By: Blonde One


Things to do on a 10 hour night time drive from Devon to Scotland.

It’s a very very long way from Devon to Scotland and every year when I do the overnight drive I wonder if it’s a good idea! Finishing work on Friday after a busy half term, having a few hours at home and then setting off at 8pm for the daunting drive seems madness when I’ve got it all ahead of me. However, when I arrive in Scotland and have the whole of Saturday ahead of me I remember why it was a good plan. Doing a Munro on the Saturday is quite satisfying. Here are my suggestions for a more interesting trip…

First and foremost you must have good company to share the driving with. It’s not everyone who will tolerate my tired, late night chatter!

Next you need a large enough car so that you have a bit of stretching room as a passenger and will give you a fairly comfortable couple of hours on a longer stop. My Landrover is the perfect size. Taking my down sleeping bag helped to keep me warm (ish) when we stopped for a longer sleep.

If you can you should sleep when it’s not your turn to drive. I found this impossible (as usual) even with a lovely comfy Landy with spacious leg room and heated seats.

Sweets are crucial to surviving the journey. Humbugs are a particular favourite (unless they’re old and sticky). Werther’s are also good.

Having a varied selection of music helps to pass the time. A mix of old classics (to sing along to) and more recent tunes can break up the boredom. You can play the ‘guess the song from the intro’ when your passenger is asleep.

Lorries are a good source of amusement. It passes a few seconds to have a guess what’s inside a lorry. Might there be Immac, insulation or ink inside? Lorry decorations are also worth noting as they come down the opposite side of the motorway. Often they are brightly lit with coloured lights and almost look Christmassy.

Using the cruise control allows you to stretch your right leg out and stops you from inadvertently going over the speed limit.

Stopping frequently to top up the caffeine levels is important, and also to swap drivers. Service stations are often deserted during the early hours of the morning with not too many signs of life, however they are welcome places to freshen up before the next leg of the journey. My one criticism of them is that you can’t get cold water to brush your teeth. They have the fancy sensor taps that give hot water only: very annoying!

I spent a fair proportion of time wondering where everyone was going. There weren’t many cars on the road after 1am (unsurprisingly) so I was intrigued to know what their plans were.


Joking aside, you can get some excellent advice from the AA about driving when tired. If you have a long journey ahead, take their advice, not necessarily mine!