Take Your Car on a English Site Seeing Break
Take your car out of the city this weekend and discover the English countryside. We have found five sites that are rich in history and natural beauty. Visit the Cheddar Man site, stand on top of the highest point in South East England or visit the land of witches. So full your tank with petrol and leave it all behind as you discover the English countryside.
DISCOVER HIDDEN COVEHITHE BEACH
Tucked away on the Suffolk Coastline is Covehithe beach. Two hours outside London, four miles off the A12, this beach is cherished by locals who come for the atmospheric, almost spooky, feel. Park at the top of the (fast-eroding) cliffs near the Roman ruins of St. Andrew's Church and follow the bracken-lined foothpath down to the sand. Invigorate yourself for the drive home with a super-quick dip in the bracing North Sea.
FOLLOW THE WITCHES IN FOREST OF BOWLAND
Just 60 minutes or so from Manchester is the car, Lancashire's Witches Driving Trail is fascinating and goosebump-inducing. From Pendle Heritage Centre, drive through the barren moorlands of the Forest of Bowland (and area of outstanding natural beauty) until you reach Lancaster Castle, where so-called witches were imprisoned and tried before being hanged on the wild and unspeakably bleak moors in 1612.
HIKE FROM OCKLEY TO LEITH HILL
Park at Ockley's cricket pavilion, in Surrey, for a picturesque seven mile walk through meadows, rhododendron woods and crumbling cottages, culminating in breathtaking views from the top of the tower at Leith Hill, (which, at 1,029ft above sea level, is the highest point in South East England). Try and spot the English Channel, name all 14 surrounding counties and perhaps even see Big Ben, some 28 miles away.
WIND THROUGH CHEDDAR GORGE
Driving through this craggy limestone gorge, south-west of Bristol, feels like you're cleaving through the centre of the earth. Formed by meltwater floods over the last 1.2 million years, it's a sequence of sheer rock faces, grassy slopes and rocky outcrops. Discover stalactites, stalagmites and visit the spot where Cheddar Man, Britain's oldest complete human skeleton (estimated to be over 9,000 years old), was found in 1903.
BED DOWN IN EAGLE BRAE
Reached by a series of winding mountain passes just 40 minutes from Inverness, Eagle Brae's beautiful hand-crafted log cabins are remote enough to feel like you're really getting away from it all. Keep an eye out for deer and resident pine martins who won't think twice about pinching any food you've left outside, and for a day trip drive the three miles into the countryside to see golden eagle pairs nesting in the surrounding eyries.