Weird Roads: Zig Zag Hill – The UK’s Bendiest Road

Ask any driver that loves spending time behind the wheel and they’ll tell you that driving is not a chore, but a hobby to be enjoyed. Just you, the road and a roaring engine, cruising along faster than your legs could ever carry you. There’s a thrill to be had when driving a car, but many people won’t find it on an arrow-straight motorway or in gridlocked inner-city traffic. Actually, it’s common knowledge that some of the most enjoyable roads to drive on are out in the Alpine mountains of Europe, with the most enthusiastic car owners even travelling abroad to experience these winding, scenic roads first hand. But what if we told you that you can get this experience… in Shaftesbury.

For those who aren’t aware, Shaftesbury is a town in Dorset, right by the border with Wiltshire and is the only major hilltop settlement in its county. Shaftesbury is home to the infamous Zig Zag Hill, a mile-long road so bendy that its real name has all but been forgotten (it’s actually part of the B3081). With no less than four hairpin turns, along with several other tight bends on a constant hilly gradient of around 13%, the Zig Zag is a test for every driver, no matter the conditions.

Have you tackled Zig Zag Hill and come out the other end a wreck – and we’re not just talking about your nerves?! If your car has suffered damage anywhere or anyhow, Scrap Car Comparison can find you the best price to sell it as scrap or salvage and once you’ve accepted an offer from one of these local buyers from out network, we’ll even arrange for your car or van to picked up free of charge. Use our scrap value calculator to find out how much your car could be worth today!

A winding road lined with tall trees, landscape

Zig Zag Hill In Action

Want to see someone tackle Zig Zag Hill from the safety of your home? Check out the video below. Note the tightness of the bend, and the closeness of the Porsche coming around it, at 40 seconds that seems to take YouTube user & driver mrboothroyd a little bit by surprise!

Zig Zag Hill is, as we’ve mentioned in Shaftesbury and makes up a chunk of the B3081, but more specifically it spans the length of the road between the village of Cann, at the bottom and the hilltop which, incidentally makes the upward trek worthwhile – once you summit the Zig Zag, you’ll be presented with some gorgeous views out over the Dorset and Wiltshire countryside. There’s even a parking area where you can stop to take it all in (or catch your breath after the stressful climb).

The exact address for the hill is B3081, Shaftesbury SP7 0EL but please remember that while Google might consider this place a tourist attraction (complete with tongue-in-cheek- reviews) it is still an active road, and one that can be very dangerous at that. Is it worth travelling across the country for? Probably not. But, if you’re close enough and want to pop by, do so safely and legally.

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When To Avoid Zig Zag Hill

We don’t mean to be a ‘glass half empty’ type, but because Zig Zag Hill can be dangerous even in perfect driving conditions, it’s easier to mention when you should avoid it. 

  • Night – Driving at night on the hill can be a real challenge, particularly if you’re going up. You’ll struggle to see the road surface with your lights pointing up into the trees, and you’ll probably even find that the turns are so sharp you end up looking through your side windows more than your windscreen and into total darkness. We would not recommend driving up this road in the dark if you’ve never tackled it before.
  • Rain – Heavy rain can wreak havoc on any road, the Zig Zag could reach new levels of danger. Not only will visibility be reduced and the risk of aquaplaning increased, but the steepness of the hillside means that torrential rain could turn the road into a succession of cascading waterfalls or potentially even dislodge some of the earth. Lighter rain should be manageable but if the heavens have opened, it’s best to avoid.
  • Snow & Ice – If you approach Zig Zag Hill only to find there’s snow or ice on the road surface, you really are best off avoiding it altogether. Going up would be a challenge, and you’d be lucky to get around the first turn, but coming down would be reckless. There is a very real possibility that one slip could send you tumbling off your section of road and down the hillside to the next bit of road below. You’re also unlikely to be able to properly control your speed. Use common sense and judge the situation, but we’d recommend steering clear if it’s snowing.

So there you have it – Britain’s bendiest road. It might not have hit the heights on social media (yet) like Rufford Ford, but we think the car lovers amongst our readers will prefer sampling Zig Zag Hill in Shaftesbury over a potentially engine-flooding river crossing any day of the week.

If your car or van has zigged its last zag, get in touch with us here at Scrap Car Comparison and we’ll find you best offers for it from scrap or salvage buyers in your local area. Our network of dealers is vast enough that we can arrange for your vehicle to be collected free of charge and not only can we guarantee your quoted price once you’ve accepted the offer, you’ll even get paid on the same day that the vehicle is picked up! Get a quote and find out how much your old car could be worth today!

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