Someone, somewhere, has probably concocted a recipe for the perfect drive, using some sort of advanced scientific analysis. But as science was never my strong point, I am more inclined to think that there are probably several different recipes that would do the trick, depending on the circumstances.

As a case in point, I went out for a drive on Friday evening. Taking a familiar route, I circled through Northumberland and the southern end of the Scottish Borders, mostly using A-roads. Normally, if I want an enjoyable driving experience, I look for less-travelled B-roads that require more attention and engagement. However, after a long week of work that left me feeling tired and worn out, I wanted something more relaxing.

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What I ended up with was one of the best drives I have ever had. The A697 and the A68, which I took north and south, respectively, are not particularly challenging roads. They flow faster, with longer, sweeping curves, and more gentle ups and downs – nice in their own way, but generally less involving for a keen driver. That turned out to be exactly what I needed that evening, though. The sky cleared, casting a wonderful, warm glow over everything, the roads were empty, and I simply relaxed back into my seat and enjoyed the beauty of the scenery unfolding around me. The air was cool and fresh, the car was running great, and I couldn’t have been more content.

On occasion, I’ve gone out for a drive in an attempt to clear my head, but found myself expending so much mental energy on a challenging B-road that I came back feeling more stressed than when I left. The opposite was true on Friday night: after three hours and 170 miles, I felt refreshed.

I decided to document part of the drive in time-lapse fashion. This picks up on the A697 a few miles off the A1, and concludes on the A68 juts south of Jedburgh. (I had an issue with my memory card, which is why the video isn’t so smooth towards the end.)

Whether this drive could be replicated again, I’m not sure; perhaps it was a one-time thing, a random occurrence of all the ingredients coming together at the right time. Whatever it was, it was as near to the perfect drive as I can imagine.

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