Tag Archives: Scotland

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 22 Kelso to Broughty Ferry

#SEWES2016

Sept 22 – Kelso to Broughty Ferry

Castle and a Cold War Bunker, too

 

Jeff, our host at Duncan House, and his black lab joined the group of folks in the dining room. He apologized profusely for not remembering me (actually, putting the name with the face). With the number of people who stay in his wonderful Georgian B&B, I’m not surprised, nor was I offended.

After a hearty breakfast, including porridge, we set out. Shortly before we left home for Scotland, we received an email telling us that Craigmillar Castle would be closed until Sept 20th. The picture of the property included in the Historic Scotland email intrigued me and it being after the 20th, and the castle being close to (if not in the ‘burbs of Edinburgh) so en route to Broughty Ferry, the satnav was programmed to take us there.

I ended up driving Monty further into the city than I wanted thanks to roadworks (as in a humungous hole) in Craigmillar Castle Road. So I had to drive by that end of the road, follow the diversion signs … AND ignore Satnav Sally.

Two school buses (not like our North American ones) parked back to back on opposite sides of the car park. No way on earth Monty would fit between their snouts.

I parked sort of on the edge of the road and we strode to the ticket office/gift shop. “One concession (aka senior), one adult and toilets,” was the buzz phrase of the day. He stamped our “zero charge” receipt with the combination we needed to gain access to the facilities and off we went.

Sept 22
Craigmillar Castle
The entrance to Craigmillar Castle
The entrance to Craigmillar Castle inside the outer curtain wall
Sept 22
Don standing by the yew tree inside the inner curtain wall of Craigmillar Castle
Sept 22
Me standing by the yew tree inside the inner curtain wall at Craigmillar Castle
Sept 22
Stairway to … at Craigmillar Castle
Sept 22
Sign indicating the direction of the wine cellar

My favourite place! I’ll even do the spiral stairs to get there… 😉

Sept 22
Spiral staircase leading to the wine cellar
Sept 22
Sign describing the room. Note the windows on both sides of the fireplace and the stonework on the mantle

Years later, the windows have been filled in but the fireplace remains.

Sept 22
As the room looks now
Sept 22
One of the massive fireplaces
Sept 22
Me standing inside the fireplace

The school children were amazed that in two different towers of the castle there were bathrooms. One group called over to the other, “we’ve got a loo!” and the other replied “So do we! We have a loo, too!”

Sept 22
View from the castle ramparts
Sept 22
Craigmillar Castle from the highest level you can access

The view from the castle ramparts is amazing. The clear weather made it easy to see and recognize North Berwick Law (we’d seen it last year on our way to Dunbar and on the train to Edinburgh).

Sept 22
View from the castle rampart – the visible hump in the center of the background is North Berwick Law
Sept 22
Salisbury Crags
Sept 22
Busted taking a photo
But so was someone else
But so was someone else…

Driving towards Craigmillar Castle, we had spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat but no place to pull over for a photo op. I was chuffed to bits to get this view from Craigmillar’s ramparts.

Sept 22
Edinburgh Castle on the left and Arthur’s Seat on the right

As we approached the Forth Road Bridge, the first of many signs for Scotland’s Secret Bunker popped up. It had been a possibility on previous trips and we happened to have the time, so decided to make it a reality this trip. Canada has the Diefenbunker (which we’ve visited) so we needed to compare the two locations.

Imagine a Cold War Shelter capable of running the country from under an innocuous farm house? Now that the cold war threat is over (or is it) things aren’t so secret anymore.

Unfortunately, the roads leading to it aren’t so smooth, so again the buzz phrase when we bought our tickets was “One concession, one adult and toilets” but this time I added “and not necessarily in that order”.

