Britain's Best Driving Roads
An inviting stretch of National Speed Limit rural road opens out in front of you. Photo taken on the B5068 near St Martins in Shropshire, courtesy of www.speedcam.co.uk.
In August 2000, I asked the subscribers to the uk.transport Usenet newsgroup for their views on “Britain’s Best Driving Road”, as follows:
I see the M25 recently won some kind of award for Britain's favourite road.
Obviously a lot of people like sitting in traffic jams - easier to eat your
Any nominations for "Britain's best driving road"?
- Not a motorway (inherently boring)
- National Speed Limit has to apply all the way
- *No* GATSOs
Close to home, I always thought the A515 between Buxton and Ashbourne was
pretty good, although recently it has begun to suffer from silly paint and
"no-overtaking" zones. The continuation south to Sudbury isn't bad either (a
marvellous 3-lane hill just south of Ashbourne where you can put trucks to
The well-known A537 "Cat & Fiddle" road from Macclesfield to Buxton may be great fun for bikers but is a bit too twisty for car drivers.
The 3-mile dual-carriageway A6 Chapel-en-le-Frith bypass (no junctions, sweeping bends, no GATSOs) is rather good too, but a bit short.
The following is a fairly comprehensive selection of the replies (although I have chopped out all the petty arguments). I’ve not acknowledged the contributors, but if you sent something in, hopefully you’ll see your immortal words here (together with the original smileys)... My comments are in italics. Note that the replies are as posted on the newsgroup, and therefore don't necessarily represent my personal views, and also may contain some factual inaccuracies.
- Re: “A537 "Cat & Fiddle" road from Macclesfield to Buxton may be
great fun for bikers but is a bit too twisty for car drivers”.
.....Gerrof ye nesh bugger, it's fine in a car.
- The Cat & Fiddle can be good in a car. Just have to have something small and
nimble enough. Ie. It's superb in my Cinq. Sporting (lowered and stiffened),
but a pig to drive in the Alfa 33 Cloverleaf.
- I quite like the A404 and the A404(M), between Maidenhead and High Wycombe. Quite fast, corners, hills and roundabouts, where you change down listening to the nice sound if the ol' engine revving high :)
- Besides sharing your liking of the A515, I like the A57 Sheffield- Glossop which is treacherous in bad weather and impossible to overtake on during rush hour, but nice and windy and good fun in the summer.
- A52 Nottingham -> Boston : good fun, some nice wide open bends with
miles of visibility, raised from the surround flooding plains.
- A429 Warwick -> Cirencester : wonderful rolling single carriageway
but nice and fast with lots of overtaking opportunities.
- A303 Andover -> Ilminster : excellent off-peak with good long sections
of straight three-lane and dual carriageway. Good for a 120mph early
hours of the morning.. or so I've heard! :))
- My favourite local stretch at the moment:
A50 Derby -> Stoke. Not a good "drivers" road as such, but
dual-carriageway all the way and strips about half from a previously
60 minutes journey. Agreed. Excellent road, and no GATSOS so far even on the speed-limited section through Meir and Longton
- When I worked in Milton Keynes I did the A43 every day. The stretch from
Duddington to Corby was pretty good with nice fast bends and hills etc. Rush
hour the thing was full of lorries though, but done late at night it was
- The 25 miles of A44 between Llangurig and Aberystwyth.
- The Ambleside to Coniston road (A593). No, very slow and twisting between stone walls, too often infested by caravans and dawdling sightseers
- Parts of the A82 (although Scotland seems to love GATSOs, and it's some
time since I was up that way.)
- The A83 between Arrochar and Inveraray, particularly up Glen Croe to the Rest and be Thankful, then down Glen Kinglas to the shores of Loch Fyne
- The best in that area (the Peak District) is the old A6, Long Hill route. I don't know what
they call it now (it's the A5004) but it's a dream of a road.
- The A623 Tideswell Moor road between Chapel and Stoney Middleton is pretty good too, with just one 40 through Peak Forest (popular for speed traps), and some good bends and overtaking straights. However during the day it's too clogged up with HGVs. Why can't they build a proper dual carriageway through the South Pennines (probably over Woodhead)?
- The A7 between Galashiels and Edinburgh. Fast, challenging, no Gatsos,
infrequently policed, some good straights with good visibility, wide
enough to maintain a good speed. Thanks to this road, and a pre-messed
around with M8, I've done Galashiels to Glasgow in well under an hour in
an Audi 90 Quattro (the old one).
