Britain has over 11,000 miles of coastline according to Ordinance Survey, the UK Government’s mapping agency. And since even Coton in the Elms, the country’s most inland location, is only 70 miles from the sea, an ocean view adventure is only a car-ride away.
This being Britain, you can’t be guaranteed sunshine on your coastal adventure, but in an XV, Forester or Outback with the go-anywhere capability of always-on Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Subaru’s famed reliability and the protection that comes from an advanced suite of safety features, you’ll be ready whatever the weather - or terrain - throws in your path. Here we pick our top five coastal adventures.
1. CAUSEWAY COASTAL ROUTE
Linking Belfast to Londonderry in County Antrim, the Causeway Coastal route winds its way over 120 beautiful miles in the far north of Northern Ireland. From sandy beaches and harbour villages to gushing waterfalls and mountain walks, this scenic, enjoyable drive offers it all as it skirts the Irish Sea and North Atlantic.
Nine routes loop off the main road – they’re smaller, more rugged drives, perfect for adventurous types going off-piste in a Subaru SUV. And if you just want to keep on driving, well, the Causeway Coastal Route leads on to the Wild Atlantic Way at Londonderry, and the Mourne Scenic Route from Belfast. Certainly, once you get a taste for roads as good as these, you won’t want to stop.
2. HUNSTANTON TO WAXHAM SANDS
England’s north Norfolk coast has all the ingredients for a great coastal adventure: fantastic roads, beautiful sandy beaches, sleepy towns and perfect pubs dotted along the way.
Our route stretches from Hunstanton and takes travellers mostly along the A149 to Waxham Sands, some 62 miles to the east. These are country roads, so allow yourself plenty of time, but there are no shortage of attractions to break up the journey.
Hunstanton is a traditional bustling seaside resort with plenty of facilities and fun for families, but more relaxing are the quieter and breathtakingly beautiful stop-offs along the way, including Wells-next-the-Sea and Brancaster, both with beaches stretching out into the far distance. The Victorian town of Cromer, meanwhile, is famous for its tasty crabs, and has a delightful pier complete with a theatre where you can watch variety shows.
3. ALNMOUTH TO BAMBURGH
This short drive starts in the pretty village of Alnmouth, and heads 20 miles north along the Northumberland coast to Bamburgh. There’s great scenery, beautiful walks, and a colourful history that includes Viking raids.
From Alnmouth, you head north on the B1339, and pass through Longhoughton, and Embleton, before picking up the B1340, taking you closest to the coast near Seahouses.
There are some hugely impressive heritage sites to take in along the way, including Dunstanburgh castle, once home to John of Gaunt, and the imposing Bamburgh castle. Breathtaking beaches make for an invigorating stroll, or just enjoy these flowing roads, fun in any car, but a real treat in a Subaru, with its low-mounted Boxer engine reducing the vehicle’s centre of gravity to give excellent balance and handling.
4. NORTH COAST 500
Covering 516 miles, the North Coast 500 is definitely one for committed road trippers, but it is an epic journey through some of Scotland’s most stunning coastal scenery.
The drive starts in the lively city of Inverness, flows west to idyllic Applecross, before heading north up Scotland’s rugged West Coast to Ullapool and along the North Coast to the tip of the UK mainland at John O’ Groats. The final stint takes you down the East Coast, back to Inverness.
It’s a road trip to remember, with towering mountains, beautiful lochs, dramatic ruins and the kind of deserted beaches most Brits buy a plane ticket to experience. And with topography like this, naturally the roads serve up driving nirvana in a car as balanced and surefooted as a Subaru SUV.
5. PEMBROKESHIRE COAST
Wales is home to some of the most amazing driving roads in the UK, and those through the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are particularly enjoyable. Starting in St Davids, briefly take the A487 before heading north through Rhodiad-y-Brenin on the B4583. Heading to Trefin, you’ll pass various lanes leading to quiet coves and stunning beaches, all just waiting to be explored; Abereiddi’s Blue Lagoon is a particular highlight. You might also take the short diversion from Trefin to Abercastle, a sheltered inlet popular with kayakers and famous for its Neolithic burial chamber. Or head out to the Strumble Head Lighthouse, with its clifftop vistas and migrating birds. From there you can push on to Newport and loop back in land, or retrace your tyre tracks and watch the sun set over the picturesque Whitesands Bay.
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