Our Pick of The UK’s Best Autumn Staycation Drives

Over the last eighteen months, we’ve seen the rise and rise of the staycation — or what used to be called holidaying in your own country. In fact, one of the very few upsides of the pandemic has been thousands of Brits falling back in love with the UK.

Yes, the weather’s always dodgy and the roads are potholed nightmares, but we also have stunning scenic landscapes to match pretty much anywhere in the world.

And with that in mind, we’ve picked a few of our favourite driving areas to experience the best of Autumn in the UK. Wherever we could, we’ve pointed you to specialist sites with loads more information.

1. Snowdonia

Snowdonia’s lakes – unbeatable on a clear day.

Well, given that the W in WVS stands for Welsh, we admit our first pick might be a wee bit biased. But honestly, wherever you’re from, Snowdonia is something special and Autumn is a great time to visit. A particularly fine driving route takes you from Porth Madoc to Betws-y-Coed, taking in Lyn Dinas and Lyn Gwynant along the way. Ontheluce.com has an excellent guide for the trip and some stunning pics to show you what you can expect (weather permitting).

2. The New Forest

New Forest pony, blundering into a road near you.

The New Forest is one of England’s most ancient woodlands. It’s also one of the best places in the UK to enjoy Autumn foliage. This National Park is criss-crossed by roads, so it’s a good idea to research the attractions first. If you’re any sort of motoring enthusiast, you’ll want to stop at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

Just be aware that you may be sharing the road, at unpredictable intervals, with the New Forest’s varied wildlife (ranging from polecats to New Forest ponies). This isn’t the place for spirited driving, and there’s a speed limit of 40mph or less on all unfenced roads within the National Park.

3. The Lake District

No wonder the Lake District inspired a generation of poets.

OK, it’s an obvious choice, but the gobsmacking scenery of the Lakes can’t be denied. Like all of our picks, Autumn brings an irresistible richness to the vistas. As a driving area, you’re really spoiled for choice. However, here’s five you can’t go wrong with:

  • Whitehaven to Silloth
  • Keswick Loop, including Buttermere, Rosthwaite and Seatoller
  • The Kirkstone Pass (Windermere to Ullswater)
  • Ravenglass/Eksdale area

For further information, head on over to lakedistrictdrives.com.

4. Glencoe

Amazingly, you’ll be driving through this and your kids will still be on their phones.

The A82 through Glencoe is fabulous at any time of year. In Autumn, the gold and russet hues take hold and give the landscape a completely different character. Although the road is justifiably popular, by Autumn things have quietened down. In any case, there are plenty of laybys for photos and jumping off points for hikes. Nearby Rannoch Moor has a different, more brooding vibe that can be great in the Autumn.

For a detailed breakdown of the route, check out Boundless.co.uk‘s useful article.

5. The NC500

Coastline around Lochinver


The main road near Applecross, NC 500*.

*Not really.

Here’s the big one. As the name suggests, the NC500 is a roughly 500 mile trip around the North Coast of Scotland. If you’ve never been north of Skye or Inverness, you’re in for a treat. Quite apart from white beaches and foreboding castles, the landscape has its own type of desolate, wild beauty that you won’t find anywhere else on the mainland UK.

We know we’ve only scratched the surface of Autumnal driving destinations in the UK. Wherever you’re heading off, may the weather and traffic light gods smile kindly upon you. See you soon!

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