London to Edinburgh: Off the beaten track

London to Edinburgh: Off the beaten track
St Abbs Head

Our rental car purred softly as it moved steadily on the motorway from London to Edinburgh. It's a pretty straight road with gradual bends at some stretches.

After leaving Manchester and driving for nearly three hours, we needed a toilet break. But we were in the middle of nowhere near the Scottish borders with only trees, wild shrubs and bushes flanking the motorway. It was then that I came to really appreciate the Plus R&R areas back home. You could still "hold it" knowing full well that there's an R&R or a small town up ahead.

With our bladder bursting, we thought we'd just have to do our business in the bushes.

But we needed to find the "right" bushes that'd shield us from the road and away from prying eyes, especially the highway patrol police.

We might just risk getting fined though it might not be necessarily so. So my hubby played it safe and drove a little further with the hope of coming across an R&R up ahead. And to our relief, there stood a signboard with the toilet and F&B symbols. God must have sympathised with our "urges".

The signboard points to a small road that veers off the motorway.

The R&R area shouldn't be far... so we thought.

But after a few minutes, what unfolded before us was a wide expanse of farm land with rows of tall electric windmills. The dual track road also traverses gently undulating land mostly covered with a natural carpet of green shrubs. Bursts of wild flowers here and there - from white to yellow to pink and purple - brightened the already beautiful Scottish countryside that summer. We forgot momentarily the reason for turning off the main road in the first place.

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