Four of the Most Spectacular Coastal Drives
The UK has some of the most dramatic coastline in the world. See it from the comfort of the driver’s seat with our guide to the best sea-side routes. From the Scottish Highlands to the Northern Irish coast, here are our four favourites.
Assynt Peninsula, the Scottish Highlands
Buckle up for this rollicking drive along Scotland’s western coast. This single-track route traces the headland beyond Lochniver towards Kylesku. Here you will discover the country’s most ancient landscape: inland lochs cut through sandstone hills, bogs and rain-swept moorland. Take the B869 north from Lochniver. You might even pause for a dip at Clachtoll or Clashnessie beach.
Land’s End to St Ives, Cornwall
The journey from Land’s End to St Ives is the Kate Moss of drives. It is beyond beautiful. The road skirts the dramatic Cornish coastline with its gargantuan cliffs and coastal views. You’ll see dales turn into weathered fields dotted with ancient monuments and disused mines – and the occasional Celtic tomb. You’ll even be able to take in the quintessential seaside town, St Ives.
Belfast to Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The giant Finn McCool assembled the basalt columns at Giant’s Causeway in order to reach Scotland or at least so the tale goes. Those magnificent steps are our finish line on this relaxed route along Northern Ireland’s coast. Set off from Belfast, and head towards Lame on the A2. You’ll pass the Antrim Hills and the Mull of Kintyre, ending with the almost Martian natural wonder of McCool’s columns. One giant step, indeed.
Seaton Delaval to Lindisfarne, Northumberland
To watch the sun dipping down into the sea off Northumberland is to immediately fall for this rugged patch of British coastline. This route starts in Seaton Delaval, and skirts the 35-miles of shore which runs from Alnmouth to Lindisfarne, the site of the first Viking invasion in 793 AD. The causeway to the Holy Island is an extraordinary sight to behold. But beware at high tide it can become near-impassable.
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