Time For A Road Trip
Outdoor Life is our off-duty adventure maxim. It’s the break away from our screens, immersed in the outdoors, with friends, with family, sharing experiences and excitement, making the most of what nature has to offer. It’s why we love the British summer. With daylight hours maximised, warmer temperatures and those beautiful blue sky days, there’s no better time to get outside and discover something new.
One of our favourite ways to explore our fair isle is a road trip. Whether you favour a bike, bus or a classic VW camper van, it’s the perfect blend of new sights, sounds and adventures, with evenings spent under the stars, plotting the journey around the campfire. With so much on our doorstep, it can be hard to know where to start.
The Atlantic Highway
For a route that lets you make the most of our hills and coastline alike, it’s no surprise the Atlantic Highway is so popular. AKA the A39, starting in Bridgewater, Somerset, it skirts along the North Devon coastline before tracking into Cornwall.
With the Quantock Hills AONB, Exmoor National Park and Hartland Heritage Coast all featuring on this fantastic journey, there is ample opportunity to leave the road and explore the wild windswept hills and rugged coastal paths. If you’re travelling as a group, with family or simply want to stretch the legs, a diversion to Croyde is highly recommended. A renowned surf spot, with fantastic beaches stretching north and south, it makes an excellent rendezvous point, perfected with the addition of a barbecue!
Campsites, B&Bs, luxury cottages… you’ll find a full spectrum of quality accommodation along the route. For that micro-festival feeling, get your friends and head to Hartland. There’s nothing quite like opening your tent door to be greeted with spectacular views, salty sea air and lush greens all around. From there, the South West Coast Path provides quality walking; if climbing is more your thing, there’s some fine bouldering problems to be found along the beach – just make sure to keep an eye on the tide.
As you leave Devon behind, the road heads inland. If you fancy some fabled beast spotting, split off the main route and head to Bodmin Moor. Myths aside, the highest and least populated part of Cornwall is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Away from the tourist hubbub, its rugged, wild, immersive landscape is ideal for some quiet contemplation.
For the final leg of the trip, aim for Padstow. Although not technically at the end of the route – which finishes with a merging into the A30 – this famous foodie destination has too much on offer to miss out. A working fishing port at the head of the Camel River, it’s the start and end point for the Camel Cycle Trail, an ideal location to try out some new water sports and has seven golden beaches close by. The Outdoor Life epitomised, it’s a fitting ending to this classic summer road trip.