- Well, I like the A69 Newcastle-Hexham. A dual carriageway and fairly
straight, so not many fun bends, but incredibly fast. It's not quiet but I
don't recall ever being held up, and whichever way you go there seems to be
a following wind. :-) Speed camera signs, but no cameras unless they're
permanently out of film.
- The B6318 (military road) along the Roman wall is pretty good, and will
avoid a heavily patrolled stretch of the A69 (and some 30/40 limits). Be
careful of foreign registered cars in summer.
- I'd like to nominate just about any 'A' road in Northumbria. Wonderful
place for driving - beautiful scenery and empty roads. Sheer bliss!
- A4212 Bala-Trawsfynydd (past the Llyn Celyn reservoir). 60mph limit all
the way. Plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Agreed.
Another reader adds: It's a brilliant route with changes in elevation and sweeping bends with a beautifully smooth surface and great visibility. One of my favourites.
- A470 Penrhyn-Dolgellau - much of this is an old Roman road and quite
straight. Also a 60mph limit most of the way with one 30 and one 40
stretch.(do you mean Penrhydeudrath?)
- The A272/A283 from Petersfield towards Brighton is a very nice road,
with plenty of windy stuff, a great surface (very rare these days) and
nice scenery. Trouble is, it tends to get full of caravans and 40mph
duffers and there isn't that many overtaking oportunities, so go when
its quiet. Seems to be popular with the 2 wheeled brigade, so it must
have something good about it!
- The roads around Salisbury Plain (A360, A342, etc) are great for really
bombing along and for overtaking and are relatively quiet, but sometimes
the surfaces ain't totally perfect.
- IIRC the B4100 from Warwick to Banbury was pretty tasty. Runs next to
the M40, and you could probably cover the distance faster on the B-road! Yes, the old 41. And call in at the Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre on your way.
- On the Isle of Wight the Military Road (A3055) has lots of fast
straights for overtaking and some nice bends with great views of the
sea. Tends to attract a few blue-rinsers dawdling along a 30mph (it
is the IoW after-all) who are easy meat to get past. Shame the IOW
council doesn't give a toss about maintaining road surfaces though.
- The old Carlisle to Glasgow A74.
As of last year, the new M74 alongside has taken the traffic, so
this is now a very nice road. (It's probably been renumbered.)
- A31 Winchester-Guildford. OK - so there are urban-speed-limit sections. If you strictly insist
on not having any, just take the Alton-to-Hog's-Back section.
- Unclassified from Ambleside to A592, then A592 to Ullswater (Kirkstone Pass).
Superb section of road in the Lake District. You need to be very
competent at overtaking to enjoy it in the tourist season, though.
- B1098 in the fens behind Chatteris. The road is a straight line
for more then ten miles - good for overtaking practice. (-8
- B1104 north of Newmarket. Not a "good" road in the conventional sense. The speed limit is 60mph all the way from Isleham to Prickwillow, but each end has a
bumpy road sign with a qualifier plate marked "Extreme caution".
They mean it - while the tarmac is unbroken, the whole road has
subsided so that it is now draped over tree roots. Pop by and try
it next time you're in a hire car, company car, or similar.
- My choice would be the A15 from Bourne to Lincoln. It could use a few more bends, but is has some lovely sweeping curves and is blissfully free of traffic. Upon reflection, my first choice would be the Bourne to Stamford road (A6121 )...it's is only 11 miles long and you have to watch out for tractors (so it's best done at night), but it is a cracker. It also has a lovely straight stretch with no obstacles of any kind which is good for well over 160 MPH or more, and with broad views in any direction (if you want to take your eyes off front for long enough). Ahem!
- B4027 just North of Oxford. I have fond, if nebulous, memories of the one
time I've driven this road.
- A66 Across the Pennines, Scotch Corner-Workington. The Eastern half is the faster.
- ...yes, but not for the faint hearted - it's one of those
with the signs saying "X number of people have been splattered on this
road. If you look carefully, you can see the blood stains. And various
limbs and broken bits of bones. Don't even think about breaking the
speed limit or we'll kill you. Ahahahahaha!!!!!"
- A65 along the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. If you're after road
system oddities, pop South down the B6254, and play with the
A601(M) - do 70mph legally on a single-carriageway road!
Hardly worthy of being called a motorway, but usually very empty.
