Sunday, February 25, 2024

10 EPIC UK Winter Highway Journeys You NEED to Drive (2023 version)

Planning a winter street 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 common places like Cornwall or the Lake District? We’ve coated one of the best routes that can assist you select your excellent UK winter street journey.

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Why do a winter street journey within the UK?

Most individuals assume which you could’t go winter motorhoming or get pleasure from a street journey throughout a UK winter. Nevertheless it’s really the most effective occasions to discover the British Isles- quieter roads, unbelievable surroundings and quick access to lots of the lovely Nationwide Parks we’ve got on our doorstep.

Even higher, many motorhome websites or camp grounds have decreased costs, as do many prime points of interest, so it actually is a good time to discover.

All it is advisable to do is be sure that your car is appropriate for winter street journeys, gown up warmly after which head out in your winter journey!

The most effective UK winter street journey routes you may’t miss

All of us have totally different priorities. That’s one of many issues I like a lot about street trips- the liberty to benefit from the belongings you like.

Even higher, the UK has LOADS to get pleasure from throughout winter, together with world-class Christmas markets, winter festivals, meals festivals, snow sports activities and incredible strolling over moors and hills.

We’ve chosen quite a lot of winter street journey concepts that can assist you select the proper choice for you. After all, you may decide and select or mix ones to create your excellent winter getaway.

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Suggestions for driving in winter

If you happen to’re planning a winter street journey, there’s not a lot distinction from planning a UK street journey at another time of the 12 months, however you do want to ensure of some issues.

  • Make sure that your car has been checked/ serviced and is able to coping with colder climate
  • If you happen to’re travelling in a van, be sure that your motorhome heating is working.
  • Make sure that your tyres are protected and appropriate for the roads. Even when there’s no snow, you may count on to drive in heavy rain in some unspecified time in the future in your journey
  • Verify windscreen wipers and screenwash ranges
  • Carry drink and snacks with you
  • If you happen to’re not planning a motorhome journey, make sure to 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 may see if a street turns into blocked or closed.

The most effective winter street journey to see the Northern Lights

UK winter street trip- Northern Lights over Duncansby Stacks, Scotland

Probably the greatest-kept secrets and techniques in northern UK is which you could typically see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from up there.

Certain, they’re not as constant as a few of the different finest locations in Europe to see the Northern Lights, but when they’re in your bucket listing, it’s time to move north throughout winter.

Scotland Northern Lights Winter Highway Journey

Whole Distance: 516 miles

Really helpful No. of Days: 4-5 days

Finest time to go to: December, January, February

For one of the best probability of seeing the Northern Lights in Scotland, you’ll need to go as far north as attainable. The additional north you may get in your winter street journey, the higher.

If you happen to’re driving a motorhome or campervan, chances are you’ll need to mix this with a NC500 motorhome tour which matches alongside the northern coast.

Cease at locations like Sango Sands or Dunnet Bay close to John o’Groats, however ideally you’ll need to get even additional north. Orkney is definitely accessible on a street journey, even should you simply go to for a few days.

The most effective time to see the Northern Lights is between October and March. If you happen to’re hoping to see them from Scotland or a few of the northern Isles, November to February is your finest wager. Simply be sure that to wrap up warmly- one of the best nights to see them are clear and chilly!

If you happen to’re in a motorhome or campervan, these are the North Coast 500 campsites open all 12 months.

If you happen to’d wish to discover extra , right here’s the one NC500 itinerary and route planner you want.

The most effective UK winter street journey concepts for Christmas Markets

Best Christmas Markets in the UK
Finest Christmas Markets within the UK

We’re fortunate that there’s a first rate Christmas Market in virtually each huge UK city or metropolis.

Quite 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 12 months close by for motorhome holidays or campervan excursions, or there are mattress and breakfasts in each place so that you can keep in your street journey.

Most UK Christmas Markets are open from final November, however some don’t open till mid-December, so make sure to verify earlier than you begin your winter street journey.