Sept 22
The cottage that the bunker “hides” under
Sept 22
Page from The Courier
Sept 22
Inside the bunker
Sept 22
Barracks room inside the bunker
Sept 22
Bulletin board with related photos and articles
Another bulletin board
Another bulletin board
Sept 22
The chapel
Sept 22
The switchboard
Sept 22
A place to take selfies… or of each other
Sept 22
A place to take selfies… or of each other
Sept 22
A “rat” on the conduit
Sept 22
Military vehicles outside

Finally, we reached our destination for the night. When I booked, I thought we’d get the same room as last year but this time we got one on the ground floor at the front of the hotel (corner of Queen Street and Claypotts/Westfield Road). Finally, a place where we didn’t have to lug everything up at least one flight of stairs!

Sept 22
Our room at the Hotel Broughty Ferry
Sept 22
Our room at the Hotel Broughty Ferry and our champagne waiting for our arrival
Sept 22
In the bar at the Hotel Broughty Ferry where we had our evening meal

Tomorrow morning, we’re catching the train in Dundee to Edinburgh where we’ll spend the day with our good friend (fellow author and crime writer), Chris Longmuir.

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 21 – Temple Sowerby to Kelso

#SEWES2016

Sept 21 – Temple Sowerby to Kelso

We decided that when we left Temple Sowerby this morning, we would attempt to visit  The Devils Porridge Museum in Eastriggs one more time. We weren’t far away and had plenty of time before we needed to arrive at Duncan House in Kelso.

My computer scared me bad. I mean scared me real BAD. When I shut down my laptop this morning, Windows 10 decided it needed to download and install updates. You can prevent it from happening, but I didn’t know how at the time. I chose install and restart. Except it didn’t restart. It went through the motions and it looked like the days of DOS or a Linux system starting up. We’re talking command line code happening… until it froze.

I froze in panic! The computer had to be turned off at some point for travelling, so pressed the power button until it shut down. I turned it back on and the same thing happened all over again. Visions of taking it in to the store I bought it from when I got home flashed through my mind. No computer until then? Whatever would I do? Sure I had my iPad and hubby had his laptop but still, you develop a relationship with your own computer. You know its quirks and idiosyncrasies (at least I thought I did).

After checking out of The Kings Arms Hotel and leaving some of my books’ postcards at the hotel – gal checking me out of the hotel asked if I knew the author – I said yes, it’s me. Well, that prolonged the process because we had to talk about writing and reading and what not. She told me there’s a book club in Temple Sowerby. So maybe one of these days, they’ll read one (and maybe all) of mine.

On to Eastriggs and the museum. We arrived there about 10:15 to a reasonably empty car park. Yay!

Robbie Brodie (I think that’s his name), gave us an overview of the original munitions plant that occupied the land between Eastriggs and Gretna.

Sept 21
map of the HM Factory Gretna
Setpt 21
#s 1-5 from the above map
Sept 21
#s 6-10 from the above map
Sept 21
uniform worn by the munitions girls
Sept 21
one of the nitrating pans

Another event depicted here at the museum is the Quintinshill Rail Disaster.

Sept 21
petition to the King asking for the signalmen charged in the disaster to be pardoned

On the upper level of the museum, they have an area set aside for research, and another for “selfies”. Here, clothing from the era is available to try on and take your picture in – including an army helmet!

Sept 21
Don modelling a helmet
Sept 21
Me wearing a hat

I rather like my chapeau even if I don’t look best pleased in the photo. Note to self… try to find something similar when I get home.

Before leaving the museum, I did namedrop. As in my crime writer friend’s name – Chris Longmuir and her historical novel, Devil’s Porridge, set at the actual munitions factory here.

I wanted to visit Hermitage Castle, one of the many properties under the care of Historic Scotland. It happened to be on our route to Kelso (more or less).

Sept 21
Hermitage Castle
Sept 21
Hermitage Castle
Sept 21
within the walls of Hermitage Castle
Sept 21
The chapel grounds at Hermitage Castle

After leaving the castle, I got my fill once again of narrow roads with passing places – and cattle grids. I really don’t mind these roads although they’re much better when the visibility is better. You don’t want to end up having to back up to a passing place if you don’t have to. I drove and put hubby to work taking pictures out the windscreen.

