Planning an exciting holiday abroad is always fun. And sure, jetting off to faraway lands and discovering new cultures is great and all, but why not stay put this year? With so much on offer across the United Kingdom, there are endless opportunities for a fun-filled staycation that doesn’t involve long-haul flights or airport queues.
From quaint seaside towns in Cornwall to breathtaking peaks in the Lake District, to Scotland’s rolling glens and stunning National Parks like Snowdonia – there’s no better time than now to explore all of these wonderful places right on your doorstep.
Don’t own a car? No problem – borrow one!
Whether it’s an action-packed road trip with friends or romantic getaway for two, you won’t be disappointed with what awaits you right here. But where should you go this year? Well, how about a road-trip along the South West 660 route?
Photo taken by Gary Holpin
What is the South West 660 route?
The South West 660 route is probably one of the most picturesque, Instagrammable road trip routes in all of the UK. Embark on this journey to experience 660 miles of gorgeous coastal views, as you make your way through Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, and Somerset.
You can start from any of the four counties and either explore all four or focus on just one or two. The route is separated into 12 unique sections to with plenty of stops and attractions along the way to help you plan your own perfect adventure.
From quaint villages and stunning coastal views, to cultural landmarks such as historic castles and gardens, there’s something for everyone along this journey of discovery. Whatever your taste and interests, you’ll find plenty of exciting sights to take in on this remarkable road trip.
What are the top attractions along the SouthWest 660?
There is plenty to do along the South West 660 route. You’ll find a picturesque place brimming with historical and cultural landmarks, as well as wildlife and hiking trails. Here are just a few of the top attractions you may wish to explore while you’re there.
For the history buffs, Pendennis Castle in Cornwall is an absolute must-see! Built by Henry VIII in the 1540s, it was originally intended to defend the south coast against invasion. Today, the castle stands proud over a gorgeous bay offering truly breathtaking views from a landmark steeped in history.
Lundy Island is a hidden gem with plenty of unique attractions to discover. Located just off the coast of North Devon, the island can be accessed via a ferry from Bideford or Ilfracombe.
Once on the island, you can explore its unspoiled beauty, discovering its diverse wildlife and stunning scenes that capture breathtaking views of the coastline. Lundy Island is also home to some fascinating historical sites including Bronze Age settlements, a Georgian lighthouse, and a Victorian church.
Located in the heart of beautiful Dorset, Furleigh Estate is a must-see destination for any wine lover on the SW 660. The vineyard offers gorgeous views of the rolling countryside as far as the eye can see, with breathtaking views of the South West Coastline.
A perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Furleigh Estate is a tranquil sanctuary for those looking to unwind. Here you can take a tour of the modern winery and learn about their processes or simply enjoy a glass of wine! With tastings available on site, you can truly immerse yourself in all things grape-related before heading home with some delicious wines to enjoy.
What’s the accommodation like?
There are plenty of options to suit every budget along the South West 660! From picturesque inns, rustic pubs and charming village B&Bs to luxurious spa hotels, you’re sure to find the perfect place for a restful night’s sleep.
If you use the official South West 660 route website, you’ll be able to find accommodation along the route, along with information about whether they offer EV charging ports.
For fans of Poldark, the historical drama set in Cornwall, the Rashleigh Arms in Charlestown is a great place to spend the night. The village of Charlestown is where much of the series was filmed.
How long does it take to complete the route?
The SW660 should be enjoyed slowly and deliberately. There’s no sense rushing the process. The official South West 660 route website advises that you should plan for at least two weeks if you want to complete the full route. This works out to about 50 miles of driving per day.
Of course, you don’t have to do the full route in one go. In fact – given the landscape and cream-teas, why rush?!
What’s the best mode of transport to use?
Whether you plan to drive your fuel-efficient Fiat 500 or your nice green Leaf, just bear in mind that there are lots of narrow, winding, hilly roads that you’ll need to navigate to reach some of the hidden gems along the route.
Electric Vehicles are encouraged, and some councils even offer free charging points, making it easier to get around.
The team at SW660 are working hard to develop other transport options, including ways to navigate the route on public transport (yep – buses and trains), and cycling options too.
But, be warned – large caravans and motorhomes may struggle with sections of the route! So, if you’re planning a caravan-style holiday, you’ll definitely need to do some planning ahead.
Photo taken by Gary Holpin
But wait, who’s going to be doing all the driving?
Road trips with all your friends are brilliant; you get to put together fun playlists, take random detours, sing along to cringey songs, and eat snacks. But, somebody has to do the driving. And it’s usually the person with the biggest car.
Sure, you’ll all pitch in to cover petrol and running costs. You might even buy the designated driver a nice meal to say thanks. But, the fact remains that there’s usually one person stuck doing all the driving.
Now, is that fair? No, not really.
Zixty’s temporary car insurance is here to save the day
And that’s where Zixty’s temporary car insurance comes in. It’s a super flexible policy that can last anywhere from an hour to a few weeks. It lets you drive other people’s cars, as long as they give you permission first (duh).
Basically, if your friend is nice enough to offer their comfy car for the road trip, you could offer to get insured and take turns driving. That means they get to spend some time admiring the views with the windows rolled down too. Fair’s fair, right?