It’s easy to default to the same few locations when it comes to seeking out good driving roads in the UK. Obviously, there’s the expanses of the Scottish Highlands, which in recent years have become synonymous amongst car enthusiasts with the North Coast 500 driving tour. Then there’s the parts that car magazines have always headed off to for photoshoots – the mountains of Wales or the rugged moorland of Yorkshire.
The fact is, though, that 85% of the UK’s land is rural, and this means that nobody really needs to travel particularly far to track down the sort of roads and scenery that could have been made for the #CultOfMachine. It was with this notion in mind that a group of 313 members set off to explore some of the very best roads within a morning’s drive of the Houndshill, for the second of our 313-exclusive Drive Outs. Think of it as our own little take on the NC500, although in this case the ‘C’ stands for Cotswolds, and 500 might be a bit of an… ambitious title.
You’ll know by now how much we appreciate the breadth of machinery on offer across the automotive spectrum, and our members didn’t disappoint on that front. The sonic backdrop was provided by rasping fours, silken sixes and thunderous eights; and our group ran the visual gamut from the vivid orange pop of a 30th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5, to the wonderfully cartoonish proportions of a Renault Clio V6, to the sheer mass of a Ram Rebel pickup, offering a brilliant contrast to the rambling English backdrop.
The morning started damp and chilly, but the weather began to break at our first stop at the Broadway Tower, high up above the unfurling landscape, and would happily hold as the group continued south, east, and then back north, ticking off achingly pretty towns and villages like Bibury and Burford, whose postcard-ready beauty have been drawing travellers to this part of the world for centuries.
In the space of a few hours, we covered sweeping A-roads, rambling single-track lanes and the sort of winding, cresting and ducking B-roads that could have been plucked straight from the wildest imaginings of car and bike enthusiasts. It was a proper adventure, distilled into a single morning and all taking place in the expanse of beautiful countryside that we like to view as the Houndshill’s back garden. We hope you can join us for the next one.