British holidaymakers are being encouraged to use the upcoming summer months as the perfect opportunity to discover some of the most famous and picturesque roads from around the world.
Motoring experts from car leasing giant LeaseVan.co.uk have researched 12 of the most renowned routes across the world – including highways in the USA, UK, France, Italy and China – to inspire the nation’s drivers to explore more of the world this summer.
Thousands of Brits will be flying overseas to enjoy relaxing breaks on the beach or by the pool in the coming months, yet many won’t realise how close they are to enjoying some of the world’s most famous highways too.
From London’s Abbey Road made famous by The Beatles, to America’s Hollywood Boulevard and Route 66, these roads are nestled among some of the most outstanding tourist destinations and sight-seeing hotspots in the world.
A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk commented: “On a bright, sunny day, there’s really nothing better than jumping into the car, winding down all the windows, putting on your favourite music and cruising along miles and miles of open road.
“This is an experience that can be enjoyed in our own country, of course, but we must admit it’s made all the more special in certain places abroad where the roads are complimented by breath-taking – and often unusual – scenery.
“So, we’ve done some research and come up with a list of 12 of the most famous roads in the world.
“Some have earned their reputation as they lead to special locations or boast impressive scenery, but most have become tourist attractions in their own right.”
In no particular order, here are 12 of the most famous roads to drive around the world:
1.Lombard Street, San Francisco, USA
Although it stretches just one block, this small section of road contains eight hair pins down a steep hill, earning its title – The World’s Most Crooked Lane.
2. Abbey Road, London, UK
Home to the legendary Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded all of their albums. The iconic photograph of the band on the zebra crossing was taken on the street outside of the studios, and fans flock to this spot all year round to recreate the famous pose.
3. Broadway, New York City, USA
Broadway is most famous for the ten or so blocks between 42 nd and 53 rd streets, that’s often referred to as the Theatre District, The Great White Way, or the heart of the American theatre.
4. Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
With the Arc de Triomphe at one end, the Place de la Concord at the other, and a slew of high and low end stores, theatres, bars and restaurants that adorn either side of this sweeping, tree-lined boulevard of Paris, is it any wonder that it’s one of the most famous boulevards in the world?
5. Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, USA
The Boulevard today is most famous for the fifteen-block stretch of sidewalk embedded with over 2,500 five-pointed stars made from terrazzo and brass. The stars bear the names of the Hollywood elite, and attract millions of visitors each year, with the first permanent star being created on March 28, 1960, for director Stanley Kramer.
6. Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong
Famed for its night life, award-winning dining, and more than 80 restaurants and bars, Lan Kwai Fong is the street and extended area around it that’s popular with tourists and ex-pats.
7. White Rim Road, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA
The 100-mile White Rim Road loops around and below the Island mesa top and provides expansive views of the surrounding area. Trips usually take two to three days by car or three to four days by bike.
8. Tianmen Mountain Road, Hunan, China
Tianmen is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in north-western Hunan Province, China. An 11km road with 99 bends reaches the top of the mountain, taking visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain 131.5 metres up.
9. Stelvio Pass, Eastern Alps, Italy
The Stelvio Pass, located in Italy, is the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, which Top Gear once named the “greatest driving road in the world.” The main road is closed in the winter months from November to May, so the summer holidays provide the ideal opportunity to enjoy it. Try driving this pass either early morning or late evening to catch the sunrise or sunset for the added “wow” factor.
10. Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
The Guoliang Tunnel is carved along the side of and through the Taihang Mountains which are situated in the Henan Province of China, and it’s become quite the tourist attraction. Stretching 1.2 kilometres long, it took five years to build by just 13 villagers, to connect the small village of Guoliang to the rest of the world.
11. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Punctuated by picturesque coastal towns including Positano and Ravello, the Amalfi Coast is home to SS163, a snaking two-lane road that hugs the jagged hills that meet the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea. Once you’ve had your fill of fearless local drivers and googly eyed tourists, you’ll find solace in the seaside trattorias and gelato stands.
12. Route 66, USA
This 2,400-mile stretch of road from Chicago to Santa Monica is one of America’s oldest and most famous highways. Also called ‘the Main Street of America’, it passes through eight states – Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.