Here at Moneybarn, we wanted to inspire Brits to take to the road and explore the best the UK has to offer. There are some truly spectacular road trips across the UK, and with summer on the way, it’s the perfect time to hit the road and explore.
Whether you have a car, motorhome, caravan, or motorbike, these road trips are sure to be adventures to remember. Finance is available on all forms of transport, so you can have the road trip of your dreams.
We analysed the top 40 recognised scenic drives in the UK on Tripadvisor and investigated reviews and factors for these road trips. We looked at their reviews of Tripadvisor, the number of searches on Google, the volume of hashtags on Instagram, the total number of sunlight hours in the location's sunniest month, accident data and the number of attractions available in the nearest towns or cities.
Taking the top spot, the Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site located on the South Coast which stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset. The entire journey stretches for about 95 miles and is notable for its rock formations that have been forged over the course of around 185 million years. As well as being the sunniest road trip, with 225 sunshine hours in July, it also proved hugely popular on Instagram and Google too.
The North Coast 500 is a whopping 516-mile scenic road trip following the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. There are 286 attractions in Inverness, so you will never be short of things to do or places to see. The local authority also reported 215 accidents on local roads over 2020, so you can be sure you’re safe on such a long road trip. Considered one of the world’s most beautiful road trips, the North Coast 500 is filled with stunning coastal scenery, white sandy beaches, and rugged mountains, which offer you a trip to remember. Located at the very top of Scotland, one of the few things that lets the NC500 down is the lack of sunshine, with just 178 hours during its sunniest month, May.
The third best road trip is Glen Lyon. The journey runs through the Highlands along the loneliest world in Scotland, Glen Lyon road. The route starts in Pitlochry and travels through Aberfeldy, and Tummel Bridge on its route. Spectacular views alongside the shore of Loch Tay, as well as up to the majestic mountain Schiehallion. As with other Scottish road trips, the sunshine hours here are on the low side, at 193 for May, but the sights and attractions more than make up for it!
The first Welsh road trip in our ranking is Horseshoe Pass. a mountain pass in northeast Wales. The Horseshoe Pass offers brilliant views of rural Wales, mountains and valleys, and is an absolutely amazing place. With laybys and car parks, you are free to climb to the summit and reach the breathtaking views at the top. Dating all the way back to 1811, this route follows a horseshoe shape around the sides of a valley and is very popular with drivers of all kinds. Local roads observed a smaller number of accidents in 2020 than others in our study, with 169 accidents in total. In 2022, local authorities restricted the speed limit to 40mph along the entire route to make the route safer for both motorcyclists and drivers. There are also many local attractions available, such as the famous Ponderosa cafe which is perched at the highest point of the pass. Despite all of this, Horseshoe Pass has one of the lowest levels of sunshine, with just 169 hours in its sunniest month, May.
This English road trip is located in the world-famous Lake District. The Wrynose Pass offers a more challenging drive, as the roads are very steep. The spectacular and satisfying views alongside the driving challenge is what makes Wrynose Pass so popular on Tripadvisor and social media, and is definitely one to consider visiting. Alongside 88 local attractions, at the top of the Wrynose Pass is the Three Shire Stone, a must-see cultural attraction that marks the meeting point of the historic counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland. There were over 200 sunlight hours during the sunniest month in Ambleside, meaning a summertime road trip here will likely allow you to catch a bit of sun in the gorgeous Lake District.
We took the top 40 scenic drives recorded on Tripadvisor and ranked them according to several factors. These factors include Tripadvisor reviews, which were taken as the % of reviews that were Excellent and Very Good; the average sunlight hours for the locations sunniest month taken from Weatherandclimate.com; the accidents on local roads taken from gov.uk and pnsi.police.uk; Instagram hashtags which were recorded directly from Instagram; TikTok views were taken directly from TikTok; the annual Google searches which were recorded as the total annual searches for these trips made in the UK over the last year from Google Keyword Planner; and the number of local attractions taken from Tripadvisor.