From England to Scotland by car: discovering the most beautiful sites in Britain

Collaborative post by another author. The United Kingdom is full of beautiful sites from cityscapes to rugged mountains, open moorland to rocky peaks. You can drive through the scenic gems and walk for miles without seeing another living soul, except maybe a few sheep. Among the national parks and hidden gems you can find towns full of history. From the birth places of famous figures to the creation of favourite puddings, you never know quite what you are going to find. A road trip from England to Scotland with reveal the most intense and remarkable spots that will be enjoyed by everyone from tourists visiting from abroad or those exploring the country they grew up in.  

The biggest challenge can often be creating a route and sticking to it because there are so many beautiful places to see. So we have gathered a few great spots for you to check out on your drive, but you can always alter the path and visit other interesting locations. What’s most important is respecting the area’s integrity, having a map so you won’t get lost and taking a lot of pictures to remember the unique experience!

the rocky outcrops of Stanage Edge in the Peak District
Discover quaint villages, historical towns and stunning scenery when you travel Britain by car

Epping Forest 

If you’re starting your journey from London it's a long way to Scotland and it's worth taking a week or even two to ensure you can see as many of the beauties as possible on the way. Plan lots of stops between London and Scotland to ensure you have the best trip. 

One great stop just on the outskirts of London is Epping Forest, an ancient woodland with beech, birch, oak and hornbeam trees. Around 55,000 trees have been recorded to grow here, many are centuries old. It is thought to have been made a royal forest in the 12th century and might even have been used for hunting by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The only hunting you'll find in the forest these days is families on an adventure hunting the best sticks and conkers. High Beach is a great place to start as you can stop by the Visitors Centre for some trail maps. 

If you’re a lover of horror stories, the Epping Forest is known for many rumours of ghosts and other chilling stories. You can find many stories of spooky figures who have been reported over the years, but whether you believe in ghosts or not there are plenty of gruesome tails of murders and burials from East End Gangsters taking advantage of the close location to the capital. Why not plan to stay nearby for a while with Stansted parking, where you can safely leave your car until you are ready for the long trip ahead.  

Peak District 

A few hours later, you will reach England’s Peak District, one of the most beautiful places in the countryside. It's got many unique sites and you could easily spend a whole week exploring the Peak District so you might just want to choose one of the major sites to explore. You might choose Ladybower Reservoir which was created after reducing two villages to rubble. In extreme droughts conditions you can sometimes see the remains of these villages. If you fancy There’s also the market town of Bakewell, the birthplace of the Bakewell Tart. You can buy the original Bakewell pudding although it's a little different to what you might be used to. 

For amazing sights without along climb visit the amazing location is Stanage Edge. After a short ascent you can walk along a stony outcrop so stunning it even featured the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice. You’ll also be impressed by Thor’s Cave, a massive 60ft fall natural entranceway to a cave. 

As you prepare to head further North on your journey consider booking a Manchester airport parking lot if you’ve found accommodation near the city. 

Yorkshire Dales

If you take the M6 further North it will take you between two beautiful National Parks. To the west you have the Lake District with impressive mountains and large lakes and to the east you will find the Yorkshire Dales. For easier climbs and less tourists the Yorkshire Dales are worth exploring. You can find castles, pretty villages and open moorland.


Paisley is on the west side of the city of Glasgow and it's one of the biggest towns in Scotland. The town grew quickly in the industrial revolution as it became a hub of weaving with a large number of cotton and silk thread mills. The famous Paisley pattern was created here. The town's history goes back much further though and much is linked to Paisley Abbey. 

Paisley Abbey is an impressive building. The abbey was founded in the 12th Century as a Cluniac Monastery, although much of the original building was destroyed by fire in 1307 before being restored in the 14th Century.  The central tower collapsed in the 16th century destroying part of the Abbey and parts remained in ruins until the late 19th, early 20th century. King Robert II of Scotland is believed to have been born at the Abbey, our current King is descended from him.  

Paisley Abbey is still used as a place for worship, but visitors are welcome. You can see history with the burials here of important historical figures like the first High Steward of Scotland, Walter FitzAlan and King Robert II and III. As well as the tombs, the beautiful stained glass windows are worth seeing.

Cairngorms National Park 

Head further North and you could end your tour at the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the UK. It is home to four of the five highest mountains in the UK (missing only Ben Nevis and around 60 lochs (lakes). It is also home to 25% of the UK's threatened species, some of which can only be found in the Cairngorms.

There are many things you can do at the park. One of the most famous is taking the Snowroads Scenic Route, which is around 90 miles long and has impressive views of mountains and rugged glens. 

The crystal clear lochs are great for water sports, such as canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding, but if you want to get active there are plenty more options. You could try skiing from one of the 3 ski centres, go pony trekking from near Aviemore or enjoying mountain biking on one of the many well marked cycle trails. 

Like much of Scotland the Cairngorms has many castles including the royal residence of Balmoral or the ruins of Drumin Castle. You can't say you have been to Scotland without having visited a distillery and tried some whisky. The Speyside area has 4 distilleries with visitor's centres including Dalwhinne and Glenlivet. 

What do you think about these special gems? 

Both England and Scotland have a lot to offer with sights and experiences. Many tourist to the United Kingdom might choose just to visit London, but there is so much more to discover. From stunning views, to rich history and unique culture. 

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