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A photo of the north coast 500
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These are the top driving routes in the UK, according to National Geographic

Featuring dramatic bends, magnificent cliffs and stunning coastlines

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

The secret to a successful road trip? An impeccable playlist, a stash of snacks and good company are absolutely key. But magnificent scenery is bound to take it from a seven to a solid 10/10 – and luckily, you don’t have to leave UK shores to find it. 

To mark the return of its TV series ‘Car SOS’, National Geographic has revealed the best driving routes in the country based on a survey of 2,000 motorists. Twists, turns and vast landscapes make these some of the most exciting roads to cruise on. 

Scotland’s North Coast 500 was crowned the country’s best route. It stretches for more than 500 miles from Inverness to the northernmost point of the UK in John O’Groats. It winds through mountains, crosses over lochs and boasts gorgeous coastal views. The whole package, really.  

In second place is the much shorter but similarly stunning B3135 Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. This road is only 14 miles long but features 22 dramatic bends and is towered over by England’s deepest natural canyon, with cliff faces on either side. 

Other roads that were recognised include the 26-mile Snake Pass in the Peak District and the Black Mountain Pass that sweeps through the Brecon Beacons – both are frequented by bikers on a look out for breathtaking scenery to accompany their ride.  

Here are the ten best driving routes in the UK, according to National Geographic:

  1. The North Coast 500 route starting from Inverness, Scotland
  2. Cheddar Gorge through the Mendip Hills
  3. Snake Pass (A57) in the Peak District National Park close to Sheffield
  4. Kendal to Keswick in the Lake District
  5. Snowdonia’s Llanberis Pass, Wales 
  6. St Ives to St Just in Cornwall
  7. Best of the Moors (A169 and A170) in Yorkshire
  8. The Cotswolds: Cheltenham to Stratford
  9. Cat and Fiddle route (A53 then A54 followed by the A537) in the Peak District
  10. The Black Mountain Pass in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

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