Road trip holidays shouldn’t always be about driving the most famous routes and seeing the most well-known sites – in fact it could be the opposite as having a car allows you to get further afield and off the beaten track.
What’s more, they aren’t always about travelling far and wide – there are loads of fantastic road trips on our doorstep.
Here, Rentalcars.com lists a roundup of five places you wouldn’t believe are in the UK, all easily reachable by car for an epic road trip.
5. North Coast 500
This should be considered a bucket-list activity for any Brit. The North Coast 500, billed as Scotland’s version of Route 66, leads drivers on a scenic 516-mile loop around the north coast of the country.
A good starting point is to set off in Inverness and visit the city’s renowned castle and St Andrew’s Cathedral. Holidaymakers will also be nearby to the world-famous Loch Ness and able to enjoy its stunning beaches and scenery. Keen sightseers will be met by idyllic coastal landscapes and a host of whisky distilleries dotted along the tracks.
Note: the route has become increasingly popular with many tourists flocking to the northernly coast and so traffic can get congested. Remember to drive responsibly, safely and have a read of the Highway Code if you need to familiarise yourself with key road rules before setting off.
4. Somerset Lavender
We’re all familiar with the scent of lavender – not to mention the distinguished bright purple hue.
Somerset Lavender is the perfect spot for those wanting to experience the beauty of the flowering plant, which is found across the Mediterranean, without the hassle of hopping on a flight to Provence.
Located in the quaint village of Faulkland, guests can wander through one of two impressive five-acre lavender gardens – flowering from June to August – and breathe in the tranquil scents, whilst taking in over 20 varieties of lavender.
Being only three-hour drive from the centre of London, the gardens are ideal for anyone looking to escape the busy capital. Along the route, you could take a slight detour and stop off at North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With rich heritage and culture and beautiful landscapes, it makes for an attractive pit stop.
3. Tresco Abbey Gardens
Home to thousands of exotic plants, Tresco Abbey Gardens offer a sanctuary of beauty, just off the coast of Cornwall in the Isles of Scilly. Built in the 19th century by the Isles’ proprietor, Augustus Smith, the gardens are home to a range of exotic plants from all over the world – from Brazil to New Zealand to Burma and South Africa.
Guests can marvel in the summer blooms, or if heading off on holiday later in the year, the autumn reds, golds and ambers make for a stunning sight. Visitors can travel by car to Penzance, which is on the mainland, and will then be able to take a tripper boat to Tresco.
2. Cheddar Gorge
Ideal for those who love exploring, at 400ft deep and three miles long, Cheddar Gorge is England’s largest gorge.
Located in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, the gorge is made up of remarkable peaks and alluring caves. Guests travelling along the stretches of road can take in the beautiful sites and wildlife, such as the Gorge’s famous herd of goats and Soay sheep.
On foot, there are many activities for visitors to get involved with – from climbing Jacob’s Ladder to the top of Lookout Tower, where you’ll find fantastic views, to a walk through Gough’s cave, where you can find a variety of large natural chambers and rock formations.
1. Henrhyd Falls
Uncover the beauty of Henrhyd Falls where nature lovers can enjoy a stroll to the highest waterfall in South Wales. Nestled away in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the falls are 90ft (27m) deep and surrounded by Graig Llech Woods, home to a range of local wildlife.
With so many striking plants to see, from mosses, liverworts and lichen, Henrhyd Falls makes for the perfect outdoor ramble.
The best way to get to the park is by car. The location is signposted from the A4067 and A4221 – just look out for the brown tourist signs. Parking can be found just outside of Coelbren on the minor road to Pen y Cae – once parked up head along one of two trails to begin your adventure.
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