Book review: Britain’s Route 66


There’s still the romance of old to be found driving on Britain’s roads, writes Peter Burgess; it’s simply become harder to find.

The Great North Road runs between London and Edinburgh, and you can still drive along the route. Well, mostly, but it’s not simply a matter of following the tracks of the old A1.

Now, in a superb new book by Chris ‘Wolfie’ Cooper, The Great North Road Then and Now, the ins and outs of the historic original route are placed alongside the current photographs and plenty of insightful detail.

Old black and white images, with ancient Bedford trucks struggling up Newark Hill, are nostalgic enough, but the research that’s gone in is mind-boggling. Tiny backwater quarter-mile strips of tarmac have been discovered and recorded, even though now they are just forgotten lay-bys.

If you live anywhere near the corridor that runs due north out of London to Edinburgh you are sure to find areas in the book you know and recognise.

If nothing else, buy it for your dad for Christmas. He’ll be impressed at the thought you put into his present.


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