The Purbeck Breezers have great year-round open-top routes. Breezer 50 came third last year in a UK poll of Open Top Bus Rides (beaten only by routes through the North York Moors and Scottish Highlands). It follows a similar route to the Breezer 40 – through the time-warp town of Wareham and past the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle.
Of three spectacular open-top bus routes in the Lakes, the all-year 599 is the most central. It rolls from Bowness to fell-ringed Grasmere, with its gingerbread and art galleries, past a series of lakes. Running along the shores of island-dotted Windermere, Rydal Water and Grasmere.
Operator: First Kernow
Leave Penzance station on the A1 Atlantic Coaster bus and you’re soon cruising down Western Promenade, with Mount’s Bay on the left, past palms trees, bowling greens and Newlyn’s seafront art gallery. A few stops later is the Lamorna pottery – for cream teas and ceramics in an old milk factory. The bus rolls on through woods and ancient fields dotted with burial chambers, wayside crosses and stone circles. There’s a detour to Porthcurno before it speeds westward to the gorse-cloaked granite headland at Land’s End. Near whitewashed houses and craggy views, there’s the much-photographed sign to John o’Groats, 874 miles away at the far end of the UK..
The Bridlington Beachcomber heads north along the coast to the chalk cliffs at Flamborough, with their old lighthouses and huge seabird colonies. From Brid’s sweet factory and animal park (discounts with your bus ticket), beside the beaches and up on to the headland, there are dramatic shifts of scene. On the way, the Beachcomber stops outside Sewerby Hall, a Georgian mansion with a zoo and 50 flowery acres of garden.
Eleven characterful, candy-coloured open-top buses ply the seafront at Skeggy each summer. There’s onboard music, linked discounts at local attractions, and the buses are painted to match their names (Rocky is striped like a stick of rock; Sandy sports sandcastles). Collect badges on board six different buses and claim a Seasider goody bag from the travel office. The 20-minute route passes Fantasy Island theme park, with its rollercoasters, and the first-ever Butlin’s resort, still going strong after more than 80 years..