Searches for ‘UK drives’ are up 92 per cent – these are 6 of the best driving routes

Since the roadmap out of lockdown was revealed by Boris Johnson last week, data from Google would suggest that the nation is eager to get back on the road and travelling. In fact, Google searches for the best UK drives have increased by 92 per cent in the past week alone.

After the first and second UK lockdown in 2020, a similar trend emerged as we all looked for new ways to escape and explore the country.

The BMW 4 Series on Sunday Drive through the Forest of Bowland.

Speaking with BMW and designer, Patrick Grant, about the revival of the Sunday drive, Patrick said, ‘Over the past year we’ve learnt to slow down and appreciate the smaller things. We’re lucky in this country that most people live thirty minutes from somewhere spectacularly beautiful that makes our soul feel better. The sunday drive is the perfect opportunity, to get dressed up, plan a route, make a beautiful picnic and spend time out on the road in nature’.

So, where to drive (when the restrictions permit, of course)? We’ve collated 6 of the best UK drives and routes around the country….

6 of the best UK drives:

Trough of Bowland. Getty Images

The Forest of Bowland – 107 miles, 4 hours 7 minutes

Starting at Marshaw travel east across Dunsop Bridge towards Slaidburn taking in the sights of the Forest of Bowland. From Slaidburn head north towards Bentham before heading east through Settle and Malham where you can enjoy vistas up to Malham cove. From Malham head west through Langcliffe before heading to Reedby’s Lane and then back south finishing your drive at Whitewell. 

Snowdonia. Getty Images

Anglessey Race Circuit, Snowdonia and ‘Evo triangle’ – 152 miles, 3 hours 40 minutes

From the circuit head east towards Colwyn Bay then south past Adventure Parc Snowdonia (home to the world’s first inland surfing pool and longest zip wire in Europe) to Betws-y-Coed; then left onto the A453 which is start of the infamous ‘evo triangle’, then a drive into Snowdonia and back up towards Anglesey.

Gleneagles Hotel. Getty Images.

Gleneagles Hotel and Perthshire – 90 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes

Head north from the hotel towards Comrie then enjoy a big loop around two lochs – Loch Earn and Loch Tay – on beautiful open roads then south across the glens towards Crieff and then the hotel.

Broadway in The Cotswolds. Getty Images

Oxford and the South Cotswolds – 75 miles,  2 hours 15 minutes

From St Giles in Oxford head north to Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, then take a west route towards Charlbury and a fantastic open road towards Bourton on the Water, then head south towards Lechlade and Farringdon before returning to Oxford.

North Wessex Downs. Getty Images

North Wessex Downs AONB – 44 miles, 1 hour 20 minutes

From Wantage head south on the sweeping B494, before heading west towards Lambourn and Ashbury and some fantastic twisty roads (with views of the Uffington White Horse), then back towards Wantage.

St Ives. Getty Images

West Cornwall and North Coast – 38 miles, 1 hour 40 minutes

From St Ives, along the beautiful B336 coastal road towards Zennor and then Sennen, Land’s End, then looping back along the south coast via The Minnack Theatre at Porthcurno, Lamorna, Mousehole and Penzance (St Michael’s Mount) before heading back up to St Ives.

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