Congratulations on your new car! Time to take it out on the road to see what it can do. Make sure that you choose a route worthy of your virgin drive with fascinating sights, challenging corners and let-loose straight runs to make it memorable.

We’ve chosen a few notable drives within (or just a short distance out of) the North West, from short spins to longer treks, the excuse that you don’t have the time to show off your new motor won’t wash.

Take a look at our 9 wonderful places in the North West you can go on your first drive. Try one, and by the end of the road, we guarantee that you’ll be planning your next trip!

1. Penrith to Alston


Distance: 35 Miles

This scenic route is great fun to drive. The A686 stretches across the North Pennines, from Penrith to Haydon Bridge, providing glorious views along the way.

Pass through picturesque villages of Langwathby and Melmerby and over Hartside Summit at over 1900 feet. Being popular with bikers, you’ll find many watering holes along the way.

Stop for a spot of lunch or dinner at Alston, England’s highest market town littered with cobbled streets to test your new car’s suspension, before making the return trip back to Penrith.

2. Cat and Fiddle

Route: A537

Distance: 12.5 Miles

Brave the challenging roads of the Peak District’s Cat and Fiddle, named after the pub at the summit of the A537. This stretch of road between Macclesfield and Buxton is full of twisty bends to test your new car’s handling.

Once again a popular route for bikers and be sure to take opportunities to stop and admire the views.

While much of the route is now reduced to a 50mph speed limit for safety, it still provides a ride full of surprises. Pick a clear, dry day and you’ll be able to get the best out of both your car and the road.

3) Liverpool to Southport


Route: A565

Distance: 22 Miles

For something completely different, try this coastal route from city to sand. Starting in historical, Maritime Liverpool, the A565 winds its way through Crosby, past Formby and on into Southport.

Make the most of a detour to Crosby beach (aka Another Place) where you’ll spot Antony Gormley’s iron men, and then try out your new car’s boot space with the set of golf clubs that you’ll need if you want to stop off at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, 2017 venue for The Open.

Then open up the engine as you cruise through the sand dunes towards Victorian Southport and the UK’s longest iron pier, just in time to catch a fabulous sunset over the Irish Sea.

4) Witches Driving Trail

Route: A6068, A671, B6243

Distance: 38 Miles

Take a drive through history from Pendle Heritage Centre to Lancaster Castle and discover the story of 10 witches, imprisoned, tried and executed nearby.

Let your new car show you what it’s got as you take it through its paces in the Ribble Valley. Let loose on the meandering, narrow roads of the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and up through the wild moors before dropping down into the City of Lancaster.

Careful to keep your eye on the road because if the views of the hills above the River Hodder and the Lake District in the distance don’t distract you, the witches might!

5) Snake Pass


Route: A57

Distance: 44 miles

Yes, we’re harping on about the views again. This time, try heading in the opposite direction, and, strictly speaking, out of the North West, where the White Peak meets the Dark Peak.

Start at Whaley Bridge, on the A6 and follow onto the A6187 past Mam Tor and Castleton. Hang a hard left onto the A6013 which takes you over a viaduct to join the A57 Snake Road, so named after the serpent that appears on the Duke of Devonshire coat of arms.

Enjoy the rise of the road here (and those views over Ladybower Reservoir) to a whopping 1,650 feet, before descending into Glossop and on into Manchester if you so desire.

6) Kendal to Keswick

Route: A591

Distance: 30 miles

This recently re-opened route was rebuilt after the floods of December 2015 so it would be a real shame not to make use of it with your new motor. 30 miles of winding roads will take you from Kendal to Keswick, two key towns of the Lake District.

Through sparse farmland and against the water’s edge of Rydal, Windermere, Grasmere and Thirlmere, you’ll tick of most of the Lake Districts sights-to-see in one trip.

Your new car will enjoy the ride too with tight bends and straight runs allowing it to show off its handling and and cruising comfort in equal measure.

7) Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge

Route: A535

Distance: 11 miles

With its balance of bends and straight stretches, this drive will test both you and your new car as it wends its way from Holmes Chapel through the Dane River valley.

Motor your way alongside the Twemlow Viaduct before spotting the 76m wide Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank as you cruise North Easterly up the A535. Here you’ll meet Withington Green and Farm Wood Quarry before passing under the mainline train track at Corbishley Bridge.

Cross the A34 into Alderley Edge, where you’ll have chance to refuel yourself and your car before the trip homewards.

8) North Wales Coast


Route: A55

Distance: 86 miles

You’ll definitely need your bucket and spade for this trip which will take you through a variety of seaside towns along the North Wales coast, from Chester to Holyhead.

Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Bangor, to name just a few towns, will welcome you and your shiny new motor along the A55, as you pass through Conwy, Penmaenbach and Pen-y-Clip Tunnels. A mixture of castles, mountains and seascapes will greet you as you pass.

At the end of the road, a windy crossing to Anglesey on the stunning Menai Suspension Bridge will really test your steering control!

9) Ambleside to Boot

Route: A593

Distance: 15 miles

Nominated as Volvo’s best driving route in the UK, the road from Ambleside to Boot will take you down a mix of single tracks, waterside roads and 1:3 gradients past some of the best scenery that the Lake District has to offer. Whet your appetite with this preview.

Head west from Ambleside on the A593, through Skelwith Bridge and onto the isolated region north of Coniston Water. The Hardknott pass will test your new car’s gears and brakes to the limit.

While admiring the view, make sure to keep an eye out for the many cyclists who madly pedal their way along tracks probably best reserved for goats! 

Ready for a first drive? If all you’re waiting for is a new car then get down to Motor Range, where our friendly and helpful team are happy to help with any query. With over 1000 expertly picked used cars, all prepared to the best standard, you’re guaranteed to find the car you’ve been looking for.

Any excuse to enjoy that first drive feeling!