Spectacular Scottish Summer (PT. 1: Nowhere Nice To Nairn)
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
After waking up at usually early at 7am, I'd have breakfast and a last minute check of everything. With the thumbs up from my slightly-less-Dyspraxic-side, I'd hit the road.
Onward from here, I'd quickly top up my tank (driving down from Harlow had depleted the tank slightly).
With a large, inflatable ball removed from my passenger seat (ironically didn't take it out of my car because I had no room in the house - now the opposite happened), we were finally ready to properly set off.
By 10:40am, we were out of the county and on the road.
Our first port of call was in Sheffield. Specifically, a particular road in Sheffield.
The name of said road was very unique - in fact, so unique that it is the only one in the UK (and possibly abroad).
Of course, I'm talking about the one and only Truswell Road.
I was not only lucky enough to have my own road-name (obviously no relation to me), but so too an avenue, the very next turning.
After seeing both, I was incredibly uplifted.
Up-lifted to not only see the road that bares my (uncommon/rare) surname and the fact that both roads were in a good condition and had some nice houses down both sides of both roads.
Going to Truswell Road and Avenue was also a very nice treat as it was not only the most northernly I had driven in 2021 - but in my history of driving too.
The previous "record holder" was Porthmadog in Wales, however that's 50 miles south (disregarding east/west) of Truswell road.
Anyhow, we got a couple of pictures of me and the signs, before we hit the road once again - this time going to Johnson Road - my mate's surname - this also ironically enough being in Sheffield (albeit far in the North of the county).
Following this, we'd next bang in the address for the Premier Inn in Stockton-On-Tees and hit the road.
Other than a rather steep road entering/leaving Deepcar (town where Johnson Road is) and seeing a Ferrari and a Lamborghini, there wasn't all too much to report on - traffic wasn't too bad, views weren't bad (though most of it was just motorway driving) and other than a little Winehouse concert for two, it was a very quiet journey.
We'd arrive at the Premier Inn at about 6pm, chuck our stuff down and I'd go down to the restaurant to see what they had on the menu.
After both eventually eating something, we'd both hit the hay.
Following a rather substantial breakfast, we'd get back on the road and continue northward, passing the most northernly town in England, Berwick Upon Tweed, where we stopped for a quick toilet break.
Just up the road from here was the sign (quite literally) we had been waiting to see since leaving Surrey.
From there, it was off into the mountains and into the Land Of The Scots.
Prior to this, I had only ever been to Scotland once in my life time, this being to a place north west of Stirling and Edinburgh called Tigh Mor Trossachs, going only when I was a wee little lad, my ole memory hardly going back that far.
We'd continue on into Scotland, passing Edinburgh, Glasgow, Troassachs and Perth right up to Nairn, where our accommodation would be. Wide three-lane motorways quickly turning into dual-carriageways, at most needing only two lanes for the significantly lesser volume of traffic.
On entering Scotland, I observed that they used the "70" (mph) signs, instead of much more commonplace National Speed limit signs, possibly due to entering a new country? Not sure.
We'd follow the A1 up to Edinburgh before taking the Queensferry Crossing Bridge over the Firth Of Forth (now there's a mouthful!)
If one to were to look North (on a map) this bridge in particular would be the furthest to the right of the three bridges (Forth, Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing) - the lattermost being so recent that Google Maps even caught it being built on Google street view from the adjacent bridge!
From here, we'd continue up the M90 up to Perth before this turned into the A9.
Heading through the Cairngorms National Park and mountain range was stunning, it was just such a shame that I didn't have more eyes (eyes on the road and eyes on the views) or a driverless car I could just take my eyes off the road and take in the gorgeous view and have a little photo-session. Saying this, I did have Charis in the back, and she did quite the marvellous job of taking some stunning shots!
Shortly after Layby 134 (joining at 1, the most nothernly being 200), we'd take the exit to Carrbridge and take a short back-road up to Nairn.
I had such fun counting up the Laybys. Always livens up a long car journey.
Mysteriously, the Layby following Layby 68 had a missing sign, which was a shame, because it was at that moment that I needed to stretch my legs, and with no Layby Sign, (had we had an emergency) I wouldn't know what Layby to tell the Emergency Services I was at.
We did stop off at Layby 110 though. How my brain can remember something so silly and insignificant as a Layby Number driving up to Scotland, yet nor my phone, wallet or keys, I will never understand.
After a total of 6 hours of driving (obviously, with a stop in Berwick and said layby) we arrived at our first multi-night accommodation of the holiday.
We'd arrive at about 7pm, and after a long day of travelling, we were pretty darn shattered, so we headed to the beach and had a look around, before finding the local Co-Op (called Scotmid Co-Op) and had ourselves a little Pizza.
Nairn was and still is very pretty and gave off that "small, sleepy, seaside village" feeling.
Upon discovering there was a nice restaurant across the bridge from the beach at the bottom of our road, I decided that It'd be a nice idea (just to have a bit of variety) to eat somewhere new (or something new) on every night of our stay.
Whilst Charis took the double bed, I took the leather Sofa in the lounge. Was I upset or disappointed?
Not in the slightest. I've slept on my friend's sofa/sofa bed for two months, four days on a leather sofa was nothing, although, admittedly, the Sofa I stayed on for two months had a soft, cotton fabric.
And with that I was out. Zonked out on the sofa. (Photos of beach on morning/evening of 5th Sept.)
On The Road:
Disclaimer: In the sixth image, I am holding the steering wheel, I am just holding it with my right hand, at the bottom. As seen by the picture, traffic was not heavy.
I only see out the front seat so have no idea how I look whilst I'm driving! (view is also good!)
This is the first time I've mentioned iRacing up this blog, so I'm going to make it short and sweet.
iRacing Events I Didn't Mind Missing This Week Were:
- A Daytona 24 Hour Race (part of a Series, so that the Le Mans 24 Hours could be held)
- Round 7 of the Nurburgring Endurance Championship