Planning a winter highway journey within the UK? Questioning whether or not you must head for the Northern Lights in Scotland, the snow-capped peaks in Wales, or use the time to go to in style 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.
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Why do a winter highway journey within the UK?
Most individuals assume that you would be able to’t go winter motorhoming or take pleasure in a highway journey throughout a UK winter. Nevertheless it’s truly top-of-the-line instances to discover the British Isles- quieter roads, unimaginable surroundings and quick access to most of the stunning Nationwide Parks now we have on our doorstep.
Even higher, many motorhome websites or camp grounds have diminished costs, as do many prime sights, so it actually is a superb time to discover.
All it is advisable to do is be sure that your automobile is appropriate for winter highway journeys, costume up warmly after which head out in your winter journey!
The perfect UK winter highway journey routes you possibly can’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 stuff you like.
Even higher, the UK has LOADS to take pleasure in throughout winter, together with world-class Christmas markets, winter festivals, meals festivals, snow sports activities and improbable strolling over moors and hills.
We’ve chosen quite a lot of winter highway journey concepts that can assist you select the right choice for you. In fact, you possibly can decide and select or mix ones to create your excellent winter getaway.
Ideas for driving in winter
When 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 yr, however you do want to ensure of some issues.
- Make sure that your automobile has been checked/ serviced and is able to coping with colder climate
- When you’re travelling in a van, be sure that your motorhome heating is working.
- Make sure that your tyres are secure and appropriate for the roads. Even when there’s no snow, you possibly can anticipate to drive in heavy rain sooner or later in your journey
- Examine windscreen wipers and screenwash ranges
- Carry drink and snacks with you
- When 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.
- Make sure that your telephones are charged and ideally use a correct sat-nav with visitors updates so you possibly can see if a highway turns into blocked or closed.
The perfect winter highway journey to see the Northern Lights
Among the best-kept secrets and techniques in northern UK is that you would be able to usually see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from up there.
Certain, they’re not as constant as a number of the different finest locations in Europe to see the Northern Lights, but when they’re in your bucket checklist, it’s time to move north throughout winter.
Scotland Northern Lights Winter Street Journey
Whole Distance: 516 miles
Really useful No. of Days: 4-5 days
Finest time to go to: December, January, February
For the very best probability of seeing the Northern Lights in Scotland, you’ll wish to go as far north as doable. The additional north you will get in your winter highway journey, the higher.
When you’re driving a motorhome or campervan, it’s possible you’ll wish to mix this with a NC500 motorhome tour which works alongside the northern coast.
Cease at locations like Sango Sands or Dunnet Bay close to John o’Groats, however ideally you’ll wish to get even additional north. Orkney is well accessible on a highway journey, even in case you simply go to for a few days.
The perfect time to see the Northern Lights is between October and March. When you’re hoping to see them from Scotland or a number of the northern Isles, November to February is your finest wager. Simply be sure that to wrap up warmly- the very best nights to see them are clear and chilly!
When you’re in a motorhome or campervan, these are the North Coast 500 campsites open all yr.
When you’d prefer to discover extra , right here’s the one NC500 itinerary and route planner you want.
The perfect 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.
Slightly than go to your native one once more, why not make a weekend of it and go to some additional afield?
Almost all have a campsite open all yr 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 among the finest in England) and luxuriate in exploring the town.
- Then head to Salisbury, the place you’ll discover one other improbable Christmas Market
- From right here, you possibly can head to the Cotswolds, that are a number of the most picturesque villages within the UK, or you possibly can go to Tub, which is superb at any time however particularly good at Christmas.
- Begin on the Christmas Market in Birmingham, which is among the greatest Christmas markets within the UK and the most important genuine German market exterior 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, dwelling of the oldest Christmas Market within the UK.
- Edinburgh is among the finest cities to go to round Christmas time- the markets listed here are legendary.
- Though this can be a excellent spot 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 fantastic cities, head to Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool for extra enormous 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.
Finest Winter highway journeys for mountain climbing and open air
The UK has some fabulous Nationwide Parks, that are open all yr. Throughout summer season months, they’ll get very crowded, however throughout winter you possibly can usually have locations all to your self!
When 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 how you can discover locations to remain in a single day.
Northern Eire Winter Street Journey
Whole Distance: 220 miles
Really useful No. of Days: 2-3 days
Finest time to go to: November, December, January, February, March
The Causeway Coastal Route is among the finest winter highway journeys in Northern Eire. Highlights embody:
- Giants Causeway
- Carrick-a-rede rope bridge
- Dunluce Citadel
- Darkish Hedges
Winter highway journey route thought
- Begin your Eire highway journey by visiting the well-known Giants Causeway. It’s a few 90-minute drive from Belfast and attempt to get there as early as doable.
