Welcome to Top Gear’s Lap of England
Another epic Top Gear magazine feature from the archives: our quest to find the finest 250 miles of English road...
Posted: 21 Mar 2014
KENT AND ESSEX
Down the M20 towards Ashford and out towards Lydd on the Romney Marsh. It might sound like an odd place for a roadtrip, nuclear power station at the end and all - Dungeness B dominates the view - but once you get down near the lighthouses and take in the shingle beach and odd little wooden shacks, there's a romance to it. It feels odd and alone and remote in the south. Which makes it a weirdly special place to visit. Especially when you realise that the odd little shacks near the shingle beach are actually all full of expensive triple-fold doors and posh cladding - house prices down here are off-the-scale. Ironic for a little hamlet stuffed into the shadow of a nuclear facility, though the local seafood is apparently surprisingly hearty. The RS4 stands out quite a lot. I make a half-hearted joke about having our own V8 power station, but Justin just looks faintly disgusted. I think he's tired.
More M25 ensues, and the Dartford Crossing is surprisingly impressive in its way, a glittering arc across the river. I feel a bit like a tourist in my own country, everything appraised with fresh eyes. Up into Essex, around Ongar - the sun has set, and there's more snow on the ground. We find some brilliant Essex roads, but I lose the map, lose my way, and then have to resort to satnav. It's rather late, we're tired, and we head out past Colchester, hack cross country towards Cambridge and then finally have our fill, find the A14 and head home, completing the circuitous circle and the TopGear Lap of England.