Chasing The Sun: My Dream Drive

Name: Dan Thompson
Route: Surrey back roads medley
Car used: MGB V8

The route:
"The best bits of Surrey in around two hours, including a blast through the Hindhead Tunnel, and the excellent A272 from Petersfield to Wisborough Green. Best to do this one early to avoid any commuter traffic and to give you a free run at the tunnel. This is a favourite of mine because it combines all the areas we have visited in the MG over the years, and there are so many of offshoots and variations that you'll never get bored. A good extension is to take in the roads south towards Goodwood - a favourite around the Revival, especially worth parking up somewhere in Midhurst to watch all the classics en route.

"The route starts anywhere near the A3, I just happened to start in Woking, at 5am! I had got the car set up the night before as I was keen to make the most of it and had to fill the tanks. I had also rented a pair of GoPros to try and get some on car footage, so I gave the car a quick run at 10 the previous evening, just so the neighbours would know what was making the noise the following morning when I set off."

Why it's a dream drive:
"I had done some man maths beforehand, which has proven to be correct as I don't have a speeding ticket (touch wood). Basically the Hindhead tunnel is 1.5 miles long from camera to camera (please check it yourself on google maps), so that gives you 1 minute 17 seconds to plod along doing well under the 70 mph limit. Geeky I know, but well worth it, just do it early enough and the only traffic is London bound, and any southbound is in the nearside lane.

"The rest of the route down the A3 was basically a good excuse to get the oil warmed up and the engine running sweetly. I never tire of the sound of the V8, and I plan to have many more in future. Once the A3 reaches near Petersfield you can pick your way onto the A272, either directly off the A3 or as I did via Liss, Hillbrow and Rogate. I loved the way the B-road wound its way up and over as the sun was rising through the trees. This time of year makes it a perfect route to do west to east, I just went on a perfect weather forecast the previous day, and took my chance, packing the cameras and kit the night before."

Highlights and lowlights:
"The A272 had a few cars on it, but a short wait in a couple of lay-bys for the next car gave me a good empty run on most of the road. The road has a fair number of 40mph limits, but it doesn't have to be done quickly, especially when the car makes 40 feel like 60, being so low and compact. The towns of Midhurst and Petworth are picturesque and there a few walled sections through which the exhaust note sounded fantastic. I went as far as Wisborough Green and took a left back towards Guildford, via Cranleigh, Ewhurst and Shere. I love the rocky sections on the roads that run north to south through the Surrey hills as the rocky cuttings are both dramatic and sonically awesome."

Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"I didn't stop en route, as not much was open at that time. But there are plenty of good pubs along the route. My favourites are on the way back in Shere, being the William Bray and the supposedly haunted White Horse, as well as the tucked away Stephan Langton. My main aim was to stop at Newlands Corner, but I had the added bonus of an excellent bacon sandwich at the roadside in the lay-by on the A25 just out of Shere.

"I can't get enough of the view from Newlands Corner, it reminds me slightly of one called 'Surprise View' in Derbyshire somewhere near Froggatt Edge."

Follow the route here.


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Comments (19) Join the discussion on the forum

  • w824gb3 14 Apr 2015

    Why is the roof up????????????

  • Mogul 14 Apr 2015

    It's structural!


  • MikeGoodwin 14 Apr 2015

    Perfect been waiting for a route on my doorstep. Cheers!

  • unsprung 14 Apr 2015

    A sense of occasion at such an early start. My fav's:

    - not just any classical motor, but a V8 classical motor

    - savouring the bacon sandwich along the way!

  • IanO 14 Apr 2015

    What a great route, I have to do the Guildford to Petersfield bit once a week for work and it is lovely and usually traffic free. I will try the rest of the route on the return journey. Agree about Newlands corner - it is spectacular and usually a good bike meet there most weekends.

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