Planning a winter highway journey within the UK? Questioning whether or not it is best to head for the Northern Lights in Scotland, the snow-capped peaks in Wales, or use the time to go to fashionable places like Cornwall or the Lake District? We’ve coated the very best routes that can assist you select your excellent UK winter highway journey.
Don’t overlook to seize your FREE highway journey planner beneath to assist hold you organised.
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Why do a winter highway journey within the UK?
Most individuals assume that you may’t go winter motorhoming or get pleasure from a highway journey throughout a UK winter. Nevertheless it’s truly among the finest instances to discover the British Isles- quieter roads, unbelievable surroundings and quick access to lots of the stunning Nationwide Parks we’ve on our doorstep.
Even higher, many motorhome websites or camp grounds have decreased costs, as do many prime points of interest, so it actually is a superb time to discover.
All that you must do is be certain that your automobile is appropriate for winter highway journeys, costume up warmly after which head out in your winter journey!
One of the best UK winter highway journey routes you’ll be able to’t miss
All of us have totally different priorities. That’s one of many issues I really like a lot about highway trips- the liberty to benefit from the belongings you like.
Even higher, the UK has LOADS to get pleasure from throughout winter, together with world-class Christmas markets, winter festivals, meals festivals, snow sports activities and incredible strolling over moors and hills.
We’ve chosen a wide range of winter highway journey concepts that can assist you select the right possibility for you. In fact, you’ll be able to decide and select or mix ones to create your excellent winter getaway.
Suggestions for driving in winter
In the event you’re planning a winter highway journey, there’s not a lot distinction from planning a UK highway journey at some other time of the 12 months, however you do want to ensure of some issues.
- Ensure that your automobile has been checked/ serviced and is able to coping with colder climate
- In the event you’re travelling in a van, be certain that your motorhome heating is working.
- Ensure that your tyres are protected and appropriate for the roads. Even when there’s no snow, you’ll be able to anticipate to drive in heavy rain in some unspecified time in the future in your journey
- Examine windscreen wipers and screenwash ranges
- Carry drink and snacks with you
- In the event you’re not planning a motorhome journey, make sure you carry a thermos of sizzling drink or a range and kettle, simply in case you get caught someplace chilly. Additionally, have a few blankets with you too.
- Ensure that your telephones are charged and ideally use a correct sat-nav with site visitors updates so you’ll be able to see if a highway turns into blocked or closed.
One of the best winter highway journey to see the Northern Lights
The most effective-kept secrets and techniques in northern UK is that you may typically see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from up there.
Certain, they’re not as constant as a number of the different greatest locations in Europe to see the Northern Lights, but when they’re in your bucket record, it’s time to move north throughout winter.
Scotland Northern Lights Winter Street Journey
Whole Distance: 516 miles
Really helpful No. of Days: 4-5 days
Greatest time to go to: December, January, February
For the very best probability of seeing the Northern Lights in Scotland, you’ll need to go as far north as attainable. The additional north you will get in your winter highway journey, the higher.
In the event you’re driving a motorhome or campervan, chances are you’ll need to mix this with a NC500 motorhome tour which fits alongside the northern coast.
Cease at locations like Sango Sands or Dunnet Bay close to John o’Groats, however ideally you’ll need to get even additional north. Orkney is definitely accessible on a highway journey, even should you simply go to for a few days.
One of the best time to see the Northern Lights is between October and March. In the event you’re hoping to see them from Scotland or a number of the northern Isles, November to February is your greatest wager. Simply be certain that to wrap up warmly- the very best nights to see them are clear and chilly!
In the event you’re in a motorhome or campervan, these are the North Coast 500 campsites open all 12 months.
In the event you’d wish to discover extra , right here’s the one NC500 itinerary and route planner you want.
One of the best UK winter highway journey concepts for Christmas Markets
We’re fortunate that there’s a first rate Christmas Market in nearly each large UK city or metropolis.
Quite than go to your native one once more, why not make a weekend of it and go to some additional afield?
Practically all have a campsite open all 12 months close by for motorhome holidays or campervan excursions, or there are mattress and breakfasts in each place so that you can keep in your highway journey.
Most UK Christmas Markets are open from final November, however some don’t open till mid-December, so make sure you verify earlier than you begin your winter highway journey.
Three UK highway journey routes to see Christmas Markets
- Begin in Winchester (the Winchester Christmas Market is without doubt one of the greatest in England) and revel in exploring town.
