Washington services on the A1(M) is a bleak, lonely place. I made the six hour drive from Brighton to enjoy a junk food dinner and fulfill a personal dream of sketching the motorway from a creepy footbridge. Both lived up to expectations.

Goumet dinning at the Washington Travelodge

7:30am on the A1(M)






Coincidentally, just up the road is Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North. It may be of the most viewed pieces of art in the world, but on this sunny Sunday morning, there was just me, and a man releasing his pigeons for their first flight home.

A satnav haunting








My next stop was Lindisfarne Castle, but the satnav led me astray, so I overshot the view I was looking for, ending up on the causeway to Holy Island. Time for a sketch in the drizzle, with one eye nervously on the tide, listening to Sue Perkins on Desert Island Discs. I assume this is the hut you have to break into when the sea covers the road.

After all that lapping water, I needed a toilet stop, but the satnav struck again at the nearby Barn and Beal. “Slide right! Slide right!” She shouted from my pocket. One flush and several startled patrons later and I was on the road to Portobello, a lovely coastal suburb of Edinburgh.

You have arrived at your destination, all is forgiven

A damp and peaceful evening on Portobello beach