Some of the highest and lowest roads in the UK have been revealed to British motorists, but they’ve been warned to take caution when driving them, particularly in winter weather. Motoring experts from LeaseCar.uk have revealed roads in Peterborough, Cumbria and areas of Scotland offer some of the highest and lowest drives in the UK which, if not driven carefully, could cause danger to drivers and passengers alike.
Britain lacks the long, twisting mountain roads found in Europe like the Alps and the Pyrenees, but there is still plenty of must-drive, picture-perfect climbs to be found in the UK. The tough country roads and steep gradients mean there’s plenty to enjoy, but also plenty to be careful of – especially in winter.
Changing weather and road conditions can become unpredictable in high and remote areas, and car accidents in these areas can prove especially dangerous. Similarly, driving on some of Britain’s lowest roads can present different, but difficult driving challenges as they are below sea level and are often flooded.
“Some of the highest and lowest drives in the UK offer the most amazing scenery and they can be great fun to drive. But whilst exploring and experiencing these roads, care and attention is needed. Some routes are significantly more dangerous than others. But by ensuring you take time with your journey and pay even more awareness of the road and other traffic, you can stay safe and navigate these exciting but risky roads,” said a spokesperson from LeaseCar.uk.
Highest roads in the UK
The M62 has the honour of being the highest motorway in the UK. It connects Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. At 1,221 feet (372 metres), the highest section of the motorway is at Junction 22, which is the highest point of the UK’s motorway network.
The A93 reaches a high point of 2,182 feet (665 metres) near Cairnwell in the Eastern Highlands of Scotland. The Cairnwell Pass is a mountain pass on the A93 road in the Scottish Highlands near Aberdeenshire. The Cairnwell Pass is the highest main road in the UK. At the summit is the Glenshee Ski Centre, Scotland’s largest and oldest ski centre. Be prepared for snow when driving on this road. Despite being an A-road, there’s not much traffic, as it is not for the faint-hearted driver with dramatic mountain-top scenery on all sides.
Also among the highest roads in the UK, is the M6 at Shap Summit in Cumbria. Shap Fell is notorious for this particularly difficult and dangerous stretch of A6 for drivers. This section of the M6 reaches an elevation of 1,036 feet (315 metres). As the motorway moves higher and away from the coast the frequency of snowfalls increases rapidly.
The highest drivable asphalt road in the UK is found in Knock, Northern Ireland. However, it is a private road that links the village with a radar station at the summit of Great Dun Fell. At its highest point, the private road reaches an elevation of 2,780 feet (847 metres).
Lowest roads in the UK
The A1101 is the lowest road in Great Britain. It is approximately 53 miles long and it rarely rises above sea level. The 53-mile road is almost entirely below sea level, leaving it prone to regular flooding when water levels rise. The Environment Agency’s website puts the highest recorded flood level at around 4.25m.
Another renowned low road is found near Peterborough. The B660 is actually the lowest classified road, and it is located east of Holme. It is a challenging road with lots of tight corners and chicanes to watch out for! A small lane north-east of the village Holme is the lowest road at 5 feet, 4 inches (162 cm) below sea level. This is among the most dangerous roads in the UK due to frequent flooding, much of the route lies below sea level.