Europe is just shy of two years under some sort of covid restriction, but the end is in sight as UK news channels are talking of an end to all measures here at the end of this month. What better way to celebrate than spend ten days in a vintage or classic car at the end of April, driving some of the finest roads in Europe on one of the great historic rallies? London to Lisbon (April 21-30 ) will be a springtime celebration of great driving and comradeship, 2000 miles through five countries, with great cars and old friends, taking in a new majestic driving venue as Andorra beckons.
It is on the horizon, but for the fleet of foot there are a handful of places still to be snapped up. In two months it is predicted that many European restrictions will be lifted raising the prospect of the sun on people’s faces under a foreign sky, what better remedy to two years of misery? It’s hard to believe it could be possible, but this is happening, this is the great escape with London to Lisbon providing the ‘Freedom Trail.’
London to Lisbon is a tremendous journey, a carefree navigation through vineyards, mountains, and plains on the traffic free roads of Europe. With a balanced blend of tests and regularities, it is an intermediate blue coded event with straight forward navigation. The roads suit everything from Vintage Bentley beasts to rip snorting Porsche’s and everything in between. It is a rally that everyone looks forward to, but this year, with the end of restrictions within touching distance it will mean so much more to those that make the journey.
Book ended by two famous old Motorsport strongholds, the journey starts in the shadow of the towering Brooklands Banking, casting a shadow almost as deep as its history, before ending in Estoril, the homeplace of Sennas maiden Grand Prix triumph and WRC base for the Sintra hills. In between that there is 2000 miles of a route that will plot a course not often travelled, full of adventure and reward.
After escaping England’s shores France awaits, the Pyrenees following the svelte scenery of the Loire and Dordogne. The roads are as challenging as they are picturesque, particularly as the altitude increases and Andorra looms large on the horizon. The principality is a new destination for HERO-ERA, but the mountainous playground will surely be an instant favourite. Beyond lies the promise of Iberia and the Picos de Europa, one of the Jewels of Spain and a far cry from the over-crowded costa’s.
The roads of Spain will blow crews away, as the mountains and national parks introduce the uninitiated to a magical land that is a million miles away from package holidays and tabloid photographs.
This is part of the magic of London to Lisbon, each day is different, each mile offers up something new as the scenery and the people change and each day is seemingly better than the last. This is escapism at its best, a chance to rediscover historic motoring life outside of restrictions, rediscovering the zeal and passion of magnificent international roads, rediscovering what it means to be free. This is a chance to escape with HERO-ERA and a band of other like-minded individuals this Spring, to make memories, make friends and rediscover the joy of rallying an historic car on remote roads with breath taking vistas.