Having reset the counter to 0 back in August 2017, I have finally driven through all of England’s counties and what an adventure it’s been. Back then, I have to admit that my knowledge of my own country was pretty dire as I hadn’t ventured much out of the south east. I hadn’t heard of Rutland (England’s smallest county and, until now, the only one not to have a McDonald’s although that’s about to change). The Lake District was, er, somewhere up north (?) and who knew what the county was above Newcastle!
For some time, I’ve had four counties eluding me: East Riding of Yorkshire, Rutland, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. On my UK scratch map, I’ve been yearning to scratch off the foil to reveal the detail underneath but I finally had an unexpected opportunity to do so last weekend. On Sunday morning, I had to suddenly drop everything to drive my daughter back to Edinburgh University and I was determined to do something the following day on my way home which should have taken 7 1/2 hours. But I never take the easy option! No, I decided to take a detour and go through these four counties even though it added another two hours to my journey time in the middle of Storm Brendan! What was I thinking?! As you’ll see on my scratch map, I’ve also visited Welsh and Scottish counties in the last 2 1/2 years and anybody who’s followed my blog for a while or knows me in real life will probably know what I’m about to tell you…I’m not going to sit back and think “ta dah. I’m done”. No, let’s see if I can scratch off the rest of Wales and Scotland before I turn 50 as well!
Weekend after next, I’m going to tell you about the highlights of my travelling so far but I thought I would just give you a tip if you want to venture up to Scotland and take a selfie in front of a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign. If you travel on the west up the A74(M) near to Gretna Green, it’s really hard to stop by the sign but the A68 towards the east side by Jedburgh has a very handy large lay-by with a huge sign, Scottish flag and a huge boulder with Scotland written on one side and England on the other.
I was actually going to publish this post this coming weekend but I’ve just had something flash up on my personal Facebook feed about the return of the Winter Lights Festival in Canary Wharf, London that opens tomorrow. I absolutely loved it last year as the area is covered in the most spectacular illuminate art installations. I’m hoping to head up there on Saturday afternoon / early evening so this weekend’s post (on Sunday) will be to tell you what it’s like in case you want to go there too before it closes on Sunday 26th January.
Hope you’re having a good day xx