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Stunning Road Trips in England You Need to Take
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Stunning Road Trips in England You Need to Take

Picture of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer
Updated: 11 December 2017
While England may feel landlocked to many, this country is blessed with thousands of miles of coastal, countryside and calming driving routes which should all be experienced at least once. From the beautiful coastline of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset through to the winding roads and rolling hills in the Pennines, here are some of the most stunning road trips you need to take in England!

Jurassic Coast, Dorset

There’s nothing better than a coastal drive, and this is one of the best by a country mile. The Jurassic Coast Road drive – known officially as the B3157 road – takes in stunning countryside and coastal views at the same time. The 18-mile route starts in Weymouth and ends in Bridport (or vice versa) and allows drivers to take in stunning, lofty views of beaches and rolling hills. Don’t forget to stop off en route though, so you can visit wonderful natural, sandy areas like Durdle Door.

Durdle Door in Dorset
Durdle Door in Dorset | © Martin Grancic/Flickr

Snake Pass, Peak District

This wonderfully scenic drive through one of the country’s most picturesque parts is aptly named after its winding route that it takes. Snake Pass, also known as the A57 road, crosses the Peak District between Sheffield and Manchester and on a clear day allows for views as far as the latter city. The road itself can be tricky to navigate in poor weather due to its various bends and dips, so often gets closed when it snows heavily. Driving and cycling enthusiasts flock here regularly over the summer months and you should be next!

Bridge passing over Ladybower, Snake Pass
Bridge passing over Ladybower, Snake Pass | © Simon Harrod/Flickr

A686 from Penrith, Cumbria to Haydon Bridge, Northumberland

When the AA named this stretch of road as one of the greatest drives in Britain and Top Gear once voted it the ninth best drive in the country, you might as well add this route near the top of your list. Armed with rolling countryside, beautiful green scenery and winding, open roads, the A686 is a 36.5 mile stretch of England at its finest. Just take a look at the below photo and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Looking down on the Hartside Pass, A686
Looking down on the Hartside Pass, A686 | © David Joyce/Flickr

Old Military Road, Isle of Wight

Those looking for coastal views on the Isle of Wight should look no further than the Military Road. This stunning stretch of road runs parallel with the southern coast and in turn offers numerous pit stops with beautiful views across the water. This road is packed with history too, having been built in World War II by German prisoners of war.

Sunset over Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
Sunset over Compton Bay, Isle of Wight | © Richard Leighton/Flickr

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

This 14-mile driving route in The West Country incorporates the impressive Cheddar Gorge and allows for versatile scenery, including cliff-edges and rolling countryside. Starting on the B3135 in Cheddar, you’ll encounter rocks, trees, grass, sand and sea, making it one of the best for those who just love getting out on the road. If you have time, make sure you stop off at Cheddar Gorge, one of the country’s most stunning natural wonders, and explore the caves! Most roads on this route are narrow and winding, though there is ample opportunity for great views as you approach the Gorge.

Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, England
Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, England | © Charmaine/Flickr

Buttertubs Pass, Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales, though grandiose in size, is one of England’s best kept secrets. Its driving route, a hilly stretch of winding country roads, passes the Buttertubs, a series of 20-metre-deep limestone potholes, which supposedly get their name from farmers who would lower their butter into the holes during the summer months to keep it cool. Buttertubs Pass is also popular with cyclists too, thanks to its challenging ascent.

Buttertubs Pass, North Yorkshire
Buttertubs Pass, North Yorkshire | © Peer Lawther/Flickr

A419 from Hunstanton to Cromer, Norfolk Coast

The Coast Road – officially known as the A419 – is a beautifully picturesque road between King’s Lynn and Cromer on the Norfolk Coast. Those looking for quaint coastal towns and views should hop on this 85-mile-long road at some point – or for the more adventurous, why not drive the entire thing?

Cromer coastline, Norfolk Coast
Cromer coastline, Norfolk Coast | © John Fielding/Flickr

Sunset drive across Humber Bridge, North Yorkshire

One of the most iconic bridges and the longest in England, the Humber Bridge needs to be experienced. This North Yorkshire bridge forms a rather picturesque part of the A15 route between Yorkshire and Lincolnshire – and it’s even better at sunset!

The Humber Bridge is also the longest single-span suspension bridge that can be crossed by foot or bicycle, meaning you don’t necessarily need a car to take part.

Sunset at Humber Bridge, North Yorkshire
Sunset at Humber Bridge, North Yorkshire | © Sheffield Tiger/Flickr

Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon – via the Cotswolds

There are not many roads better than the B4632, as this route through the Cotswolds proves! If you’re after a typically English drive that’s a little more landlocked or centrally located, you can’t get more picturesque than driving from Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon. This unspoilt stretch of road passes through a number of quintessentially English villages and landmarks, including Broadway Tower. At the end of the drive you’ll reach Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. You can’t get more English than that!

Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds
Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds | © Phil Dolby/Flickr