Going slow for Congleton Choral Society

Yesterday was the day I decided to do my fund-raising venture and drive from Smallwood to Edinburgh via B roads rather than the usual motorway route. We left at 7am and the first few miles were towards Swettenham, a village with a great pub and a church the Choral Society used to sing in at Advent. However, on this occasion we passed it by and made our way towards the Warburton Toll Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. We paid our 12p toll and once across had to do a few miles on the A57 before picking our way through Winwick, Newton le Willows and Wigan. In Wigan, we had a brief stretch of the legs and bought the paper before carrying on towards and around Preston. Once past Preston it was much easier to head over to Longridge and Clitheroe where we had a coffee stop and short dog walk by the river. Our route continued through Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria passing many small towns and villages. One had a Passion Play in the town centre and we were listening to the Bishop of Bradford’s Good Friday message on the radio. In Cumbria the radio signal vanished so I put on my Easter music CD which started with Mascagni’s Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana which had sung in our last concert. Lunch was eaten beside Pendragon Castle near Kirby Stephen but unfortunately the castle was closed to the public as the building was deemed to be dangerous. We had to be content with a photograph. Under the blue sky the spring flowers were amazing.  Sheep and lambs were sleeping in the sun in fields and on the hills. We crossed the border on the B6318 and were again on more familiar roads via Langholm, Eskdalemuir, Traquair, Peebles, West Linton and through Midlothian to Edinburgh. James calculated that we had completed the 310 miles with an average speed of around 33 miles per hour. We followed several tractors and farmers feeding their stock, waited for rabbits, pheasants and sheep to move from the road and even two Buddhist monks who were walking in the middle of the road at Eskdalemuir. We saw places we would love to revisit with more time to explore. Although I did not feel tired when driving and felt that I could have carried on further, as soon as I stopped, I felt quite exhausted. 
Welcome to Scotland B6318Blackthorn at Pendgragon