Dorset tunnel one of best in UK to drive through - based on way it sounds

·2-min read
Beaminster Tunnel  Picture: Google Maps
Beaminster Tunnel Picture: Google Maps

Beaminster Tunnel has been rated one of the best in the UK to drive through - based on the way it sounds.

Car maker Alfa Romeo has created a ‘Sound Tunnel Index’ to determine the best tunnels in the UK, with each location given a rating based on a sound recording generated by the firm's Stelvio Quadrifoglio model driving through each tunnel - and the Beaminster Tunnel is near the top of the list.

The sound, which is captured from within the vehicle, was assessed by Sandy Brown, one of the UK’s leading acoustic consultancies. Its team of sound experts – who worked to improve the acoustics of the Royal Albert Hall – measured the engine and exhaust sound as well as tyre, road and wind noise as a way of determining the best tunnel.

Through this method, they were able to create a ranking of the top 10 tunnels in the UK, in which the Beaminster Tunnel placed third.

Beaminster Tunnel is a 345-foot-long road tunnel on the A3066 road between Beaminster and Mosterton, which was constructed between 1830–1832. It was one of the first road tunnels built in Britain, and is the only pre-railway road tunnel in the country still in use.

The Penmaenbach tunnel in North Wales took the overall top spot in the top 10 list, followed by the Saltash tunnel in Cornwall and the Beaminster tunnel in second and third places respectively.

Richard King, associate at Sandy Brown, said: “The shape and size of tunnels, their length, the speed of the road, background sounds such as other cars, airflow and tyre noise, all have an impact on the sound you hear while driving through it.

“This is heightened in a performance SUV like the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, where the combination of the V6 Bi-Turbo engine and exhaust sound add to the excitement, so this index will help petrolheads and car lovers across the UK make the most of their drives.”

Alfa Romeo's 'Sound Tunnel Index':

  1. Penmaenbach, North Wales

  2. Saltash, Cornwall

  3. Beaminster, Dorset

  4. Hindhead, Surrey

  5. Holmesdale, Enfield

  6. Queensway, Cheshire

  7. Dartford, Kent

  8. Hatfield, Hertfordshire

  9. Limehouse, Poplar

  10. Tyne, Durham

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