Driving around a city can often bring anxiety as you navigate the busy streets. But it doesn’t need to be that way, and great city experiences are waiting for drivers who want to zip around town behind the wheel. Where are these places? We’ve put this guide together, detailing five great cities that you should definitely visit in your car on a road trip to remember.
The Hampshire city of Southampton is quieter than most, and it even features a port where you can hop on a ferry to the Isle of Wight. There are loads of parking options, making it easy to pull over and stop for a bite to eat. Plus, the roads are easy to navigate. If you’re looking for attractions once you’ve arrived, park the car at one of those many parking spots and spend some time visiting the art galleries, Westquay Shopping Centre and the Mayflower Theatre.
Brighton is another coastal city that makes for a great day trip if you live in London, thanks to its proximity to the capital. Once you arrive, it’s easy to navigate and has lots of great places to visit. Spend some time on the pier, soaking up the sun during the warmer months (not too warm, though. More on that in a bit). Or head to The Lanes and explore the boutique shops and local restaurants before filling up your stomach and heading back to London with ease. Just don’t drive here on the hottest days of the year, as there may even be queues to get into the city.
Over in Staffordshire is where you’ll find Stratford-upon-Avon, otherwise known as the home of William Shakespeare. Technically it’s a market town rather than a city, but it’s a fun drive nonetheless. You’ll notice the riverside from the moment you arrive, and the various parking facilities make it easy to park up and explore on foot, where you can admire the Tudor buildings and visit a tea room or two. Plus, the Cotswolds isn’t too far from Stratford upon Avon, which means you can detour through one of the most beautiful areas to drive in the UK.
Explore the famous university city with a day trip to Cambridge. This is another place where it’s easy to navigate in your car, and you don’t need to feel the cold sweat brought on by trying to drive around the North Circular in London. Admire pleasant scenery in Cambridge, whether it’s the many green spaces or the grand university itself. If you decide to carry on your adventure by foot, spend some time relaxing in one of the parks or try the many restaurants in the city. You could even swap the car for a boat as you sail along the river.
Birmingham is officially the safest city to drive in the UK, with factors like the number of cars on the roads, congestion levels, motoring costs and the quality of local public transport all taken into account. Once you’re in this Midlands city, enjoy the many local canals or head to the Jewellery Quarter, which has fast become a thriving hub. Birmingham’s central location means it’s also a great city from which to discover other parts of the UK.
Best cities to visit by car in the UK
There are many great places to drive in the UK, from rural locations to city hotspots. If you’re looking for the vibrancy of a city without all the hustle and bustle, head to any one of the destinations on our list and enjoy a driving adventure.