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Best Scenic drives in the UK: 11 beautiful locations

Leasing a new car opens up new opportunities for you to experience high-quality driving. Here, we take a look at the top 11 scenic drives in the UK, which will put your leased car through its paces and give you unforgettable memories of what the British Isles can offer.

1. Kendal to Keswick, Lake District

This is a visually stunning, 30-mile route via A591 cuts through the Lake District National Park. You drive along the banks of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere, on a meandering road that provides plenty of variety. The surrounding landscape is geographically and culturally packed with detail, providing inspiration for the Romantic Poets. The views across the lakes are breath-taking. There are numerous bends in the road, and it changes in width, so you’re combining a real driving experience with a visual one.

Distance: 29.7 miles

Journey time (estimated): 1 hour

Google Map Link:

2. Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge, Cheshire

At first this might seem less than spectacular drive, but in fact it boasts some truly surprising scenery, because when you reach Jodrell Bank, you will then see the Grade 1 listed Lovell Telescope, a giant astronomical landmark. The rest of this 10 mile drive features the quintessential English countryside, with sweeping fields, hedgerows and trees. It won’t test your driving skill especially, but it will reward your senses as you experience the Cheshire countryside in all its natural beauty.

Distance: 10.1 miles

Journey time (estimated): 22 minutes

Google Map Link:

3. Cheltenham to Stratford-upon-Avon in Cotswolds

In the heart of the Cotswolds, this route takes you along the B4632 from the historic spa town of Cheltenham to the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. Because this popular sightseeing route isn’t a major roadway, it offers a relaxing drive, where you can really take in the gorgeous surroundings. It is the very picture of tranquillity, including lush, green meadows, sheep pastures and woodland. You’ll also drive through some lovely, picturesque English villages along the way.

Distance: 32.7 miles

Journey time (estimated): 59 minutes

Google Map Link:

4. Barnstaple to Newquay

This route takes you along the coastline from Barnstaple, in Devon, down to Newquay, Cornwall, on the Atlantic Highway. It’s a relatively long route, at 160 miles, and it takes you past some amazing coastal scenery. A major attraction on this route is Constantine Bay, with the best surfing beaches in Cornwall. But you can also take various detours to explore the surrounding areas and places of interest, such as the lighthouse at Trevose Head.

Distance: 76.4 miles

Journey time (estimated): 120 minutes

Google Map Link:

5. Black Mountain Pass, Wales

At just over 21 miles, this route winds through hairpin bends that will test your driving, but reward you with spectacular views of the Welsh landscape. Located in the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountain Pass is a series of steep climbs that take you into an unfurling, twisting highway. Some of the bends are followed by huge drops, so you’ll feel this drive as much as you’ll experience the stunning natural scenery that envelopes you along this route.

Distance: 21.8 miles

Journey time (estimated): 45 minutes 

Google Map Link:

6. Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland

This is driving as an adventure, exploring a landscape of incredible depth and rugged beauty. You begin at Larne and climb the North Antrim coast, taking in views of the seaside all the way to Torr’s Head. Then you drive over Torr’s Head and come around to the Giant’s Causeway, itself a spectacular landmark and landscape. On this route, you’ll see both the Irish and Scottish coastlines, including the Mull of Kintyre. And there are enough twists and turns to put your driving through its paces.

Distance: 57.7 miles

Journey time (estimated): 121 minutes

Google Map Link:

7. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Cheddar Gorge is the longest gorge in England, made up of 27 cliffs, formed out of limestone during the Ice Age. This 15 mile route takes you along the B3135 from the town of Cheddar, through the Cheddar Gorge and the Mendip Hills to Ashwick. The natural scenery is spectacular, with huge, near-vertical cliffs looming over you as you wind your way through the pass. Finally the cliffs give way to trees as you come closer to Ashwick.

Distance: 14.8 miles

Journey time (estimated): 30 minutes

Google Map link:

8. Highland Perthshire Loop, Scotland

This route takes you past many of Highland Perthshire’s gorgeous sights and lots of its glorious scenery. You travel through Aviemore, in the Cairngorms National Park, and the Highland village of Newtonmore. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to veer off the route and visit the picturesque towns of Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, and explore the route along the long, narrow Loch Tummel and the River Tay.

Distance: 100 miles

Journey time (estimated): 122 minutes

Google Map link:  

9. Cat and Fiddle, Peak District

If you’re looking for a test of your driving skills that also gives you plenty of countryside to take in, then this 11-mile route should do the trick. This is the A357 running between Macclesfield and Buxton. It’s a route that takes its name from the Cat & Fiddle Inn, which, at an elevation of 520 feet, is the second highest pub in England. Although known as one of the most dangerous roads in the country, the Cat and Fiddle is worth experiencing, if you proceed at a leisurely pace and take its numerous bends carefully.

Distance: 11.3 miles 

Journey time (estimated): 24 minutes 

Google Map link:

10. Buttertubs Pass, Yorkshire Dales

At a little over five miles, this is a short route, but a memorable one. It runs between Thwaite and  Simonstone, and its initial sharp ascent rewards you with amazing views across the Yorkshire Dales. The route earned itself an international reputation when it became part of the 2014 Tour de France. It runs between Wensleydale and Swaledale, crossing high moorland. At the summit, there are places where you can pull in to stop and enjoy the views.

Distance: 5.5 miles

Journey time (estimated): 13 minutes

Google Map link:

11. Loch Lomond to Glencoe, Scotland

For another Highland adventure by road, take the route from Loch Lomond to Glencoe on the A83 and A82. You’ll travel along the edge of the loch and into Argyll Forest Park and the Trossachs National Park. Carry on to Glencoe, lying in the steep-sided Glencoe Valley. Give yourself time to explore the distinctive Pap of Glencoe, a mountain on the north side of the village.

Distance: 60.1 miles

Journey time (estimated): 85 minutes

Google Map link:

Fancy a drive to these scenic locations this weekend? Remember - wherever the road takes you, LetsTalk Leasing offers affordable car leasing to customers all over the UK, include free delivery, road tax and an official manufacturer's warranty. Enhance your next scenic drive with a fantastic vehicle from LetsTalk Leasing!

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