Three UK street journey routes to see Christmas Markets


  • Begin in Winchester (the Winchester Christmas Market is likely one of the finest in England) and luxuriate in exploring the town.
  • Then head to Salisbury, the place you’ll discover one other incredible Christmas Market
  • From right here, you may head to the Cotswolds, that are a few of the most picturesque villages within the UK, or you may go to Tub, which is wonderful at any time however particularly good at Christmas.


  • Begin on the Christmas Market in Birmingham, which is likely one of the greatest Christmas markets within the UK and the most important genuine German market outdoors of Austria or Germany.
  • From right here, proceed your England street journey and head to Stratford upon Avon, Warwick or Royal Leamington Spa for extra conventional Christmas celebrations, or head to Lincoln, residence of the oldest Christmas Market within the UK.


  • Edinburgh is likely one of the finest cities to go to round Christmas time- the markets listed below are legendary.
  • Though it is a excellent place to cease on a Scotland street journey, you may additionally use it because the northern level of your winter street journey route, and head south to Newcastle or Durham.
  • After exploring these fantastic cities, head to Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool for extra big festivities.

After all, you may simply spend a weekend street journey simply in London, exploring the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and all of the smaller Christmas Markets across the metropolis.

Finest Winter street journeys for mountain climbing and outdoor

The UK has some fabulous Nationwide Parks, that are open all 12 months. Throughout summer time months, they’ll get very crowded, however throughout winter you may typically have locations all to your self!

If you happen to’re residing in a van over winter, don’t overlook that many Nationwide Parks have in a single day parking restrictions, so make sure to comply with these. Right here’s tips on how to discover locations to remain in a single day.

Northern Eire

Northern Eire Winter Highway Journey

Whole Distance: 220 miles

Really helpful No. of Days: 2-3 days

Finest time to go to: November, December, January, February, March

The Causeway Coastal Route is likely one of the finest winter street journeys in Northern Eire. Highlights embrace:

  • Giants Causeway
  • Carrick-a-rede rope bridge
  • Dunluce Fort
  • Darkish Hedges
The Darkish Hedges- lovely all 12 months

Winter street journey route concept

  • Begin your Eire street journey by visiting the well-known Giants Causeway. It’s a couple of 90-minute drive from Belfast and attempt to get there as early as attainable.
  • Go to close by Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. In summer time the queues could be prolonged, however in winter you shouldn’t have to attend lengthy.
  • One other distinctive cease is the clifftop ruins of Dunluce Fort which hold above the ocean under.
  • Don’t miss the Darkish Hedges. This street options in Sport of Thrones and is likely one of the most lovely roads in Eire.  It was surprisingly badly signposted after we visited, so don’t miss it. If you happen to’re motorhoming in Eire you may’t drive down it- I’m not even certain 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 really do it in a day should you actually push. Don’t miss the Titanic museum in Belfast- it’s unbelievable.

Need to go to southern Eire? See concepts for one of the best winter street journeys in Europe

Yorkshire Moors

Yorkshire is the proper winter street journey vacation spot. The moors look magical coated in snow however there are nonetheless loads of locations open all 12 months.

Highlights of a Yorkshire street journey embrace:

  • Hardraw Power- 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
England road trip ideas and itinerary- england to Scotland road trip yorkshire
Ribblehead Viaduct- an ideal cease on a Yorkshire street journey

Yorkshire Highway Journey Itinerary concepts

Begin your street journey within the lovely Yorkshire Dales. Go to the eleventh century Skipton Fort 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 Power- 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 unbelievable 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 at some point! Don’t miss a stroll alongside the cobbled Shambles, which has typically been voted the ‘Finest Road 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.


If you happen to’re in search of a weekend UK street journey concept, head to one of many prettiest Nationwide Parks within the UK- Snowdonia in Wales.

Snowdonia in winter- epic winter road trip ideas
Snowdonia in winter- epic winter street journey concepts

Snowdonia is definitely a part of two of the Wales Manner driving routes– North and Cambrian and it’s simple to see why.

Just about all the things in Snowdonia entails being outdoor, so be sure you deliver acceptable clothes for the time of 12 months. In winter, you’re more likely to get rain, chilly and really probably snow.

