RE: Fosse Way 'bow tie': My Dream Drive

RE: Fosse Way 'bow tie': My Dream Drive

Thursday 28th August 2014

Fosse Way 'bow tie': My Dream Drive

You won't mind being sent to Coventry if you take this little diversion



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]

Author
Discussion

theJT

Original Poster:

269 posts

118 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
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

3,445 posts

137 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
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

270 posts

95 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
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

525 posts

170 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
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

193 posts

193 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
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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littleredrooster

3,701 posts

129 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
About 2 miles from me at the nearest point. Part of that route (Princethorpe - Cubbington - Leamington) was my commute for over 10 years.

A word of warning about the Fosse, however. It has its 'interesting' bits, but for the most part it's quite dangerous IMO. Careful observation reveals many minor roads, tracks and field entrances just beyond a brow of a hill. At harvest time (now!) it's not unusual to find the biggest fk-off lump of agricultural machinery just out of sight over that crest doing 3mph!

VladD

7,222 posts

198 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
I live on the map (Bubbenhall). Will have to give that route a try in both directions at some point.

Shame I didn't know you were planning this Dan or you could have taken my Boxster Turbo for a spin and compared notes on Euni (if that's the plural of Eunos).

Edited by VladD on Thursday 28th August 13:52

Kawasicki

5,308 posts

168 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
Back in the day I spent my student beer money flogging a roly poly BMW 318i along that stretch. It's a bit....fast.

RacerMike

1,971 posts

144 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
I live in Leamington and commute along various parts of that, so know them well! Fosse is pretty much always too busy these days unless it's very early on a Sunday. Plenty of the minor roads well worth a look in though, but as mentioned, plenty of farm traffic around.

VladD

7,222 posts

198 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
I live in Leamington and commute along various parts of that, so know them well! Fosse is pretty much always too busy these days unless it's very early on a Sunday. Plenty of the minor roads well worth a look in though, but as mentioned, plenty of farm traffic around.
999 posts Mike. I think a picture of your Caterham would be a good way to hit the 1000.

dukebox9reg

1,244 posts

81 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
littleredrooster said:
About 2 miles from me at the nearest point. Part of that route (Princethorpe - Cubbington - Leamington) was my commute for over 10 years.

A word of warning about the Fosse, however. It has its 'interesting' bits, but for the most part it's quite dangerous IMO. Careful observation reveals many minor roads, tracks and field entrances just beyond a brow of a hill. At harvest time (now!) it's not unusual to find the biggest fk-off lump of agricultural machinery just out of sight over that crest doing 3mph!
I agree. in the last 2 weeks driving home only 1 day out of the 10 has there not been a tractor slowing everything down to a crawl.

Doesnt help that nobody seems to like to overtake nowadays and just decide to drive nose to tail. Again this road has lots of hidden dips and crests so decent lengths of overtaking room for a convoy of 10 cars is few and far between.

Is a fun road though but again as somebody else has pointed out a few sections have appalling undulations which even at 60 in a firm sprung car will have your car bucking all over the place.

D.no

207 posts

145 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
I lived on the Fosse for 9 years - not the most rewarding road in the area by a large margin, but certainly fun in something capable of exploiting the open flowing nature, and the shorter overtaking opportunities. It's not technical, and won't give you a work-out. Diligence is required though as has already been said, as there are a lot of cross roads, and it's a relatively busy route.

As an alternative, the A423 from Southam to Banbury has a few fun sections, as does the Gaydon to Banbury road (B4100), and a bit further South the A422 between the Fosse and Banbury is also nice.

All this has got me thinking about another trip to the Alps now! ...or maybe Corsica again..

scarble

5,131 posts

90 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
The Fosse is ok but iirc it's a 50 most of the way and a few cameras, not many overtaking opportunities either and it tends to get busy. Surface not great.
There are a few short but interesting runs a bit further north too, round by Brinklow and Coombe Abbey, where you can stop off for an ice cream or a barbecue smile
There's that one road with RR and a Holiday inn or something, has a chicane in it and the little bump with the rough bits from years of people landing heavily hehe

RacerMike

1,971 posts

144 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
VladD said:
999 posts Mike. I think a picture of your Caterham would be a good way to hit the 1000.
Here you go wink

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

VladD

7,222 posts

198 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
RacerMike said:
VladD said:
999 posts Mike. I think a picture of your Caterham would be a good way to hit the 1000.
Here you go wink

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...
I wasn't expecting a picture of a three wheeler. biggrin

shalmaneser

3,435 posts

128 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
VladD said:
RacerMike said:
I live in Leamington and commute along various parts of that, so know them well! Fosse is pretty much always too busy these days unless it's very early on a Sunday. Plenty of the minor roads well worth a look in though, but as mentioned, plenty of farm traffic around.
999 posts Mike. I think a picture of your Caterham would be a good way to hit the 1000.
Sod that, where are the pics of your Boxster Turbo?

100SRV

1,405 posts

175 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
The unsealed bit much further South from Bath to Cirencester is very good too, a nice way to make progress "in" the scenery.

100SRV

AMDBSNick

6,115 posts

95 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
willld said:
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
Part of my commute every day. A complete and utter nightmare. However the road between Pailton and Rugby puts a smile back on my face biggrin

VladD

7,222 posts

198 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
shalmaneser said:
VladD said:
RacerMike said:
I live in Leamington and commute along various parts of that, so know them well! Fosse is pretty much always too busy these days unless it's very early on a Sunday. Plenty of the minor roads well worth a look in though, but as mentioned, plenty of farm traffic around.
999 posts Mike. I think a picture of your Caterham would be a good way to hit the 1000.
Sod that, where are the pics of your Boxster Turbo?
Have a butchers here.

sjwb

487 posts

141 months

Thursday 28th August 2014
quotequote all
Well, the first thing that came into my head when I looked at picture #1 was "that isn't the Fosse, it's Cow st corner!" Which of course is on my PERSONAL racetrack from Pricethorpe through Weston and on to Cubbington. I have had some epics up there over the years and my favourites were, in equal parts, Hayabusa and Caterham.
One time, we turned in off the Oxford road to be confronted by the rear of an XJ220. Well, we had to didn't we? Me on a GSXR1100 and my son on a GSXR 750. We won!
Oh and I have fallen off on that stretch as well, so it hasn't all been fun.
Wonderful bit of road - and do take care on the aforementioned corner; it is aptly named.