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The southern fling road trip

Driving through the Midlands and the South combines postcard-worthy countryside scenes with icons of quintessential Englishness — the homes of Shakespeare and Churchill, two of the world’s finest castles and chocolate-box villages.

The southern fling road trip

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Birmingham

See & do: Fantasy fans can check out sites linked to Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien in the south of the city, while savvy shoppers should head to the Jewellery Quarter, which has been the hub of Britain’s jewellery industry for more than a century.

Stay: Staying Cool’s Rotunda serviced apartments have fantastic views out over the city, orange juice-squeezers and pop art-style decor.

Nightlife: The Custard Factory — no prizes for guessing what it used to be — is home to dozens of artists’ studios and design-focused shops. It also regularly hosts one-off events and festivals, while Clink Beer serves up top local craft beers, Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen offers wines with indie cinema, and Ghetto Golf marries mini-golf and cocktails.

Eat: Purnell’s is widely recognised as one of Britain’s best restaurants outside London, largely due to chef Glynn Purnell’s willingness to mix and match flavours. His monkfish masala is a near-legendary east-meets-west fusion.

Nearest INFINITI Centre: Birmingham 
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Birmingham

Drive time: Birmingham to Reading

The route from Birmingham to Reading takes around 2hrs 10mins, but passes through Shakespeare Country and Oxford. Stop at Will’s birthplace in pretty Stratford-upon-Avon, and check out the grand university buildings of Oxford to make a day of the journey.

Reading

See & do: Reading is the main town in Berkshire, but nearby Windsor plays host to royal residence Windsor Castle — which is open to the public when the Queen’s not home — and the Legoland theme park.

Stay: Coworth Park in Ascot is a rural mansion house retreat surrounded by parkland and gardens. It’s a horse-lover’s paradise, with riding lessons available and even its own polo field.

Nightlife: The chameleon-like Caffeine and Cocktails in Reading morphs from a breakfast joint with specialist coffees into a cruisy cocktail bar at night.

Eat: Restaurant Coworth Park offers another reason to stay there — Adam Smith’s stunning takes on British classics are served in a relaxed dining room looking out over the rose terrace.

Nearest INFINITI Centre: Reading
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Infiniti Q60s

Drive time: Reading to Maidstone

It’s around two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Reading to Maidstone in Kent, passing through some picturesque classic English countryside in Kent and Surrey. Winston Churchill’s house, Chartwell, is a top stop on the way.

Maidstone

See & do: Sandwiched between the Kent Downs and High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Maidstone lies just north west of Leeds Castle. The castle has a fairytale quality — all turrets, lake, lavishly decorated rooms and falconry displays.

Stay: The Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club comes with an 18-hole golf course, spa and spacious rooms.

Nightlife: Maidstone has some fantastic old pubs, with the White Horse offering live music at the weekends and open mic nights on Sundays.

Eat: The West House occupies a 16th-century weaver’s cottage in the nearby village of Biddenden, and has an uncanny knack of making complex preparations of local ingredients seem simple.

Nearest INFINITI Centre: Maidstone
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