An unfinished half and that view of the Northumberland National Park, to be fair.
4hr 12 says Bing Maps, which can only mean Mr Bing doesn’t stop for diesel at the Ram Jam services or drive a steady 62mph in their new campervan.
You break the journey into segments. An hour to Grantham (ooh, new interchange being built), an hour to Doncaster (a boom town, trade 20% up on 2019), an hour to Scotch Corner and that tricky decision about veering left on the A66 to Cumbria.
And then it’s the Angel of the North, the slowdown over the Tyne and the climb up the A696 past posh Ponteland into Northumberland and the Redesdale, notionally in Rochester but essentially freestanding on the A68.
You’re almost in Kielder here, an area rarely graced with new GBG entries before last year’s corker at Elsdon.
On Wednesday, it would have taken two hours to join the gentlefolk in Southwold or Cromer, in my neighbouring counties.
East Anglian folk would not believe you if you told them they could be on the edge of Kielder Water in just over four.
Was it worth it ?
Of COURSE it’s worth it.
I got to say hello to a local farmer, a couple out from Morpeth on a mini-break, and some more lovely bar staff who admired my show of willing in donning face covering the day before the rules came in.
Learning I was only hear for “A quick half” I was invited to pop in the Public Bar,
“Oooh” I thought, “It’ll be full of Old Boys debating the price of lamb in Billingham (that almost rhymes)“.
But it was empty, and rather plain, only enlivened when a young couple arrived at 6.30 for their booked table safely away for me.
I’ll be honest, that’s as much as I drunk. It wasn’t BAD (NBSS 2), but I had another journey into the hills before dusk. Perhaps pubs should just serve me empty glasses and a smile and be done with it.
I stood to admire the sunset.
“Aye, it’s worth travelling for, that view” said the bloke with the best Geordie accent since Electric Pics.
It really was.