- Then head to Salisbury, the place you’ll discover one other incredible Christmas Market
- From right here, you’ll be able to head to the Cotswolds, that are a number of the most picturesque villages within the UK, or you’ll be able to go to Bathtub, which is wonderful at any time however particularly good at Christmas.
- Begin on the Christmas Market in Birmingham, which is without doubt one of the largest Christmas markets within the UK and the largest genuine German market outdoors of Austria or Germany.
- From right here, proceed your England highway journey and head to Stratford upon Avon, Warwick or Royal Leamington Spa for extra conventional Christmas celebrations, or head to Lincoln, house of the oldest Christmas Market within the UK.
- Edinburgh is without doubt one of the greatest cities to go to round Christmas time- the markets listed below are legendary.
- Though it is a excellent place to cease on a Scotland highway journey, you would additionally use it because the northern level of your winter highway journey route, and head south to Newcastle or Durham.
- After exploring these great cities, head to Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool for extra big festivities.
In fact, you would simply spend a weekend highway journey simply in London, exploring the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and all of the smaller Christmas Markets across the metropolis.
Greatest Winter highway journeys for mountain climbing and outside
The UK has some fabulous Nationwide Parks, that are open all 12 months. Throughout summer time months, they will get very crowded, however throughout winter you’ll be able to typically have locations all to your self!
In the event you’re residing in a van over winter, don’t overlook that many Nationwide Parks have in a single day parking restrictions, so make sure you comply with these. Right here’s learn how to discover locations to remain in a single day.
Northern Eire Winter Street Journey
Whole Distance: 220 miles
Really helpful No. of Days: 2-3 days
Greatest time to go to: November, December, January, February, March
The Causeway Coastal Route is without doubt one of the greatest winter highway journeys in Northern Eire. Highlights embody:
- Giants Causeway
- Carrick-a-rede rope bridge
- Dunluce Fort
- Darkish Hedges
Winter highway journey route thought
- Begin your Eire highway journey by visiting the well-known Giants Causeway. It’s a couple of 90-minute drive from Belfast and attempt to get there as early as attainable.
- Go to close by Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. In summer time the queues could be prolonged, however in winter you shouldn’t have to attend lengthy.
- One other distinctive cease is the clifftop ruins of Dunluce Fort which hold above the ocean beneath.
- Don’t miss the Darkish Hedges. This highway options in Recreation of Thrones and is without doubt one of the most stunning roads in Eire. It was surprisingly badly signposted after we visited, so don’t miss it. In the event you’re motorhoming in Eire you’ll be able to’t drive down it- I’m not even certain you’ll make it in a campervan!
How lengthy does it take to drive the Causeway coastal route?
You’ll be able to comfortably drive the entire route in a single weekend because it’s fairly a brief route- solely 200 miles. You’ll be able to truly do it in a day should you actually push. Don’t miss the Titanic museum in Belfast- it’s unbelievable.
Need to go to southern Eire? See concepts for the very best winter highway journeys in Europe
Yorkshire is the right winter highway journey vacation spot. The moors look magical coated in snow however there are nonetheless loads of locations open all 12 months.
Highlights of a Yorkshire highway journey embody:
- Hardraw Pressure- England’s highest single-drop waterfall
- The longest present collapse England- White scar
- Ribblehead Viaduct
- Hogsmeade station (or at the very least the station which performed it in Harry Potter!)
- Quite a few castles and ruins
Yorkshire Street Journey Itinerary concepts
Begin your highway journey within the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Go to the eleventh century Skipton Fort or go underground to see the formations in White Scar Caves, the longest present collapse England.
Go to the waterfalls of Ingleton, Aysgarth Falls or Hardraw Pressure- England’s highest single-drop waterfall. These are much more spectacular in winter with the elevated rainfall.
Earlier than leaving the Dales, go to the unbelievable monastic ruins and landscaped gardens of Fountains Abbey.
Subsequent, head to town of York. You’ll be able to go to Viking, Roman, Georgian and Victorian websites all in someday! Don’t miss a stroll alongside the cobbled Shambles, which has typically been voted the ‘Greatest Road in Britain.’
Lastly, head out onto the moors. Cease at Goathland prepare station (Hogsmeade station within the Harry Potter films.)
Alternatively, stretch your legs with a hike on the Gap of Horcum, an enormous historical pure amphitheatre.
In the event you’re in search of a weekend UK highway journey thought, head to one of many prettiest Nationwide Parks within the UK- Snowdonia in Wales.
Snowdonia is definitely a part of two of the Wales Method driving routes– North and Cambrian and it’s straightforward to see why.
