The Explorer’s Road

The Culture and Historic Heart of our Nation

A 500km (300 mile) touring route, highlighting hidden landmarks, traditional market towns, English experiences and much-loved countryside.

For two thousand years the English have travelled a highway, known now as the A1 (or Great North Road), which connects north to south, creating the original 500km multi-stop touring route through the historic and cultural heart of the nation. This is a new opportunity and invitation for visitors to get to know the English by exploring their traditions and eccentricities, the much-loved countryside, and the hidden landmarks known only to local people.

It features characterful market towns bypassed by the A1 and therefore off the beaten track and largely unknown to international visitors. It presents icons of English culture such as a pint in the pub, afternoon tea, local stories and traditions. And it highlights gardens, stately homes, castles, collections and gorgeous countryside. A few better known historic cities give is a geographic anchor.

One of the lesser know areas of England, Rutland provides a perfect stop on this route, with the quaint towns of Oakham and Uppingham brimming with charm and opportunities to shop, refresh and explore.

Plan your whole route itinerary at