Fosse Way 'bow tie': My Dream Drive

Name: Dan Trent
Where: Fosse Way, Coventry
Car used: Honda S2000

No wonder it's popular with JLR test drivers
No wonder it's popular with JLR test drivers
The route:
"The Fosse Way in its entirety stretches from Exeter to Lincoln - file under 'what did the Romans ever do for us?' if you're in any doubt about its history. Indeed, according to Wikipedia it never deviates for more than six miles from a straight line for the whole route. If that doesn't sound too promising as a Dream Drive then prepare to be relieved that, Roman road or not, this bit of the Fosse does have more than a few twists and turns.

"The section featured here is but a fraction, linked into a 'bow tie' shape with a couple of other local B-roads. We chanced upon it while shooting our Honda S2000 Buying Guide having picked up the car we were photographing from its owner in Coventry. Choosing some random squiggles on a map actually delivered a cracking drive."

Why it's a dream drive:
"Proof that you don't have to travel too far from urban conurbations to enjoy a proper slice of British B-road at its best, this little loop has just enough in the way of corners, elevation changes and sightlines to help you really enjoy the run. Sections of it can also be used to link major trunk roads in the area too.

Open sections permit generous sightlines
Open sections permit generous sightlines
"Sure, Wales, Scotland and other more remote spots in the British Isles have more epic scenery and more expansive and quieter roads. But they're not always in easy reach of all of us and it's lovely to chance upon such fantastic roads in what's otherwise one of the busiest corners of Britain. Maybe we were just lucky - on the midweek morning we were there the road was pretty quiet and there was plenty of opportunity to enjoy the car and the surprisingly open scenery.

"The quality of the road clearly isn't lost on the engineers from Jaguar Land Rover either - the Whitley engineering centre is just up the road and we saw a couple of camo'd up prototypes being shaken down while we were there. We all know JLR products handle well; if this is where they get signed off it's easy to understand why."

Highlights and lowlights:
"The downhill plunge early on the B4453 down the sweeping right-hander and between the open fields towards Wappenbury gives a lovely view of the Warwickshire countryside and the road really flows beautifully. This is broken at Cubbington and the road linking back to the Fosse Way is narrower and more measured but back on the B4455 it opens out again and the undulating flow returns.

British B-road, summer sun, S2000 ... all good!
British B-road, summer sun, S2000 ... all good!
"The junctions crossing the A423 might slow you down a bit and the second section contains a length of A45 to tie in the return leg but if you can get a clear run on the B-road sections it's all worthwhile. Usual disclaimers remain though - this is obviously a well trodden route with cyclists, farm traffic and other road users of varying speeds. Use your head and time it right."

Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"There are a few pubs along the way if you're passing through and need refreshment. We'd stick to the villages rather than the ones along the main roads into Coventry though. Other than that the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon isn't a million miles away if your appetite for four-wheeled fun hasn't been satisfied.

Follow the route on Google maps here

[Sources: Google Maps, Wikipedia]

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (42) Join the discussion on the forum

  • theJT 28 Aug 2014

    Ahhhh, the 'fosse. I like that.

    The little stretch of 423 below it that connects Southam to Banbury is also an absolute gem... if you can catch it without any traffic on it that is. I've not been that way in a couple of years sadly, but I'm told they dropped a 50mph speed limit on it recently, which is a shame.

  • matt21 28 Aug 2014

    I live about 5 miles from here and know the roads well.

    They aren't amazing, but good fun without too much traffic. Had some interesting drives down these lanes over the years.

  • Roadster25 28 Aug 2014

    Great roads indeed, where I often end up having a play smile

    Can thoroughly recommend the Stag at Offchurch for a bite to eat too!

  • ndg 28 Aug 2014

    The B4453/4455 is a great bit of road, but I'd argue you're running it the wrong way - It's better in the Leamington-Rugby direction - particularly the hill up from Wappenbury past Hill Farm.

    I'd also not use the lower section of the Fosse - continue straight over on the Welsh road all the way in to the back of Southam, then up the A423 back to Princethorpe. This second section of the welsh road is great with good sight lines on some sections as well as crests, 90's and narrow bridges.

  • willld 28 Aug 2014

    The section slightly further North, between the B4112 Nuneaton Road and the Coal Pit Lane is a real test of your suspension, straight but not exactly smooth biggrin

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