With the ever ongoing COVID-19 pandemic putting many a driving trip to the south of France or the Italian lakes on hold for the foreseeable future. Here at GC motors, we got to thinking.
Can you still do that Grand Tour sticking in the UK? And Is it possible to swap Lake Garda with Loch Lomond?
We think the UK is up to the challenge and here are our top 7 driving roads in the UK (because there are too many to make it five).
Sticking in our local Yorkshire, we had to start with the ever-changing twisty but just enough straight A169 from Pickering to Whitby through the North York Moors.
This 21-mile route can get busy in summer months making it only number 7 on our list but the fact you can treat yourself to some world-class fish and chips in Whitby at the end is certainly a perk.
Fancy a longer drive? Start your route in Stokesley, taking the B1257 the "Valley Road" down to Helmsley then pick up the A170 before turning off on to the A169. Making this route 53.7 miles of driving heaven.
Named after the famed Cat and Fiddle Pub (The 2nd highest in the UK) which is now a whiskey distillery offering food and a tour. Taking the A53 from Buxton Derbyshire, joining the A54 and ending up to the summit on the A537 and then down into Macclesfield. This 12-mile stretch of road is blessed with stunning views at Goyt's Moss and even better driving.
One of the longest on our list and great for a multiday trip, the 138-mile (when leaving from Bridgewater and ending in Newquay) coastal behemoth is one of Britain's most loved roads. zigzagging its way from north Devon down to Newquay, Cornwall. It is a jaw-dropping, beach skipping, view delivering route which really cements there is no need to leave the UK. What even is the French Rivera?
Taking it steady? Why not drop into Tintagel Castle the supposed birthplace of King Arthur, take in the natural beauty of St Nectan's Glen waterfalls and then finish it off with a trip to the museum of witchcraft & Magic before heading to the Widemouth Bay beach for some safe swimming and the fantastic sunset.
We do not think that any road on this list offers the variation of this cross-country beauty. The 180-mile A470 from Llandudno to Cardiff gives you the best mix on the list, taking in the Brecon Beacons, Cambrian Mountains, and the most amazing scenery the Snowdonia national park has to offer.
Make sure you don't miss a stop at Brecon or a coffee stop at Popty'r Dref, Dolgellau.
Cliffs, Caves and Canyons, this has it all. Only 14 miles long it had to be special to make the top 3 on our list and be so short. The B3135 from Cheddar to Ashwick, the road snakes, winding through steep cliffs and rocky outcrops after the gorge, the road opens up but the scenery doesn't stop coming.
It may take you some time to leave cheddar as the views and attractions are plentiful, make sure to check out Franks Restaurant before heading into the most amazing cave systems which are home to the oldest human remains found in the UK.
Google maps may say this 140-mile sprint will take 3 hours but we can guarantee it will take longer, stopping every 15 miles to take in some of the best landscapes the UK has to offer. Following the A82 from Glasgow to Fort William, you can sit back and enjoy views of the tallest mountain in the U.K Ben Nevis, try to spot hidden monsters in Loch Ness and enjoy a coffee beside the UK's answer to Lake Garda Loch Lomond.
Forming a loop around the Northern highlands, this 516-mile route is the UK's answer to some of Europe’s greatest grand tours. Starting and ending in Inverness, you will take in both stunning coastal roads, the twists of mountain passes and the relaxing feel of the straight stretches.
Best done over a week this is the longest on our list and is best when you stop to take in the joys the area has to offer, whether that be, hiking, golf, heritage sites, museums, beaches, whisky tours, or some of the finest seafood the UK has to offer.
More of a holiday then a driving road, there is so much to do and see. We could and more than likely will write a full article on the NC500. For now, it is best to leave it to you to plan the trip you want.
A great place to start is https://www.northcoast500.com