Sept 21
driving on one of the single track roads…
Sept 21
in a passing place on a single track road
Sept 21
Hope nothing is coming from the other direction…
Sept 21
Waiting in a passing place for the oncoming vehicle

The Waverly Route Heritage Association has preserved a section of track and we spotted this passenger carriage on our right. Despite passing place etiquette not allowing for such things as photo ops, the traffic was so light, I couldn’t resist.

Passenger carriage
Passenger carriage on the Waverly Route
Sept 21
Viaduct on the Waverly Route
Sept 21
Approaching a cattle grid
Sept 21
Tree canopy created by the lorries
Sept 21
Civilization! A road with centre markings
Sept 21
At the intersection of the B6357 and the A68
Sept 21
Approaching Jedburgh Abbey

Once through Jedburgh, it didn’t take long before we found ourselves at Duncan House in Kelso. This is the third time we’ve stayed there and since the first time, have said ‘next time we’ll stay for more than one night’. So far it hasn’t happened.

Call it premonition, but the night before I looked up an email from our host (from the previous year) to check the combination for the lock box.  If I hadn’t, we might not have been able to get in, although I carried printed confirmations of all of our accommodations and other pre-booked events with me.

The first thing I did when I got up to our room (same room we’ve had each time, too) was pull out the laptop and its power supply. Plugged in, I powered up. A huge wave of relief washed over me when the lock screen came up. Not sure what crawled up the computer’s butt in the morning but at least now I could say ,”It’s alive!”

Sept 21
River Tweed and Floors Castle from our room at Duncan House

Knowing the computer survived, we walked down to Kelso Abbey. On the way, a woman outside one of the shops approached us with bags to collect gently used clothes. I had something else in mind for them. After accepting them, we continued on to the abbey, poked around the ruins there and through the cemetery on the other side of the street.

Sept 21
Kelso Abbey

This cute gallery in the shape of a boat stands on Abbey Row across the street from the graveyard.

Sept 21
Huggins Haig Gallery

After a wander around the town, we made our way to The Waggon Inn where we had a delicious meal.

Sept 21
The Waggon Inn

Paused for a selfie on the way back to Duncan House after our meal.

Sept 21
After a delicious meal at the Waggon Inn

Tomorrow we head north to Broughty Ferry and back to the same hotel we stayed in last year.

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 20 – Market Rasen to Temple Sowerby

#SEWES2016

Sept 20 – Market Rasen to Temple Sowerby

Temple Sowerby was our final destination today. Barring traffic slowdowns due to incidents and/or roadworks, we could make the trip in just over three hours. In reality, that doesn’t happen.

One of my acquisitions yesterday – a companion for “Robbie” Raven. His name is “Phil” Flyer. So far they get along well. A few more days of these close quarters, as in the jute bag, will tell if they’ll remain friendly towards each other.

Sept 20
“Phil” Flyer

The first leg of today’s journey was a short jaunt up the road to visit my cousin and his wife in Dragonby.

Sept 20
Eric and me this year

I first met Eric in 2013. Here’s a picture from that visit…

Sept 20
Eric and me on our first visit in 2013

I think we’re like fine wine… improved with age. What do you think?

We had a lovely visit before it became time to move on to Temple Sowerby and the King’s Arms Hotel.

Sept 20
The King’s Arms Hotel (our window is to the left of “Kings”)
Sept 20
Robbie” Raven and “Phil” Flyer are looking out our room’s window
Sept 20
Our cozy room
Sept 20
Our cozy room

Once we set up hubby’s CPAP machine, returned the bottle of distilled water to the boot of the car (one less thing for tomorrow morning), we went down to the bar for a pint where we chatted with a couple of the locals.

The conversation turned to fishing (one of them brought his newest fishing rod in to show to his friend) and they told us the fishing was bad this year compared to others. The one put it down to the flooding in late 2015/early 2016 (same floods mentioned in my earlier post about Brougham Castle) ruining the river.

Sept 20
Enjoying a glass of wine in the restaurant
Sept 20
Silver serving tray cover

 

Sept 20
Fireplace next to our table in the restaurant

The hotel’s key rings are huge! It seems like they’re made from newel posts. You certainly won’t lose them. I should have used my DSLR to take a picture rather than my phone, but that would have required effort.

Sept 20
Our keys and keyring

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 19 – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

#SEWES2016

Sept 19 – Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

We decided after yesterday’s driveway issue, we’d park Monty on the street when we got back to the guest house after our day out.

When we arrived at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitors’ Centre, they told us the Lancaster Bomber wasn’t there because of the weather. It remained in Holland but they hoped it would be back the next day. If the weather was as bad there as in this are – low hanging cloud cover, fog and rain – it was better off to be on land, even if not where we were.

Because the Lancaster is the plane most people come to see, they gave everyone a 20% discount on their entry fee. Thanks to the guidebook I purchased, a month later when I wrote this post, I was able to identify the different planes in the hangar.

Sept 19
C47 Dakota
Sept 19
Spitfire Mk IX MK356
Sept 19
Spitfire PR Mk XIX PS915
Sept 19
AWACS (Boeing E-3 Sentry)
Sept 19
The Grandslam Bomb
Sept 19
The Grandslam Bomb
Sept 19
Bomb
Sept 19
The Tallboy Bomb
Sept 19
The Tallboy Bomb

Unfortunately, this was the only Lancaster we got to see today. Similar to Pheasant under Glass… this is Lancaster under Glass. 😉

Sept 19
Lancaster Bomber

We purchased a pair of gorgeous, crystal wine glasses with the Lancaster engraved on each among other things.

After leaving the ‘planes’ and ‘automobiles’ parts of the day, we thought we’d do ‘trains’ since the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway was nearby.

No such luck. It was closed. Even the car park barrier prevented us from parking and having a wander. Probably just as well, since the weather was awful.

Not ones to give up, we perused the area attractions map we picked up and thought we’d try the Gainsborough Model Railway. It, too, conspired against us… but we know where it is.

When we arrived back at the guest house, I parked Monty on the street (a lot further away than I wanted) but between the time we took our stuff in and left to go out for supper, a parking spot had freed up out front.

Hubby stayed there and I quickly got into Monty, turned around and parked into this much closer location.

We walked to the Aston Arms Pub for supper.

Sept 19
The Aston Arms

I ordered the Vegetable Curry. When asked if it was the one with broccoli in it, I assumed vegetable curry would include broccoli so said yes.

I ended up with their Broccoli and Cheese bake instead but OMG! It was to die for!

Sept 19
At the Aston Arms

Come time to leave I waited for Don to come out of the gents, I watched someone (who had been in the AA and from what we could tell from where we were sat, drinking) drove out of a parking spot and thought they would try to back up into the same place…?? No idea what the logic was.

Well, they backed into the car they were parked beside. One of the peeps in the car got out and attempted to direct said person out of there ASAP to the point where she moved the traffic cones (car park being readied for the market the next morning) so the chain would drag on the ground and the driver could get out and away. And get away they did.

It wasn’t until we got outside and I saw the damaged bumper on the parked car that I realized they actually made contact. Until then, I had thought to myself that it was mighty close and they didn’t miss it by much.

The damaged car belonged to a girl who worked at the bookies’ in the square. The car park has CCTV so the guilty party(ies) will get their comeuppance.

While searching for a website for the pub to include in my post, I stumbled onto this little gem. I had no idea that The Aston Arms was the inspiration behind Saturday Night’s Alright

Mind you, after what we saw in the car park out front, well, I can see believe it.

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 18 – Old Catton to Market Rasen

#SEWES2016

Sept 18 – Old Catton to Market Rasen

After dropping off the maple syrup that we’d left behind (I left it in the suitcase and never gave it a thought yesterday) at Catton Old Hall, we carried on towards our other stops for the day.

