Book Review – The Great North Road by Steve Silk

The Great North Road by Steve Silk
What is Britain's most famous highway? What is our Route 66? The road that springs to mind for many is the Great North Road. Stretching from London to Edinburgh, this 400-mile route holds a long and interesting history as a fundamental trading and touring route. The Great North Road by Steve Silk looks to tell that story, from the saddle of a bicycle.

In 1921, the Great North Road ceased to exist, at least on paper; the old road was replaced by the A1 motorway that is now the backbone of traffic traversing the length of the UK from London to Scotland.

One hundred years later, journalist and cyclist Steve Silk takes on the challenge of riding the length of the archaic route over the course of 11 days. Travelling by bicycle, he heads north from London at a casual 14 miles per hour; searching out milestones, coaching inns of a by-gone era, and of course coffee shops…

The 'Slow Travel' journey provides some interesting and humorous discoveries along the route, with a pedal-by-pedal-stroke account of the passage. Some of the intricate descriptions of the small villages and coaching inns along the route may seem a little overblown; but on the whole Steve narrative offers a funny, educational and captivating history of this historic route.

It will make you want to saddle up on your own touring bike and take to the open road…


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