5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Who doesn’t relish a road trip? And what better place to explore via car than by traversing the UK? While many travelers enjoy taking the train (or flying, if you’re heading up north to Scotland), road tripping the UK is a bucket list experience – one that you’ll utterly adore (and, perhaps, do again and again). 

But don’t settle for a regular road trip – craft your own itinerary to align with your passions and priorities. Here are some suggestions:

5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Priority: Scenery

Love a gorgeous vista? Take one of the UK’s most scenic drives! As you do this, remember to stop and smell the roses. 

Too often, we’re focused on getting somewhere. But with a scenic drive as your focus, the drive is the key. You may never find that particular scene ever again, so (safely) stop, explore, take photos, and sit and enjoy where you are. 
Look at that gorgeous road! Priority: Scenery. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Priority: Food

Um, who doesn’t travel for food? If this is you (like it is me), then plan your journey around where and what to eat. Perhaps you’d like to explore Cornish pasties, or the best haggis in Scotland.

Maybe you’re on an adventure to discover the best fish and chips in the UK, or the quintessential English tea.

Research is your friend – whether beforehand, via google, or by asking as you go along. I’d suggest a combination of both – because often the best places are only known to locals.
High Tea. Priority: Food. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Priority: History

If you’re a history buff, you’re in the right spot! Perhaps you want to follow your favorite authors (Shakespeare? Head to the inspiration for MacBeth’s castle!), events (we absolutely love Culloden – history truly comes alive there), or ruins.

Be sure to bring plenty of reading material – I have a feeling you’ll want to delve in more deeply as you read yourself to sleep each night.
Culloden. Priority: History. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Priority: Castles

While some can get castled out, this country is packed with castles. Do your research, read up, and then plan your journey around these historic, fascinating, living history locations. If you have kids, be sure to pack both appropriate play clothes (ren faire garb!?) and something like a flat Stanley or small teddy bear, to take photos of at each location. 
Dunottar Castle. Priority: History. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Priority: Music

There is a wide variety of music all throughout the UK. Whether you prefer pub concerts, well-known bands at large venues, or locations that are important to musical history (Abbey Road, anyone?), you’ll find your zen on your road trip.

If you’re lucky, you will discover new friends that have the same passion – and, perhaps, fellow musicians to jam with at a pub or park.

If you scour local events pages or newspapers, you can also find free concerts. I suggest asking at each local library for assistance. 
Abbey Road. Priority: Music. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK

Our Best Road Trip Tip

If you’re going for longer (which is highly recommended, especially if you’re on a gap year, or going to also road trip around Europe), purchase a car, get it double checked at Halfords Autocentres for road safety and roadworthiness (make the most of their current deal: when you buy something at Halfords, you get a free MOT!), and start driving!

Things you’ll need:

GPS (and a good cell phone service)

Knowledge of the rules of the road. Learn more here: https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code-road-safety

Have a disability placard? Bring it to help with accessible parking. Learn more here: http://sath.org/can-i-use-my-disability-parking-card-in-other-countries

An accommodations plan – hostels, camping, or hotels can all fit the bill. Rent an apartment for a week, and road trip around the area before moving on to the next location. 


What will you road trip the UK and discover? We lift a pint to your journey!

Roadside pub. From 5 Unique Ways to Road Trip Around the UK