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TV presenter and motorcycling adventurer Charley Boorman travelled on the world’s least trodden roads when he drove east from London to New York with Ewan McGregor for Long Way Round (and then from John O’Groats to Cape Town for Long Way Down).
Although he prefers two wheels of a motorcycle to tackle extreme frontiers, he’s no stranger to four-wheel drives. He shares five of his most exhilarating drives.
Click on an image below to view the gallery
With only 400 miles of tarmac road, Mongolia was challenging. You travel mostly on dirt roads with no signposts. You have a GPS and a map, but it only locates lakes and small towns. You can’t ask for directions either because most locals take mountain paths, on horseback or camel.
Car of choice: A classic Furgone van is ideal for that terrainPhoto: Getty Images
This spectacular, twisty 9km dirt road connects Lesotho to KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, snaking its way through the rocky cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains. It’s an incredible road but strictly for experienced drivers – think hairpin corners and no barriers – so you’ll need nerves of steel.
Car of choice: It’s best to drive what the locals drive. In this case, a Nissan PatrolPhoto: Getty Images
This historic mountain pass on the west coast of Scotland boasts the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626m. It’s a single-track mountain road with sharp turns that switch back and forth up the hillsides, ending in the wildly beautiful Applecross peninsula, where you’ll find the Applecross Inn – perfect for lunch.
Car of choice: Range Rover LR-SDV8 4.4 DieselPhoto: Getty Images
The 300km route from Hobart, capital of Tasmania, to Strahan on the west coast takes you on some of the most beautiful windy roads through spectacular forests. The view is extraordinary on the last hairpin corner, which drops you into the centre of Strahan. I think it’s the greatest tarmac road I’ve ever ridden on.
Car of choice: One of the big Australian muscle cars, a Holden V8Photo: Shutterstock
The road from Dijon to Lake Como, via Geneva and the Alps, is stunning. At the end, in Como, there’s the beautiful Moto Guzzi motorcycle factory, which is built into a mountain. Finish the day with a glass of rosé at a restaurant by the lake.
Car of choice: Most people would go for a Ferrari through Italy, but I’d choose a Bentley Sport ContinentalPhoto: Getty Images