A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Travelling up to Fife for our hols next week. Been to Scotland loads in the past but for 20yrs have always turned off at Scotch Corner to head West.

What is the A1 like round Newcastle on a Friday afternoon.... and how about the A720 etc round Edinburgh on a Saturday am... assuming we overnight somewhere near Berwick??


M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Armitage Shanks {p}
A1 is a nightmare any evening but especially Friday - thousands of cars going in and out of the Metro Centre, apart from everybody going home from work. You could look at branching off the A1 up the A 19, thru the Tyne Tunnel and rejoin the A1 North of Newcastle. From there to Edinburgh very little of it is dualled and if you get stuck behind something then you are stuck. Not my favourite drive!
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Would it be better to be passing Newcastle at lunchtime then??

M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Armitage Shanks {p}
It might be OK in the evening but usually Friday is BAD, Can you get round before 4pm? That should be OK?
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - defender
I use the A 68 from just above scotch corner sometimes if going to land through Newcastle at a bad time , it is reasonably relaxed and not that much different time wise than using the A1. It is single lane apart from the crawler lanes on hills but there are some fast bits as well and the scenery is good .certainly beats sitting in the congestion round the city
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Avant
Another vote for the A68 - a beautiful road and my favourite. Lovley evocative place names too - through the bleak moorland around Tow Law, then Riding Mill, Kirkwhelpington (you don't go through these two but there are signs to them), Byrness and (near Edinburgh) Carfraemill.

The A1 and A66 are both clogged with traffic, the A1 as it goes past Newcastle and the A66 as it's stupidly single carriageway for much of the route, completely inadeuate for the traffic that uses it, including an endless stream of lorries.

A68 will take you right on to the A720 Edinburgh ring road - if possible avoid this at rush hour too.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Thanks guys. We need to pass close to Berwick on way to Edinburgh so A68 not an option this time... but comments noted for future. Decided to break the journey for an overnight at Durham then we can head past Newcastle around 8am Sat which should be quiet I guess?

Any more comments re passing Edinburgh and heading for the Forth road bridge??


M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - TonyJ
There are potential major delays at the M9 spur/A8000 approach to the Road Bridge at the moment (and nearly for the next year) and little chance to escape once in the queue. If you continue beyond the end of the bypass at the Gogar roundabout (turn R towards Edinburgh & then swing L up Maybury Rd to pick up the A90 at Barnton you should have a better chance of a clear run to the bridge. Although here the toll booths are being replaced as well ......
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - defender
any time I come all the way up the A1 towards the forth bridge I used the road through Leith instead of the city bypass and found it just as quick if not quicker but have not used it for a while ,maybe someone else knows that route better and more up to date
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Citroënian {P}
Hiya MM - good to see you still around posting!

Around Newcastle that early shouldn't be a problem, it's the MetroCentre in Gateshead that usually causes the queues - but be there before 930 and you should be fine. Durham is a grand place to break the journey, my parents live there and I worked there for six/seven years, very pretty place and at this time of year, fairly quiet without the students!

The run into/around Edinburgh should be fine assuming the Forth bridge stays clear (the radio and roadsigns will warn you in advance if it's not).

Be very careful though up the A1 from North Newcastle and up to Edinburgh, lots of fixed and mobile speed cameras, there seem to be even more once you get over the border.

Lovely run up the coast through Northumberland, Alnwick is a decent place for a cup of tea and a cookie in Barter Books if you need a break.

Have a good trip!

-- You know, it\'s not like changing toothpaste
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Many thanks for thr extra info guys... I'll build some slack into the journey around the Forth bridge so there is no stress if we do get held up for a bit..

Hello Lee... I did wonder if my username would ring any bells. Things have moved on loads** and very little time to be at the PC doing the forum thing.

**Except the "classic" cars we run are still the same!

Interesting your folks are at Durham and you know it. Never been but from looking at the brilliant local council interactive map it seems an interesting place for an evening wander. Splits our journey almost exactly in half too.

Ha ha speed cameras not an issue... we're going in the old Discovery.


A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - stevied
Barter Books in Alnwick! Excellent place.... was there on Saturday whilst visiting the in-lawsin Warkworth.

A1 is excellent outside of rush hours, and especially pretty through Northumberland, in particular up near Holy Island.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Stargazer {P}

Good to hear from you. I spent almost 10 years in and around Durham City, if spending the evening there then walk around the river and cathedral and castle when everything is floodlit. I am a little out of touch with places to eat but the Indian restaurant (Shaheens?) in the Old Post Office has always been a favourite of mine (I remember it still as a post office!).

