The A591 from Kendal to Keswick in the Lake District has been identified as the UK’s best road to drive on.
Car rental company Avis has determined the results by working with a leading quantum physicist to create the perfect driving ratio – the ‘Avis Driving Ratio’ – taking into account bends, acceleration, cruising and braking.
The spectacular 30-mile stretch in the Lake District National Park features a winding section of the A591, offering unmatchable views of Lakeland fells and the banks of Lake Windermere and Lake Thirlmere. The road was a frequent source of inspiration for poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, and whilst en route, it is even possible to see two of Wordsworth’s former houses, in the pretty village of Grasmere.
Following a close second is the B3515 which runs from Cheddar to Ashwick, featuring 14 miles of glorious Somerset countryside, with cliff faces rising either side of the road and twists and turns a-plenty due to the gorge dictating the route. Whilst in third place, is the A535 from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge in Cheshire, on which drivers pass the iconic 76 metre-wide, 90 metre-tall, Grade I listed Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. The road continues with some long straights to finish, allowing drivers to relax into the road and let the car work its magic.
In order to create the ratio, Avis recruited experts from across quantum physics, F1 track design, high performance cars and even a world renowned British designer of rollercoasters.
“There are four key phases of a drive,” said eminent quantum physicist, Dr Mark Hadley, who led the research. “Bends, acceleration, cruising and braking. A great driving road strikes just the right balance between the phases so you get the exhilaration of speed and acceleration whilst corners test your driving capabilities and long stretches allow you to enjoy the scenery. In creating the Avis Driving Ratio (ADR) we have calculated the optimum balance between those components, to scientifically establish the world’s best driving roads.”
Recognising that part of the magic and excitement of a great driving experience is down to the location of the road, the ADR was mapped to roads which are renowned for the spectacular environment they pass through. The research revealed the A591 from Kendal to Keswick most closely matches the ideal ADR of 10:1 (10 seconds on a straight to every 1 second spent on a bend) with a ratio of 14:3, ranking it top in the UK as the ultimate road for driving.
“The time spent on the straight allows for the optimum time to appreciate the surrounding scenery before moving into the next bend, whilst still giving the driver the thrill and excitement you get from a challenging drive,” added Dr Hadley.