The Best and Worst Regions for Road Trips in the UK
Planning your next road trip adventure, but don’t know where to start? This report ranks each of the UK’s regions by their road trip suitability, covering everything from traffic and road safety to the number of campsites and five-star attractions.
Are you thinking of a day drive, week-long trip, or month-long adventure? For however long you plan your road trip, temporary car insurance is a must, as are snacks, good company, and a smashing playlist.
UK regions ranked for road trip suitability
1 – South West – Road Trip Score: 7.44/10
The best UK region for road trips is the South West, with a road trip score of 7.44. The South West has 6 of the most visited attractions (5 paid and 1 free) in the UK and offers 2,833 5-star-rated attractions on Tripadvisor. With over 905 campsites to choose from, there are plenty of places to visit and routes to tackle in the South West. The South West can get a little congested, with 3.02 million vehicle miles driven every square mile.
2 – Scotland – Road Trip Score: 7/10
Our runner-up is Scotland, with a combined road trip score of 7. Despite not offering any most-visited attractions, Scotland offers an incredible 3,616 5-star-rated attractions for you to choose from. There are also 14 known road trips available owing to Scotland’s popularity when it comes to scenic road trips. Scotland also offers some of the safest roads on our list, with an average of 0.13 annual accidents per square mile.
3 – Wales: Road Trip Score – 6.33/10
Third on our list of best UK regions for road trips is Wales. With 5 known road trips, 1,476 5-star attractions, and 521 campsites, Wales offers an excellent choice when it comes to planning your next road trip. The roads in Wales are also very safe, with just 0.36 yearly accidents every square mile. Traffic is also low, with 1.91 million miles driven every square mile, and no cities ranking in the top 10 most congested cities in the UK.
4 – East of England: Road Trip Score – 5.56/10
The East of England ranks fourth, with a road trip score of 5.56. The East of England’s roads are middle of the table when it comes to traffic and accidents, which is neither good nor bad, but this region is not home to any of the most congested cities in the UK. The East of England also has a decent selection of things to do and places to stay, with 628 5-star-rated attractions and 266 campsites, making the East of England a solid choice for your next road trip.
5 – South East: Road Trip Score- 4.89/10
The South East ranks fifth for the best region to plan a road trip. The South East offers an excellent selection of things to do with over 3,000 5-star attractions and is home to 5 of the most popular attractions in the UK. There are almost 400 campsites throughout the South East, so you will always find somewhere to rest up and restock. The road travel is a negative, however, as the South East sees both the second-highest vehicle miles and the number of road accidents per square mile on our list.
6 – North West: Road Trip Score – 4.67/10
The North West hits a solid position in the middle of this list, ranking 6th. The North West offers a massive range of things to do, including 2,673 5-star attractions and 5 of the most visited attractions in the UK. Where the North West falls short for road trip lovers in the traffic. At almost 6 million vehicle miles driven per square mile, the North West has the third-highest traffic on our list behind London and the South East.
7 – East Midlands: Road Trip Score – 4.33/10
In seventh place is the East Midlands with a road trip score of 4.33. Leicester is one of the most congested cities in the UK and is expected to add 30% to your journey time due to traffic. Each year, there are 1.09 accidents every square mile and almost 4 million miles driven. Despite this, the East Midlands offers a huge range of 5-star attractions and a decent selection of campsites.
8 – North East: Road Trip Score- 4.22 /10
The North East achieves a road trip score of 4.22, making it the 8th best region for road trips. There is one known road trip following the Scotland-England border, and the roads in the North East are some of the safest seeing only 0.86 annual accidents per square mile. There are, however, only 795 5-star attractions to visit, one of the lowest on our list, and none of the most visited UK attractions either.
9 – Yorkshire and The Humber: Road Trip Score- 4.11/10
Yorkshire and the Humber rank 9th with a road trip score of 4.11. There is a large amount of traffic in Yorkshire, with 4.27 million miles driven for every square mile of area, and Hull is the fourth most congested city in the UK. Surprisingly, there are no known road trips in Yorkshire and The Humber, however, there are 1,765 5-star attractions and 3 of the most visited free attractions in the UK, the second-highest on our list behind London.
10 – London: Road Trip Score – 3.33/10
London ranks close to last on our list with a road trip score of 3.33. While being home to the highest number of most visited paid and free attractions, 16 in total, and over 2,000 5-star attractions, London is home to the most congested and most accident-prone roads on our list. There are 30.48 million vehicle miles driven for every square mile of London, and an average of 34.62 accidents. No wonder there are no known road trips in the UK’s capital.
11 – West Midlands: Road Trip Score – 2.22/10
In last place, with a road trip score of 2.22, is the West Midlands. The West Midlands have a lower number of options when it comes to campsites, 5-star attractions, and known road trips, with some of the lowest numbers of these factors on our list. Traffic is also pretty high, with over 5 million vehicle miles driven for every square mile of land area. Coventry is also one of the top ten most congested cities in the UK, expected to add 29% to your travel time.
Accidents by region were recorded from data.gov.uk. Road traffic statistics (vehicle miles) were taken from gov.uk. The number of campsites for each region was taken from campsites.co.uk and the number of 5-star attractions and known road trips was recorded from TripAdvisor. The most visited paid and free attractions were recorded from visitbritain.org. The most congested cities in the UK were taken from fuelgenie.co.uk.
Each area was given a normalised score out of ten for each of the above factors, before an average across each of these scores was taken.