Helen Bach: Classic way to enjoy countryside

Helen took part in this year's Stilton Cheese Classic Vehicle Run
Helen took part in this year's Stilton Cheese Classic Vehicle Run

I’m guessing you’ve heard of the Cannonball Run or the Gumball Rally?

Well, did you know that we’ve got a smaller scale version in these parts called The Stilton Cheese Classic Vehicle Run?

Open to any classic vehicles, it starts in Uppingham, then follows a route via New Lodge Farm in Bulwick on to Stilton in Cambridgeshire.

It’s apparently designed to commemorate the route taken by traders of old who used to fetch the prized Stilton cheese, and raises money for the air ambulance, so it’s all in a good cause as well as being a lovely day out for classic car enthusiasts.

It was our first time taking part.

We arrived in Uppingham to see “The Stig” – who posed for photos and signed autographs – plus an array of Jaguars, Minis, a WWII Willys Jeep, Morris Minors, Triumph Stags, a couple of VW Campervans, some TVRs, a few Porsches, MGs, Audi Quattros, some Citroens, a Bentley, a Rolls Royce and a very fine 1960s Ford Mustang, which is my personal favourite.

After registration in The Falcon Hotel, we had time to view the cars before setting off to our first destination.

Our route took us through picturesque Northamptonshire countryside including Harringworth and Laxton, and a hog roast was waiting for us on arrival in Bulwick.

After refreshments and time to chat with our fellow participants, we then meandered through Bulwick and Southwick, headed to Oundle and on to Polebrook.

From here we went straight to Stilton, where the main street was packed with classic cars and enthusiasts outside The Bell Inn Hotel.

The event raised £2000 for the air ambulance, which is fantastic.

There was a great mix of people taking part and I thought it was lovely to see a Mark II Jaguar – like Inspector Morse’s – with a baby seat in the back for one of the youngest entrants.

I’m looking forward to next year already.