The Lake District, Route 66 and the Scottish Highlands are among the dream locations stressed-out Brits would most like to go for a relaxing drive, according to a study of 2000 adults by Hyundai.
The most popular country is Scotland, and in particular the Highlands, which is famous for its dramatic landscapes and quiet winding roads like the A82 and A835.
Scotland topped the list ahead of arguably the world’s best-known road, Route 66 in the USA. Other desirable locations included the Lake District, Cornwall, Australia, New Zealand and the California coastline.
The research also found that the average adult spends more than 11-and-a-half days per year (46 mins per day) stressed. And the worries caused by work and personal life mean Brits struggle to sleep six nights each month.
But despite trying to have a good work-life balance, the study found we can only manage to find 45 minutes per day to relax.
Some of the best ways for adults to try to unwind is by watching TV, listening to music, spending time on their own, walking or going for a run, mowing the lawn or getting behind the wheel of a car for a relaxing drive.
Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman said: “Our modern world offers more opportunities than ever before in many ways, but at the same time, people are also more stressed than ever before.
“Research shows that having access to nature is a real way to unwind and destress, but many of us live in heavily built-up urban areas with little access to nature beyond a shuffle around our local town park, which is often not exactly an oasis of peace, with dogs and footballs flying in all directions.
“Your car becomes not just a mode of transport, but a gateway to another world, in which your everyday worries and concerns are far behind you.
“Scotland has been voted the top destination for a relaxing drive, but even if you are not lucky enough to live in Scotland, our green and pleasant land offers plenty of choices for anyone who wants to regroup and destress away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday life.”
The study, carried out by OnePoll for Hyundai, revealed a bad night’s sleep was most likely to stress people out, followed by money concerns and running late.
It has also emerged that Brits are twice as likely to fall out with their partners than colleagues when stressed. Just 17 per cent of adults never worry about their job outside of work, with figures falling to just ten per cent for those aged 44 and younger. And more than half of people polled admitted that over the past year the pressures of daily life have left them needing a break.
Social media is also affecting the younger generation, with almost 40 per cent of under 44s admitting the likes of Facebook and Twitter had made their lives more stressful. This figure fell to just 12 per cent for over 55s.
Women lead a more stressful life, spending 51 minutes per day stressed compared to 41 minutes for men.
It is adults aged 35-44 who are the most stressed demographic, struggling to sleep eight nights per month and spending 61 minutes per day worried or wound up.
Hyundai is encouraging Brits to enjoy some ‘time out’ by driving to one of their favourite places with friends or family – or to simply have some alone time. It follows the launch of the manufacturer’s i30 Fastback N, a sleek model offering hot hatch performance but with a more distinctive and elegant style.
Engineers from Hyundai have developed the i30 Fastback N to be capable on a racetrack as well as comfortable on everyday roads. At the push of a button, drivers have the choice of five drive modes that change the character of the car and can match their mood: Eco, Normal, Sport, N and N Custom.
With a two-litre turbocharged engine, it is capable of 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 155mph.
A spokesperson for Hyundai UK said: “Despite being given the choice of anywhere in the world, Brits have chosen the glorious Scottish landscape as their number one location for a relaxing drive.
“You can’t blame them – with dozens of quiet roads which meander through the dramatic scenery, it is the perfect location to visit and unwind.”