Road trip the rad roads of the UK

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

There are plenty of rad roads to explore with scenery, switchbacks and celebrities. This itinerary is 265 miles, and can be done in 4- to 9 nights.

Liverpool (1 day, 1 night)

Idolize The Beatles in Liverpool, the city where they met. Begin with The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the Fab Four, and wander the streets of Liverpool to see locations turned song lyrics. Not a Beatles groupie? Climb the bell tower of the largest cathedral in the U.K., go on an African safari, check out a WWII submarine and expand your horizons at the numerous museums. The Tate Liverpool showcases temporary and permanent collections of modern art, and the World Museum documents 6 billion years of Earth’s existence with an aquarium, planetarium, science showcases and anthropological displays. Soccer fans can join a Liverpool Football Club stadium tour.

Manchester (1 day, 1 night)

There is more to Manchester than the famous soccer team. The Gothic-style John Rylands Library resembles something from the set of a Harry Potter film, and the interactive media of the ultra abstract Imperial War Museum North places visitors on the battlefield. Local museums cover every subject from science, art, culture and fashion to transportation, police and the British Army.

Cat and Fiddle Run (A537) and Snake Road and Pass (A57)

Take the M60 south to the A34 and over to the A53 before hitting the A537 to start the next part of your trip, which is not for the faint of heart — or those who get carsick. To truly appreciate these notoriously dangerous highways, you need a convertible, sports car or motorcycle. Cat and Fiddle Run is 8 miles of the A537 with hairpin curves and unguarded precipices through peaceful Peak District National Park.

Continue zigzagging northeast through the park for 65 miles via A6, A623, A6187 and A6013/A57 to tackle the Snake Pass section of A57. Expect great scenery, but not so great gas mileage during several gradient changes totaling 1,000 vertical feet.

Blackpool (1-2 days, 1-2 nights)

It’s a smooth 70 miles on major motorways to Blackpool. Sandcastle Waterpark has the world’s longest indoor water coaster and a dozen slides. The seaside town also boasts a theme park with carnival games and celebrities galore at the Madame Tussauds wax museum.

Hadrian’s Wall (overnight to 5 nights)

Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive barrier built to protect Roman territory from Scottish clans. The amount of time spent here will depend on whether you’re up for an athletic challenge. Backpack the 84-mile-long wall border path between Browness-on-Solway and Wallsend, and earn stamps in your Hadrian’s Wall Path Passport along the way.

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