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If you fancy jumping behind the wheel and heading off on a spring road trip, here are five routes that promise wild roads and some wild landscapes.
Southern England - Cheddar Gorge
Skirting the fringes of the Mendip Hills, the B3135 links Ashwick with Cheddar, and the 14-mile stretch between the two towns cuts through some of England’s most dramatic scenery. The road can become congested in summer as tourists flock here to enjoy the views, so spring is the ideal time to come. But it’s not a route for nervous drivers, because the carriageway edges close to sheer drops as it snakes its way through Cheddar Gorge. And while passengers can savour the sight of towering limestone cliffs, the driver’s attention will be fully focussed on safely navigating the 22 tight bends.
Northern England – Lindisfarne
Bisecting the country from North to South, the A1 runs from Edinburgh to London, and stretching 410 miles, it’s Britain’s longest road. Although much of the A1 is congested commuter route, the 27-mile stretch between Alnwick Castle and Haggerston Castle is a driver’s paradise. Twenty miles out from Alnwick you’ll see a sign for Lindisfarne Castle, and it’s definitely worth turning off to explore – because spring at Lindisfarne Nature Reserve brings a riot of colour as the wildflowers begin to bloom. If you’ve time to spare, push on across the causeway to Holy Island. But make sure you check the tide times, otherwise you could end up staying longer than you planned.
Central England – Woodhead Pass
The Woodhead Pass on the A628 links Manchester to South Yorkshire, and despite serving as a busy commuter route, this iconic highway offers some magical views across the Derbyshire Peak District. Start your journey at Stocksbridge and head west towards Hollingworth, drive past Underbank Reservoir and Langsett Reservoir, then head out onto the exposed uplands of the Peak District. You’ll pass eight reservoirs along the 19-mile route, which all add character to the landscape and help make the route popular both with bikers and cyclists - so keep your eyes firmly on the road. And watch out for stray sheep!
Wales – Anglesey coast road
The Isle of Anglesey is separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, and the drive across this iconic piece of architecture is worth the trip alone. But it’s once you’ve crossed the famous span and picked up the A5025 coast road that the fun really starts. Head clockwise around the circular route, past Beaumaris Castle and the popular beaches of Red Wharf Bay and Moelfre. Then follow the road as it cuts inland before re-emerging at Bull Bay where it sweeps down towards the sea. Push on through the quaint village of Cemaes, then follow the A5025 to Valley, where you can pick up the A55 expressway which will take you speeding back to the mainland.
Scotland – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
If you fancy a tour of Scotland but you don’t have time in your schedule for a long road trip, take a drive around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This spectacular region is often referred to as “Scotland in miniature”, so it’s a great way to experience the diverse landscapes Scotland has to offer, all in a single day. Try the loop around The Trossachs via the A821 which snakes its way through the infamous Duke’s Pass. This can be a hazardous route in winter, but if the weather is fine, it shouldn’t be a problem at this time of year. If you’re not a confident driver, choose the A82 instead, which skirts the western shores of the loch and offers spectacular views of the magnificent Ben Lomond.