With everything from rolling hills, valleys and craggy mountain passes to sodden heath, windswept moor and sparkling lakes, Great Britain sure packs a lot in. At Rough Guides, we usually advise against trying to see everything a location has to offer in one trip. Not this time.
But if you are going to see it all, you have to go about it the right way – and that means a good old-fashioned road trip. After all, Great Britain has a rich heritage in this respect – from England’s Snake Pass to Scotland’s North Coast 500 and Wales’ Black Mountain Pass. Here’s a new one for that venerable list.
And road trips don’t come better than this. Forza’s gorgeous open-world landscape knows no bounds, and you can explore every last inch of it in some of the finest vehicles ever designed. Summer’s day in the Cotswolds? It has to be an Aston Martin. Deepest winter in the Lake District? Hop in your Land Rover and take a spin (literally) on Derwent Water. Inviting springtime meadow abuzz with life? Put your foot down, rip up that hill and soar through the air in your supercar.
There’s no need to keep your cruising to the countryside, either: bringing high speed to the high street is the name of the game. Do this thing properly and you’ll soon be careering around the jinking, centuries-old streets of Edinburgh. But driving fast is no excuse for not soaking up the sights. Even as you smash out a handbrake turn to slide around that tractor, keep your eyes peeled for some of Great Britain’s most iconic landmarks. You may not have time to visit the gift shop or read the account in your Rough Guide of, say, Bamburgh Castle. But at least you can say you were there (for a second or two)!
So whack the radio on, kick back and get exploring with absolute, blissful freedom.
Things not to miss
The quaint little Lake District village of Ambleside is best appreciated by driving up into the surrounding fells and gazing upon it from on high – particularly in winter, when snow covers the rooftops down below.
2. Bamburgh Castle
Perhaps the most beautifully situated landmark around, historic Bamburgh Castle’s beachside location means you can go speeding across the sands after soaking up the medieval atmosphere of the site.
3. Broadway Mill
Strange as it sounds, sheep-bothering is one of Forza’s greatest pleasures, and the environs of Broadway Mill offers arguably the finest place to do it. Don’t worry about hurting the animals – just enjoy the thrill of the chase.
Broadway Mill on top of a snow-covered hill
4. Derwent Water
Beautiful year-round, Derwent Water really comes into its own during the winter – specifically when it’s frozen solid, and you can donut your way merrily across its entire three-mile length as deer sprint gaily by. Keep your eyes peeled, too, for the hidden island.
5. Derwent Reservoir
Do you dare take the plunge? The leap from the neo-Gothic dam that stretches across the reservoir is quite simply the most epic you’ll ever experience.
Derwent Reservoir in the sunshine
6. Whitewater Falls
The falls themselves may not be terribly spectacular but that’s not to say you can’t be: discover the danger sign and jump right over the waterfall for an epic stunt. Launch yourself high enough and you might get more than you bargained for…
Stop press: the most besieged place in all of Great Britain – and one of the most attacked in the world – is for sale! It doesn’t come cheap, but you will get arguably the most elegant racing car ever built thrown into the bargain: the Alfa Romeo P3, a 1934 Grand Prix beauty designed by none other than Vittorio Jano.
8. Glenfinnan Viaduct
This thing is simply immense – as you get closer, you just feel smaller and smaller and smaller. The mountainous area around the viaduct offers some down-and-dirty off-roading, daredevil cliff-jumping and the chance to pit yourself against none other than the legendary Flying Scotsman train!
9. Scott Monument
Incredibly enough – road safety be damned – the area around the Scott Monument is super popular for twisting-and-turning street and drag races. In fact, you’ll find some of the most challenging driving imaginable right here. But keep it quiet – it’s a bit of a secret.
10. Uffington White Horse
Whisper it, but sign up for the Windmill Cross Country race and you can do donuts on this prehistoric monument – morally questionable but very, very fun. If you’re feeling a little more chill, head up the hill opposite the White Horse for classic views of the English landscape.