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The best romantic drives in the South West

08 Feb 2018
It is no secret that the South West is one of the UK’s most beautiful regions, with its endless rolling countryside and stunning coastline rivalling any other landscape you could hope to find. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we have decided to put together a list of our favourite romantic drives in the area. These blissfully quiet and idyllic routes will allow you and your partner to truly relax and enjoy some incredible views in both comfort and style. So, whether your nearest Mercedes dealership is in Truro, Exeter, Plymouth or Taunton, be sure to truly explore your local area by taking one of these romantic drives…

Zennor to Sennen, Cornwall

Zennor Starting from the picturesque village of Zennor, take the B3306 all the way to Sennen. From there, it will be easy to find the lovely Sennen Cove, which is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole country. The coastal views which can be enjoyed on this 14-mile drive are quintessentially Cornish; be sure to look out for the 19th century Longships Lighthouse (which is still in operation) off the coast of Land’s End.

Nearby Highlights

  • The Gurnard’s Head – A delightful pub near Zennor which offers great food and comfy beds.
  • Jackson Foundation Gallery – An award-winning, environmentally-conscious art gallery in St Just.
  • Sennen Surfing Centre – Sennen Cove is one of the UK’s most popular surfing spots, and this local school is the best place for beginners to pick up some tips.
  • Ben Tunnicliffe Sennen Cove – An excellent beachside restaurant which specialises in serving up fresh fish and seasonal produce.

21 Mile Drive, Exmoor, Devon

Countisbury Hill A famous figure-of-eight route which introduces you to both the countryside and coastal delights of Exmoor in North Devon, the ’21 Mile Drive’ should be included on any trip to the area. From the cliffs of Lynton and Lynmouth to the deep woodland of Heddon Valley, this route offers some diverse and incredibly romantic scenery. You can find a handy map of the 21 Mile Drive by clicking here.

Nearby Highlights

  • The Hunters Inn – Hidden away in the countryside near Parracombe, the Hunter’s Inn is an unexpected delight – a large, historic pub which offers superb accommodation.
  • Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway – A unique attraction, this is the world’s highest and steepest water-powered railway.
  • The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway – If you fancy a break from driving, the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway offers a traditional, steam-powered journey through the countryside. Plus, you won’t have to worry about taking your eyes off the road!

The Mendips and Somerset Levels, Somerset

Somerset Road It may not be the most romantic road on which to start your journey, but leaving the M5 at Junction 21 will allow you to start a circular drive that takes in two of Somerset’s loveliest natural highlights: the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels – the perfect way to break in your new car from our Mercedes dealership in Taunton. Make a note to aim for Axbridge and then on to Cheddar, Wells, Glastonbury and Wedmore to see the very best of what this beautiful county has to offer. 56 miles later, you will be back on the M5 at Junction 22; sadly, no romantic drive can last forever, however much we’d like it to!

Nearby Highlights

  • Wells Cathedral – Despite being the smallest cathedral city in England, the building itself is hugely impressive and well worth a visit.
  • The City Arms – Based in Wells’ historic gaol, the City Arms is a great choice if you’re looking for some proper pub food to fuel your journey.
  • Glastonbury – There is much more to Glastonbury than its festival! Steeped in fascinating Christian history and legend, a stop in the town should be included in the itinerary of anyone passing through.
  • Avalon Marshes – At the heart of the Somerset Levels, the Avalon Marshes allow visitors to explore beautiful landscapes, amazing wildlife and fascinating heritage.

The Jurassic Coast, Dorset

Portland Bill Lighthouse Any route by which you choose to discover Dorset’s iconic Jurassic Coast will be rewarding but, for the most awe-inspiring driving experience, we recommend starting at the town of Swanage in the county’s south-east corner. From there, you can wend your way along the coast, past Lulworth Cove, Weymouth and Bridport, before heading inland and deep into the tranquil Dorset countryside, perhaps taking in the picture-postcard village of Evershot.

Nearby Highlights

  • Moonfleet Manor – A romantic Georgian manor hotel overlooking the famous Chesil Beach.
  • Furleigh Estate – Five miles from the coastline, a visit to the charming Furleigh Estate vineyard is well worth the slight detour.
  • Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens – Found in the village of Abbotsbury, near Weymouth, the subtropical gardens are a hidden jewel in the Dorset countryside; an idyllic spot that was voted HHA/Christie’s Garden of the Year in 2012.
  • Summer Lodge – A truly stunning country hotel in Evershot, Summer Lodge was the runner-up in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice UK hotel awards.

Newquay to Padstow, Cornwall

Padstow Cornwall is a beautiful county but it can get busy, particularly in the height of summer. Taking the coastal road between the popular resorts of Newquay and Padstow, however, will allow you and your partner to enjoy some peaceful time together as you gaze out over the route’s many golden beaches to the Atlantic beyond. Once you have safely arrived at your destination, you can enjoy some of the many attractions in either Padstow or Newquay that are sure to keep you entertained until it’s time to head back.

Nearby Highlights

  • Fistral Beach – This beach in Newquay calls itself the ‘home of British surfing’ – spending just a couple of hours there, at any time of year, will be enough to show you why.
  • Prideaux Place – A stone’s throw from the centre of Padstow, Prideaux Place is an excellently maintained Elizabethan manor boasting gorgeous gardens, a deer park and even an impressive teddy bear collection!
  • Rojano’s in the Square – One of two Padstow restaurants owned by the celebrated chef Paul Ainsworth, Rojano’s offers hearty, high-quality Italian cooking in an intimate setting.
  • Bush Pepper – It can sometimes feel like Australia in Newquay when relaxing on the beach in the middle of summer, and this will certainly be the case when you visit Bush Pepper, a renowned, Aussie-influenced restaurant.
  • Cornwall Galleries – An art lover’s delight, Cornwall Galleries in Newquay (known locally as ‘Treasure Trove’), opened in 1960 and is still going strong, exhibiting and selling wonderful original paintings from a variety of local, national and international artists.
Image Credits: George Hiles, John Stratford, Shrinkin’violet, Bo&Ko, Elliott Brown, Jtriefen, Brian Snelson Do you want to receive articles like this one straight to your inbox? Sign up for our monthly newsletter.
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