When was the last time you went for a proper, long drive? It happens all too rarely for me, and truth be told I haven’t had the chance to go for more than a quick blast since January.
A rare gap in the diary meant I could take our long-term Jaguar XE on a long road trip though, and I wanted it to be somewhere good, somewhere with a good driving road to really put our XE through its paces. You know the sort of roads I mean - the ones that go on and on, uninterrupted by junctions or roundabouts. The ones with epic scenery, very little traffic and a fairly relaxed attitude to speed limits.
Fortunately, the internet is awash with suggestions for great driving roads in the UK. Wales features heavily, as does Scotland and the Cotswolds, but one that keeps cropping up is the B4632 between Stratford-Upon-Avon and Cheltenham - perfect then, I’d go and find it.
An early start meant I was on my way up the M40 motorway before most of the country was out of bed, and by just after 9.30 I was in Shakespeare country. I’d intended to go and take pictures of Anne Hathaway’s cottage, but I got distracted by an old Sea Princess aeroplane I saw rusting away in a local airfield. One thing lead to another, and the result is the picture you see at the top of this blog. Anne Hathaway will have to wait.
The B4632, as it turns out, is a great road. It starts off by winding through traditional villages - the sort with sandstone walls and thatched roofs - before rising up over the local countryside. The views were outstanding, and for the 40 or so minutes it took to get to Cheltenham I was completely lost in the majesty of it all. The car was great, too - but I’ll save that report for an upcoming issue of the magazine.
My point is this - it’s only when we make time to go for a proper drive that we discover places like this, and suddenly we remember what it’s like to really enjoy driving.
So, a question. You’ve got a full tank of fuel (maybe it’s the last tank of fuel in a post-apocalyptic world?), one car and enough time for one final drive. Where are you, and what are you driving? Answers on a postcard, please.
Read our latest Jaguar XE long-term report here.