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Drvie from Edinburgh to London HELP

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We will be spending a lovely 5 plus weeks adventure meandering
up the UK from London to the Scottish Highlands this summer.
Becasue of the deal I got it included a car and air tickets but the car has
to be returned to London airport. It is one thing to leisurely drive up
but I am not thrilled with the thought of driving back to London but I will be charged
a large penalty if I was to return the car in Edinburgh. I may eventually decide to do this
but I like to plan for all events. So I have given us 2 days and 2 nights to drive back to
London from Edinburgh.
What I was wondering if what is a good place to stop. I thought I could do 4 hours in the first day.
I was looking for a quaint town with something to see. I feel it is always better to drive with
a destination in mind. It makes it easier when driving with children.
I feel if we will leave early in the morning ... drive out 4 hours ... get out .. see something ...
not sure here what that is .. a garden.. a castle ... a quaint village .. and then maybe drive and other 1/2 hour to a Bed and Breakfast for the night.
We will be doing the scottish boaders Kelso, Melrose, Alnwick, York, Dales and Moors going up.
Someone suggested Knaresborough or Stamford, Harrogate. .. but I wasnt sure.
Even though this is basically a long drive to the airport I want to treat it like it is still part of
our vacation and see something wonderful.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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