Drives to remember: 10 of the most memorable drives in the UK revealed

Nearly three quarters (73%) of UK motorists enjoy driving yet distractions on the road leave Brits missing out on making memories this summer as they focus on sat navs, traffic and avoiding roadworks.

The study of 2,000 motorists commissioned by car manufacturer Hyundai, revealed a whopping 72% of drivers have turned up to the desired location with no real recollection of the route they took. Over a fifth (21%) go on to say how driving an electric car increases their chances of a memorable journey, because planning the route enables drivers to take a break and not only charge the car but refresh ahead of the next leg of the journey. Others agreed an electric car adds benefit to any potential road trip and memory making, with no changing gear potentially creating a more relaxed driving environment.

When it comes to making memories, talking to passengers, worrying about how much fuel is left and engine noise are revealed as other common distractions.

•   Millions are missing out on memories due to sat navs, traffic and avoiding roadworks
•   72% of drivers turn up to their destination with no recollection of the route taken
•   Over a fifth (21%) feel that driving an electric car would make the journey more memorable
•   10 most memorable drives in the UK revealed as Hyundai calls on the nation to consider electric vehicles to aid memories on the road this summer 

The research discovered that over a third (34%) are more likely to remember a car journey when travelling with others – as opposed to being alone. A third (33%) also state that the most prominent memory from previous driving trips have been who they have travelled with, beating amazing views (33%), passing famous landmarks (30%) and the destination itself (29%). However, when asked about what sounds are most associated with a road trip, the sound of the engine (38%) surprisingly beat the radio or podcasts (36%) and the sound of the sea (16%).

The 10 most memorable drives in the UK

Hyundai has curated 10 memorable driving routes for the nation to enjoy this summer using the top 20 things that make a car journey memorable*.

TOP 10 MOST MEMORABLE DRIVES IN THE UK: 

  1. North Norfolk Coast: King’s Lynn to Cromer via the North Norfolk Coast 
  2. Through Kielder Forest: Hexham Abbey to Hawick 
  3. London After Hours: Notting Hill to Greenwich 
  4. Surrey Hills: Dorking to Petworth 
  5. Edinburgh and East Lothian: Edinburgh to North Berwick 
  6. From Highlands to Coast: Glenshee to Banff portion  
  7. Dartmoor: Tavistock to Ashburton   
  8. Welsh Coast: Llŷn Peninsula to Fron Haul 
  9. Jurassic Coast: Swanage to Weymouth  
  10. Somerset: Clifton in Bristol to Glastonbury  

One in four (26%) motorists don’t pay as much attention to their surroundings when driving as they should and rarely take time to notice the scenery they’re driving past. 44% agreed that taking breaks is a sure-fire way to help focus on the journey and the driving experience, as well as planning the route (38%), talking to passengers (28%) and even making sure you’re well rested (28%) and fed beforehand (23%).

If you’re driving somewhere new this summer, treat it like an adventure and opportunity to see new things

Cognitive scientist, Dr Martha Newson, who partnered with Hyundai as part of the new campaign said: “Part of what holds us together as families, communities or society are the memories that shape us and being able to reflect on our most defining experiences together.

After years of lockdowns, the UK is making up for what feels like lost time. We have a deep need for memory making, reflected in the fact that 22% of respondents shared that they want to be more present in the moment and make more lasting memories during their journeys – it’s not about getting from A to B but really experiencing what the journey has to offer in all its glory. These journeys across the UK are part of what is bringing us back together, both physically and psychologically.”

Dr Martha Newson reveals her top three tips on how to have a memorable journey this summer:

1. Choose your car snacks wisely. Opt for higher protein treats like nuts or cheese over sugary snacks or refined carbs, as regular sugar consumption is associated with poorer memory. Dark chocolate at least 70% in cocoa is the exception to this rule because it is rich in flavonoids, which are linked to increased blood supply to parts of the brain associated with memory. Anti-inflammatory foods including fruit, veg sticks, and certain teas are also ideal for optimum cognition, positively influencing neuronal signalling.

2. Minimise distractions. While the playlist might be important, other noises could distract you from remembering the journey itself. Distracting information, such as engine noise or a cluttered car environment, places a burden on our working memory. As the brain is busy processing the distracting information, our performance in other areas must decrease. So, if we want to support our visual memory to process beautiful scenery, it helps to have an uninterrupted journey with distractions minimised.

3. Really stretch your legs when you have a rest break. Hyundai’s research revealed that motorists are happy to drive for just shy of two hours and 40 minutes before taking a break. Two thirds of those polled (69%) revealed they either plan or make an impromptu stop in a bid to make their journey more memorable, with 37% allowing a breather to stretch their legs. A bout of exercise, whether it’s some deep lunges, running on the spot, or a brief jog along the beach can help improve circulation and the secretion of neuroprotective proteins, associated with the growth and development of neurons. This acute form of exercise primes the molecular processes to encode and consolidate new memories. If you’ve got an electric vehicle that needs its battery recharging, then take this time to recharge your batteries too.

A Spokesperson for Hyundai, who commissioned the research as part of a campaign to encourage Brits to consider switching to an electric vehicle to help aid making memories on the road this summer added: “Driving can either be truly enjoyable, or truly forgettable – it all depends on how you approach it.

If you’re driving somewhere new this summer, treat it like an adventure and opportunity to see new things, try local restaurants and make new memories and be more present with the people you’re travelling with. Decarbonising road transport is part of our wider vision for the future, and we hope that this campaign will play a role in inspiring people to switch to electric vehicles.”

A fifth (20%) say they miss out on making memories on drives due to engine fumes and noise, easily solved by switching to electric. Electric vehicles enable fast charging, maximum driving range and lots of interior space to make the everyday journey as enjoyable as possible.

To discover the UK’s most memorable drives for your road trip this summer, visit: blog.hyundai.co.uk

All research was carried out by One Poll in May 2022

*Top 20 things that make a car journey memorable:
1.	Driving along the coast
2.	Mountain views
3.	Good weather
4.	Driving near lakes and rivers
5.	Quaint villages
6.	Who you travel with
7.	Seeing a significant landmark i.e. Angel of the North
8.	Stopping at viewpoints
9.	Driving through a National Park
10.	Passing colourful fields
11.	Driving through forests
12.	Stopping at a beach
13.	Seeing animals in fields by the road
14.	Finding a country pub for lunch
15.	Driving through hilly areas
16.	Crossing a border i.e. England to Scotland
17.	Going over bridges
18.	Taking A/B roads over the motorway
19.	Hilly roads
20.	The amount of traffic

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