Driving Through the Best of Britain
When you own a classic car, you don’t want to leave it in the garage all day, you want to get out there and drive it. Having said that, finding the perfect place to take your classic is far from easy, and the UK’s motoring landscape has changed dramatically since your car was born. With speed bumps every few hundred yards and potholes galore, driving around town can be damaging for your car, and it doesn’t always show it to its true potential. For this reason, when the weekend finally arrives, you need to ensure that you hit the open road and experience the true joys associated with driving a classic. Here are three of Britain’s best driving routes to whet your appetite:
If you believe that bigger is always better then the A82 is the perfect driving route for you. It’s the second longest primary A-road in Scotland, spanning from Loch Lomond to Loch Ness, a distance of 140 miles. All in all, the route takes in a whopping 10 lochs en route as well as Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles.
As well as the scenery, the route itself is also incredibly fun. The first 20 miles are incredibly pleasant as you pass Loch Lomond, but after this the route twists and narrows, meaning that you’ll have to rely heavily upon the handling of the vehicle. When you’ve spent all week restoring and maintaining your classic, this is the perfect way to test it out, and there’s no route that’s more fun. Just watch your wing mirrors, it can get quite narrow.
As you enter the highlands, you’re presented with the opportunity to open up the taps a bit and take in the view. This is proper classic car territory and it’s impossible not to love every second of your Highlands adventure. Of course, the water returns once more as you escape the mountain pass but, as you skip from loch to loch, you’ll have no time to miss it. The 140 miles will all fly by and there’s no doubt you’re getting value for your money, seeing the very best of what Scotland has to offer.
The Glens of Antrim
If size isn’t necessarily your thing and you’re all about the beauty then the A2 should definitely be your first port of call. The A82 may be beautiful in its own right, but the Glens of Antrim route is regularly voted as one of the most scenic driving routes in the world. A purely coastal route, the road passes each of the nine glens in the region and runs for 25 miles (an ideal length if you don’t think that your motor can stand a sustained hammering).
If you love the coast and want to see the sea while you drive then there’s nowhere better than the Glens of Antrim; it really is the perfect, quintessentially British costal drive. If you drive a British classic it’s like taking it back to its heritage. The route passes through Ballygalley, Glenarm, Carnlough and Waterfoot so there’s plenty of places to get out, grab a coffee and enjoy the view. Starting at the Black Arch Near Larne and continuing all the way through to the Red Arch near Cushendall, the route incorporates something for everyone.
Last year the A591 was voted as England’s best driving route. Stretching from Windermere to Keswick, the A591 is a major trunk road in Cumbria. Starting down near Sizergh Castle where the M6 meets the A590, it passes through the town of Kendal (the perfect place to pick up some Kendal mint cake for the journey ahead).
As you get into the Lake District, the road converts from a dual carriageway to a single one. This means that, as you pass Lake Windermere, you can take in the full beauty of one of the UK’s most scenic attractions.
From here, the road passes through Ambleside and Grasmere; the perfect place to stop for a spot of lunch. Finally, after this, the road reaches Keswick where you can rest and enjoy one of Britain’s quaintest, prettiest villages. If you’re not done when you reach here, you can go further, connecting to the A595. Having said that, by the time you get to Keswick, the sun will probably be setting and it’ll be time to head home.
So, there we have it, three of the UK’s very best driving routes. The perfect way to get the most out of your car, a driving day will highlight the best of any classic, making you remember exactly why you bought it in the first place.
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