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The Ultimate UK Road Trip

We’ve put together the ultimate UK road trip itinerary to take you through some of the greatest spots around England and Scotland. Read on for our UK road trip ideas and be inspired to have the trip of your dreams!

First stop: London

London is your first stop on a UK road trip
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

Start your ultimate UK road trip in London. International flights between Canada and London are typically cheaper than they are to other UK cities, so London is a good starting point. Exploring more of the UK by car is a good way to see as much of it as possible, especially the less popular destinations.

There are also many car rental options right at the London airport, so you won’t have to worry about travelling far to find a car. For more info on car rentals, check out this article. While there are endless things to do in London, some of the highlights are:

  • London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Hyde Park
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Shoreditch/Brick Lane

Second stop: Peak District

peak district
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

After a few days in London, opt for a change of scenery by heading to the Peak District. The Peak District is located about 270 km north of London, and takes about 3.5 hours to drive to. This nature getaway is a breath of fresh air from the busy city, but don’t worry – you’ll still have plenty of things to occupy your time with. Check out the gritstone ridges, limestone valleys, stone villages, and so much more when you embark on one of the many hikes they have available. Here are some must-sees in the Peak District:

  • Dovedale
  • Mam Tor
  • Chatsworth House
  • Kinder Scout
  • Monsal Trail

Third stop: Yorkshire Dales

yorkshire dales
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

Continue on your nature escape by heading even further north to the third stop on your UK road trip – Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’ll take you about 2.5 hours to drive to the Dales from the Peak District (about 160 km away). This beautiful area of northern England is an even more immersive nature experience than the Peak District. Get lost and inspired wandering the rolling hills, exploring the monasteries, and hiking to the nearby waterfalls.

If you want to get to know this area, you can even stay with a farming family in their hillside home for the ultimate Yorkshire Dales experience. One option is The Moors Inn, which also has a pub that’s popular with many locals on-site!

While you’re there, here are some things you can do and see:

  • Whernside
  • Malham Cove
  • Bolton Abbey
  • Aysgarth Falls (#1 waterfall in the Dales)
  • White Scar Cave

Fourth stop: Glasgow

Glasgow
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

After you’ve gotten your fill of nature, head 260 km northeast to Glasgow and back into the city side of your UK road trip. Here’s some info on the border crossing between England and Scotland. Scotland’s most populous city (approx. 620,000 people) is renowned for its Victorian and art-nouveau architecture style, and also draws people in with the opera, ballet, and national theatre. Here are some highlights of Glasgow:

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
  • The Necropolis
  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • Pollok Country Park
  • Riverside Museum

Fifth stop: Fort William

fort william
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

Next on our UK road trip itinerary is the Scottish Highland town of Fort William. This is about 160 km from Glasgow. On your way, you’ll pass by Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, where you’ll find the largest loch in all of Great Britain!

Fort William is a classic highland town, and usually popular with travellers looking to climb Ben Nevis. For more on Ben Nevis, check out the first stop in this article. The town is surrounded by lochs and mountains, and is one of the most picturesque places in Scotland. These are the things you don’t want to miss at Fort William:

  • Ben Nevis
  • Steall Waterfall
  • Lochaber Geopark
  • West Highland Museum

Sixth stop: Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye
The Ultimate UK Road Trip

Finally, make your way to the last and most westward stop on your UK road trip, the Isle of Skye. While Skye is not reachable by car, you can bring your car onto the ferry. If you want a break from driving and are looking for a more exciting experience, leave your car in Fort Willam and take an alternative method of transportation – the Jacobite steam train.

The Jacobite steam train was featured in the Harry Potter movies as the ‘Hogwarts Express’, and is open to the public from mid-April to the end of October. The train will take you straight from Fort William to Mallaig, where you can hop on a ferry to the Isle of Skye.

Skye is arguably the most beautiful spot on this entire list. It has a rugged, isolated style of nature, and will make you feel like you landed back into the early days of Scotland. Here’s what you should see on Skye:

  • The Old Man of Storr
  • Fair Glen
  • Quiraing
  • Claigan coral beach
  • Kilt Rock

Seventh stop: Back to the city

After the Isle of Skye, it’s time to make your way back to a city where you can fly out. We’d recommend heading over to Glasgow or Edinburgh, both of which have international airports where you can catch a flight home or continue on your adventures. From Mallaig, one port of Skye, the trip to Glasgow is 240 km and 290 km to Edinburgh. Most car rental companies allow you to pick up your car in one city and drop it off in another city, at an added cost. This is the best option, as it beats driving the whole way back to London!

While it would take months to cover the entire UK by car, this is a good itinerary to get started on your road trip through England and Scotland. For info on the best time to book your flight for your UK trip, check out this article. Go out there and explore all of the wonders the UK has to offer! And use our car rental search to find the best car rental deals around the world.