Driving South

Monday’s Mileage: 485
Total Mileage: 2756

On the Car Stereo:
Live Radio: BBC Radio Scotland: Mornings with Kay Adams; Lunchtime Live; The Afternoon Show with Janice Forsyth / BBC Radio Newcastle: Tamsin Robson
Spotify: Playlist of Scottish music / Playlist of country music / Dolly Parton playlist / George Straight playlist

Anstruther to Cirencester

It is nearly 2 weeks ago that I returned home following my holiday in the Scottish highlands, but things have been so busy I’ve barely had time to take my photos off the camera!

The morning of 31st August was spent wandering around in Fife – starting after breakfast in Anstruther, which has a very nice looking harbour and great looking coastline.

Above: Anstruther Harbour
Below: Elie Beach

I got in the car and went a few miles down the coast to Elie (named by The Times as one of the best places to live in 2020); It was only a short stop but with the Sunny weather and large sandy beach it is somewhere I really want to go back to – I love it!

Then it was on to the road – The best part of 500 miles to cover to get home (on a bank holiday as well) – and I wasn’t exactly planning on taking the most direct route home either. The most direct route would be to take the M9 out of Edinburgh, on to the M8 and then get on the M74, A74(M), and M6. Motorway the whole way.

Instead I detoured down the East coast – with the aim of stopping in Seahouses on the Northumberland coast. Why Seahouses? It’s where one of my friends goes for her holiday, and I wanted to check it out. Apart from adding about 80-90 miles to the journey it meant I drove through the middle of Edinburgh and was then on the A1 – single carriageway a lot of the way from Edinburgh to Newcastle. It was a long and slow drive.

Of course I do have reason to go back to Seahouses; My sister and I were watching Harry Potter the night before I left, and she suggested I go and visit Alnwick Castle, a filming location in the first two films (as Hogwarts) and also a filming location inDownton Abbey specials (as Brancaster House). With that distance though it will have to be at least a weekend away rather than a day trip! Not even I am mad enough to drive to Seahouses and back in a day!!!

Seahouses looked nice enough but – South of the Scottish border – it was a bank holiday. And it was crowded. I must have parked a good mile or two from the main town, on a grass verge next to a 60mph road. There was no social distancing, and I felt a bit, dare I say it, agoraphobic. My planned lunch stop became a walk about and then “let’s get out of here”.

Back on the road and within minutes of getting on the A1 I ended up in a traffic jam, about 10 miles North of Morpeth. God knows what the cause was, but wasn’t waiting. I took a detour on to the A697 and rejoined the A1 just outside Morpeth itself. The rest of the A1 was moving, albeit a bit busy – It was a relief to drive past the Angel of the North and then meet the motorway – the A1(M).

Wetherby Services was my next stop – almost an area I’m familiar with, not far from the North York Moors where I have family. Here, having not had lunch at Seahouses, I did my last Eat Out to Help Out before the scheme finished. Nothing too special, just a McDonald’s meal, which didn’t cost much at all!! Although with the amount of people at the Services, fast food was just…. food. (Not very fast)!

Then I managed to cover quite a lot of ground before my next stop. In reality I should probably have stopped a good hour or so before I actually did as I was getting a little tired and thirsty, but with the traffic free-flowing I didn’t stop again until I got to Strensham Services, by this time it was 10pm and much quieter, and it was only a quick stop.

Finally at 11pm I made it home to Cirencester. Holiday over…back to work on Tuesday.

FH.

Fred Hart

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