The autumn and winter is an excellent time to explore the natural beauty of the UK. Car travel comes into its own, allowing you to see the sights but then hop back into a dry and cosy vehicle. We have devised an itinerary that takes in many different aspects of our charming country, from fine cities to spectacular landscapes. Our UK road trip idea starts at Bristol, one of England’s eight core cities, and ends at Rhossili Bay, voted the 10th best beach in the world on TripAdvisor. The 100 mile route can be driven in just a few hours, but would be better suited to a multi-day trip so that you can enjoy the wealth of attractions on route. The route can be easily covered using public transport or by bike.
Bristol and the Severn Bridge
If you are looking for simple UK road trip ideas, try this short and straightforward run along the M4 through South Wales. But before starting your journey and jumping onto the motorway, why not take a step back in time with Bristol Museum’s exhibition of the Roman Empire? The Roman Empire Power & People is a unique touring exhibition which brings together captivating objects from a variety of British museums, all displayed in one exhibit which has never been done before.
After leaving the Roman Empire, join the M4 towards South Wales, taking care to avoid the rush hour traffic. The M4 motorway spans the Severn estuary on the Second Severn Crossing, or you can detour onto the M48 across the original Severn Bridge. The latter is a classic suspension bridge that took five years to construct and has been Grade I listed since 26th of November 1999.
Cardiff and the Brecon Beacons
The M4 skirts Cardiff on your left, with Caerphilly and its castle just a few miles away over the hills on your right. The Welsh capital and the surrounding area are rich in sights, so come off the motorway and spend some time here if you can.
For a much more adventurous detour, climb up through the Taff valley past Merthyr Tydfil to the mountains of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Enjoy the great outdoors with the help of our Brecon Beacons map books, East and West. The A465 or A4067 roads carry you back down to the coast, rejoining the route at Swansea.
However, if you only have time for a quick pit stop near Cardiff then one option is to come off at junction 34, and just beyond Hensol you will reach Llanerch Vineyard. Llanerch is a working vineyard and is a great spot to enjoy the Glamorganshire countryside. If it is not raining then it is well worth grabbing a table outside, so you can admire the beautiful vineyards as you enjoy your meal.
Swansea and Gower
Hop back on the M4 west along one of the more scenic stretches of UK motorway. Turn off at the hilly city of Swansea, which is enjoying international attention due to the success of its football team. Follow the bay round to the small seaside resort of The Mumbles. Star-spotters might fancy a visit to the Hancock pub where Catherine Zeta-Jones is known to have a drink when visiting the area.
It is back in the car once more for our final leg of this road trip along the Gower peninsula. Take the A4118 and then the B4247 to Rhossili, which should take around 30 minutes. On arrival, use the designated car park which is situated 400m from the beach. The walk from here to Rhossili is picturesque and provides some stunning views.
Our Wales A-Z Road Map is an ideal tool for planning your road trip ideas in Wales and the Welsh borders.
Leave us a comment with your own recommendations and UK road trip ideas.