Best Driving Roads in England
We have some of the best driving routes in the motoring world right here in England – it’s just a case of setting the sat nav, packing a picnic and setting out on the open road.
Whether you fancy ambling through lush countryside or tackling a more challenging route with hairpin bends and multiple elevations, there's something for everyone.
Here are just some of the most memorable routes to be found in England – it was a tough job choosing just five as there are so many gems dotted all over the country!
Which one will you try?
Cat and Fiddle – Peak District
So-called because of the pub which sits at the summit of this awesome section of road, the Cat and Fiddle is one of the most famous and challenging routes in the Peak District.
This route takes you from Buxton in Derbyshire to Macclesfield in Cheshire in less than half an hour. Often closed during extreme weather, this is definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Starting your journey on the A53, join the A54 followed by the A537.
The Cat and Fiddle route is extremely popular with bikers as it features a series of dramatic bends with steep drops to the side – car drivers beware!
If you’re looking for views of open moorland, they are particularly striking from Goyt's Moss, so be sure to make a quick pitstop.
The only choice then facing you is whether to stop off for lunch at the Cat and Fiddle Inn (famously the second highest pub in England) before heading onwards to Macc…
Distance: 12 miles
Journey time (estimated): 25-30 minutes
Cheddar Gorge – Somerset
Cheddar Gorge in Somerset was forged some 1.2 million years ago and is one of England’s most spectacular natural landmarks.
This driving road has it all, from awe-inspiring cliffs to stunning stalactite show caves.
Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, dubbed Cheddar Man, was first discovered in the caves in 1903. If you make a stop here, make sure you take the 274-step walk to the Lookout Tower or enjoy the three-mile Clifftop Gorge Walk for awesome views.
This route starts out in Cheddar and ends in Ashwick. The first section as you leave Cheddar offers amazing views of England's deepest gorge in dramatic style.
The B3135 snakes through rocky outcrops as it climbs away into the Mendips.
Once you’ve cleared the gorge, the tight bends become less and less as the roads open up, so sit back and enjoy the countryside as it passes by your window.
Distance: 14 miles
Journey time (estimated): 30 minutes
North Yorkshire Moors
This drive has all the twists and turns of a good novel, broken up with long straights through spectacular moorland and finishing with a breath of fresh sea air.
Take the A169 Whitby Road from Pickering to Whitby for this North Yorkshire drive and you’ll be on the road to heaven!
This route is pretty popular in the summer months so be warned about extra traffic if you fancy trying it then, but you’ll be rewarded with some of the best fish and chips around when you arrive at Whitby Harbour.
Feeling like a leg stretch once you get there? If you’ve got the energy, tackle the 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey – the inspiration for Bram Stoker's epic novel, Dracula.
Distance: 21 miles
Journey time (estimated): 35 minutes
Dartmoor National Park – Devon
If you’re heading down south to Devon, there’s only one option when it comes to experiencing the wonders of Dartmoor.
This National Park is situated right in the heart of Devon – take the B3212 from Exeter to guide you right across the middle of Dartmoor via Moretonhampstead.
Switch to the B3357 at Two Bridges and then follow the signs to Tavistock.
You'll experience fast sweeping bends and undulations in an ancient landscape of stunning views, epic granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers and rugged open spaces.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Dartmoor ponies and sheep!
Distance: 33 miles
Journey time (estimated): 40-45 minutes
South Downs – West Sussex
Nobody wants to be driving in the congested roads of London so leave them well and truly behind and head to the scenic South Downs instead.
Starting at Chichester, this route takes you through some of the lushest countryside England has to offer.
This drive isn’t particularly challenging and you won’t find too many overtaking opportunities – this trip is all about cruising, enjoying the views and savouring picturesque villages.
Heading north out of Chichester, stick on the A286 and make sure you stop off for refreshments at the Weald and Downland Living Museum, a 40-acre sites which tells the story of rural life in South East England over a 1000-year period.
From there, it's up to Midhurst where you pick up the A272, heading west to historic Winchester – the county town of Hampshire.
You’re best off avoiding this route during the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July) and Goodwood Revival (September), unless these motoring events are why you’re in the area in the first place, of course!
Distance: 50 miles
Journey time (estimated): 1 hour 15 minutes