North of the border to Edinbutgh,Scotland

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September 22nd 2013
Published: September 28th 2013
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Our time in Pudsey with the family had passed very quickly like all pleasurable experiences.

Today we head for Edinburgh but first time to call in for a quick cup of tea with Rhona, Eric and Jean and say our farewells.

The warmth that came yesterday afternoon at the football when the sun came out has stayed and it looks like a dry day ahead.

It was another comfortable night and the Travelodge has proved to be a most economical chain to stay with at GBP21 per night although with this one we did curiously have to pay for parking at GBP3 per 24 hours. One usually thinks that parking is provided free when your car is in an open yard in front of the hotel.

The traffic was the lightest it has been since we arrived on Thursday but then it is Sunday and we get the feeling that people here like to lie in on the weekend.

After a quick cuppa we took a couple more photos and said goodbye heading for the ring road and then onto the A1 taking us north east towards the border between England and Scotland.

Last night at dinner, Bob, the 92 year old, suggested the best route to take and not surprisingly our GPS, Serena, suggested the same as being the fastest to cover the journey of a bit over 300km.

However, before we could make the ring road to avoid Bradford and Leeds we became stuck in a queue of cars that weren’t moving because of a 4 wheel drive that broken down just at the entry to a busy roundabout.

After not moving for several minutes we gave the ring road away and pulled out of the queue and headed in what we thought was an easterly direction towards the A1.The change in direction did give us the opportunity to stop at a supermarket to pick up some lunch. The change also meant we ended up in Leeds although on the ring road that travels around that city.

The roading system is efficient enough to get you quickly from one side of the city to the other and we were soon on the A1 heading towards our final destination directly.

The kilometres whizzed by and we took a stop at Scotch Corner where Bob had suggested we turn off the A1 onto the A68 to straighten the route up to a more northerly direction.

The countryside became more interesting on the A68 instead of the motorway and we had some lovely views of the northern Pennines passing through picturesque towns including West Auckland, the home of the first World Cup when the local miners football team represented England in Turin in what was the first football competition of its type and went onto become what we now know as the World Cup.The full story can be read on Wikipedia under West Auckland.

We passed a sign to Hadrian’s Wall just before we entered the Northumberland National Park but as we have seen what is left of the wall before we continued on into the largely uninhabited park.

With the Border hills becoming more obvious and the road climbing and falling more regularly we arrived at the line that marks the border between Scotland and England and for once there was actually the flags of both countries flying to mark the location something that hadn’t always been clear in the many other border crossing the BBA V2 has done.

Strangely the border areas in both England and Scotland are sparsely populated which perhaps is a reminder of days gone by when those in the south tried to keep out the invaders from the north and a wide demarcation zone occurred or perhaps that is just fantasy!

The first sizeable town you come to is Jedburgh and you start to get the feel of Scotland with buildings of grey stone rather than the red brick of England.

The weather had remained dry which made driving conditions more enjoyable than our last visit to the Borders 4 years ago when rain virtually obliterated the scenery.

Our Travelodge is at Musselburgh, an outer suburb near the ring road, from Edinburgh. From the town you can view Arthurs Seat, the highest point looking towards the Firth of Forth and a hill that we climbed on our last visit. While it doesn’t look very high we can recall it was a strenuous climb in parts not dissimilar to climbing the Mount at home.

We had found out that Musselburgh had a Weatherstones pub in the main street and as yet on this trip we hadn’t had a chance to try one. The chain of pubs has a reputation for hearty meals at very reasonable prices and tonight we weren’t to be disappointed.

The deal of the day was Sunday roast of either beef or pork with, roast potatos, peas & Yorkshire Puddings (yes we know this is Scotland and we should be looking for haggis and not something with a Yorkshire flavour) together with a pint of our favourite beer or cider from the tap, all for GBP5.99 an absolute bargain. And very delicious and filling it was too.

Although the night air had coolness to it I was tempted by the shop selling ice creams next to the pub as we left to take a walk down to the sea and finished off with a peanut butter flavoured ice cream.

The very last light of the day was fading on the western horizon as we headed back from the beach to the car and back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep with a day in Edinburgh ahead of us tomorrow.


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