Just about every little thing in Snowdonia entails being outside, so be sure you carry acceptable clothes for the time of 12 months. In winter, you’re more likely to get rain, chilly and really probably snow.
There are many nice roads with spectacular surroundings and the celebrities at night time are unreal, particularly on a crisp Winter night time.
Planning a visit to Wales?
Seize your FREE information to the Wales Method highway journey routes, together with:
- prompt routes round Wales
- greatest locations to see in your journey
- campsites to remain at alongside the way in which
- and different suggestions for touring Wales
One of the best winter highway journey routes for fashionable UK locations
Winter is the right time to go to locations that are often loopy busy.
Locations like Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District and the Cotswolds are a lot quieter and simpler to discover on the highway journey.
Listed here are our favorite highway journey concepts:
Cornwall is considered one of our favorite locations to highway journey in England. I spent 2 years residing there while I used to be within the Navy, and have been again many instances since. There are many issues to do in Cornwall, however there are some essential suggestions that you must know earlier than you arrive!
Why is Cornwall among the finest England highway journeys?
If you need cute villages, unbelievable seashores and extra historical past than you’ll be able to shake a stick at, Cornwall is ideal. Though some locations do shut in winter, lots of the major points of interest stay open all 12 months, and the dearth of crowds makes it even higher.
How lengthy do you have to spend roadtripping Cornwall?
How lengthy is a chunk of string!! However, as you’ll be able to see on our Cornish highway journey itinerary, we suggest 7-10 days minimal to see all the very best locations.
The place are the very best locations to go to in Cornwall on a highway journey?
A few of my absolute favorite locations in Cornwall embody:
For a full record of the very best locations to go to on a Cornwall highway journey, go to our Cornwall Street Journey Itinerary & Information
Even in Winter, Devon is a incredible highway journey vacation spot. It’s nonetheless stuffed with cute villages, stunning hills and seashores and loads of cafes!
Highlights and greatest locations to go to in Devon
My mother and father stay right here, so I’ve spent plenty of time exploring the county. A few of my favorite embody:
- Dartmouth- among the finest cities within the county. Rent a ship and discover the river.
- Paignton- the seaside with the pink sand
- Exmouth with its stunning painted homes
- Saunton Sands
- Fish and Chips from Squires in Braunton
- Salcombe Harbour
- Dulverton- head to the Copper Kettle tea room; you received’t remorse it!
See the complete record of my favorite Devon highway journey concepts right here.
The Lake District Nationwide Park is an ideal UK winter highway journey thought. It has a number of the worlds greatest scenic drives and a visit alongside the Honister Move and Kirkstone Move are a must- though if it’s snowed closely they could be closed.
The Castlerigg stone circle can be value a cease, as are the gorgeous cities of Keswick and Cockermouth.
Within the South Lakes, Grasmere (house of William Wordsworth) is value visiting and should you love Beatrix Potter, you’ll be able to go to her house in Hawkshead. There’s additionally Beatrix Potter World in Bowness- on- Windermere.
Another highlights for winter highway journeys embody:
- The biggest pure lake within the UK, Lake Windermere. Some boat excursions run all 12 months however wrap up warmly
- The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite.
- Aira Pressure Waterfall
- The views at Derwentwater
Cotswolds – a magical UK winter highway journey
The Cotswolds is the most important Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB) in England and Wales and it seems to be SPECTACULAR in winter.
Highlights & Greatest locations to go to within the Cotswolds and surrounding space
- The gorgeous stone villages of the Cotswolds (Bourton-on-the-Water is considered one of my private favourites)
- go to the historic metropolis of Bathtub
- marvel on the mysterious historical stones of Stonehenge
- cease on the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral.
Wiltshire & Cotswolds winter highway journey itinerary
- Ideally, spend 3-4 days exploring as many beautiful little cities and villages of the Cotswolds as you want to. A few of the prettiest villages embody Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold, Decrease Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water and Fort Combe.
- The historic metropolis of Bathtub is simply a 30-minute drive from the village of Fort Combe- effectively value a go to. Don’t miss visiting the Roman baths and having a cream tea within the tea rooms there.
- When you have time, head East to Stonehenge. In the event you’re in a motorhome or camper, you’ll be able to camp in a single day at Stonehenge (That is the place we noticed probably the most INCREDIBLE dawn we’ve EVER seen. (Critically, watch the video. It’s breathtaking)
- From Stonehenge, it’s solely a 20-minute drive into the medieval city of Salisbury, the place you’ll be able to discover Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest spire in all of Britain!
In the event you’re planning a UK highway journey, you may discover these posts useful: