It has become one of the country’s most famous – or perhaps infamous – tourist sites, Barnard Castle.
So when I saw the signpost for it, I hesitated. But I had not come to test my eyesight. Instead, I was putting two lovely Porsches under the lens, specifically the Panamera 4S E-Hybrid and the Turbo S.
Rather than head towards the notorious castle, I turned towards the North Pennines a UNESCO area of outstanding natural beauty and a great place to drive these cars.
The Panamera is as near as you will get to a family car with Porsche.
And indeed waiting outside a hotel the other day I saw a young family of three pile in all their luggage as well as a small bike and a large bouquet of flowers. Impressive.
Now the family can add to their Panamera choices with the two new cars Porsche have added to the line-up.
The full fat Turbo S is a beast of a machine that will have you in thrall from the minute you switch on the 4.0-litre V8 engine and it roars into life.
This is the new top-of-the-range model and hardly a shrinking violet with 630PS that will get you from 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds in Sport plus mode.
And it’s already a winner having just set a new record at the Nurburgring for executive class cars. Read more