My Dream Drive: The B1145


Name: Matt Bird
Where: B1145 and B1153, Norfolk
Car used: Toyota GT86

B-road nirvana, weather notwithstanding
B-road nirvana, weather notwithstanding
The route:
Travelling up from Ipswich, take the first exit off the A140 once it clears Norwich onto the B1149/Holt Road; this leads up to B1145. It then worms its way across rural Norfolk from Norwich all the way to Kings Lynn, with a whole host of roads leading up to the coast along the way. My Dream Drive took in the B1153 from Gayton, a few miles before Kings Lynn.

The simplicity of the route is one of its benefits. It can literally be followed from Cawston all the way to Kings Lynn if desired, with only a couple of junctions that require a right then left rather than a simple crossing. It doesn't need a complex plan of attack stuck to the dashboard!

The B1153 is similar, working a simple path North to the A149 and the north Norfolk coast. Once you're at Docking, the sea isn't far away.

Early starts will be rewarded on B1145
Early starts will be rewarded on B1145
Why it's a dream drive:
The B1145 is great for its diversity. Long straights will often tighten into much more complex sections and chicanes, testing heel 'n' toe skills to the limit (this driver still needs some practice!). Even the small villages encountered along the way can have some challenging curves in them. The variety makes something small, nimble and approachable really handy, so the GT86 we had in the PH office was ideal.

Because the A140 serves most normal traffic wishing to travel between Norwich and Kings Lynn, the B1145 is often fairly quiet, especially early in the morning. Moreover, without any significant towns along the way, the route isn't plagued with significant slower periods. It's not Chamonix or the A93, but the B1145 is an interesting, challenging, enjoyable drive.

Fun starts here!
Fun starts here!
Highlights and lowlights:
A lot of the route is pretty rural and undisturbed so be mindful of dozy animals. I came across a whole host of birds including pheasants, and you're often moving a lot quicker than they are!

There are a few taller hedgerows along the way that can slow your progress in a low-slung sports car. But then it encourages making the most of the road between them, and there's plenty of wide, open, flat (this is Norfolk!) sections additionally.

But then being in Norfolk makes the B1145 a bit of a pain to access. It's great as one of those local roads that we all have but, without any motorways in Suffolk or Norfolk, travelling there is arduous.

A final note is probably required on the weather. I somehow managed to pick a Saturday morning in July for this feature that wasn't blindingly sunny and tremendously hot, instead being faced with murky skies and the odd drop of rain. Still, who's going to complain about a slightly greasy road in a GT86?

Long Stratton a must-see on the way
Long Stratton a must-see on the way
Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
Those travelling up from Suffolk have to take in Long Stratton garage. It's a Lotus, Aston and Morgan specialist that always contains some gorgeous cars for sale. Conveniently, there's a petrol station also.

Without sounding pretentious, the route really is all about the driving; there isn't that much to distract you! However, the B1153 ends right on the North Norfolk coast so, as well as the sea views, there's places like Cromer and Sheringham to make a stop at. Then turn round and do it all again the other way...

Furthermore, the flexibility of the route means it can divert almost any which way you want. Links like the B1146 and B1110 work their way north also. To be honest, they are routes I haven't explored fully so should probably head back soon. Toyota, can we have a GT86 back?

To follow the route, click here







My Dream Drive is sponsored by Dunlop Tyres. To share yours email us atdreamdrives@pistonheads.com - if we publish your Dream Drive you'll get a pair of complimentary tickets to the BTCC round of your choosing, courtesy of Dunlop Tyres.


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Comments (20) Join the discussion on the forum

  • iluvmercs 01 Aug 2013

    A great write up of a wonderful road in a fun car thumbup

    Whenever I organise a Run with the East Anglian group, I try to find wonderful driving roads in Norfolk, Suffolk and occasionally Cambridgeshire.

    I will feature the B1145 for at least one of the Runs each year.
    Docking also features, albeit from the Burnham Market direction.

    Your start point of Cawston is good, and the Holt road can be entertaining (as long as there is little traffic), but the I would recommend turning off at the Haveringland Road, entering Cawston from there - that seems to have less traffic and is a hoot on narrow country lanes.
    Or you could even head up the Reepham Road from Norwich. That's a joy to drive, too! biggrin

    Thanks for the enjoyable write up driving

    Darren

  • Konan 01 Aug 2013

    Noooooo! Don't tell everyone!

    It much faster to get from 'nham to Kings Lynn down this route than the big A road that connects them.


  • Bruniep 01 Aug 2013

    I used to drive a good chunk of this every day for two years, Kings Lynn to RAF Coltishall. Used to keep up a decent average speed with very little traffic early in the morning. Good flowing road, all about momentum.

  • RobS77 01 Aug 2013

    I used to drive past the Stratton Motor company quite regularly a few years ago -at the time the sign for the village of Long Stratton where it's based had be altered with the t's replaced with p's.

  • edward1 01 Aug 2013

    started using part of this route from kings lynn to get down to the inlaws in north walsham and avoid the traffic on the main A roads. starts off well but towards Aylsham I found it gets a bit narrow to properly enjoy (little opportunities to overtake meaning a slow truck can ruin all the good progress made earlier) and also too many villages requiring slowing to 30ish. If the right time of day the A road can be quite pleasant (apart from the odd camera).

    Still got nothing on the roads in scotland or even some of the roads I'll be driving in n Wales tomorrow but not bad for Norfolk!

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