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2023 Summer Travel Series – Your journey to... Scotland

2023 Summer Travel Series – Your journey to... Scotland

Scotland is famous for its rich culture, gorgeous landscapes, and lively cities. But what about the journey there? If you’re travelling by car from England the journey can seem long. To keep you entertained along the way you may want to opt for a more scenic route. Perhaps through the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria or maybe even the Northumberland National Park. Whatever your route this summer we’ve got some exciting suggestions for your journey to your next Scottish adventure. 

Most scenic routes and top destinations 

The Bowes Museum 

The first must-stop on your way up North has to be The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle. With outstanding collections of, art fashion and design, this French-style public museum and gardens is a hidden gem the whole family can enjoy. Craft areas, playgrounds and hunts around the museum are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours. When you’re done, the café has plenty of options including a Sunday roast. Plus, daily homemade tray bakes. 

Located in the heart of the Pennines of North East England, the museum’s home, Barnard Castle, is just off the A66. A short 20 minutes by car from Scotch Corner (A1) and 40 minutes from Penrith (M6). Day tickets are £18.00pp and can be booked in advance on their website

Hadrian’s Wall 

Of course, you cannot take a trip through the North of England without making a stop at Hadrian’s Wall. A former frontier of the Roman Empire, work began on the wall in AD122. The construction of the 73-mile wall took 6 years to complete, running from Solway Firth to the aptly named Wallsend. 

Perhaps the most notable of all the destinations along the wall is Houseteads Roman Fort. Set high on a hill next to Hadrian’s Wall, this ancient fortress allows visitors to wander the Roman barrack blocks, a hospital and take a peek at the oldest toilets you’ll probably ever see! 

Tickets are £9.50pp and can be booked on the English Heritage website

Northumberland National Park 

If you fancy getting out into nature, why not try the A68 through the Northumberland National Park. The unique and special surroundings of the park are home to some interesting sights.  

The Drake Stone 

Thought to have special healing powers, this huge sandstone boulder was placed in the park by a glacier during the last Ice Age. The stone was originally called the Dragon Stone or Draak’s Stone and is believed to have been used by the druids. 

Winter's Gibbet 

After William Winter and his sisters robbed and brutally murdered a woman in her home just north of Elsdon, the three criminals were caught and executed. In 1792, William’s body was placed inside an iron cage to act as a warning to other criminals. 

The Cheviot Memorial 

This poignant memorial is dedicated to the airmen who lost their lives over the Cheviot hills during the Second World War. 

Best service stations 

After all that sightseeing, you’ll probably fancy a bite to eat. Early on in your journey to Scotland, we have one of the best-rated service stations in the country – Wetherby (A1). Named as 5th best in the country according to one ranking, this service station has been compared by one reviewer as ‘better than the Sistine Chapel’. 

With a wide range of choices, including Burger King, Costa Coffee and Greggs, you’ll be sure to find something you like. There are also opportunities for a spot of shopping in Marks and Spencer or WH Smith. If you’re looking for a place to stay, the services house a Days Inn Hotel. 

If you’re travelling to the West of Scotland why not try Tebay (M6)? Hailed as one of the UK’s most famous service stations, Tebay is a family-owned site in a scenic part of the M6. The two North and Southbound buildings offer great views of a special part of the country. A duck pond, farm shop and caravan park make the site a cut above your standard motorway service station. 

Cumbrian lamb and native beef raised on their very own farm are served in the service’s kitchen, which uses locally sourced ingredients.  

Best alternative to a service station 

Once you’re across the border into Scotland, why not get stuck in and sample some Scottish cuisine at Simply Scottish in Jedburgh. With Scottish Teas, Nachos smothered in Scottish cheese and, of course, Haggis on flatbread, this quaint café also offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. 

If you fancy sitting down for a nice meal at a restaurant – The Hoebridge might be the place to add to your travel plans. Opened in 2015 this independent restaurant creates small seasonal menus that change each month, which often have fresh local ingredients and dishes made by hand. Also on the menu are locally roasted Luckie Coffee and beer from the Tempest Brewery. 

For a family-friendly option, you could try The Gun at Ridsdale. Offering an ever-changing range of choices, their sample menu boasts bangers and mash, 8oz Sirloin or rump steak and cauliflower katsu curry. For the kids, options include fish fingers and cheese and tomato pizza – which are always sure to go down well! 

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