The Best Driving Routes in Devon and Cornwall
From the rugged scenery of Cornwall’s coastlines to the wilderness of Dartmoor and the rolling hills of Exmoor, the South West has so many breathtaking road trips on offer, the only problem is choosing which one to explore first!
So if you’ve polished your car, filled your tank, and chosen your soundtrack but just need guidance on where to head first, we’ve listed some of the best driving routes in Devon and Cornwall...
Whilst Dartmoor is famous for its dramatic scenery and wildlife, there is one location in the National Park that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year due to its unique views and atmosphere, and that’s Princetown, home to the renowned Dartmoor Prison. There are four main roads in and out of Princetown, each leading to either Moretonhamstead, Dartmeet, Yelverton, or Tavistock. Whichever route you choose, we can assure you that you and your passengers will be wowed by what you find...
On a sunny day, you can enjoy the many colours of Dartmoor’s rich landscape, whilst on gloomier days you can enjoy a different side to Dartmoor, an eerie, haunting landscape in which Princetown’s category C prison hides. Whilst these are both very different experiences, you can rest assured that whatever the weather, a drive across Dartmoor won’t be one to forget.
The Atlantic Highway, North Devon
Famously known as the ‘Atlantic Highway’, the A39 between the towns of Minehead and Barnstaple on the North Devon coastline offers drivers panoramic views of the Bristol Channel and breathtaking views of Exmoor National Park which is thriving with picnic spots and wildlife.
As you head west out of Minehead, you’ll climb up the winding hill towards Porlock before venturing into the rolling hills of Exmoor which boast plenty of undulating, sweeping roads to enjoy. You’ll then turn left at the picturesque seaside town of Lynton before dropping into Barnstaple. Make sure to enjoy the many cafes, picnic spots, and beauty spots along the way, and don’t forget to charge your camera!
Slapton Sands, South Devon
Lying in the heart of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Slapton Sands stands out as one of the most dramatic and picturesque landscapes in the country, making it the perfect spot for a scenic drive or ride.
What makes Slapton Sands so scenic? On top of the glistening waters of Start Bay and the rolling green hills of the South Hams, what makes this driving route so unique is the three-mile stretch of road that runs between the ocean and Slapton's nature reserve, pictured below. With water on either side of you, and nature as far as the eye can see, this route really takes your breath away. On top of the scenery is also the area's history, wide selection of pubs and restaurants, and the charming village of Slapton waiting to be explored!
The Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall
Part of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Roseland Peninsula in the south of Cornwall offers unforgettable landscapes and coastal scenery to enjoy from the seat of your car. Just a short drive from St Austell, the peninsula’s network of sweeping hills and winding lanes set the location for an exciting seaside adventure, with the greenery of Cornwall’s countryside to one side and the glistening blue of the English Channel to the other.
And if you fancy a break from the drive, make sure to visit one of the many natural and tourist attractions along the way such as Caerhays Castle, Malletis Cottage, Dodman point, and plenty more.
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
The mysterious and historic landscape of Bodmin Moor is enjoyed by millions of drivers each year as they cut through the famous moorland on their way to Cornwall, in fact, you may have already explored this scenic route without knowing!
But if you venture off the main A30 road and head into the rugged moor, you’ll be treated to an uninterrupted, rolling landscape of granite structures, hidden lakes, ancient forests, and plenty of wildlife. Along the way are plenty of car photography opportunities, as well as picnic spots, local pubs, and more.
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