Driving Delights Part 1: The Top 5 UK road trips
1. Black Mountain Pass, south Wales
The army trains soldiers in survival techniques using the isolated, open expanses of the Black Mountain region but this wilderness also plays host to a stunning stretch of road. Pick up the A4069 at Llangadog and make your way towards Upper Brynamman. The roads will soon change from distinctly average to utterly hair-raising as the Tarmac challenges with sharp switchbacks and fast straights that perilously cling to the edges of mountains.
2. Moffat to Edinburgh, Scotland
The A701 heading towards Edinburgh begins with a nice scenic drive through the Scottish countryside but it's not long before the road drops, curves and slashes its way through the gorgeous local scenery. Progress can be made between villages and the open, well-sighted curves are the perfect opportunity to test the car's chassis and composure.
3. The Cheltenham Loop, Gloucestershire
There's the choice of two drives here; the sedate and pleasant A435 that meanders through the idyllic scenery of the Cotswolds or the A436 that provides a much faster, more challenging drive. Join it at Seven Springs before briefly using the A417 towards Cirencester. Look out for the B4070 signed for Slad and eventually Stroud. Now the route dips and dives through some of the most sublime Gloucestershire scenery before entering Stroud and picking up the A419 for a burn to Cirencester.
4. Oopnurthring, Peak District
The name is a mouthful and some of the roads are a handful but that shouldn't discourage you from taking on some of the most rewarding corners the UK has to offer. Look out for the village of Oughtibridge and head north in the direction of Stocksbridge. From here, the A628 leads to the A57 Snake Road, a stretch of blacktop that does exactly what it says on the tin- namely twists and turns until rubber is well and truly burned and adrenaline suitably pumped.
5. Hartside Pass, north Pennines
The road that runs from Penrith to Hexham is up there with some of the world's greatest drives. There's something about the way the A686 provides such a savage contradiction to the tedium of the M6 (that's only a few miles away). Slice through the countryside as you make your way towards Hexham but before you stop off for a scenic cup of something hot, there's a mammoth climb that takes you and your vehicle to 1,900ft above sea level. A challenge for even the most competent wheelsmith.
Do you know of a local road that is begging to be driven? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.