From coastal roads to rolling hills, a lesser discussed fact about the UK is that it is home to some of the most stunning driving routes in the world. With more and more people now looking to travel domestically for a quick weekend mini-break or ‘staycation’, the popularity of the UK’s scenic drives looks set to take off.
Growing in tandem with this is an interest in Electric Vehicles (EV). Recent years have seen an even larger push towards cleaner energy, and now with the expansion of the ULEZ, drivers are flocking to EVs at a higher rate than ever before. With all this in mind, a future where drivers are choosing to embark on the most picturesque of UK driving routes in their very own EV seems all the more likely. Of course, driving an EV doesn’t come without its own set of considerations. Whilst you may not have to worry about emissions and the price of fuel, something all EV owners will need to keep in mind is charging. When driving along some of the UK’s most peaceful, and often historic, routes where can you charge your electric vehicle?
Driving & Charging Electric Vehicles in the UK
Official government figures from the start of 2021 put over 150,000 zero-emission Battery Electric Vehicles on the UK’s roads - an increase of almost 100,000 since 2019. Plug-in Hybrid and Range-Extended Electric Vehicles have also seen a significant increase, with government figures placing the number registered at around 185,000.
An increase in electric vehicles naturally comes an increase in the need for EV charging points. In particular, this uptick in EV usage has meant stops along popular driving routes have had to accommodate the inclusion of charge points. So, when driving along the iconic route of the North Coast 500 or through the Pendle Witch Trail, where can an EV be parked up to charge?
To find out just that, we have created a useful map that shows 22 of the best scenic driving routes around the country, and the points you can charge your electric vehicle on your next trip.
Atlantic Highway, South West
Stretching from Bridgewater to Truro, this 156 mile journey takes drivers on a tour through the iconic counties of the South Peninsula. For EV drivers thinking about taking the trip, there are also 20 charging points available at various stops along the route.
The Lake District (Kendal to Grasmere)
At 18 miles end to end, Kendal to Grasmere is one of the shortest routes on the list but EV drivers will still be happy to know that they’ll have plenty of chances to charge their car at one of the 6 available charge points.
North Coast 500, Scotland
Considered the ultimate North Coast road trip, the North Coast 500 totals around 516 miles start to finish. Luckily for EV drivers, there are a few places to charge en route with 19 charge points available for use along the way.
Pendle Witch Trail, Lancashire, North West
From Lancaster to Barrowford, this 35 mile journey takes drivers through historic hamlets and farmlands that played a role in the eponymous witch trials. Though not considered the longest journey, electric vehicle drivers will still have the option to charge up at one of the seven available points.
The Devon Coast, South West
Popular with motorcyclists due to the number of exhilarating road bends, the route from Topsham to Torcross along the Devon coast takes you from coastal towns to scenic countryside. At 45 miles long, this journey also offers EV drivers the 10 charge points should they need to recharge.
The complete list
- Crawley to Brighton, South East (avoid A23, taking B2306): 23 charging points, 22 miles
- Lake District (Kendal to Grasmere): 6 charging points, 18 miles
- The Devon Coast, South West (Topsham to Torcross): 10 charging points, 45 miles
- Pendle Witch Trail, North West (Lancaster to Barrowford): 7 charging points, 35 miles
- Military Road, Isle of Wight (St Catherines Lighthouse to Freshwater Bay): 2 charging points, 11 miles
- Cotswolds, South West (Chipping Campden to Stroud): 6 charging points, 40 miles
- The North Norfolk Coast, East Anglia (Kings Lynn to Mundesley:) 8 charging points, 62 miles
- Atlantic Highway, South West (Bridgwater to Truro): 20 charging points, 156 miles
- Northumberland Coast, North East (Bamburgh Castle to Alnwick Castle): 2 charging points, 18 miles
- Snake Pass, Peak District (Glossop to Matlock): 3 charging points, 35 miles
- Cornwall, South West (St. Ives to St. Just): 1 charging point, 13 miles
- Best of the Moors, North Yorkshire (Malton to Staithes) 2 charging points, 50 miles
- Cheddar to Ashwick, South West (Cheddar to Ashwick): 0 charging points, 15 miles
- Dorset, South West (Weymouth to Bridport) 0 charging points, 20 miles
- Thwaite to Ingleton (via Buttertubs Pass), North Yorkshire: 0 charging points, 20 miles
- Causeway Coastal Route (Belfast to Londonderry): 45 charging points, 137 miles
- North Wales (Betws-y-Coed to Angelsy): 5 charging points, 50 miles
- Black Mountain Pass (Llandovery to Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen): 2 charging points, 19 miles
- The Dragon’s Spine (A470) (Cardiff to Colwyn Bay): 30 charging points, 180 miles
- North Coast 500, Scotland: 19 charging points, 516 miles
- Loch Lomond to Loch Ness (A82): 7 charging points, 125 miles
- Ben Nevis to the Isle of Skye: 5 charging points, 105 miles
hiyacar are focusing on EV’s in 2021 and have a number of initiatives which will see a number of EV’s deployed across London and the UK this year.
Routes were found using Google Maps and publicly accessible electric vehicle charging points were found using ZAP Map.