Watch out for the occasional unmarked police car. Also comprehensively disproves the theory that new roads generate traffic...
- A35 Lyndhurst->Christchurch through the New Forest. Don't forget to stop at the Sammy Miller museum. The man *is* a god :)
- The A470 bit from Llangurig down to Rhayader/Builth can be fun too.
- A817 Loch Lomond to Garelochhead road. A wide, long, smooth curving road which
carries you from loch to loch a thousand feet above Glen Fruin - and the
mountains rise a further two thousand feet above your head. You can see many
miles down the glen.
The road itself is amazing. It soars and falls hundreds of feet at amazing angles. It's as close to being on a roller-coaster as you'll get on public roads. And it's a wide, safe, empty road - you can turn a corner into a new amazing view doing 60MPH (legally and safely) and at 1 in 10.
It's a complete sensory overload. And it's quite an easily reachable road. It's not heavily used, but was built to get materials and people to the Naval base at Faslane, which is why it's so overspecified.
Then there's the A817's sister road - the equally over-engineered but
unclassified route (it's an MoD road open to the public) from Garelochhead
to the naval depot at Coulport. This road probably has the most ignored 40
mph limit in the country (there isn't a building or junction anywhere along
its entire length), but the MoD police are so dim and lazy 60+ mph isn't a
In Summer 2003 it was reported that the speed limit on this road had been increased to NSL (60 mph). Well done MoD!
- B5105 from Ruthin to Cerrig-y-Druidon in North Wales. Often very quiet, with a good mix of bends and straights, a stretch through the Clocaenog Forest and some excellent moorland scenery
- I don't suppose anyone else will put this one forward, but I'm going to
suggest the B2110 (formerly A279) between Handcross and Lower Beeding (W Sussex). Single carriageway, but mostly dead straight, fairly flat, reasonably wide, not too many turnings, a short stretch of 50 limit, good for 80+ on a nice day, usually plenty of overtaking opportunities.
And no GATSOs!
- For sheer driving pleasure, though, it would have to be the A169 from
Pickering to Whitby - a fairly fast single carriageway up over the North
Yorkshire Moors, with impressive scenery all around.
- Another thought was the A5 north of Shrewsbury - not the fastest road in
the country, but enjoyable when it's not too busy.
- Be careful of the bit in the Oswestry/Nesscliffe area though;
if you keep your eyes peeled you'll notice quite a few of the
small "grey post" connection-points for buried-loop speed
cameras along this stretch! Several on Oswestry bypass too.
- A57 Snake Pass - the highest road in the UK. Twisty and turny, with
scenery (especially in the Glossop direction).
- Nowhere near the highest. The Kirkstone pass is higher at 1750ft, the
highest English road (not pass) is in the north lakes and leads to a
transmitter site. Which reminds me, out of season the Kirkstone can be
good if you like twisty challenges, definitely one for 4wd and
grip/power rather than outright speed, although Lotus 7 derivatives
would probably have fun. In season it's packed with buses doing 5mph,
elderly moggy minors and people taking it nice and slow to appreciate
Note: Neither of the above comments are correct. The highest public road in the UK is the A93 Cairnwell Pass in Scotland, which reaches 2199 feet above sea level. The Snake is 1680 feet, the Kirkstone Pass a mere 1489 feet.
- B5035 between Cromford and Ashbourne, apart from one pissy little village, it's all NSL twisty, a few sweepers, inc a great one by the reservoir. All you have to look out for is tractors, caravans, motorcyclists if you go on sunday, transits towing canoe racks, and farm animals. All adds to the challenge!
- I'm only aware of one physical GATSO device on the A9 between Perth and Inverness, facing southbound not far from Dalwhinnie, though there are lots of signs saying "Speed Cameras" and "Unmarked Cars Operating" and the like. Aside from that its fairly straight and boring especially on a motorbike, even though the scenery is spectacular.
- If you want a seriously twisty road try the B869 from Lochinver and back to the A894. Only really suitable for a motorbike though, and a few completely blind corners (mountains in the way) make it one for thought rather than speed.
- What about the A701 Moffat to Edinburgh road? It's one of my favourites. Only one village of note between Moffat and Penicuik, and the rest is hilly with sweeping bends. However, as it goes past the Devil's Beeftub, a particularly spectacular geographical feature, it is prone to scenery-viewing traffic and caravan-pullers at this time of year. Great fun on a dry winter's day though!
