Over the years, I have followed numerous driving itineraries in England and Scotland — through the West Country, the Cotswolds, the Highlands, to name but three — but they have invariably been circular and self-contained. On this trip I constructed a route that links the two countries together. I decided that our point of departure would be York, a historic city at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and that we would conclude our journey in Edinburgh.
After landing in London, rather than making a preliminary four- to five-hour drive up the A1 (M) motorway, we opted to take a fast train from King’s Cross station. The comfortable 210-mile journey to York takes a little over two hours. (It is worth bearing in mind that in Britain there is often a huge difference in the cost of peak and off-peak rail fares. If you travel outside of peak times and reserve your tickets online well in advance, first-class tickets are reasonably priced; otherwise they can be extortionate.)