My author friend, Nicky Wells, invited us to lunch at her house. The last time we’d met for a meal we spent the entire afternoon talking about writing and publishing and everything in between.

Sept 18
Do not disturb – chef at work.

I’m not sure what Nicky’s husband was preparing for us when I took this picture, but he’s certainly in deep thought.

Over a wonderful selection of Tapas (mushrooms in a creamy garlic sauce, tear and share bread, mussels in sauce, Spanish Omelette, fish cakes, Chorizo sausage in a red wine sauce, and cheese and olives and likely other things I’ve forgotten). The meal was delicious!

This time the conversations went beyond the nineteen to the dozen on the subject of writing and publishing, we dabbled in the Brexit debate… was it good, was it bad. The Wells family move from Bristol to Lincoln… and a number of subjects in between.

All too soon, our wonderful afternoon came to an end and he had to carry on down the road to Market Rasen.

I hurt Monty today. After yesterday, driving around trying to find Castle Acre Priory, through the Bailey Gate, down Blind Lane (aptly named because it’s so narrow that the leaves on the trees touch both sides of the car as you drive down it. Yikes! Thankfully, I never met anyone.

But after that and traversing a number of other narrow roads with passing places – all without incident, I might add, a brick wall and narrow, driveway (at an awkward angle to enter) thwarted me. Monty got scratched on the front, passenger door.

It took some maneuvering but I managed (with some navigational help from hubby to get Monty righted and into the driveway. It wasn’t like this was the first time we’d stayed at this guesthouse either. It was the third time! Just Monty was the biggest car.

We were so stuffed after all the delicious food nibbled on all afternoon, that we didn’t even attempt to go out for a meal.

Once settled, I emailed my cousin in Dragonby about stopping in on our way through on Tuesday (20th) for a visit with him. We’d already made plans to visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitors’ Centre tomorrow.

 

 

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 16 – Middleton Cheney to Old Catton

#SEWES2016

Sept 16 – Middleton Cheney to Old Catton

When we arrived at Manor Cottage yesterday, I didn’t photograph our room so got some pictures this morning before breakfast. We’d spent the night in their daughter’s room on the top floor of the house.

Sept 16
Our room at Manor Cottage

The small window in the background is the one in the picture I took last night from the driveway. If you look really closely, Robbie Raven is peeking out of the smaller jute bag in the chair.

Sept 16
Our room at Manor Cottage
Sept 16
Our room at Manor Cottage
Sept 16
Our room at Manor cottage

It had rained overnight, and quite hard from what we heard over breakfast this morning. A train derailed because of a landslip, and many reports of localized flooding.

We hoped none of the roads we’d be travelling to get to Catton Old Hall would be submerged under flood waters.

About 4:00 pm, we arrived at our destination without encountering floods. The downside to driving in the rain is it makes you have to go to the bathroom a lot more.

Stopping at services to use the bathrooms, the ones in the petrol station/convenience store were out of order. However, a Little Chef was located in the same complex. Their toilets worked but a huge sign on the door stated they were for restaurant customers only. Two small tins of Pringles purchased, we used the facilities and carried on.

Sept 16
Our room at Catton Old Hall
Sept 16
Our room at Catton Old Hall
Sept 16
Rainy view from our room at Catton Old Hall
Our Room at Catton Old Hall
Our Room at Catton Old Hall

The Wi-fi up in our room was terrible. I connected with my phone and it dropped out seconds later. Neither my laptop nor iPad could connect at all. Frustrating to say the least.

The Woodman Pub opened for supper at 6:00 pm. We’d eaten there on a previous trip to this area. The food was good then so we assumed it would be this time. Being a Friday night, we should have booked a table.

When we walked in the door, one of the barmen informed us it would be 7:30-8:00 before our food was served, but we were more than welcome to pick a table and have a drink.

While we sipped our first beer, we perused the menus and decided what we’d like for supper. They took our order, again telling us it could be a long wait. At least now, our meals were in the queue. And we received them long before the estimated time!

