Welcome to TopGear’s Lap of England
NORTHUMBERLAND NATIONAL PARK
Hello and goodbye to Newcastle, up the A1 to a place called Alnwick, overshooting slightly and ending up in Wooler, via the B6348. Back down the A697 and we run from Rothbury to Otterburn on the B6341, across the lower section of the Northumberland National Park. Epic stuff here, with big rolling sections that feel like the swell of the sea, except that the sea doesn't have potholes that feel like they might shear your buttocks clean off. Hit the B6320, and scythe off towards Kielder Forest, simply to feel the ghosts of rallying legends brush up against the pine trees. There's nobody about, excellent tarmac and glorious sunshine. Around Kielder Water from Yarrow, RS4 singing happy tunes to the forest, the odd logging truck dispatched with a burst of V8 yowl. Slowly through Kielder and then on to a tiny village with the inauspicious name of Deadwater. It's here that we enter another country (Scotland)entirely by accident and have to turn around and retrace our steps. The sun has started to dip, and fog shrouds the road through the glow. The RS4 has picked up a layer of road grime and salt, and I can't help but feel that it looks so much better filthy and used. But we need to press on.