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Around the world in 24 races: Exploring Silverstone and beyond with Jessica Hawkins

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Sleeping in your own bed, sumptuous sushi and steak, cycle routes to set your pulse racing. Hop in as Jessica Hawkins and our global luxury luggage partner, Globe-Trotter, take you on a great British road trip to reveal the best places to visit in the UK and the perks of having the British Grand Prix on your doorstep.

Located in the heart of the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, Silverstone Circuit is surrounded by stately homes and green fields. High-energy engineering excellence contrasts with the bucolic surroundings.

The AMR Technology Campus is within walking distance of the circuit and many team members live in the surrounding area, including our Driver Ambassador and Head of F1 Academy Jessica Hawkins. She took time out of her busy schedule with the team and racing in the British GT Championship to share her favourite things to do in Great Britain and some of the perks that come with living so close to your home race.

Sticks'n'Sushi is one of my favourite places to go to and it's one of Fernando's favourites too.
Jessica Hawkins

Home comforts

"It's about a 10-minute drive to Silverstone from where I live just outside Buckingham, so I'm definitely looking forward to coming back home at the end of each day. You don't normally get to do that over a race weekend. In F1, you're away from your own bed a lot of the year, travelling the world, so it's nice to take advantage when you can and spend the night at home," says Jessica.

"On a good run, I can get to Silverstone in just over seven minutes – we're talking purple sectors – but it won't be that quick around the British Grand Prix due to the traffic getting into the circuit! For anyone heading to Silverstone, I'd recommend getting there early and making the most of the incredible atmosphere.

Aston Martin F1

"A lot of the team live in the local area so many team members will be returning home at the end of each day throughout the race weekend. A working day in the world of Formula One is always high intensity, particularly over the British Grand Prix, as it's our home race.

"Everyone in the team will be flat out, so going back to your own home and bed each night is a real treat. Some team members live further away so won't be able to enjoy that luxury and will stay in hotels near the circuit."

Silverstone's environs are often overlooked by visitors, but there's plenty to enjoy near the historic F1 circuit. The stately homes of Blenheim and Stowe are just a short drive away; Stowe, in particular, is renowned for its incredible gardens and follies. Oxford will delight you with its ancient colleges and charming shopping streets bustling with students.

The Cotswolds, located nearby, features buttery sandstone houses lining village main streets, reminiscent of those in Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on the-Wold. The rolling green hills are perfect for leisurely walks and summer picnics.

A taste of Britain

"Sticks'n'Sushi is one of my favourite places to go and it's one of Fernando Alonso's favourites too. The closest one to Silverstone is in Oxford but it's worth the drive. There's one in Cambridge too and several in London," says Jessica.

"Kobe Steakhouse & Cocktail Lounge is a great place to go in Milton Keynes. It's a little unassuming outside but the food is incredible and I love eating there. It's one of only 10 registered restaurants certified to sell Japanese Kobe and Wagyu beef in the UK – and the only one outside of London – so you're getting top quality food whenever you go there.

"Finally, Warbler on the Wharf is a really quaint venue in Milton Keynes. It's situated on the Grand Union Canal and has a relaxed vibe to it with some delicious food and drink on offer. It's a pub with a lovely outside terrace and beer garden, perfect for when the British summer plays ball! And it's a great stop-off for walkers and cyclists alongside the water."


Swap four wheels for two

"I love being active. I go to the gym a lot, not just for enjoyment, but also because it helps me stay physically sharp. I go out on my bike, I love finding new places to ride and there are lots of great routes in and around Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties, such as Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire," explains Jessica.

"Woburn is one of my favourite places to cycle – you've got the picturesque Deer Park and then if you want something a little more challenging, the Longslade Trail will certainly get your heart pumping.

"I like playing squash, and I've also got into hiking recently, which I'm really enjoying. Hiking is a definite change of pace from the world of motorsport, but it's a great way to switch off and see some fantastic scenery.

"When I'm not out and about keeping active, I spend time with my friends and family. I travel a lot with the team, which means I don't get to see friends and family a great deal, so catching up with them when I'm at home is always important."

Aston Martin F1

Set your pulse racing

"Silverstone Circuit is somewhere everybody should visit. It's the home of British motorsport and there are so many great series racing there throughout the year – not just F1. Silverstone is also home to our team. The state-of-the-art new AMR Technology Campus is just a stone's throw away from the circuit and you can't miss it on the way to the track," says Jessica.

You can't beat Silverstone. It's a special place: the home of British motorsport, the home of our team – and home to one of the most thrilling sequences of corners in the world.
Jessica Hawkins

As the nearest big city to Silverstone, Birmingham is an intriguing metropolis that will be of interest to fans of cars and motorsports. This was the centre of the UK car manufacturing industry at one time, and its many motorways pay tribute to that. Some of them were even raced on in the 1980s and 90s as the Birmingham Superprix took over the streets and turned the city into 'the Monaco of the Midlands.'

"Great Britain is home to so many brilliant racetracks that are steeped in history, including the likes of Brands Hatch and Donington Park, and they're well worth a visit when a race meeting is on," adds Jessica.

"There are also places like the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu and the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, which is very close to the Aston Martin Lagonda global headquarters. If you've got a general passion for cars, I'd recommend both.

"Finally, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex is a must-visit for petrolheads. This year, it takes place a week after the British Grand Prix and is a celebration of all things motor racing. Fernando will be there for the public debut of the Aston Martin Valiant. I can't wait to see him unleash 745 horsepower up the famous Hill Climb Course on 12 July."

Aston Martin F1

Where to go next?

Scotland is the one part of Britain you should not miss. With quaint islands like Lewis, Harris, Barra, and Bute, you can follow Highland cows down to pristine sandy shores, watch eagles soar among mountain tops, and observe stag deer patrolling wild moorlands. It's an incredible experience and if you're a whisky lover, you'll also be in your element with numerous distilleries across this stately country.

A great place to stay in Scotland is Links House in Dornoch, offering 15 carefully curated bedrooms just a stone's throw from one of Scotland's most beautiful beaches and right next to Royal Dornoch—one of the Highlands' greatest golf courses.

Don't miss the chance to walk the fells of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where Malham Tarn and Malham Cove are spectacular sights. Explore the North York Moors, where you can enjoy wild swims below waterfalls and travel back in time on the steam trains of the North York Moors Railway.

"One of my favourite places is the Peak District," says Jessica. "For someone like me, who enjoys cycling and hiking, it's a brilliant place with some breathtaking views. Even if you're not planning on being ultra-active, it's still a great destination to go to unwind.

"Further north from there, you've got the Lake District which offers equally stunning scenery. It is a fantastic place to switch off for a bit – or indulge in watersports.

"Ultimately though, you can't beat Silverstone. It's such a special place. It's the home of British motorsport, it's the home of our team – and home to one of the most thrilling sequences of corners in the world, the high-speed left-right-left-right of Maggots and Becketts.

"And I live just around the corner, so I get to call Silverstone my home too! It doesn't get much better than that."

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