Faster Travel

A driven man

David Richards CBE, 61, is one of the most significant Britons (specifically, Welshmen) in the history of motorsport. He is probably also one of the fastest chartered accountants in history. At around the time he was studying for his articles, he was co-driving for some of the biggest names in rallying. He went on to run the Benetton Formula One motor racing team.

Today, he is the chairman of Aston Martin. In 2013 he begins a new career - as proprietor of the Idle Rocks Hotel in Cornwall. 

He has made some epic drives in his time so what better person to take us for a spin?

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Khardung La, Ladakh, India

Khardung La, Ladakh, India

This is the highest road pass in the world. My wife took me there for a surprise birthday treat. We ate cake in our t-shirts and four hours later we were in sub zero temperatures at 17,000 feet. 

Car of choice: Toyota pick up truck - or mountain bike. 

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Australia

I’ve done the drive from Melbourne to Lorne a couple of times - it’s a classic, especially as you sweep past the 12 Apostles rock formation.

Car of choice: V8 Ford Mustang or Falcon.

Col de Turini, Monaco

Col de Turini, Monaco

Motorsport has taken me up and down some interesting roads - none more exciting than the last stage of the Monte Carlo Rally, 1,700 metres above Monaco. You do it at night in winter. The French and Italian drivers meet here for a snowball fight. 

Car of choice: Mini Cooper S.

Ouninpohja, Finland

Ouninpohja, Finland

This is the most exciting stretch of the 1000 Lakes rally. It’s undulating and fast over blind crests and jumps - they spray saltwater on the gravel to make it more fun. Just imagine going three times the speed you’d normally drive sitting alongside Colin McRae or Ari Vatanen.

Car of choice: That iconic blue and yellow Subaru Impreza.

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Pacific Coast Highway, California

Fly into San Francisco, coast past Pebble Beach, Big Sur and go there at pumpkin time - there are mountains of them by the side of the road.

Car of choice: Let me have one of mine - an Aston Martin DBS convertible.

Brescia to Rome and back – the Mille Miglia route

Brescia to Rome and back – the Mille Miglia route

This is a great way to experience Italy on the route made famous by Stirling Moss’s epic drive in 1955. 

Car of choice: 1953 Aston Martin DB3S - because I did the route in one with two other Aston Martin enthusiasts.

Exeter to St Mawes, England

Exeter to St Mawes, England

Let’s end quietly cruising into a village that has a special place in my heart - because I’ve just opened a hotel there. As soon as you get past the A30 beyond Exeter the weight of the world lifts from your shoulders. You really feel like you are in another world.

Car of choice: It really doesn’t matter.