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The UK's best summer drives

Carlton Boyce / 10 July 2018

The UK has some of the best driving routes in the world and summer is a great season to enjoy them in. If you're planning a mini break, why not take in the scenery on one of our favourite drives?

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
1. Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Today’s congested roads make it easy to forget that we have some of the best driving routes in the world and summer is a great season to enjoy them in; with the trees and flowers in full bloom, it's a great time to jump into your car and make the most of the sunshine.

Here are five of our favourites.

1. The Causeway Coastal Route, Ireland

The Causeway Coastal Route is 120 miles of some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. The road hugs the coastline from Belfast to Londonderry and can be driven in a day, but the savvy traveller takes two or three days, leaving plenty of time to savour that famous Irish hospitality.

Don’t miss the Giant’s Causeway at Bushmills and, while you are there, why not pop into the Bushmill’s Distillery to savour a drop of whiskey – and the Bushmill’s Inn makes a great place to stay the night too so you can enjoy a tipple…

Read our tips for driving long distances

2. The Evo Triangle, North Wales

You might not have heard of Evo, the motoring magazine that gives this road its nickname, but that’s no excuse not to try this wonderful 20-mile drive.

It starts in the tiny village of Cerrigydrudion, on Thomas Telford’s A5 and takes in Llyn Brenig reservoir, which is a great place to stop for a coffee.

The Evo Triangle might be the shortest route on our list but it’s packed with great corners and panoramic views and the Llanberis Pass and ‘Gearbox Hill’ – where Austin used to test its cars in the 1920s and 1930s – aren’t too far away, making North Wales a great place to spend a long weekend.

If you enjoy Carlton's inimitable style of writing, you'll love his book How to Become a Motoring Journalist - available on the Saga Bookshop.

3. The Black Mountain Pass, South Wales

The Black Mountain Pass links Landovery with Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen in the Brecon Beacons and might just be the best 23-mile stretch of road in the UK.

The road itself twists and turns through the mountains, peaking at 493m (1,617 ft).

The Brecon Beacons aren’t just about the roads; the area - especially around the rivers Wye and Usk - play host to a number migrating birds, making the summer months a perfect time to visit.

Prepare for your trip with our simple car maintenance tips

4. Glasgow to the Isle of Skye

The 200-mile drive from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye proves that holidays should be about the journey as well as the destination. Take the A82 out of Glasgow and you are soon passing Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park before entering the Highlands.

From this point, the views just get better and better, and with thinning traffic and long straights with good visibility, the temptation is to open your engine up and fly along, but to do so is to miss the point; this is a route to be savoured, not hurried.  

5. Horsham to Winchester

Yes, the congested southeast has one of the best roads in Great Britain. Following the A272 and A264, this road has a lovely series of bends and straights through the South Downs National Park and is a far more interesting route than the A31 through Guildford.

Petworth House is a great place to stop for a break and it looks glorious in summer with its extensive gardens in full bloom. The estate has a magnificent herd of around 900 fallow deer in its 700-acre woodland park, and you might just spot them grazing in the sun as you explore!

What's the route of your favourite summer drive? Email us at - and we might just feature your suggestion in this article!

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.