On 6th April 2016 Jess Shanahan set out from Plymouth on a 20 day journey across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland – finishing in Galway on 26th April.
The road trip, named Route 57 for its 57 ‘must see’ destinations along the way, included stops in cities, villages, forests, and national parks – documenting the journey with photos and video.
The route was designed by Jurys Inn Hotels, and driven in a Kia Soul EV supplied by DriveElectric, using electric car charging points (mapped out by ZapMap). The electric car saw the capital cities of four countries, was welcomed by 17 town and city mayors, stopped at motor museums, iconic landmarks, and drove through scenic landscapes including Dartmoor, the Brecon Beacons, the Lake District, The Cairngorms, Wicklow Mountains and more.
Jurys Inns Hotels designed the original Route 57 road trip as an equivalent to US Route 66, which has a similar mileage and drive-time, to help people explore the UK & Ireland, and encourage local tourism.
An estimated 200,000 people travel from across America and the world every year to drive all or part of the iconic Route 66 stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, providing jobs and revenue from tourists which generates millions of dollars for locations along the route.
Route 66 has great historical and cultural significance, forming part of a ‘bucket list’ for many people, and ranked by Britons in the top 10 of ‘things to do before you die’.
Destinations on Route 57 in order: Plymouth, Dartmoor National Park, Exeter, Dorset Area of Natural Beauty, Bournemouth, New Forest, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, London, Windsor, Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Brecon Beacons, Cheltenham, The Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Warwick, Coventry, Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Peak District National Park, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, North York Moors, Middlesbrough, Durham, Newcastle, North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty, Lake District, Kielder Forest Park, Northumberland Area of Natural Beauty, Edinburgh, Perth, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Cairngorms National Park, Inverness, Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Galway.