover. Among the birds that can be seen there are the Red-billed chough. Seals can often be seen in Cornwall. The county is home to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, which rescues injured seals. A thriving art scene offers folk music and the Newlyan music and food festival. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy cricket, football, rugby, water sports and Cornish Wrestling

6. New Forest

For scenic beauty, it’s hard to top New Forest. Located in southern England, it is marked by pastures, heathland and forest. Designated as a national park, New Forest is home to various forms of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, pigs and the famous New Forest pony. There also are many towns in and near New Forest, offering lodging, dining, museums, camping and plenty of charm.

7. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the country’s second-most populous city. It is a must for anyone who loves the arts; it hosts the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is the world’s largest arts festival, with more than 50,000 performances of 3,000 shows from around the world. Another highlight is the Edinburgh International Festival, which spotlights classical music, theatre and dance. Edinburgh also hosts its book festival and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which has nothing to do with ink, but is rather, a military performance of music. But Edinburgh is worth visiting all year round, with its restaurants, architecture, history, hiking and more.

8. Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous landmarks. The prehistoric monument was built between 3,000 and 2,000 B.C. It is the remains of a ring of standing stone, and it was an amazing achievement. People go there for inspiration and as a place of peace. The site also has recreations of Neolithic houses. There are also demonstrations of such skills as flint knapping, making rope out of rushes, and more. The visitor centre is home to archaeological artefacts, and an audio-visual presentation that creates the view from within the stones.

9. Leeds Castle in Kent

Leeds Castle in Kent is more than a castle; it’s a major attraction, with a golf course, and accommodation. The site has been home to a castle since 1119, and has been home to Kings Edward I and Henry VIII. The current castle was mostly built in the 19th century. It later became a private home. It opened to the public in 1976. The castle is open for tours, and other attractions on the grounds include wooden, castle-themed playgrounds, a yew tree maze, and an underground grotto. It’s also a place to see amazing falcons, and be sure to punt on the moat, which means taking a relaxing ride on a flat-bottomed boat around the castle. Special events include a festival of flowers in September, a witches and wizards academy for kids in October, and the Leeds Castle Triathlon in the early summer. 

10. White cliffs of Dover

You may not see any blue birds over the White Cliffs of Dover. But for a scenic drive, the famed Cliff that look over the English Channel are a sight to behold. You’ll see some breathtaking sights just by driving through, but walking along the coastal path toward the South Foreland Lighthouse will provide amazing views of the Cliffs, and the chalk grassland that houses unusual plants and insects, including the chalkhill blue butterfly and the pyramidal orchid.

The cliffs also have historical significance, as they were defence points during World War I and World War II. The Fan Bay Deep Shelter is a complex of World War II tunnels within the chalk. It opened to the public just this past summer.

Being protected while driving abroad

Having the right insurance is vital for anyone who is doing extensive driving in a foreign country. Clements’ UK motor insurance for expats offers affordable and comprehensive insurance with windscreen repair, breakdown cover, a monthly instalment plan, and more. You can easily obtain an instant quote for motor insurance in the UK.