Go with the flow to Infiniti
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2014
This short, pretty drive is not a tale of two cities but a trail of three rivers.
This month’s Great Norfolk Drive starts on the Watton road at the western end of Norwich Southern Bypass and ends on the Fakenham road, having crossed the Yare, Tud and Wensum.
To make sure of good views over the fresh, lush hedges and cow parsley I am driving the luxurious Infiniti QX70 sport utility vehicle, which is now available in Norfolk.
Leaving the southern bypass on the Watton road, turn right to Bawburgh on Stocks Hill. With the Yare Valley before you, wind down into the village and you come to a humpback bridge – taking care to avoid oncoming traffic, the bridge’s walls and any ducks crossing the road.
You can park on the side of the road, near the King’s Head pub, for a close look at the Yare, much narrower and shallower here than it is between Great Yarmouth and Norwich and enjoyed by Broads holiday cruisers. Leaving Bawburgh, climb uphill and turn left at the T-junction on to Marlingford Road, passing Bawburgh Golf Club on the right.
The roads are not the smoothest but highlight the Infiniti QX70’s supple ride while its sporty handling belies its size on these narrow roads.
Turn right when you come to a grass triangle in the road and pass Easton and Otley College on the left, then College Farm and College Barn, where the big V6 turbo diesel’s strong pulling power makes light work of the hill with the automatic transmission seamlessly switching gears.
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At the next grass triangle take a left on to Hall Road, passing the college’s dairy farm on the left. At the next junction turn right towards Costessey and you are in Easton where you turn left, with the village sign ahead of you, on to the main street. Follow it round to the roundabout at the end of bypass and go straight over to Ringland Hills, turning left at the crossroads and over a little bridge over the River Tud on the narrow road.
Soon you come to one of my favourite places in Norfolk as the road drops through Ives Woods and a tunnel of trees – a rural feature my grandmother also loved – with a distinct row of tall poplar trees ahead showing the course of the Wensum as it narrows towards its source between Colkirk and Whissonsett, near Fakenham.
Turn left at the T-junction and go into Ringland where there is a little “beach” where I used to take my children paddling and fishing for tiddlers with a net. Follow the road round over another bridge for a spectacular view over marshland complete with wide open skies and sheep which, to me, is pure Norfolk at its best. Carry on to Taverham or Drayton on the Fakenham road.
For more information about the Infiniti range, to arrange a test-drive or book a service, visit Infiniti Centre Norwich, part of family-owned Desira Group, in Vulcan Road North or telephone 01603 397023.
Price: QX70 30d S Premium £48,905 (range £42,500-£54,000)
Engine: 2,993cc, 238PS, V6 turbo diesel
Performance: 0-62mph 8.3 seconds; top speed 132mph
MPG: Urban 26.2; extra urban 38.7; combined 32.8
CO2 emissions: 225g/km
Insurance group: 47 (out of 50)
Warranty: Three years or 60,000 miles
Will it fit in the garage? Length 4,865mm; width (including door mirrors) 2,134mm; height 1,680mm
The new Infiniti Q50 brings the Japanese marque into the mainstream of executive saloon sales.
The premium compact Q50 saloon, priced from £27,950, offers a 170PS 2.2-litre turbo diesel, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km and 64.2mpg, and a high-performance 364PS 3.5-litre V6 petrol hybrid. A 214PS 2.0-litre turbo petrol arrives in autumn.
The Q series of cars also includes the Q60 Coupe and Coupe Cabriolet, powered by a 320PS 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine, and the Q70 luxury flagship saloon with the choice of the 3.7-litre V6, 3.5-litre hybrid or 238PS 3.0-litre turbo diesel.
The QX50 is a luxury crossover with a coupé design, powered by the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel and 3.7-litre V6 petrol engines. Topping the crossover line-up is the mighty QX70 which also offers a 390PS 5.0-litre petrol V8.