(the thread eventually tailed off into arguments about the A31 and speed cameras on the A9)
Further suggestions from readers of the website:
- The B1225 from Caistor to Horncastle (Lincs) - superb wide sweeping bends, great for cruising at 75+, lovely views across rolling countryside. In fact, the whole road from Humberside Airport to Market Deeping through Horncastle and Boston is a damn fine road :-)
- The A18 on the Isle of Man. The Mountain Road section of the TT course, where you can legally do 160mph. Long sweepers, even a hairpin. You will need serious power to take the "uphill" corners at the limit, but coming downhill, remember that the throttle works both ways. The
scenery is great too if you have time to notice it. You don't have to be a biker to enjoy it either, and the number of IOM hire cars getting mega-thrashed has to be seen to be believed!
- Near where I live (Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos), you leave the town north-east on the B4058. After a sharp ascent with lots of twisty corners (a little nasty), you come to a long straight, NSL (60), but long and straight, easy to hit 80mph or higher (coming towards Wotton you can easily top 90mph quite safely).
Turn right at the end onto the A4135, then next left back onto the B4058. Again, nice burst of speed (70-80mph, good visibility). After about 3 miles the B4058 bends sharply to the right, "straight ahead" goes onto an unclassified road. Take the straight ahead (indicate left though, it's technically a left turn), and here's where the fun begins. Probably the most fun road to drive, lots of sweeping corners with a few tight bends for good measure.
And the best part - all NSL, no speed cameras, and virtually nowhere for mobile speed traps to hide.
- Two of the best driving roads in my area are the B4077 from Teddington near Winchcombe to Stow on the Wold (and back again!); and the A422 from Worcester to Alcester. Neither have any cameras and I've never seen mobile speed cameras either. Both have a wonderful blend of fast and slow corners, useful straights, and attractive scenery.
- The B4425 from Cirencester up to the A40 just west of Burford. This in fact used to be an A-road, I've seen a couple of old maps from before
the M4 was completed showing it as the A433 - the A433 now stops at Cirencester, as there's a weight limit on a bridge at Bibury (which is why the road was downgraded). Lots of twisty bends, this road was originally 3 lanes, NSL most of the way (except where it goes through a few villages en route) and generally a lot of fun.
On the few occasions where you get stuck behind some doddering fool in a Rover, there's plenty of overtaking straights too. Because the road was originally built as 3 lanes, overtaking is easy, and the weight limit at Burford means no HGVs (they all go up the A429 Fosseway instead).
- B4560 between Ebbw Vale & Llangynidr. I travel this road most days and it's absolutely brilliant. It has everything, fast straights and
steep drops and an awesome set of tight bends and two hairpins, its highest point is around 1300ft. Most motoring programmes and magazines have road-tested cars there, including Tiff Needell in a TVR! (lucky *******).
- The A59 from Harrogate to Skipton. Has some good long hills and straights where you can overtake in batches of 20 or more with a 90hp diesel :-)
- The B6277 from Middleton in Teesdale to Alston. Actually the first few miles can be a pain, but it improves dramatically past Langdon Beck. The return journey is probably the finer drive. Need to exercise caution when young lambs are around though.
- The A68 goes between Darlington and Edinburgh and is easily the most fun road I’ve ever driven on. No speed cameras (till the Scottish border) and whole lengths of roman road with steep peaks, winding switchback sections, and the finest scenery on any road south of Fort William all goes together to make this road a real winner. I believe that there are internet sites with pages dedicated to it!
I will heartily second this for the section south of the Border at Carter Bar - that switchback along Dere Street with all the blind summits is amazing. But once in Scotland unfortunately I must exclude it, as the placing of speed cameras on all the decent overtaking straights makes it dangerous and frustrating.
- The A686 Penrith to Alston, fantastic on a motorbike, or by car during a weekday evening or morning. Most of the road is open countryside, very challenging but rewarding,with a cafe at Hartside Top, amazing views.
- The A7 from Hawick to Longtown, generally quiet and one of the best driving roads in the country, there were no speed cameras the last time I drove it.
- The B769 Stewarton to Barrhead Dams. It’s only nine miles and I have done this stretch of road – once - in seven and a half minutes (ahem). Coming from the Barrhead end it is twisty and hilly for about half the length and then gets straighter in sections once you hit the highest point at the small loch. Great fun in a car but you have only a maximum of eight overtaking opportunities in a quick car, about four in an ordinary one in this direction. You have less coming from Stewarton. An absolute blast on a motorbike. Lots of accidents, so get to know it before you let rip.
