The History of Britain’s Roads


These days we take travel for granted. Cars buses, trains and aeroplanes allow us to cross the country and the globe with ease. We travel for many reasons - military, business, social - but also purely for the love of travel itself.

It was not always so . . .

It seems incredible to our modern eyes, but after the Romans withdrew the roads of Britain became all but impassable - and remained so until the 1700s! Only then did long distance travel on anything other than a horse become possible.

It was the Industrial Revolution and the need to move goods that drove improvement. But once it started, things changed relatively rapidly.

This section looks at roads and how they have changed over millennia and will set the Great Age of Coaching in perspective against the panoply of time.

Next: Ancient Trackways

Section 3:

The Roads


‍​The world of long-distance coach travel.








 Go to Living Memories

Anecdotes written by people who actually travelled on the coaches

Go to the Age of Coaching

The coachmen, the inns, the coach proprietors - they’re all here. Come in and meet them

Go to the Roads

Britain’s roads were pretty impassable for most of our history.  Coach travel was very difficult until they improved

Go to The Coaches

Wheeled transport evolved over many years. Find out how coaches developed

Go to Home Page

Home Page of the Coaching Website


Sources and information about how I came to create this website