David Bell • Link
Britain's modern road network is rather different from in Pepys' day, but can still be a good guide. The main differences come from the Enclosures, which created the modern agricultural landscape and set up many local roads, the emergence of the turnpikes (privately-funded toll roads), and the new motor roads of the 20th Century.
For Sam's recent trip to Cambridge, his outward route, via Ware, would have followed the general route of the current main road from London, but the placenames mentioned reveal that the current road sidesteps to the west for the last few miles, and Sam followed what is now a minor road.
Records show that some of these roads were once very wide. Partly this was because of the movement of livestock to London, food on the hoof for the teeming metropolis. It wasn't just the travellers going around muddy holes.