And do visit the cathedral during open hours (ie Sat morning before leaving) but be aware that the very centre (the road from the market Place up to the Cathedral) is one of the first places they tried Congestion Charging.


StarGazer (aka Ian L)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - TonyJ
Remember you can if possible/convenient see the traffic flows (or not as the case may be!) from www.trafficscotland.org/views.asp?mi=edincam.gif & click on the icons.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Roberson
Be very careful though up the A1 from North Newcastle and
up to Edinburgh, lots of fixed and mobile speed cameras, there
seem to be even more once you get over the border.

Yes, thats true. I regularly make the trip from SE Northumberland to Fife to visit relatives there and will be doing it again in a couple of weeks. Most of the cameras are easy to spot, so you'll be ok as long as you keep you eyes peeled and within the speed limit of course!
Lovely run up the coast through Northumberland, Alnwick is a decent
place for a cup of tea and a cookie in Barter
Books if you need a break.

Here's a bit on the Northumberland coastal route: www.northumberland.gov.uk/vg/coast.html#585
Not bad a run, but not exactly quick, however, if you're not in a hurry then its probably worth a try. Makes a change from dual carriageways.

Barter Books! Would you credit it, I?m going up there this week. If there isn't a book in there that you like, they probably haven't written it yet.

BTW: the Tyne Tunnel on a Friday afternoon is also a bottle neck, and thus isn't as quick as it looks, but may not be as bad as the western bypass. Now the schools are off, the western bypass will still be very busy, but at least it'll be moving!
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Some great stuff guys.

The more I looked at the Durham map Ian the more interesting it looked. We are staying just off the 1st roundabout in from the A1 which looks handy for a stroll over the river to the centre.... arrive there 3pm so plenty of time for look about before bed.

Those Edinburgh cams are great Tony, not seen them before. OK so I'll not have a link to them in the car but can get a worthwhile idea of traffic at different times before we set off.

As I've hinted speed cameras not an issue... we're on our hols and more interested in looking about as we clunk up in the old Discovery.

Robertson... any good Fife info or places to visit?? We are staying in the Anstruther area.

M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - defender
the craws nest or the smugglers do good food in Anstruther,the bunker on the cupar road is supposed to be interesting
Crail just along the coast has motor racing on a lot of sundays on the old airfield,the sealife centre at north queensferry is good for kids
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Roberson
Sorry M.M. I haven't got much for you to go on, as we're never up there (Glenrothes) for any more than a weekend or so and catching up with relatives is the main concern. However, we visited Perth which is a nice place, but is quite far from Anstruther. How about taking the train to Edinburgh which is also quite good at this time of year as ?The Fringe? festival is being held until there untill the 28th.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Micky
MM (was DW)? No, it must be an imposter? Shirley.

With caravan or without? And what about the muckspreader?

Newcastle on a Friday atternoon? Have they got cars up there now? I can recall some epic journeys on the swooping roads heading towards Scotchland, can't recall the road numbers, I navigated by compass and the sun. The locals would appear at their hovel doors as I regally waved ..... er ........... sorry, got carried away there.

Fit searchlights onto the front of your chosen mode of transport, leave at 1.00am and arrive at Cape Wrath in time for breakfast ;-)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Ahhh "Micky"... been a while.

Now remember when we're tugging you'll only find a horse trailer on the back not white goods.... and wasn't it a Welshman who took his muckspreader to town?? Actually there are some damn cheap spreaders in Scotland... could be a chance to pay for the hols by paying a Northern price, towing home and selling on to an unsuspecting Southerner in a deal that didn't involve EBay.

You're right... you can really swoop on the way up to Cape Wrath... never quite reached the headland but great driving roads in the area. We were running turbo petrol rather than turbo diesel last time we were there... great fun.

The final bit up to the Cape put me off though... a ferry made of oil drums lashed together with an old outboard on a plank at the back.... perhaps they actually have a boat these days?

Didn't you run a Citroen... or have you fallen for one machine coffee too many at the BMW dealers?

M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Micky
Yes! Back to halcyon days of HJs message board, all very new and shiny then ..... the board that is, not HJ ;-) I occasionally rummage through your website, has it been updated recently? I'll post the link so that recent recruits to HJs creation can drool over your Cit expertise :-)


Dealing in spreaders, is that a business opportunity waiting to be exploited? I have made several plans over the years to exploit the North/South divide, none of which have gone any further than a pipe dream. However, my latest plan involving the bulk shipment of water is looking good. I have enrolled the help of a certain J*hn Presc*tt to build houses in areas with minimal water reserves and - hey presto - there is the demand for "my water". Perhaps your transiting muck spreaders could be used to transport the water, possibly in a dehydrated form?