- Go to close by Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. In summer season the queues will be prolonged, however in winter you shouldn’t have to attend lengthy.
- One other distinctive cease is the clifftop ruins of Dunluce Citadel which hold above the ocean under.
- Don’t miss the Darkish Hedges. This highway options in Sport of Thrones and is among the most stunning roads in Eire. It was surprisingly badly signposted once we visited, so don’t miss it. When you’re motorhoming in Eire you possibly can’t drive down it- I’m not even positive you’ll make it in a campervan!
How lengthy does it take to drive the Causeway coastal route?
You possibly can comfortably drive the entire route in a single weekend because it’s fairly a brief route- solely 200 miles. You possibly can truly do it in a day in case you actually push. Don’t miss the Titanic museum in Belfast- it’s unimaginable.
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 yr.
Highlights of a Yorkshire highway journey embody:
- Hardraw Drive- England’s highest single-drop waterfall
- The longest present collapse England- White scar
- Ribblehead Viaduct
- Hogsmeade station (or no less than 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 Citadel 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 Drive- 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 unimaginable monastic ruins and landscaped gardens of Fountains Abbey.
Subsequent, head to the town of York. You possibly can go to Viking, Roman, Georgian and Victorian websites all in in the future! Don’t miss a stroll alongside the cobbled Shambles, which has usually been voted the ‘Finest Avenue in Britain.’
Lastly, head out onto the moors. Cease at Goathland practice station (Hogsmeade station within the Harry Potter motion pictures.)
Alternatively, stretch your legs with a hike on the Gap of Horcum, an enormous historical pure amphitheatre.
When 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 all the pieces in Snowdonia includes being open air, so be sure to deliver applicable clothes for the time of yr. In winter, you’re more likely to get rain, chilly and really presumably snow.
There are many nice roads with spectacular surroundings and the celebs 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:
- recommended routes round Wales
- finest locations to see in your journey
- campsites to remain at alongside the best way
- and different suggestions for touring Wales
The perfect winter highway journey routes for in style 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 below are our favorite highway journey concepts:
Cornwall is one in every 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 it is advisable to know earlier than you arrive!
Why is Cornwall top-of-the-line England highway journeys?
If you would like cute villages, unimaginable seashores and extra historical past than you possibly can shake a stick at, Cornwall is ideal. Though some locations do shut in winter, most of the predominant sights stay open all yr, 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 possibly can see on our Cornish highway journey itinerary, we advocate 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 checklist 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 improbable highway journey vacation spot. It’s nonetheless stuffed with cute villages, stunning hills and seashores and loads of cafes!
Highlights and finest locations to go to in Devon
My dad and mom reside right here, so I’ve spent quite a lot of time exploring the county. A few of my favorite embody:
- Dartmouth- top-of-the-line cities within the county. Rent a ship and discover the river.
- Paignton- the seashore 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 checklist 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 finest scenic drives and a visit alongside the Honister Go and Kirkstone Go are a must- though if it’s snowed closely they might be closed.
The Castlerigg stone circle can also be value a cease, as are the gorgeous cities of Keswick and Cockermouth.
Within the South Lakes, Grasmere (dwelling of William Wordsworth) is value visiting and in case you love Beatrix Potter, you possibly can go to her dwelling in Hawkshead. There’s additionally Beatrix Potter World in Bowness- on- Windermere.
Another highlights for winter highway journeys embody:
- The most important pure lake within the UK, Lake Windermere. Some boat excursions run all yr however wrap up warmly
- The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite.
- Aira Drive Waterfall
- The views at Derwentwater
Cotswolds – a magical UK winter highway journey
The Cotswolds is the biggest Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB) in England and Wales and it seems to be SPECTACULAR in winter.
Highlights & Finest locations to go to within the Cotswolds and surrounding space
- The gorgeous stone villages of the Cotswolds (Bourton-on-the-Water is one in every of my private favourites)
- go to the historic metropolis of Tub
- 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 pretty little cities and villages of the Cotswolds as you want to. Among the prettiest villages embody Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold, Decrease Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water and Citadel Combe.
- The historic metropolis of Tub is just a 30-minute drive from the village of Citadel Combe- effectively value a go to. Don’t miss visiting the Roman baths and having a cream tea within the tea rooms there.
- In case you have time, head East to Stonehenge. When you’re in a motorhome or camper, you possibly can camp in a single day at Stonehenge (That is the place we noticed essentially 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 possibly can discover Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest spire in all of Britain!
When you’re planning a UK highway journey, you would possibly discover these posts useful: