Drive to the end of Gas Works Road, dodge around the back of the Birds Eye processing plant and park by the concrete sea defences. Get out of the car, nod at the two council workers up to not much at all in their Transit and glance up and down one of the sorriest seafront stretches in the whole of the UK. You don’t come to an industrial port for the views. You come here for the plinth, the one that states this place at the arse end of a Lowestoft industrial estate is Britain’s most easterly point. It’s somehow fitting that the flat, concrete disc was placed there by an oil company.
For us, this is the start of a quest to drive across the breadth of the UK solely on B-roads, from here (52.48N, 01.76E) to Aberystwyth way over on the far side of Wales and handily just 0.07 of a degree more northerly in latitude. Between these two coastal points lie the Broads, the Fens, the Midlands, the borders and the hills and valleys of Wales – a geographical cross section through Great Britain, replete with a fat catalogue of B-roads of every size, shape, width, surface, angle, camber and lumpiness.
Pictures: Howard Simmons
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Top Gear magazine