When it comes to adventure, few expeditions evoke the sense of excitement and freedom as much as a road trip. The endless possibilities that come with such a trip leave you totally in charge of both your own destiny, and the pace at which you reach it.
While the road trip scene has traditionally been dominated by tarmac heavyweights such as the Los Angeles - San Francisco highway or Route 62 in South Africa, there is plenty to enjoy within these islands. So, once you've finished browsing all those
new car offers
, here are five of the best roads on which to test out and show off your new wheels.
1. Macclesfield to Buxton (A537 / A54 / A53)
If a rollercoaster were to be based on a road, then this 12-mile stretch would provide the perfect blueprint. Scaling the heights one minute before plunging into the depths the next, this particular stretch is a haven for drivers and bikers alike.
The journey is picturesque throughout, with views over the Cheshire Plain a special highlight, culminating in an inspiring arrival into the Peak District. A challenging drive at the best of times, high winds, tight hairpins and even the occasional stray sheep demand maximum attention and skill as you negotiate the twists and turns on a road that you will never tire of.
2. Black Mountain pass (A4069)
Such are the aesthetics on offer throughout this 12-mile stretch of Welsh thoroughbred road; you'll want to drive it again and again and again. Running through the Black Mountains located on the west side of the Breacon Beacons National Park, the road has gained considerable notoriety and popularity since being featured on BBC's Top Gear when presenter Jeremy Clarkson travelled the stretch in an AMG SLK. While enjoying this incredible scenery, why not do your bit to protect it by doing so in a
3. The Atlantic Highway (A39)
A considerably longer trip, but one that's well worth taking the time to complete, the Atlantic Highway is like no other. Starting out at Bridgewater, head west and enjoy the watercolour landscapes of Somerset. The further you go, the better the scenery. Soon, one side will be greeted by some of the best coastline around while on the other looms wild hills and greenery. Keep going all the way to Newquay for a well-earned rest.
4. Ribblehead Run: Yorkshire
Back in the North and back among the hills, this particular journey may take a while to finish simply because the temptation to keep stopping and posing for pictures may prove too much to resist. The Ribblehead train line viaduct is especially tempting for amateur, and indeed professional, photographers while the snow-capped hills in winter, not to mention galloping lambs in spring, really are very picturesque. Be sure, however, to take care during the colder months as conditions can drift to the dangerous side of challenging.
5. Midlands Tick
A scenic journey around the outskirts of Nottingham and Leicester, this road has a little bit of everything. Tight and twisty stretches keep your steering prowess on red alert while lengthy straights entice generous use of the throttle. With the multi-faceted challenges on offer, this journey is best suited to the sort of car that does everything well, such as a
CR-Z. It bends and meanders for over 50 miles, so comfort is essential and while some old RAF bases dot the route to provide points of interest, this journey is unquestionably more about the driving experience itself, rather than the extra views.
A tarmac adventure can offer the kind of sights, treats and experiences that are simply not possible on other holidays. What's more, relatively untraveled, yet equally brilliant, road trips are available right on our collective doorstep.