Driving North

Sunday’s Mileage: 523
Total Mileage: 766

On the Car Stereo:
BBC Sounds: Greg James in conversation with Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2)
Live Radio: BBC Radio Cornwall (Mel Osborne), BBC Radio 6 Music (Amy Lamé), BBC Radio 2 (Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the ’70s), LBC (Ian Payne), Gold (Sixties Sunday)
Spotify: Playlist of George Strait; Playlist of country music.

Land’s End to the Lake District

I was up early yesterday with many miles to cover. Breakfast as early as possible (07:30), with a nice view over the bay from the hotel. A full cooked breakfast, to set me up for many hours of driving.

After checking out of the hotel I did two very quick visits to some very important sites: The Lizard and Land’s End. When I get to Scotland later in the week I’ll visit the Scottish equivilant (Dunnet Head and John o’Groats). Those two stops added 61 miles to my day.

The driving wasn’t too bad but one observation I have about Cornwall’s roads is they’re full of tractors and caravans, which can be a bit frustating at times. Also…. Some of the roads seem narrow. In my big car I notice this. (Yet I think nothing of driving the same car in to Central London and squeezing it through gaps which in the countryside make me feel nervous).

I left Land’s End at about 11:50 – Just under 500 miles to my destination, so I just drove, and drove, and drove.

It is at this point I realised Cornwall is actually quite big. It took almost 2 hours to get out of Cornwall, following the A30 before joining the M5 at Exeter. Collumpton Services in Devon was my first of 3 stops on the way up to the Lake District from Land’s End.

The next motorway stretch was rather tedious. Traffic slow but moving; I crawled past Weston-super-Mare, watching the ETA on the sat nav getting later and later while the number of miles remaining didn’t really decrease.

Gloucester Services was my next stop. I checked how far I’d driven, and how far I had remaining. I had just passed the half way point of the drive. But hopefully as it’s all motorway now it would be quicker than the first haf of the journey.

I waved to Cirencester and Fairford as I shot past junction 11A (the A417 turn off) in the fast lane – talking to the traffic as I went “You in front, out of my way” (the car then moved – perhaps I have secret magic powers).

A little under 2 hours later and I was at Knutsford Services – the last stop before the Lake District. Now I felt like I had made some progress. I made this a stop for a drink and something to eat as there wouldn’t be anywhere open to eat at on arrival.

Back on the road for the final 112 miles. As I got on the slip road the sat nav, which talks to me in German, announced: “Achtung: In 12 Meilen, Unfall” (Attention: Accident in 12 miles). Another traffic jam followed.

My final destination of the day was Keswick: The Sat Nav took me the scenic route, passing right through the middle of the Lake District, through Windermere where I expressed surprised that I could see a lake (I was in the Lake District, what was I expecting!?)

A little after 9pm I arrived at the hotel – The bar was still open, so I sat down for a drink.

FH.

Fred Hart

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