There are a handful of characteristics that typically define a good driving route: a few hairpin bends, steep declines that have you hovering over the brakes all the way down, and stunning vistas all around. But, aside from spending hours poring over Google Street View, how to go about finding them? Thankfully, Alfa Romeo has partnered with Getty Images to do the hard work, determining the best road trips in the UK and beyond by researching each route’s distinguished features through imagery on its platform. Here, then, are six routes guaranteed for driving enjoyment.
Applecross Pass in Strathcarron, Scotland
Chances are you’ve already seen Applecross Pass (or Bealach na Bà) in photos, such is its reputation as one of the most impressive roads in Scotland. Forming part of the North Coast 500 driving route, it also has the steepest ascent of any road climb in the UK, so be sure to pause at the top and take in the spectacular views over the mountains and across to the Isles of Skye and Raasay.
Military Road (A3055), Isle of Wight
The southern portion of the road that circles the Isle of Wight, known locally as Military Road, has breathtaking vistas over the English Channel that are best enjoyed in summertime. In fact, the A3055 is so close to the cliffs that it is under threat from coastal erosion – as good an excuse as any to plan your trip soon.
Stelvio Pass, Italy
Winding through a mountainside near Italy’s border with Switzerland, the Stelvio Pass is on many a petrolhead’s bucket list, (and cyclists too, if they’re really brave). There are 48 hairpin turns along the route, so if you aren’t an expert in cornering at the start, then you certainly will be by the end.
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Australia’s Great Ocean Road is, in fact, a war memorial, and the world’s largest one. Dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, it stretches 150 miles between Torquay and Allansford in the southeast of the country and is dotted with outstanding landmarks, in particular coastal rock formations, throughout. Stop overnight in one of the six guest suites at hotel and organic farm, Brae.
Amalfi Coast (Strada Statale 163), Italy
The picturesque road between Vietri sul Mare and Positano was built by the Romans, and, littered with cafés, seaside homes and hole-in-the-wall bars nearby, is the quintessential Mediterranean experience.
A3078 from Trewithian, Truro, to St Mawes on the Cornish coast, England
Think of the A3078 as the Amalfi Coast’s UK counterpart, offering its own definitive experience of the English countryside and coast. Travel through tunnels of greenery and expect vast views of rolling hills before you reach the sweet cottages, cafés and galleries that line the St Mawes waterfront.
By Amy Miles. Amy is the motoring editor of Brummell magazine, and writes for Hairpin, the online motorcycle magazine for women
Pictures by Alfa Romeo/Getty