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RE: Lotus country: My Dream Drive

RE: Lotus country: My Dream Drive

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Lotus country: My Dream Drive

Well, if there were ever a place for a Lotus to shine...



Name: Matt Bird
Where: Aldeburgh, Suffolk
Car: Lotus Exige Cup 430


The route:
"You can see below for a couple of routes suggested by Lotus; various logistical issues meant that I wasn't able to start and finish at Hethel, the route instead more Suffolk-based. I can vouch, however, for a couple of the excellent B-roads in those Lotus loops.

Instead my little excursion began and finished at Aldeburgh, because I don't need an excuse to be beside the seaside. That there are a few excellent B-roads nearby, plus a some nice cafes on the high street for breakfast, sealed the deal for me.

Out of Aldeburgh and back on the A12 heading north, I picked up the A144 just before Yoxford, heading to Halesworth; once you're at Halesworth Golf Club take the B1117 towards Heveningham. That runs all the way across to Eye and the A140 (and is fantastic), but I opted to take the B1116 northbound at Fressingfield. This takes you up to the A143, although south towards Framlingham (and it's now much more famous castle) is an excellent country road too.

Take the A143 through Wortwell and soon after there's a right turn for the B1062 that will take you across the River Waveney and in the direction of Beccles. Once you're in the area, keep a look out for the A145 that will take you back towards the A12. A very brief stint on there is followed by the B1125 and B1122 to get you back over to the coast. A great way to spend a Saturday morning!"


Why it's a dream drive:
"Because these are the sort of roads that a Lotus is meant to work on. Sure, the Cup is about as track-focused as Lotus products come, but a few Hethel hallmarks shine through when you combine an Exige and country roads. The compact size means you can place it confidently, even with hedgerows, the steering communicates every last detail of the car and the surface, plus there's a sense of immersion and engagement that makes ordinary roads (rather than just race tracks) fantastically exciting.

This is a dream drive because it's packed full of tight, twisting, testing B-roads, unsurprisingly just the thing for a small British sports car to shine on. There are more open sections as well, plus a nice A-road stint, but it's those stretches of tarmac that writhe through the countryside that are most memorable.

Being rural means these roads are typically pretty quiet as well, the A12 serving to get people where they need to be if they're in a rush. Or as much of a rush as you can be in Suffolk. That you can finish your B-road blast at any number of lovely coastal towns only makes it more satisfying."


Highlights and lowlights:
"The B1116 and B1117 are particularly good for my money. The section by Heveningham Hall, as the road wraps around the grounds, fences close by like a rally stage, is fantastic fun. Picturesque, too, in the winter frost. The B1116 opens up towards Fressingfield, which I really enjoyed as visibility is not always guaranteed around these parts. In fact, those two roads are probably a couple of the best in the area.

In all honesty the Exige isn't most at home in Cup form on B-roads, finding a more natural rhythm on the wider, faster A145. That's an unexpected bonus, well surfaced and flowing pleasantly back towards civilisation.

Downsides? A few. The B1062 isn't the most exciting (and has 50mph speed limits), while the A145 has quite a few solid white lines down it. Great for reminding you how dull Vauxhall Insignias are; not great for overtaking. And in all honesty, late November is not the best time to be out discovering dream drives. I still think the cold was worth it though!"


Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"Ooh, plenty. Aldeburgh and Southwold are lovely little towns for coastal exploration, and you can soothe any disappointment at the B1116 ending with a mooch around Framlingham.

Heveningham Hall is stunning, a Grade 1 listed Georgian Mansion that hosts all sorts of events during the year including the Concours. There's also the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, which looks great but is closed for a month over Christmas. Oh yeah, and there's a Camel Park near Halesworth...

Looking further afield, there's the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve and the Norfolk Broads. Plus dozens of great country pubs, of course, for when you don't have to drive. Finally, if you aren't satisfied, don't forget that you can pick up the B1077 pretty close to Lotus..."

Follow the route here.

Also, see Lotus route one here.

And the other option here - happy driving!

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

Ares

Original Poster:

4,633 posts

45 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Great write up!

Right now, this has to be one of the best 'just go out for the sheer hell of it' cars out there.

And despite it's £100k price tag, it appears to offer great bang for buck.

As a former Exige owner and Caterham owner/racer, this would have a solid place in my £1m garage.


