6 family road trips on the UK’s loveliest coastal routesSponsored
Planning family road trips this summer? Factor Kwells* into your plans because, from days out to longer holidays, Kwells has been helping to prevent and control travel sickness since 1949 and – as all parents know – making sure everyone enjoys the journey is just as important as picking the perfect route. And speaking of routes, we’ve taken a look at the 20,000 mile round UK coastline and come up with six of the best for family road trips this year.
1. Plymouth to Exeter, Devon – 90 miles
Family road trips from Plymouth should always start with great views of the seashore from Smeaton’s Tower (the city’s 18th century lighthouse). Follow the A379 to Kingsbridge and the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – detouring to the lovely stretches of sand at Thurlestone, Hope Cove and Salcombe. Skirting the Kingsbridge Estuary, continue to the seaside nature reserve at Slapton. At Dartmouth catch the car ferry across the River Dart to Kingswear. If you’re lucky, you might see porpoises in the bay from Berry Head National Nature Reserve. Then it’s on to try colourful seaside traditions on the ‘English Riviera’: a 22-mile stretch of coast which includes the resorts of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham; all known for their mild, subtropical microclimate. Wind up the family road trip in Exeter; allowing time to explore the Gothic cathedral and underground passages, as well as Exeter’s picturesque quayside and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
Find out more about South Devon for family road trips
2. Newquay to Bude, Cornwall – 80 miles
Family road trips in Cornwall have to be punctuated with beautiful beaches. So take the scenic route north-east from Newquay along the stretch of rugged coast around Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth. Detour from the B3276 to discover Trevose Head and the seven bays – Porthcothan, Treyarnon, Constantine, Booby’s, Mother Ivey’s, Harlyn and Trevone – before arriving in the small fishing village of Padstow. Skirt the Camel Estuary via Wadebridge, then continue through Polzeath and dip into the villages of Port Quin and Port Isaac. Beyond the clifftop ruins of Tintagel Castle – said to be the birthplace of King Arthur – the B3263 between Boscastle and Bude is one of most scenic stretches of coast on any family road trip. Here cliffs tower 223m above sea level and, before arriving in Bude, you get remarkable sea views at Widemouth Bay.
Find out more about Cornwall for family road trips
3. Spurn Point to Whitby, North Yorkshire – 120 miles
This is one of the fun family road trips which takes you east from Hull with a detour to Spurn: a long spit of land where lighthouses have guarded the mouth of the River Humber – an area of dangerous currents and treacherous sandbanks – for six centuries. From Spurn, head north to the chalk cliffs of Flamborough and follow the 45-mile Lighthouse Trail along the A165. This route takes in Withernsea and Flamborough Head and lets kids see the oldest surviving light tower in England. Bridlington has an RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs, where you can pack the family road trip with sightings of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and a huge colony of gannets. The sea views are superb here too and there are also plenty of rockpools to explore. Continue north to the lively resorts of Filey, Scarborough and Whitby. Then skirt the coastal edge of North York Moors National Park to Redcar where you can turn around for a return journey through the pretty villages north of York, before arriving back in Hull.
Find out more about Yorkshire for family road trips
4. Hunstanton to Waxham Sands, Norfolk – 65 miles
Start your family road trip at the Norfolk resort of Hunstanton – known locally as ‘sunny Hunny’ – then head east along the twisting A149 coast road. Very soon, you’ll pass through flower-decked coastal villages with flint and chalk cottages overlooking expanses of saltmarsh, mudflats and creeks to the North Sea beyond. Kids should keep their eyes peeled as this area’s famous for seabirds, including avocets and marsh harriers. Stop in the jolly bucket-and-spade town of Wells-next-the-Sea for the chance to try ‘gillying’ (catching spiny crabs on baited line). Then saunter along the quayside at Blakeney, one of the region’s prettiest towns. Or tuck into fish and chips on the pier at Cromer. Wrap up your family road trip at the peaceful Sea Palling or neighbouring Waxham beaches on Norfolk’s easternmost coast, before looping back to Norwich through Broads National Park.
Find out more about Norfolk for family road trips
5. North Coast 500 from Inverness, Scotland – 500 miles
Discover the isolated Applecross Peninsula in Wester Ross on the North Coast 500 route – one of Scotland’s loveliest family road trips which weaves around a craggy coastline of deserted white sand beaches, rocky headlands and ruined castles, on the west coast. Loop east from Durness towards John O’Groats on the UK mainland’s northernmost tip. The route then turns south, past pretty fishing villages and peaceful seaside towns. Crossing the scenic Firths of Dornoch, Cromarty and Moray on the final leg, this family road trip ends where it started: at Inverness Castle, with its imposing sandstone walls high above the River Ness.
Find out more about Scotland for family road trips
6. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales – 134 miles
For one of the most relaxing family road trips, drive the Pembrokeshire Coast in south-west Wales, starting and ending in Fishguard. Head west along the A487 and spend some time exploring St David’s Head and the old port of Solva. Then take an inland diversion to see the 12th-century castle at Haverfordwest. Make sure this family road trip allows time for a day on Manorbier’s sandy beach and a walk along the coastal path to admire the sensational sea views between Saundersfoot and Pendine. Cut back inland on the A40 past Carmarthen – said to be the oldest town in Wales – for the return leg which takes you past Cardigan with its ancient bridge across the River Teifi,
Find out more about Wales for family road trips
Make sure everyone enjoys family road trips this summer by finding out more about Kwells*. Because, from days out to longer holidays, Kwells has been helping to prevent and control travel sickness since 1949.
*Kwells 300 microgram tablets. For the prevention of travel sickness, suitable for adults and children aged 10+. Contains Hyoscine Hydrobromide 300 microgram. Kwells Kids 150 microgram tablets. For the prevention of travel sickness, suitable for children aged 4+. Contains Hyoscine Hydrobromide 150 microgram. Always read the label.