Travel is well and truly a wonderful experience, whether you are taking your new family on your first ever holiday together or simply pitching up with some friends for a formative life experience. But travel is a costly thing, especially nowadays, and international travel is quite simply out of many people’s budgets at the moment.
One of the few upsides to this is the resurgence in popularity of a once-great British pastime – the humble road trip. Combined with camping or simply staying in rural inns along the way, a multi-stage road trip can be a beautiful way to see some of the best landscapes Europe has to offer.
Of course, any good road trip is only as good as its planning. While you could quite simply gather friends or family, hop in your daily driver and head for the nearest B-roads, doing so could not only lead to a sub-par trip but also an uncomfortable one.
For starters, you need to ensure your car is suitable enough for your driving plans; if you’re wanting to spend a week on the road, your drive needs to be comfortable and your car reliable enough not to cause issues in rural areas. This could be your sign to go used car shopping, and pick up a used Mercedes for its smooth drive and comfortable cockpit. Alternatively, you might want a rugged utility vehicle with boot-space for a group and all of your camping gear; for this, Volkswagen is unbeatable.
Whatever car you choose, you should ensure it is well kitted-out with equipment and supplies for the journey ahead. An emergency kit should live in the boot permanently, containing food, water, blankets and various tools for simple repairs. You should also make sure your spare tyre is present and suitable for use, just in case.
Lastly, the real star of the show is of course the route you set. The UK is home to some of the most incredible drives in the Western hemisphere, but which ones should you consider for your next great adventure?
The North Coast 500
The North Coast 500 is, as indicated by the name, a 500-mile route that takes in the absolute best of the Scottish Highlands. It is a loop that follows Scotland’s northern shores, cutting across the land at Inverness and touching some majestic scenery in the process.
The Lake District
Not so much a route as a region, the Lake District is a stunning destination to take a group for a drive. The camping sites dotted around Lake Windermere have to be seen to be believed, and the winding roads that slip between the national park’s glacial lakes are an absolute joy to drive.
The Yorkshire 600
Lastly, the other side of the Pennines boasts a 600-mile circular route that bounds the region of Yorkshire – and boasts some of the most wondrous sights in the North. The route runs along both the Yorkshire Dales and the York Moors, as well as some of the rolling Pennine hills of South Yorkshire.