Itsallicanafford

1,731 posts

84 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
You would have gone pretty close the Snetterton (or right past it?)....Surely a few laps would have been too much of a detour

noble12345

182 posts

141 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Why is it rusting on the front side intakes allready rolleyes

nickydee

36 posts

73 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
noble12345 said:
Why is it rusting on the front side intakes allready rolleyes
Its not!

noble12345

182 posts

141 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
nickydee said:
noble12345 said:
Why is it rusting on the front side intakes allready rolleyes
Its not!
Oh my bad, its obviously the rusty brake discs showing through the front bumper, i should look more carefully next time rofl

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jwwbowe

57 posts

97 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Nice journey, love a coastal route, lovely Lotus, not driven one but I bet it is awesome, great colour too!

saaby93

21,188 posts

103 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Dreadful article
Surely if you want to use it as a track car, you take it to a track
Anyone live on a B road?

loose cannon

4,494 posts

166 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
The only thing dreadful about the article is you posting on it loser

givablondabone

2,271 posts

80 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Smack bang in my neck of the woods. Used to live in Bungay, Wortwell and now Harleston. The run to Framlingham is a good one so to is the run over to Wymondham towards Hethel. Shame I don't own a Lotus.

AndrewD

6,599 posts

209 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Shhhhh. We don't want all those grockles coming and cluttering our roads smile

givablondabone

2,271 posts

80 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
AndrewD said:
Shhhhh. We don't want all those grockles coming and cluttering our roads smile
For some reason I felt compelled to check out your garage. Perhaps as you're local. I'm glad I did. Possibly the most impressive i've ever seen on here. It's utterly fabulous. Respect.

If you're ever near Harleston....................

Jimbo wink

ortontom

562 posts

186 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
100k for a wheelie bin with a spoiler, really. Amazingly I now know why I dont see any new lotus on the road.....why so much

Ares

Original Poster:

4,633 posts

45 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
ortontom said:
100k for a wheelie bin with a spoiler, really. Amazingly I now know why I dont see any new lotus on the road.....why so much
Strong contender for stupid post of the day.... But you miss out to Andy20vt on the Lambo Urus thread I'm afraid. Try harder tomorrow wink

garythesnail

43 posts

93 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
givablondabone said:
For some reason I felt compelled to check out your garage. Perhaps as you're local. I'm glad I did. Possibly the most impressive i've ever seen on here. It's utterly fabulous. Respect.

If you're ever near Harleston....................

Jimbo wink
Strange how there's nothing in his 'fantasy garage' too.........

likesachange

1,404 posts

119 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Great article

Really sets my appetite for my forthcoming Zenos E10R ...

Can’t wait to own something lightweight and rewarding again

mikey P 500

828 posts

112 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Growing up in Norfolk/Suffolk area I have driven most of the routes listed fairly regularly when younger and always remember them being good, nice to hear even though more traffic these days they are still worth getting up for a drive on.

Ares

Original Poster:

4,633 posts

45 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
givablondabone said:
AndrewD said:
Shhhhh. We don't want all those grockles coming and cluttering our roads smile
For some reason I felt compelled to check out your garage. Perhaps as you're local. I'm glad I did. Possibly the most impressive i've ever seen on here. It's utterly fabulous. Respect.

If you're ever near Harleston....................

Jimbo wink
Wow.... And Chapeau Andrew.

Although out of all that hardware, I've quite sure the Suzuki Swift 1.3GL is the one that got away wink

AndrewD

6,599 posts

209 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
Ares said:
givablondabone said:
AndrewD said:
Shhhhh. We don't want all those grockles coming and cluttering our roads smile
For some reason I felt compelled to check out your garage. Perhaps as you're local. I'm glad I did. Possibly the most impressive i've ever seen on here. It's utterly fabulous. Respect.

If you're ever near Harleston....................

Jimbo wink
Wow.... And Chapeau Andrew.

Although out of all that hardware, I've quite sure the Suzuki Swift 1.3GL is the one that got away wink
Thanks gentlemen! Obviously petrolheads of impeccable taste smile

Actually the one that got away was the old style Twingo. Had two of those and the idea was to try and drive everywhere without using the brakes.

Best car of all time to me anyway is Carrera GT. Especially on Suffolk roads smile

Back on topic - I quite like the idea of a 430 Exige but don't tell my wife. Maybe I can sneak it in without being noticed. Owned an Exige S years ago with a couple of friends and it was fantastic.

Maldini35

1,491 posts

113 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
ortontom said:
100k for a wheelie bin with a spoiler, really. Amazingly I now know why I dont see any new lotus on the road.....why so much
So says the man who’s never driven one....

Integra975

2 posts

22 months

Tuesday 5th December 2017
quotequote all
A143- what a great road, particularly at night! Love driving this road at the end of a busy cross country commute back to see the olds. Best drive ever in my integra DC2 'chasing' a ferrari 360. Most recently in a cayman s but looking at getting an exige (hopefully a lot more feedback/drama) and this road will be the test of it! Good route suggestion!