hidden europe 12

A secret motorway

by Nicky Gardner


There is one British motorway that appears on no maps. We unravel the tale of the M96.

We know our way round the Cotswolds area of England pretty well. For many travellers in this area, the A44 road from Oxford's northern outskirts through Woodstock to Evesham provides easy access to one of England's most serenely comfortable rural landscapes - a region of gently rolling hills, villages built of golden Cotswold stone and an improbably large number of enticing pubs. For those who take the time to explore, there are intimate valleys lined with ancient beech woods, textured barns with heavy slate roofs and... the M96 motorway.

Curiously, the great majority of folk who live in the Cotswolds simply don't know of the existence of the M96.

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