But back to motoring before that nice Dynamical Rave appears. The last time I drove along the A9 in the late 1980's there were many bypasses, no speed cameras and very little traffic, 71mph was achieved at one point. I can recall dire journeys in the 1960s/early 1970s on a twisty single carriageway through obscure Scottieland villages. A real test of endurance.

The last Cape Wrath Ferry I used was a rowboat, minibus onwards to the lighthouse. I must return, some of the best beaches in the world are up there.

My Xantia went 4 years ago, company car so the odd niggle was just a niggle. I still hanker after an XM, if only for the challenge, the two I have driven were both magic carpets. A BMW? Good grief man, I take that as an insult., far too common for me. My current boremobile is a Mondeo, it does what it's supposed to do but I have no hankering to go out in it just for a spin, I also have a small collection of interesting Brit cars ... well, two actually, but all collections have to start somewhere :-)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M

Thanks for giving a link to my old site. It's a bit of a millstone now as so much has moved on since that was uploaded..... however we have not been with BTInternet for a couple of years now and I have lost access to update or delete. I suppose I should contact BT and get them to zap it but never seem to have time for the inevitable helpline nightmare that will become.

I hate out of date or dormant websites and it frustrates mine has become one that does not represent what I'm up to these days. The Xantia is just present after an excellent 5+yrs of motoring....but infinately more John Deeres than BXs now. The old Series Land Rovers had to go in favour of feeding the kids and they have been replaced by an early Discovery which meets our needs for a clattering diesel.

No more talk of dehydrated water... you'll have Chris Watson back with even better ideas.

M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Union Jack
"some of the best beaches in the world are up there"

Yes and no.... My elder brother and I took a tandem over on the "oil drum" ferry many years ago, and took the opportunity to camp on one of the best beaches (by Cathedral Rock if any one knows the area well, and there's anything left of it) . Why? Because no one told us that the area was being used early the next morning for combined naval gunfire support and Fleet Air Arm bombing practice - talk about beating a hasty retreat (and the nearest launderette was probably at least 150 miles away!)


PS DW - Delighted to see that you are still taking the high road after the thoughts I gave you on visiting Galloway some while back. The East Neuk (= corner) of Fife is quite delightful and don't omit to visit Failkland palace whilst you are in the area - a real gem.

A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M

I still have those Galloway ideas printed out and in the holiday file... we spent two really good weeks there 2002/2003. It's a great relaxed area and travel there is good not having to venture North of the Glasgow/Edinburgh line.

The next two years were Kintyre and Crinan areas... both good in their different ways. Never been near Fife though so it needed "doing".

Thanks for the Falkland Palace tip. We will be no more than 15-20mins away so may have to brave the entrance fees and have a look. How many times can you dip the wallet for the "usual" £20-£30 for a familty ticket to this or that? Now where did my Blue Peter badge go?

Anyway it seems we may need a few indoor activities as someone has thrown the Autumn switch!

I trust all is well in UJ land?

M.M (D.W)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
Well for anyone who is interested and searches on this route in the future...

Booked in at the Durham Travelodge (a real old building) and drove from Cambridgeshire to be at Durham for 3pm... not one holdup at all and a right doddle for a Friday. Great walk round Durham pm including the cathedral... interesting place.

Left Durham 9am Sat so the Newcstle area was passed by 10am and no holdups at all. Similarly the A1 right to Edinburgh was free of problems... as was the A720 Edinburgh southern bypass. No queues at all for the Forth bridge either.

Seems getting off the road while everyone else is rushing home Friday hometime is the key.

Big thumbs up for the Fife coast as a family destination. Loads of great beaches, rocks and activities for the kids. All had mountain bikes up there and made a change to hardly use the car in 6 days!


A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Armitage Shanks {p}
Good to see your feedback and great that you enjoyed your holiday! I visit Alnwick and the North East coast is lovely - I think Fife is probably even nicer!
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - helicopter
Nostalgia thread for me . I used to hitch hike up and down the AI to save the bus fares.

I used to live opposite Holy Island and went to school in Alnwick travelling the old single carriageway AI 20 miles or so each way in the bus in the late 50's and early 60's.

Barter Books is in the old Alnwick railway station. I used to catch the steam train to visit York.

