Our favourite places to drive in Hartlepool and County Durham

Added: 14 February 2018

Drive Vauxhall is lucky enough to have specialist Vauxhall dealerships up and down the country. From one extreme to the other, our northernmost dealership is Hartlepool in County Durham. This North Sea town is bustling with history – from it’s monastic beginnings to the Second World War and plenty of variety in-between. Nowadays it’s a modern, northern town situated in a particular scenic part of the country.

We all know what that means, of course – as petrolheads, we really enjoy driving in the local area and taking in some of the sights from the comfort of one of our great range of cars. If you’re local to the area, or just visiting, here are some of the best driving routes in Hartlepool and County Durham.

Drive the A686 from Hayden Bridge to Penrith

This route through the North Pennines from Hayden Bridge to Penrith has long been one of our favourites. It’s easily reachable if you head north from our Hartlepool showroom, and it represents some truly stunning scenery.

Driving Route over the Pennines from Hayden Bridge to Penrith

At the beginning is Hayden Bridge, with it’s 14th century bridge and surrounding stunning countryside. At the other end is Penrith, a bustling market town with a surplus of nearby castles, forests and interesting sites to discover.

It is of course, however, the route in between that makes it special. The A686 climbs over and through the Pennines with plenty a dramatic bend. Whether it’s the dazzling green woodland as you navigate hairpin bends down to the River Allen, through to the sweeping open moorland above the little village of Ninebanks, there’s something for everyone. The views are particular special near the Hartside Top Café, so make sure to stop there for a coffee and a gaze over the landscape.

Explore this winding route from Helmsley to Whitby

Heading south this time (why not pop into our Redcar dealership on the way?!), we come to the small-but-perfectly-size North York Moors National Park. One of our favourite routes, offering a real variety, is the winding Helmsley to Whitby journey.

Driving Route from Helmsley to Whitby on the North Yorkshire Moors

From it’s quaint market town starting place (it’s actually got a rather imposing castle all of it’s own if you fancy a look!) we recommend you head to the frankly spectacular Rievaulx Abbey, a Cistercian abbey situated in a picturesque river valley just up the B1257. Once you’ve soaked in those sites, the route heads north over the moors, up hill and down dale, before you arrive in Guisborough, where yet more ancient religious ruins are awaiting your inspection.

From here your journey heads to the coast, pausing in the cute seaside village of Staithes (a great base for some strolls if you have the energy) and then down the coast to iconic Whitby. If you time it right and go for the annual Goth Festival you can have the experience of a lifetime, but this little town never disappoints at any time of the year – and the fish and chips are worth going for alone.

For those passing by – Angel of the North

Of course not everyone has the time (or the inclination) to take part in winding routes, so if you’re in the “just passing by” frame of mind then at least one of our local landmarks is very easy to take in. To see the imposing, industrial Angel of the North, all you need to do is drive along the A1 south from Newcastle Upon Tyne. It’s impossible to miss!

Driving Route past the Angel of the North

Heading further afield?

Our county gives you easy access to the wonders of the Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just above Ashington, and just as easily you have the spectacular bleakness of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. In fact, we’re lucky enough to be hemmed in on all sides by either stunning coastal views or remarkable natural wonders.

Where is your favourite local driving route, and what car do you choose to experience them in? If you’re like us, and you love to explore from the comfort and flexibility of an SUV or Crossover, then why not check out the Vauxhall Crossland X or Grandland X, our latest explore-worthy models?