Ask an enthusiast for the world’s best high-altitude driving roads and you’ll get the stock answers, from Italy’s Grande Strada Delle Dolomiti to France’s Route Des Grandes Alpes. All undeniable classics, but it’s worth taking a moment to consider the neck-craning routes a little closer to home.
Here are six of the UK’s highest driving roads, as chosen by Windrush’s classic car storage team.
Cairnwell Pass, Aviemore, Scotland (670m/2198ft)
To Scotland first, inevitably, and the highest mountain pass in Britain. You’ll approach on the A93, pass the Glenshee Ski Resort and feel the elevation suddenly spike in the final few kilometres. Drink in the sweeping melodrama of looming Cairnwell Mountain – but don’t let your guard down until you’ve negotiated the double hairpin aptly named the Devil’s Elbow.
Black Hill, North Pennines (609m/1998ft)
There are many other Black Hills in Britain, but this Pennines route towers over them all, slicing through a pleasingly barren landscape en route to the border of Cumbria and Northumberland. Windswept and primal, it’s the closest you can get to road-movie ambience on UK soil.
The Lecht, Aviemore, Scotland (635m/2083ft)
Whether or not you’re visiting the ski centre of the same name, you have to drive the Lecht ascent, notable for its minimalist beauty and a ferocious gradient that at times hits one-in-five. Be aware, this is a drive for the warmer months, when you’ll avoid the seasonal snow that often forces road closures.
Harthope Moss, North Pennines (627m/2057ft)
The joint-highest road pass in England, Harthope Moss will buffet you with high winds and pin you to your seat with a gradient percentage that nudges into double-digits. But this test of your engine’s mettle is all worth it for the head in the clouds panorama that awaits you at the summit.
Killhope Cross, North Pennines (627m/2057ft)
Tied for the title of England’s highest pass, Killhope Cross carves through open moorland and reminds you of its dizzying altitude with the snow poles that line the roadside. Soak up the Pennines landscape at its rough and tumble best, then end your journey with a coffee at The Hive café in Nenthead (one of England’s highest villages).
Bealach Na Ba, Applecross, Scotland (626m/2054ft)
Hard to pronounce, impossible to forget, this much-loved route offers perhaps the greatest low-to-high ascent on our list, climbing steadily from sea level to what genuinely feels like the top of the world. Not just steep but twisty too, Bealach Na Ba is a must-drive, offering a little piece of Alpine atmosphere without needing to pack a passport.
Then come back down to earth with Windrush classic car storage
After you’ve lived the high life, visit Windrush long term car storage for the solutions that will keep your cherished model fighting fit. We’re proud to offer twin facilities in London and the Cotswolds, where every vehicle is treated to the sector’s most exacting prestige car storage programme.
From our renowned twelve-step induction process to the tailored maintenance schedule that evolves during your stay, we’ll look after the big picture and fine details. And rest assured, the moment you’re itching to turn the key in the ignition again, we’ll be ready and waiting.
Turn to Windrush for prestige car storage that goes further. The Windrush team is ready to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org