I remember the first Deltic diesel electric trains on the main railway line and the time a train crash on our farm made the national TV news. I used to help my friends father operate the level crossing gates and give the signals to the next box down the line.

The manager of the bookshop was a class mate of mine and used to be, or may still even be the mayor of Alnwick. The only reason I know this is when I recognised him being interviewed on TV after a survey revealed Alnwick to be one of the best places in England to live.

Another classmate was killed on his motorbike on the AI.

My interest in all things helicopter started when the air sea rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer landed on the school playing field.

Still a lovely place to drive and to get away from the pressures of modern living.

A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - M.M
We did stay at Berwick-on-Tweed for the return overnight. Also on the way down from Edinburgh we took every small coastal road possible as we had time to kill. It seems this part of the country (mostly new to me) is an area in itself to explore. However (and I may be wrong) it seemed the whole area had more to offer on the views/visits/history front for parents rather than kids.

Did have a great snack lunch at St. Abbs right near the harbour. The whole place was over-run with black backed divers so we have it earmarked for a return visit on another quieter day.

Quite a few "castle spotters" pulling out onto the single sections of the A1 at pottering speed polished up the brakes no end!


A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Roberson
Glad to hear you had a nice time MM. We went up on Friday gone, and never had any trouble yet (apart from the closure of the A1 at Haddington, which slowed us down). Similarly, the journey home on Monday was just as good, even in the rush hour. The weather was good, so we had great views up the coast on the A1, especially just before Berwick. Quite enjoyed the journey as well as the destinations (St Andrews is very nice place BTW)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - JH
I'm staying in Alnmouth next week. The last time I was there it was July. On a 2 mile stretch of beach there was nothing in one direction and a man and a dog in the other. Going in September I'm hoping it wil be quieter this time. :-)
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - helicopter
If you are staying at the Schooner in Alnmouth JH , try the Craster kippers for breakfast.Makes my mouth water just thinking about them....I hope they still do them. iIts acouple of years since I was there.

It was a favourite watering hole many moons ago when I took SWMBO before she was SWMBO.

It can be glorious on the beach there but the coast is quite prone to sea fog and in winter the wind can cut like a knife.......
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - Armitage Shanks {p}
Don't just try the Craster kippers - go to Craster and buy them! Vacuum packed fresh while you wait and 8 weeks shelf/fridge life. I love them but I still haven't found a way of cooking them without stinking my house out - any tips on this one please?
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - stevied
I love this forum sometimes! How did we end up talking about Craster kippers? : )

Yes, they're great.... but yes they stink. On a related aside, there's a cracking little pub in Craster overlooking the sea that does THE best crab sarnies. The staff are somewhat sullen and scary looking but they're actually OK.

Craster is where that Peter Davison programme that copied the Martin Clunes doctor one is based: Distant Shores or whatver it's called.

I know a lot of people are not happy about the stereotyped way they've been portrayed...... but it does show how beautiful the coast is there.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - helicopter
The Jolly Fisherman at Craster is the pub you are thinking about. Try the Olde Ship overlooking the harbour at Seahouses as well for excellent seafood.

The coastal castles are worth the drive, Dunstanburgh , Bamburgh and Lindisfarne are special places and hold many memories for me and all within a couple of miles of the AI.

A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - stevied
That's the one! There was a fantastic article in the Nortumberland Gazette a few years back about Al-Qaeda in Seahouses.... the conclusion was that they're not hiding there. Some of my friends in Warkworth (near Alnnmouth) had T-shirts made saying "There's no Al-Qaeda in Seahouses". A relief to everyone, I am sure.

The castles in Northumberland are like the roads: largely empty except for the odd pottering tourist and quite well-preserved.

A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - helicopter
Sounds like a good old Northumberland Gazette non story.

I hope the mods will indulge a link to a satirical website in Alnwick which has commented on the standards of the Northumberland Gazette. Anyone who reads local newspapers will enjoy his comments.


I had to laugh at ' the speeding Mr Dudah' ( slightly motoring related) and the report of the blaze at the Craster Kipper factory.
A1 North of Scotch Corner to Edinburgh. - stevied
Last time I went up to see the in-laws I read the following sentence in the Gazette(or pretty close to it, I don't have it to hand). "Who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1976? Answers on a postcard to 'Brotherhood of Man Competition, Northumberland Gazette...."

I thought I was reading Viz for a minute.

Zippity Dudah made me chuckle. Well worth a motoring-related look!

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