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The world’s best driving roads – and their UK doppelgangers

New research has found that UK motorists don’t need to travel the globe to find the best driving roads.

Alfa Romeo carried out the research

Alfa Romeo carried out the research

Planning an epic road trip this summer?

Well, the good news is that you don't need to travel the globe to find the best driving roads.

Research, carried out by Alfa Romeo, has revealed the UK locations that make the perfect substitutes for the world’s most iconic driving roads.

Working alongside Getty Images, Alfa Romeo identified the ten best driving roads in the world and unearthed their UK equivalents.

The Italian luxury car manufacturer consulted with members of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club to understand which roads drivers most want to experience. The Stelvio Pass in Italy, famed for its dramatic scenery and hairpin bends, was voted the road most motorists would like to drive, followed by the Amalfi Coast Road in Italy and the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

After finding out key characteristics of each road in the top ten, Alfa Romeo was able to pinpoint the closest substitutes in the UK. The research took into account surrounding scenery, the length of road and each route’s distinguishing features to prove motorists can enjoy epic drives without leaving the UK.

Below, we take a look at the world’s best driving roads – and their UK doppelgangers.

1. Stelvio Pass, Italy

UK equivalent: Applecross Pass, Strathcarron

The Stelvio Pass in the Tyrolean Alps combines stunning mountain scenery with a series of tight switchbacks as drivers climb up the mountain. The Applecross Pass in Strathcarron, Scotland, offers a similarly dramatic setting – nestled deep in the Scottish Highlands – with the narrow and twisty road running up to 600m with several hairpins before reaching a plateau.

2. Amalfi Coast Road, Italy

UK equivalent: St Mawes, Roseland Peninsula, Cornish Coast

The A3078 from Trewithian, Truro, to St. Mawes is a short and enjoyable road. But the real highlight is the small village of St. Mawes that conjures up images of the Amalfi Coast in Italy with its coloured sea-side houses, built right on the coastal wall, and sailboats and small fishing vessels occupying the seafront.

3. Great Ocean Road, Australia

UK equivalent: Military Road, Isle of Wight

Australia’s Great Ocean Road snakes its way along the country’s South coast, combining long winding turns with lush green scenery and ocean views. The Old Military Road on the Isle of Wight runs along the island’s southwest coast, right next to the sea, with long stretches of open road and gentle corners to enjoy.

4. Transfăgărășan Pass, Romania

UK equivalent: Black Mountain Pass, Wales

Black Mountain Road (A4069) is a famous road that twists, dips and climbs in the western part of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, along the Black Mountains. This swooping mountain pass, a favourite of motorists and test drivers, is best tackled from north to south – especially the hairpin known locally as Tro Gwcw, or ‘cuckoo turn’- but the incredible views of the Tywi Valley are best appreciated driving the other way. The road has multiple tight turns, giving it a similar feeling to the stunning Transfăgărășan Pass in Romania.

5. Trollstigen, Norway

UK equivalent: Trotternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye

Only open during late spring, summer and early autumn months, the Trollstigen, or Troll Path, features winding corners and straights before tightening into a series of hairpins as the road climbs higher into the mountains in the Norwegian fjords. The A855 that heads to the Trotternish Peninsula from Portree, in Skye, comes with similarly stunning scenery, with drivers able to visit the Old Mann of Storr, before reaching the top of the peninsula.

6. San Bernardino Pass, Switzerland

UK equivalent: Snake Pass, Peak District

The San Bernardino Pass can be completed via the old mountain road or a new tunnel. Those opting for the twisty road are greeted with a stunning alpine lake that leads to long straights and very tight hairpin corners. The A57 ‘Snake Pass’ in the Peak District features similarly beautiful reservoirs, with drivers able to enjoy the Peak District’s unique landscape.

7. Julier Pass, Switzerland

UK equivalent: Mam Tor, Peak District

Another alpine road meets its match in the Peak District. The Mam Tor road can be found on a junction from the A623 Rushup Edge road. It begins surrounded by a small woodland, before opening up to the stunning landscapes of the Peak District. With plenty of winding corners, it offers drivers similar thrills to Julier Pass in the Swiss Alps.

8. Route 66, USA

UK equivalent: A82 through Rannoch Moor, Glencoe

Is there a more iconic road than Route 66 that runs from Arizona to Missouri? The A82 to Glencoe may not be as long, but it should be on everyone’s list to drive. It features several enjoyable corners with good visibility, and a long straight that leads towards the stunning Rannoch Moor moorland and the rugged Stob Dearg Munro. Like Route 66, the road is featured in plenty of postcards.

9. Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway

UK equivalent: Isle of Mull, Scotland

The 5.15 mile Atlantic Ocean Road snakes its way across the Norwegian archipelago, with a series of bridges connecting the small islands that sit between its start and end points. There are plenty of places to stop for photos, and even a small café on the road to enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean. The Isle of Mull also offers incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean, with the A849 and B8073 circling the island off the west coast of Scotland.

10. Sylvensteinspeicher, Isar Valley, Germany

UK equivalent: North Coast 500

While the Black Forest is often the go-to road in Germany, the Sylvensteinspeicher in the Isar Valley is also worth a trip. Near the Austrian border, it features similar long stretches of open road, surrounded by woodlands and forests as well as beautiful alpine mountains. In the UK, the North Coast 500 is a top driving experience, showcasing the best of Scotland’s stunning scenery, from the rugged and desolate mountain paths to coastal roads with sandy beaches and turquoise seas.

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