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5 more great summer drives
If you fancy heading out to the countryside with the kids this summer, why not hop in your car and choose one of our breath taking scenic drives below, writes Leana Kell of motors.co.uk. Each drive is packed with interesting sites for the whole family and makes for a great day out or weekend break away.
Our choice of drives is guarantees a diverse choice of countryside and scenery which is arguably the best in the UK.
And the great thing about driving is you don’t have to worry about the British weather, but can take to the road at any time of the day while in the comfort of your motor. So why not take a look at motors.co.uk’s top five recommended drives:
York – a round trip from vale to moor: approximately 104 miles
The North Yorkshire Moors is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in Britain. Combining the rugged moorland with dramatic coast line, the moors offer a multitude of pretty villages and countryside. Beginning in York, take the A64 Malton Road towards Malton then Pickering. At Pickering, visit the castle or ride the famous old steam railway to Grosmont. From Pickering take the A169 and look for the turn off to Goathland, well known as ‘Heartbeat’ country. Follow the road through beautiful scenic countryside until you reach the village where the popular TV series was filmed. From Goathland follow the road back to Pickering and take the A170 towards Hutton-Le-Hole, a charming village where you can visit the Ryedale Folk Museum. From here bear left then right onto Gill Lane before arriving at the popular village of Rosedale, home of Rosedale Abbey and the remains of the Cisercian Priory. From Rosedale, head back onto the A170, then join the A169 at Malton before taking the A64 back into York.
Portrush to Belfast: approximately 75 miles
The drive from Portrush to Belfast along the Antrim coast is one of the most spectacular drives in Northern Ireland and not one to be missed. Starting in Portrush, the drive begins along the A2 heading to Bushmills which houses the first legal drinking distillery in the world. From Bushmills follow the signs for the Giant's Causeway, a World Heritage Site featuring an extraordinary natural rock formation which sits at the foot of steep cliffs, and stretches out into the sea. From the Giant's Causeway turn left as you exit, rejoin the A2 and then turn left towards Ballycastle, a lovely harbour town and a good place to take a break for lunch, or even stay overnight if time permits. From Ballycastle, the A2 goes all the way along the east coast to Larne, where you can either carry on into Belfast or take the inland route via Ballymena and take advantage of the nine Glens of Antrim, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Ring of Kerry: approximately 110 miles
One of the most beautiful and scenic drives within Ireland, the Ring of Kerry takes you along the west coast of Ireland through dramatic coastal scenery and the Killarney National Park. Start the drive in Killarney, a lively tourist town with plenty of accommodation and entertainment options. Car drivers are also recommended to drive the Ring of Kerry in a clockwise direction to avoid getting stuck behind tour coaches who drive anti-clockwise as the roads can be very narrow in places. Begin the drive by heading south from Killarney along the N71 towards Kenmare, passing Lough Leane and the 19th-century Muckross House and Muckross Abbey, with views over Muckross Lake. From Kenmare take the N70 to Sneem, a beautiful Kerry village then continue on to the market town of Caherdaniel. From here, the N70 takes you towards the south side of Dingle Bay, one of the most scenic stretches of the route. Complete the drive by stopping off at Glenbeigh and visiting the Kerry Bog Village Museum before continuing on through Killorglin and back to Killarney.
The Isle of Skye: approximately 70 miles
The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands, referred to as the Winged Island due to the shape of its northern end. The views from the island are spectacular and can be appreciated best when taking a long slow drive around it. Our drive starts in the centre of the island at Sligachan meaning ‘place of shells’. Take the A87 to Portree and from there take the A855 heading towards Staffin. En route look out for a parking area to the left which boasts spectacular views of the rock pinnacle named the ‘Old Man of Storr’. Continue on past Kilt Rock and Staffin looking out for a left turn which takes you the twisted landscape of Quirang. Return to the main road and continue around the northern tip of Skye until you come to Duntulm Castle which offers fantastic views across to the Isle of Harris. Drive on to Kilmuir where the Skye Museum of Life is located before arriving at Uig, a pretty harbor town. From Uig continue south for 15 miles until you return to Portree. Follow signs back to Sligachan.
Pembroke Coast National Park: approximately 100 miles
This is an easy drive which will take you to some of the best coastal scenery in Wales as well as visiting Pembroke Coast National Park. Starting in Cardigan on the west coast of Wales, head southwest to the smallest city in the UK known as St Davids, a favourite location of artists, travelers and pilgrims and surrounded by some of the best coastline in Europe. Then, turn east and follow the road through Neyland to the holiday resort of Tenby where you can visit the Tenby Museum and learn all about Tenby and view its permanent and rotating art exhibitions. Finish your drive in Carmarthen, which is said to be the oldest town in Wales and is sited on the River Towy. Carmarthen provides a good overnight stopping point with a good selection of hotels and restaurants.
For more great summer drives, here's extra great routes
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