There are many nice roads with spectacular surroundings and the celebs at evening are unreal, particularly on a crisp Winter evening.

Planning a visit to Wales?

Seize your FREE information to the Wales Manner street journey routes, together with:

  • advised 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 most effective winter street journey routes for common UK locations

Winter is the proper time to go to locations that are normally loopy busy.

Locations like Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District and the Cotswolds are a lot quieter and simpler to discover on the street journey.

Listed below are our favorite street journey concepts:


Cornwall is one among our favorite locations to street journey in England. I spent 2 years residing there while I used to be within the Navy, and have been again many occasions 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 the most effective England street journeys?

In order for you cute villages, unbelievable seashores and extra historical past than you may shake a stick at, Cornwall is ideal. Though some locations do shut in winter, lots of the principal points of interest stay open all 12 months, and the shortage of crowds makes it even higher.

How lengthy must you spend roadtripping Cornwall?

How lengthy is a bit of string!! However, as you may see on our Cornish street journey itinerary, we advocate 7-10 days minimal to see all one of the best locations.

The place are one of the best locations to go to in Cornwall on a street journey?

A few of my absolute favorite locations in Cornwall embrace:

For a full listing of one of the best locations to go to on a Cornwall street journey, go to our Cornwall Highway Journey Itinerary & Information


Even in Winter, Devon is a incredible street journey vacation spot. It’s nonetheless filled with cute villages, lovely hills and seashores and loads of cafes!

Highlights and finest locations to go to in Devon

My dad and mom dwell right here, so I’ve spent loads of time exploring the county. A few of my favorite embrace:

  • Dartmouth- the most effective cities within the county. Rent a ship and discover the river.
  • Paignton- the seaside with the pink sand
  • Exmouth with its lovely painted homes
  • Dartmoor
  • Saunton Sands
  • Fish and Chips from Squires in Braunton
  • Salcombe Harbour
  • Dulverton- head to the Copper Kettle tea room; you gained’t remorse it!

See the total listing of my favorite Devon street journey concepts right here.

Lake District

The Lake District Nationwide Park is an ideal UK winter street journey concept. It has a few of the worlds finest scenic drives and a visit alongside the Honister Move and Kirkstone Move are a must- though if it’s snowed closely they might be closed.

The Castlerigg stone circle can be value a cease, as are the gorgeous cities of Keswick and Cockermouth.

Within the South Lakes, Grasmere (residence of William Wordsworth) is value visiting and should you love Beatrix Potter, you may go to her residence in Hawkshead. There may be additionally Beatrix Potter World in Bowness- on- Windermere. 

Another highlights for winter street journeys embrace:

  • The biggest pure lake within the UK, Lake Windermere. Some boat excursions run all 12 months however wrap up warmly
  • The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite.
  • Aira Power Waterfall
  • The views at Derwentwater

Cotswolds – a magical UK winter street journey

Cotswolds in Winter

The Cotswolds is the most important Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence (AONB) in England and Wales and it appears SPECTACULAR in winter.

Highlights & Finest locations to go to within the Cotswolds and surrounding space

  • The attractive stone villages of the Cotswolds (Bourton-on-the-Water is one among 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 street journey itinerary

  • Ideally, spend 3-4 days exploring as many pretty little cities and villages of the Cotswolds as you want to. A number of the prettiest villages embrace Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold, Decrease Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water and Fort Combe.
  • The historic metropolis of Tub is simply a 30-minute drive from the village of Fort Combe- effectively value a go to. Don’t miss visiting the Roman baths and having a cream tea within the tea rooms there.
  • When you’ve got time, head East to Stonehenge. If you happen to’re in a motorhome or camper, you may camp in a single day at Stonehenge (That is the place we noticed essentially the most INCREDIBLE dawn we’ve EVER seen. (Significantly, watch the video. It’s breathtaking)
  • From Stonehenge, it’s solely a 20-minute drive into the medieval city of Salisbury, the place you may discover Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest spire in all of Britain!

If you happen to’re planning a UK street journey, you may discover these posts useful:

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