There’s no doubt that these boast some of the most impressive landscapes in the country, but England has its fair share of scenic driving destinations too. From the Yorkshire Dales to the Cotswold countryside, you can find wonderful sights you never expected.
Whether you’re just learning to drive and want to pick somewhere beautiful for your first road trip, or you just fancy getting out on the open road with a pleasant backdrop, there are plenty of fantastic drives to be found across England. Here are eight of the most impressive.
B6255 – Yorkshire Dales
Of course you can’t think of scenic spots in England without bringing a picture of the Yorkshire Dales to mind. There’s no doubt that driving through this verdant part of the world offers some stunning sights, but undoubtedly one of the most impressive is on the B6255. Head north from Ingleton and along with the beautiful hilly landscape, you’ll see the striking Ribblehead Viaduct, a man-made structure that dates back to 1870. It has a train track running across it that is still used today.
A458 – Shropshire
Driving through Shropshire, you’ve got the chance to enjoy the classic English countryside which makes for a beautiful view. The A458 runs from the border with Wales through Shrewsbury and shows off miles and miles of rolling farmland and glimpses of the River Severn. Head just a little south and you’ll stumble across views of the Wenlock Edge – a handsome limestone escarpment that runs for 15 miles.
A303 – Wiltshire
The A303 passes through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Devon and while its name might not mean anything to you, it is famous for passing a particularly renowned site. Between the unassuming towns of Amesbury and Warminster you’ll enjoy views of the ancient monument of Stonehenge. This is one of the UK’s 25 UNESCO World Heritage sites and is truly a British cultural icon. If that wasn’t enough reason to drive the A303 you can continue on the road into Devon for lovely views of the Blackdown Hills.
B3135 – Cheddar Gorge
If you’re interesting in mesmerising clifftop views, there are few better that those provided to you on the B3135. The winding Cliff Road takes you up from the village of Cheddar at quite a steep gradient. It’s additionally famous as one of the best drives in the country with twist, turns and hairpins. But they eventually lead to a view that makes the tricky drive completely worth it.
A591 – Lake District
The A591 is the only road that runs directly through the Lake District – and it is regularly voted as Britain’s favourite. Passing famous scenic areas including Grasmere, Thirlmere and the renowned Windermere, the road is not short of stunning sights. Interestingly, the rental car firm Avis even used a mathematical formula which identified the A591 as Britain’s best driving road.
A39 – Cornwall
Known as the Atlantic Highway, the A39 runs from Bath almost as far as Penzance and is one of the longest in the South West of England. It’s when it reaches the northern Cornish coat that it becomes truly spectacular. The stretch from Porlock to Lynton features staggering natural beauty with breath-taking views of the sea and cliffs.
Now for something a little unique. A rather impressive sight to see anyway, the Humber Bridge offers a different driving experience. The 2,220 metre bridge opened in 1981 and it spans the Humber – connecting up the East Riding of Yorkshire with North Lincolnshire. On a sunny day the views across the water are extremely picturesque. And it’s also worth remembering that you’ll be driving across the largest suspension bridge in the UK.
B4632 – Cotswolds
The B4632 stretches from Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, and the beauty found on it is more than worth of The Bard. Traffic is generally light, so you can enjoy a relaxed and unhurried journey through the heart of Cotswolds, winding through charming villages and idyllic countryside views. This is a charming, little used road that is worth travelling to the Cotswolds for.