After a delicious meal (every bit as good, if not better than the first time we’d eaten here), we walked back to Catton Old Hall. It stopped raining while we were in the pub.

Before going inside, I snapped this picture with my phone of the hotel illuminated by floodlights.

Sept 16
Catton Old Hall

Tomorrow, we’re having supper with hubby’s cousins at a country pub called The Fur and Feathers. It should be fun. There are some castles and other historic things I’d like to see while we’re in the area so we’ll do them earlier in the day.

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 15 – Pencoed to Middleton Cheney

#SEWES2016

Sept 15 – Pencoed to Middleton Cheney

with Castles and Abbeys, too

After yet another hearty breakfast, we set out for our first stop of the day – Caerphilly Castle – a CADW property in Wales, who also honour Historic Scotland memberships.

Quite the wee bomb parked next to us in the castle car park. Monty looks like a tank compared to this sleek little number. Look at his arse end hanging out over the end of the spot! I could have pulled in further but what dangers lurked behind the greenery? This girl didn’t want to find out.

Sept 15
Lotus
Sept 15
Lotus

Paid and displayed, we walked through the park to the castle. Geese, ducks and seagulls all vied for the bread a little girl and her father fed them.

Sept 15
Caerphilly Castle

The south-east tower leans due to subsidence but people reckon it to Cromwell knocking it about.

Sept 15
‘temporary’ statue of Jesus preventing the tower from falling over
Sept 15
Don ‘holding’ the tower up
Sept 15
Me doing the same but needing both hands

Should you desire, you can rent out the Great Hall here at Caerphilly Castle  for weddings and other celebrations.

Sept 15
Inside the Great Hall
Sept 15
Fireplace inside the Great Hall
Sept 15
Inside the Great Hall

Time to leave for our next stop along the way to our final destination for the night. But first, I wanted to take some pictures in the park. I’d glimpsed the ‘stone circle’ and the tree-trunk dragon en route to the castle.

Sept 15
Carved dragon
Sept 15
Stone circle

Our next stop – Tintern Abbey – another CADW property.

Sept 15
Tintern Abbey
Sept 15
Tintern Abbey
Sept 15
Tintern Abbey
Sept 15
Tintern Abbey
Sept 15
Tintern Abbey

I marvel at the architecture of the ancient ruins in the UK every time I visit. Nothing compares to them back home. The fact they’re preserved amazes and pleases me. On this side of the pond, we’d tear it down rather than restore it.

By now, we’d spent enough time at these two CADW sites. We needed to get on the road to Middleton Cheney.

Driving through Banbury, we experienced a diversion for a street fair. The rides and other amusements were set up on the driving surface and the vehicles funneled onto the pedestrianized section of the street.

Manor Cottage, on Main Street, in Middleton Cheney proved difficult to find. I ended up phoning and getting directions as I drove.

Given a room on the top floor, only the necessities would come into the house.

Our hosts were going out for the evening so left us a key to the back door so we could get in when we returned from a meal.

I’d creeped Middleton Cheney on google maps and discovered a pub just up the road. They displayed their menus on the website and the food sounded good and was reasonably priced.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of ordering our pints before asking for menus only to find out the kitchen was closed.

Our host had mentioned a chippy up the road, which also had some seating. We finished our pints and walked on. Never finding the chippy, we did find the Dolphin Inn. Another pub. Walked in and asked for menus. They didn’t do meals but a Chinese Takeaway did and we could bring the food into the pub to eat.

Sept 15
The New Inn
The Dolphin Inn
The Dolphin Inn
Sept 15
Manor Cottage
Sept 15
Our bedroom window at Manor Cottage

We brought our electronic devices downstairs so we could catch up online and use the wonderful lounge. The aroma of wood fires smelled delightful.

Sept 15
The fireplace in the lounge at Manor Cottage

Another travel day tomorrow so we made it an early(ier) night.