- A832 Garve to Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands. I ride a sports bike and this road was made to be ridden quickly while never compromising your view or safety.
- A personal favourite is the A835, not much going for it before Garve but then gets better and better, especially north of Ullapool.
In fact any A road in the North Highlands (above Inverness), even the A9 along the Caithness/Sutherland coast on a weekday, especially since so much EEC money has gone into upgrading sections of single track.
- A887 Invermoriston - Bun Loyne. As soon as you leave Invermoriston it's NSL all the way; no cameras; it's wide; it's mostly empty; it's got a few sweeping bends; it's got good scenery. It was refreshing to drive on even after a 600 miles in a day trip to the Highlands from SE London. It has been widened and straightened in recent years. If you come up on a caravan, just drive straight past, whether or not something is coming the other way. There is one small section which looks to be original build, where the road crosses the River Moriston. Otherwise it's very wide S2 all the way.
- The A93 from Blairgowrie to Braemar, the Glen Shee road. I usually ride it on my motorbike but recently travelled in my car, Honda S2000. With some spirited riding I managed to stay with a couple on a Kawasaki. So many twists and turns and rises and falls, no chance to relax and requires 100% concentration. Excellent fun, just what riding is about.
- The best driving road in the UK is the A970 on the Shetland Isles. Many years ago, the oil refinery wanted to build an airport on the island, near Sullom Voe refinery. Shetland Council refused this and insisted the airport be built on the southern tip. This was thus done and the oil revenue has built a fantastic great quality road from north to south on the main island. It is full of fast long radius corners with great visibility, that permit very fast speeds in safety. There is also very little traffic on it, and the local drivers are very alert.
My friend, who has lived on Shetland for 15 years said on my recent visit, that there is a rumour that the island Police have borrowed a speed gun from the mainland, but this hasn't been confirmed.
- Almost any road in Northumberland, Durham west of the A1 is a dream to drive, scenic, hilly, historic, lacks of GATSOs and, most importantly, empty even at peak holiday times.
My favourite drives are:
1. Amble to Hexham via Alnmouth & Alnwick (A1068) - Alnwick to Rothbury (B6341) - Rothbury to Hexham (B6341) & (A6079) & (A69). Any of the places mentioned are worth a visit. Enroute you will pass gorgeous coastal scenery, beautiful high heather-clad moorland views, Warkworth Castle (of Harry Hotspur fame), Alnwick Castle (Dukes of Northumberland home for over 700 years & Harry Potter fame) , Cragside Hall & Gardens (Lord Armstrong's home, the first in the world to be powered by its own hydro-electricity), historic Wallington Hall and gardens, Hadrian's Wall and and the huge Roman site of Corstopitum at beautiful Corbridge), and Historic Hexham. Total Driving distance about 56 miles, two hours non stop. Stop off to explore enroute and you'll have one of the best days of your life
2. Hexham to Bowness on Windermere via Starward Peel Hairpins, Alston (A686) (possibly the highest village in England), Hartside Hairpins and views of the Lake District NP, Penrith, Reghed Historic Visitor Centre, Dalemain House, Lake Ullswater, Kirkstone Pass and Lake Windermere. In all another 58 Miles and two hours of blissful driving. I believe the Sunday Times rated this the best drive in England.
3. To cap it all, add both routes together and you get a fantastic day's drive, providing, of course, you make sure the weather is forecast to be clear. If its to be low cloud, heavy rain or snow, you miss the views and the driving could be hard work.
- I can't believe nobody mentioned the 'Pass of the cattle' or 'Bealach-Na-Ba' in NW Scotland, the road to Applecross. This starts at sea level and goes all the way to 2066 feet via meandering and sometime precarious twists and turns culminating in a series of hairpin bends which takes you to a summit plateau. There's a car park at the top where I've camped many times. On a clear day (!) you can see Skye off to one side and the Applecross mountains all around. You can even see Ben Nevis. On the way down there's a few surprises including the 'Devils Elbow' which claimed a few cars over the years. Applecross itself is worth a visit as one of the most isolated places on the whole mainland. One of the few places in the UK where you can drive right through the clouds and look down on the world!
