Driving the UK’s standout countryside routes


The UK is packed with a wide variety of picturesque sights that need to be seen to be admired. To ensure you see the best that the country has to offer, take a look at this guide of the UK’s standout countryside routes, compiled by luxurious Audi dealership Vindis:

Buttertubs Pass


Area of the UK: Yorkshire Dales

Starting point: Cloggerby Rigg, Richmond

Finishing point: Penn Lane, Hawes

Distance covered: 6.9 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • It begins with a steep climb along Cliff Gate Road, followed by a series of fast descents and tight corners.
  • The route goes past the deep limestone potholes of Buttertubs.
  • The route can often be completed within 15 minutes.

Views of the Lake District


Area of the UK: Lake District

Starting point: Kendal

Finishing point: Keswick

Distance covered: 38.6 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • It offers remarkable views of the Lakeland fells.
  • The route passes along the banks of both Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere.
  • It goes through countryside which served as inspiration for both William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
  • It passes through the village of Grasmere, where a pair of Wordsworth’s former houses can be seen.

Winding Roads of the Cotswolds


Area of the UK: The Cotswolds

Starting point: Cheltenham

Finishing point: Stratford-upon-Avon

Distance covered: 32.7 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • It finishes in Stratford-upon-Avon — the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
  • The route passes through the tranquil green hills of Cotswolds.
  • Meadows filled with wildflowers can be seen throughout the route, as well as views of sheep pastures and woodland.
  • A series of English villages are visited along the route, not to mention the historic town of Chipping Campden.

Gateway to the Highlands


Area of the UK: Scottish Highlands

Starting point: Glasgow

Finishing point: Fort William

Distance covered: 108 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • It can be completed within three hours.
  • The route passes along the shores of Loch Lomond, as well as through both Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
  • You get to climb into the Black Mountains — views of the beautiful Rannoch Moor can also be seen to the right throughout this part of the route.
  • Glen Coe with surrounding volcanic mountain scenery makes up around 12 miles of the route.
  • The Three Sisters, Loch Leven and the giant Loch Linnhe are standout moments towards the end of the journey.
  • At the end of the route, glimpses of Britain’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis can be taken in.

Castle to Castle


Area of the UK: Northumberland

Starting point: Alnwick

Finishing point: Lindisfarne

Distance covered: 26.4 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • As well as starting at Alnwick Castle and finishing at Lindisfarne Castle, the historic Bamburgh Castle can also be viewed along the route.
  • The route passes by Lindisfarne Nature Reserve; a paradise for bird lovers.
  • 30 minutes should be enough time to complete the route.
  • Fishing villages, sandy beaches, rolling hills, rugged moorland and picturesque market towns are all seen throughout the route too.
  • The route concludes at Lindisfarne — otherwise known as Holy Island — where Lindisfarne Priory can be explored. This was once the home of St Oswald, as well as the place where Lindisfarne Gospels were created.

The Atlantic Highway


Area of the UK: North Cornwall coast

Starting point: Barnstaple

Finishing point: Newquay

Distance covered: 76.2 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • Some of the most breath-taking coastlines of the UK can be seen along this stretch of the north Cornwall coast.
  • Constantine Bay and Bedruthan Steps can both be viewed when travelling along the route.
  • There’s a private toll road along the route, which can be taken as a detour in order to take in the picture-perfect lighthouse located at Trevose Head.

Slate Country Under Snowdon


Area of the UK: Snowdon National Park, Wales

Starting point: Blaenau Ffestiniog

Finishing point: Llanberis

Distance covered: 27.5 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • A landscape of slate slag serves as the first sight to be seen when beginning this route, while the Llechwedd Slate Caverns is another early viewing highlight.
  • The route passes very close to Swallow Falls, before working its way along the towering Pen-y-Pass — otherwise known as Llanberis Pass.
  • You will be at the foot of Mount Snowdon when you reach the end of this route.

Causeway Coastal Route


Area of the UK: Northern coast of Northern Ireland

Starting point: Londonderry

Finishing point: Belfast

Distance covered: 130 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • The route almost exclusively takes place along the magnificent coastal scenery that Northern Ireland is famous for.
  • There’s three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to see along the route; the Glens of Antrim, the Causeway Coast and the cliffs of Binevenagh.
  • The route also passes through a series of tiny, peaceful villages.

Journey Under the Ribblehead Viaduct


Area of the UK: Yorkshire Dales

Starting point: Hornby

Finishing point: Ribblehead Viaduct

Distance covered: 15.5 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • You can wind your way through some of the most magnificent sights that the Yorkshire Dales has to offer.
  • The route passes under the 400-metre-high Ribblehead Viaduct; a structure that was constructed in 1870 and has since been listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Movie fans may also recognise the landmark, as it made a cameo appearance during the Harry Potter film series.

Drive Into Cheddar Gorge


Area of the UK: Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Starting point: Bridgwater

Finishing point: Cheddar Gorge

Distance covered: 19.2 miles

Highlights of the route:

  • Cheddar Gorge — the UK’s deepest gorge — serves as the finishing point of this route.
  • When travelling along the B3135 part of the route, you will have the opportunity to pass 27 magnificent limescale cliffs which are conveniently situated just to the side of the road.
  • The tourist village of Cheddar is also ventured through during the closing moments of the route.