The A303: Highway to the Soul

Tom Fort

The A303: Highway to the Soul

The A303 is more than a road. It is a story. One of the essential routes of English motoring and the road of choice to the West Country for thousands of holidaymakers, the A303 recalls a time when the journey was an adventure and not simply about getting there. Tom Fort gives voice to the stories this road has to tell, from the bluestones of Stonehenge to Roman roads and drovers paths, to turnpike tollhouses, mad vicars, wicked Earls and solstice seekers, the history, geography and culture of this road tells a story of an English way of life. 4.2 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
The A303: Highway to the Soul

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Travel
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication May 2012
ISBN 978-0857203267
Publisher Simon & Schuster
 

The A303 is more than a road. It is a story. One of the essential routes of English motoring and the road of choice to the West Country for thousands of holidaymakers, the A303 recalls a time when the journey was an adventure and not simply about getting there. Tom Fort gives voice to the stories this road has to tell, from the bluestones of Stonehenge to Roman roads and drovers paths, to turnpike tollhouses, mad vicars, wicked Earls and solstice seekers, the history, geography and culture of this road tells a story of an English way of life.

Reviews

The Spectator

Justin Cartwright

This is a delightful book, nostalgic, slyly witty, perceptive and at times flirting — deliberately — with old fogeyism … By looking closely at the history of the A303, the surrounding villages and historical sites, and by examining our love affair — cooling — with the motor car, he has in fact written a plain man’s state-of-the-nation book. It is about England, and a small tranche of England at that, but it achieves an admirable universality in its insights into travel, holidays, agrarian longing, conservation and the general sense that things were better some time in the past.

21/05/2012

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The Sunday Telegraph

Clive Aslet

Despite the nostalgic cover illustration, Fort doesn’t flinch from the 21st century ... Fort has an eye for the quirky, the absurd, the pompous – and a style that, like the road, is always on the move. Even at the distance of 40 years, I could not help being chilled by the Shah of Iran’s comment on petrol pricing: “It’s only fair that you should pay more. Let’s say 10 times more.”

09/05/2012

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The Guardian

Nicholas Lezard

It is an unusually good writer, I decided after wiping my eyes, who can make tears brim in the first two pages of a book whose subject is the road that runs for a little over 90 miles between Basingstoke in the east and the Devon town of Honiton in the west ... anyone who can spend a page speculating on whether Mrs de Winter "and her creepy husband" took the A303 or the A30 to get to his Cornish home in Rebecca without making us raise our hands in exasperation is going to get my vote.

18/05/2013

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The Independent

Jonathan Sale

Highly enjoyable … Keep his book in the glove compartment, to read at points where two lanes squeeze into one.

29/05/2012

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The Daily Mail

John Harding

The journey Tom Fort takes us on, which ends when the road disappears, unremarked, into the A30, is into the past, not simply the mists and myths of Stonehenge, but through a time warp into the motoring age of Mr Toad and the joy of the open road, when travelling itself was fun, and not simply about getting there. It’s a nostalgic experience, informative, humourous, charming, but pervaded by the bitter-sweet scent of regret.

26/04/2012

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