Posted in Touring on Oct 03, 2016
4 Must-Experience Drives in the UK
Whether you drive a supercar or a classic, there’s nothing quite like the freedom of the open road. And, make no mistake, there are loads of amazing drives throughout the UK. However, we’ve compiled a few of those that we feel should be at the top of the heap for you below.
Aberystwyth to Llangurig
This route begins at the sea and runs inland for approximately 25 miles. You’ll stay on the A44 in West Wales for the duration of the trip. It begins innocently enough, with a pleasant drive away from the shore. That changes when you reach Cwmbrwyno. From this point, the road rises significantly (by 100 metres). The landscape around you also changes, going from tranquil to stunning. The pavement is smooth enough, but you’ll experience some very challenging hairpin turns closer to the end as you navigate through mountainous terrain.
The Elan Valley
If you’re looking for a drive that will put your skills to the test, consider taking on the Elan Valley. It’s located in the heart of Wales, and pits you against blind crests, hairpin turns, sweeping curves and some very narrow roadways (with passing areas). You’ll traverse moors and woodland, as well as both the Penygarreg and Craig Goch reservoirs. The running water alongside the last part of the drive adds a lot to the ambience (and the danger of getting off the pavement).
The Cheddar Gorge
Located in the West Country, this route runs only 14 miles, but it’s well worth the time. It’s also reached relatively easily, as Bristol is only about 10 miles away. You’ll start on the B3135 to the east of Cheddar, and then drive through 14 miles of stunning countryside. The first section, after leaving Cheddar, is full of twisting turns and cliff faces. The second section provides loose, sweeping turns as you leave the gorge and enter the woodlands. The last section is long and straight. If you have the chance, stop at Hartley’s Kitchen or the Oakhill Inn for food and drink.
Sure, it’s a funny name, but this route is exceptionally enjoyable. Jeremy Clarkson listed it as the “only truly spectacular road in England”. While it only runs a short 5.5 miles, it manages to incorporate a lot of challenges. There are steep grades, stunning scenery, and some very tight corners to be negotiated. The first part is the most challenging in terms of ascent grade. Once you reach the crest, the scenery opens up, and you have to negotiate quite a few curves before you finally begin the equally steep descent. As a note, the Green Dragon Inn located in Hawes at your destination is a great place to stop for a bite to eat when you’re done.
These are just a few of the many locations where you can enjoy adrenaline-filled driving without the need to actually visit a racetrack. Other options to enjoy include the B4520 from Builth Wells to Brecon, the route from Ambleside to Boot, and the road from Crianlarich to Oban.