- The old A30 in Cornwall (Innis Downs (Lanivet) to Castle an Dinas) has been modified since the new dual carriageway has been built and it's the new bits that provide the most fun as they are open, empty sweeping bends with no Gatsos. The most fun parts of the route are between Innis Downs and Victoria interchange. After passing Victoria the road then opens up again and then just after the iron rail bridge the road straightens up before some large gently sweeping and cambered bends before reaching Castle an Dinas. It's all National Speed Limit except the 40mph through Victoria, but it would be silly not to include this route as 2 separate ones. In the right conditions the road on from that towards St Columb Major (Trekenning Cross) can be equally as fun.
- The unclassified Buttertubs Pass in the Yorkshire Dales, between Hawes and Muker, is a belter - in fact Clarkson mentioned it as being the most spectacular in Britain. It is a lovely drive, crossing from Wensleydale to Swaledale. Good in either direction, with soft bends on each climb, and a few dips at the top. Awesome on a clear day.
- The unclassified Bluestone Heath Road in Lincolnshire. This country road, wide in places, runs between the A157 near Welton le Wold and the A16 near Ulceby Cross. Cadwell Park is about the half way point along this road. Plenty of wide scenic views, no GATSOs and it's a NSL (60) road. Beware of cross roads, there are quite a few but only one, where Bluestone Heath Road crosses the A153 at Cadwell Park, has a Give Way sign.
- Highlands. North West of Glen Garry. From Lochcarron take the A896 to Tornapress, then turn left onto the minor road to Applecross. This single track road leads up to the Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) and has warnings that it is not to be used by inexperienced drivers or large vehicles as it has numerous hairpin bends, 1 in 5 inclines and very big drops (thankfully with crash barriers) at the side of the road. There is a car park at the top with some excellent views over the surrounding countryside. Drop down the other side lunch in the pub in Applecross then follow the coast north. Motoring heaven.
- Kinloch Hourn is a small settlement at the end of Loch Hourn, in the West Highlands of Scotland. The name comes from the Gaelic, Ceann Loch Shubhairne, for "the head of Loch Hourn". Kinloch Hourn is at the end of 35 km (22 miles) of single track road, which runs west from a junction with the A87 beside Loch Garry.
Very steep at the end better than 1in3. Its a dead end. There is a cafe and a B and B. Refresh before the return trip. Some lucky postman travels this road every day.!!!
This area is one of the darkest in the country at night and is ideal for star and planet gazing.
- Easy - every road on the Isle of Mull!
And a few more suggestions of my own:
- A50 through Cheshire between Warrington and Kidsgrove. Not a spectacular road, but no Gatsos, no sub-NSL rural limits apart from a short stretch of 50 at Cranage, many great overtaking straights, often quiet, and a good reminder of what "real" main roads were like before the motorway era.
- A535 between Holmes Chapel and Alderley Edge. A good mix of overtaking straights and bends that can be taken at up to 60 mph, depending on your nerve. There's a twisty stretch of 50 at the southern end as far as Twemlow Green, but you can't do much more than 50 along there in a car anyway, and it's never likely to be enforced.
- A6024 between Holmfirth and the A628 through Longdendale - the highest pass in the South Pennines, a spectacular, challenging up-and-down road with some magnificent scenery. The northbound descent to Holme village must be one of the longest steep hills on the entire UK road network. Regrettably, the southbound exit on to the A628 has extremely poor visiblity - surely traffic signals would be desirable here?
- A640 from Denshaw to Outlane ("Nant Sarah's Pass") - a challenging, highly scenic climb up from Denshaw, then a long, open straight right across the top of the moors.
If you have any more suggestions for inclusion on this page, please send me an e-mail
I suppose this proves that despite all the congestion and GATSOs and speed limit cuts there are still plenty of roads out there well worth driving for pleasure, if you know where to look.
And, while some may object to any suggestion of finding pleasure in driving, surely being able to drive enthusiastically but legally (ish) along an open rural main road subject to the National Speed Limit is the best way of enjoying it. To quote from the IAM's Advanced Driving Manual (and you can hardly accuse them of an irresponsible attitude):
The most enjoyable driving you ever do comes on quiet country roads with all their variety of interesting corners, open views of the road, gentle ups and downs and pleasant scenery. Cornering your car with precision, at a confident but safe speed, is part of the pleasure.
Country roads give you a chance to enjoy your driving to the full. You can achieve good progress because traffic is light, enjoy cornering at higher speeds, appreciate the scenery and derive satisfaction from making well-judged overtaking manouevres.
(last updated April 2011)
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