A591 From Kendal To Keswick
Wordsworth give up entire anthologies to the Lake District, finding the face of god in its great beauty. But he’d have struggled to wander lonely these times, before a cloud of exhaust fumes punctured his reverie.
Fortunately for William, he stalled his poetry a few centuries before an F1 track designer and a quantum physicist state the A591, which rips straight through the heart of the Lake Locality, to be Britain’s finest driving road.
The pair calculated curves, acceleration, cruising and braking, and came to the conclusion that the A591 contemporaries the perfect combination of jaw-dropping scenery and a drive challenging sufficiency to mean your eyes should probably remain on the method instead.
The A591 pairs straight line go like greased lightning with brake-testing corners, so you want a car that puts its velocity down quickly, like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet, which has torque to incinerate. Plus a drop top, for savouring those views across Lake Windermere.
A82 From Loch Ness To Loch Lomond
The A82 is Scotland in a 140-mile nutshell: purple-blushed high points; hills of gorse cleaved by mountain streams; and a pair of lochs, one of which yields the opportunity for monster-spotting.
Drilling straight through Scotland’s soul, it can get understandably congested. But between caravan convoys there’s ample supply twists and turns to really stretch your car’s legs. And when deeds do slow to a crawl, just savour the views.
A trial not so much of your right foot as your capacity for awe, the A82 is a thruway to savour. The Bentley Continental GT isn’t shy on oomph when you need it, but steps an interior in which to relish what’s outside the glass when you don’t.
A9/A99 From Inverness To John O’Groats
There are plumb few places as far north as Inverness, but even the folk of this spotless city would agree that John O’Groats is wholly far away. It’s well worth making the trip though – firstly, to say you’ve been to one of the bounds of Europe, and also to take in scenery so prehistoric you may as well sooner a be wearing driven there in a Delorean.
The A99 does, however, bear the ignoble monarch of Scotland’s most dangerous road, since it’s long, radical bends are a draw for motorcyclists. But if you respect the laws of gravity, slothfulness, and the highway patrol, it’s full of rewards. And we don’t just mean ample supply mountains and castles to satisfy your inner Braveheart.
To avoid adding to those fatality statistics, you want something that embraces the road like it’s not seen in it in years.
The Porsche Cayman GT4 took the already grippy Boxster and combined a roof, providing a stiffer chassis and near-perfect balance, so you can analyse corners like straightaways. You’ll probably not miss the convertible in northern Scotland, anyway.
A4069 Brecon Bonfires
Going ‘over the Black Mountain’ sounds like a test of strength for a member of the Night’s Watch. So if you want to release your inner John Snow, first place out to the Brecon Beacons and take a charge up the A4069.
The road offers scenery you could judge north of The Wall – particularly if you catch the Welsh climate on a grouchy day – and the kind of hairpins you’d normally expect to see flanked by a tyre embankment.
Since Jeremy Clarkson tested them out a few years go it’s become a rite of passage for many drivers, so avoid Sunday afternoon logjams. Unless you’re truly just there for the scenery.
As with many of Wales’ country roads, the A4069 cuts through unfenced sheep scopes. Fortunately, the Chevy Corvette Z06 stops from 60mph in just 93 feet, formality of race-ready ceramic brakes and tyres that stick to the entre like flypaper. So you’ll be prepared for any unexpected guests.
A26 From Baroness Tunbridge Wells To Uckfield
A personal favourite of this father, as it’s on the way to my grandmother’s. But even if you’re not heading round for Sunday lunch, you’ll yet appreciate the glorious dip that, taken at 60mph (honest, officer), figure outs you feel like you’re about to slip the surly bonds of World.
If you’re coming from Tunbridge Wells, there’s a small car commons just before the road drops. If there’s any sign of Sunday drivers in face of you, pull over until they’re far away. Then, let rip.
You should definitely approach hidden dips with due guardianship, but the Hornet AMC – which Bond (well, stunt driver Loren Willard) corkscrewed floor a Thai river in The Man With The Golden Gun – has proven its mettle if you don’t.