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 14 – There be Wales!

#SEWES2016

Sept 14 – There be Wales!

 

Not a lot of pictures taken today. Despite the map saying the driving time would be a little less than four and a half hours, it took much longer to get to the Travelodge at Pencoed in South Wales than that. At least it felt that way. Lots of roadworks, reduced speed limits.

We arrived at the hotel shortly before 3:00 pm – just before check-in time. The desk clerk suggested we walk over to the Harvester Restaurant for a drink while we waited.

Since we were bursting in need of the loo, we took him up on the offer. Best of all, the toilets were just inside the restaurant doors so we could get relief before getting a drink.

We were meeting our friend, Anne, here at the restaurant for supper at 6:00 so we got a menu so we could look it over while we drank and take it back to the room. Make it easier to decide what we wanted for supper.

Checked in to the hotel. The room was upstairs (the first floor) but we’d climbed stairs every place else so far on our trip. Unfortunately, the room didn’t have electrical outlets near the bed so we hauled out the North American extension cord we brought from home and pressed it into service. Hubby’s CPAP machine isn’t much good without electricity.

We headed back over to the restaurant shortly before 6:00 as we wanted to be there when Anne arrived.

While we waited in the bar side of the restaurant for her arrival, another patron struck up a conversation with us. I found him very hard to understand so his companion had to translate a lot for us.

Sept 14
Anne and me

We brought bottles of real maple syrup in maple leaf shaped bottles with us to give as gifts to our UK friends and family, so once settled at the table, we gave Anne’s to her. Thrilled to receive a bottle of the sticky treat, she presented us with a Welsh Lovespoon in return.

All too soon, our wonderful evening ended. We waited with Anne until her taxi arrived, said our goodbyes again, and returned to our hotel room.

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 13 – Steam Train Day

#SEWES2016

Sept 13 – Steam Train Day

Most of today’s adventures were via steam train or on foot. The only driving took place between our accommodations and the steam railway station at Embsay.

We arrived in plenty of time for me to wander around the platform and take lots of photos.

Sept 13
Don outside Embsay Station

The number of people with dogs on the platform surprised me. You don’t get out there without buying a train ticket first. Seeing my camera, these two posed for me. How could I resist taking their picture? Look at the faces.

Sept 13
A pair hamming it up for the camera

The platform bridge afforded the best views of the station building and the train.

Sept 13
Embsay Station from the platform bridge
Sept 13
The train from the platform bridge

The early morning train we rode was busy due to a bus tour making the journey. Still, we settled into a pair of ‘unreserved’ seats and waited for the train to leave. We ended up opening the small upper window for air because with the sun beating in, it turned the carriage into an oven!

The gentle swaying of the carriage almost lulled me to sleep so it was good that the train ride only took half an hour.

After de-training at the Bolton Abbey Station, we watched them bring the engine to the other end of the train, readying it for the return journey to Embsay.

Sept 13
Taking on water for the boiler
Sept 13
Signal House at Bolton Abbey Station

After that, we took the footpath to Bolton Priory.

Walking under the main road was the safer alternative.

Sept 13
Footpath under the busy A59 road

We visited the Priory in 2013. They charge a fee to park your vehicle there but if you’re on foot, it’s free.

While my husband tackled the stepping stones, I opted for the footbridge over the river.

Sept 13
Don walking over the stepping stones on the River Wharfe
Sept 13
Bolton Priory

We walked back to the train station with an older couple who rode the same outbound train we did. Once again, I took advantage of the extra time to take photos.

Sept 13
Bolton Abbey Station

I think I’m glowing… I know I was definitely HOT! By now the wisps of hair I’d hoped to control had escaped the confines of the headband, but overall, it worked well.

Sept 13
Me outside Bolton Abbey Station waiting for the train back to Embsay

When we arrived back at the guest house in Skipton later that afternoon, a black VW filled our space in the car park. I spied a couple of places out on the same side of the street as the guest house so turned around so I could snag one. I ended up further down the block than I wanted, but that spot was much easier to get in to. Drive in and back up closer to the vehicle behind. I don’t parallel park at home, so I’m not doing it on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car.

