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I went on the BEST UK road trip through Wales, England AND Scotland with my sister (Casey) and our friend (Morgan). It was amazing and now I’m going to share my UK road trip itinerary and show you photographic evidence of how beautiful a self drive UK trip can be.
I lived in Devon for nearly three years but this trip really amazed me and opened my eyes to how GREEN the UK is. Being from Ireland and New Zealand, green is very important to me.
When people think of road trips they think of America or Canada Or Europe. But I’m going to try and convince you to consider a UK driving tour!
7 Day UK Road Trip Itinerary
Wales, England and Scotland – Complete UK Travel Itinerary on a Budget
Skip the route planner if you’re just here for the photos, haha.
Day 1: Start in Bristol, stock up the car with plenty of snacks then drive to Wales. Visit LLanthony Priory and climb Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons. Have ice cream. Drive to Derby. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CAKE AT THE CHERRY TREE FARM PUB! (Stay in Ibis Budget Hotel).
Day 2: Drive from Derby to Lumsdale Falls. Drive through the Peak district, stopping to take photos along the way. Hopefully avoid too many sheep traffic jams. Visit Peveril Castle. Have chips in Castleton Fish & Chips, you won’t regret it. (Stay at Greyhound Inn, Penrith).
Day 3: Drive through the Lake District. Visit Furness Abbey and Aira Force Waterfalls. Drive to Scottish Highlands. (Stay in Blackwater Hostel , Kinlochleven). If you have extra days, maybe 10 days in the UK, then add in a stop in the city of Glasgow here for a couple of nights. It’s an underrated city with lots to offer.
Day 4: Drive to Fort William for breakfast. Drive and hike to Steall Falls, Glen nevis, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Visit Commando Memorial monument on the way to the Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig. We were supposed to stay in Inverness but there was a mix up with our booking SO we had to look elsewhere.
Turns out nowhere in Inverness had any spaces so we ended up having to drive for another 1.5 hrs to Gerry’s Hostel, Achnashellach. Which was wonderful. (Stay in Gerry’s).
However, I’ve since been back to Inverness and it was a lovely city so I recommend at least a night there if you have the time. Then you can squeeze in a visit to Loch Ness and hopefully see Nessie 😉
Day 5: Some SERIOUS hiking in the mountains surrounding the hostel. We basically got lost in the highlands. Then back to Gerry’s Hostel to chill by the fire. (Stay in Gerry’s). If you do stay in Gerry’s you’ll need to bring your own food with you and cook it there. Also, make sure you bring proper hiking gear with you.
Day 6: Drive to Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland. This drive is one of the most scenic drives in the UK in my opinion and the Fairy Pools are a big pay off at the end. TAKE A MILLION PHOTOS.
If you have an extra day stop at Loch Lomond, about an hour outside Glasgow. Stay in Corries B&B, it is absolutely FANTASTIC. They go above and beyond and has a stunning view over the lake. If you’re on a tight schedule, drive straight to Glasgow. Spend the evening in Glasgow (Stay at Ibis Budget Glasgow).
Day 7: Drive back to Bristol. The end of the magical UK road trip. Sleep for days. If you had a rental car you can also return your car in Glasgow and just fly home from Glasgow airport. It’s a decent little airport!
The Lake and Peak district are must visits on any UK road trip! Take a look!
This is possibly the most beautiful part of any UK road trip. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. I’m obsessed with Scotland.
SO I hope that I’ve managed to convince you to add a UK driving holiday to your travel bucketlist. Planning a road trip around the UK can be overwhelming because there’s just so much to see. Obviously I couldn’t include everything but I gave you a framework based on my own travels. There are plenty of other options. Here’s a bit more inspiration for you.
Devon and Cornwall
No UK road trip would be complete without a visit to Devon and Cornwall. I might not have visited on this occasion but I spent three years living in Devon and my boyfriend is from Cornwall so I’m familiar with it.
In Devon make sure to visit Exeter, Torquay, Dartmouth, Salcombe and Totnes. Exeter is a really pretty, compact university town. Torquay is an old seaside town with beautiful hidden beaches and lots of places to get ice cream.
Salcombe is a tiny little town, very popular with the affluent folk, and incredibly gorgeous. Dartmouth is another lovely seaside town that you can get a ferry to. It’s full of brightly painted houses and cute cafes. I once saw a mega yacht anchor in the harbour there.
Totnes is a hippy town full of independet boutiques and organic/health shops. They have great markets. But that’s just a few suggestions. There’s plenty of other lovely spots worth visiting like Dartmoor with the wild ponies.
When it comes to Cornwall I love the Eden project. Fowey is very pretty. I think Dawn French has a house down there. The streets are tiny and the houses all looks completely different with a slight nautical theme. Falmouth and Newquay are popular for surfing. Falmouth is a nicer spot in my opinion.
During the summer Newquay gets a bit crowded with stag dos and hens’ parties. Which can be both fun and absolutely atrocious. Of course, Cornwall roads are notorious so make sure that you’re very comfortable with driving narrow country roads before attempting to visit Cornwall during you trip. Definitely not the best roads in the UK, but Cornwall does have some of the most scenic drives in the UK.
Hopefully that’s given you some UK road trip ideas.
Where are your favourite places to road trip in the UK?