I spotted this treadle sewing machine from our window and took a picture with my phone but I took a photo of it with my DSLR when we left for supper.

Singer treadle sewing machine across the street from Highfield Guest House
Singer treadle sewing machine across the street from Highfield Guest House

We ate at the Devonshire Inn again. Afterwards, we walked along the canal, stopping to chat with a local sitting on the deck of his narrow boat reading a crime novel.

Later in the evening, we got a thunderstorm. A real fire and brimstone one. Not wanting to miss the light show outside, we turned out the lights in our room and opened the blinds.

Tomorrow will be another driving day. We’re headed to South Wales.

 

 

#SEWES2016 ~ Sept 12 Bankend to Skipton

#SEWES2016

Sept 12 – Bankend to Skipton

Today we’re headed south into England. Reclaim a bit of land for Scotland, although I’m not sure how threatening our appearance is and will they give up some turf for the Saltire.

At least today we had a car. Good thing since we were driving to Skipton (some 125 miles from Bankend).

Since we didn’t get to visit The Devil’s Porridge Museum yesterday, we opted to stop in on our journey south.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be again – no place to park in their small car park. Not knowing Eastriggs that well, and the location of other places to leave the car, we didn’t stay. Disappointed, especially since my friend, Chris Longmuir recently released her latest historical crime novel Devil’s Porridge set at the large munitions factory located between Eastriggs and Gretna during WWI.

We saw this castle from the main A66 road on last year’s trip and with it’s proximity to the motorway decided we would visit it this year. Remember my earlier post when I mentioned perks to being an Historic Scotland renewal member? Not only do we get into Historic Scotland sites free of charge, but also English Heritage ones. And Brougham Castle is one of their properties.

Sept 12
Brougham Castle

Severe flooding in Cumbria in the latter part of 2015 and early 2016 took out a huge section of the Brougham Old Bridge. Signposted from the main road, when we got to the right turn onto Moor Lane, we had to navigate around the road closed sign. Just before the bridge on the right, is a small parking area.

Sept 12
Brougham Old Bridge

It’s rare I get to feel tall, but I did today. Even I had to ‘mind my head’ to pass through this doorway.

Sept 12
Standing with the palms of my hands flat on the underside of the door frame
Sept 12
The warning sign
Sept 12
River Eamont and area from the top of the castle

No visit to a ‘manned’ property is complete without a trip into the gift shop for a memento or two. I always buy a guidebook of the property so I can look back at it later. Well, I even found this little guy… Isn’t he cute?

Sept 12
“Robbie” Raven

For those of you who have read The Secret of Hillcrest House you’ll know that a crow figures in the storyline. So, I figured being the wacky eccentric author that I am, I needed a crow… raven.

Guidebook, raven, a few other goodies, and a jute bag to put everything in bought and we headed further south to Skipton.

Today was the first chance I had to take a photo of our second rental car.

Sept 12
Our second rental car – “Monty” Mondeo

When we arrived at Highfield, the car park (2 vehicles only) was full. Follow on around the corner to a pay and display one. Of course, we got there too early for overnight parking.

Checked into our room, we walked back for the car having been told the one vehicle would be moved by the time we got back. The white Fiat now parked on the street, Monty had ‘off-street’ parking. You can see his left front wheel and fender in the photo below.

Sept 12
Highfield Guest House (our room has the reflection of the street light in the windows)

I researched a few places where we could eat supper once I connected to the Wi-fi, but in the end, decided on The Devonshire Inn (a Wetherspoon Pub).

Sept 12
Devonshire Inn

After fish and chips with mushy peas, washed down with a couple of pints of 1664, we wandered back to the guest house by way of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Sept 12
Narrow boats moored along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Tomorrow we’re taking the Steam Train from Embsay to Bolton Abbey. Should be fun.