Published: May 21st 2012May 21st 2012
Our outing to EDINBURGH started with a mile long walk to a bus stop. Apparently the bus routes have changed since the publicity for the campground was printed (public transportation - under 1 mile). Of course we were tempted by a brief showing of the sun. Edinburgh is a city built on Cliffside's and provides a climbing challenge to move from the 'old' city to the 'new'. As in many of our 'city explorations', we need to find a T-Mobile or Orange, and possibly an indoor mall. So we not only explore Charlotte Square with its GEORGIAN HOUSE (showing life in the 11th century) in the NEW TOWN with all of it's elegance and GLADSTONE'S LAND, a 400 year old prosperous merchants dwelling in the inner city, but also the newer Edinburgh. The castle of course is awe inspiring as are some of the monuments and statues. As it starts to rain after noon, which seems to be typical, we find shelter and then head for our bus home.
The Scottish Borders are exactly that with the River Tweed separating England from Scotland. We then drive in and out of each country as we head down the coast toward Berwick
and finally to PAXTON HOUSE for a tour of the mansion and a lovely campsite on the grounds behind a walled garden. We even had entertainment? by bands that were there to entertain members of the local Motor scooter Club weekend rally. Many of these properties need income from many sources to continue preservation of the houses, gardens and land. When leaving we visited, but could not cross, a CHAIN BRIDGE, that links the two countries. Very narrow and provides the excitement of many suspensions bridges.
Many of the castles that we have visited and photographed have actually been ruins, but BAMBURG CASTLE was certainly an exception. It has been restored, by Lord Armstrong in the 1800s as a memorial to his wife of over 60 years, and contains very elegant and private apartments that overlook the North Sea and the Farne Islands
Our next castle of note was ALNWICK CASTLE where the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Imagine our surprise to find out that only the exterior of the castle was used and that the owners, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland are in residence with their family and guests from September to Easter. Luckily we toured
the extensive and beautiful gardens before touring the castle, as it was pouring rain when we headed for the car park. Brrrrr! and drip, drip! Many of the interior shots for the movie were shot in Christ Church in Oxford. We may see that yet.
When we continued on to CRAIGSIDE, we found that the builder and owner was Lord Armstrong, formerly mentioned as restorer of Bamburg Castle. His home, Craigside, was the first building in the world to be illuminated by hydroelectric power. He was an inventor of many processes and concepts and was well know in the arms industry.
As we headed for the Carlisle/Cumbria district of England, we climbed to the HOUSESTEAD FORT as part of the HADRIAN WALL From the car park it is 1/2 mile up steep inclines to the top of the hill where the remnants of the Fort have been preserved and explained in the museum. We encountered flocks of sheep who are quite tame, especially the lambs as we hiked up the hills and of course it was raining. We joined busloads of visitors, some who did and some who did not make the climb. It was easier to see
why this wall and the numerous forts were built by the Romans, extending from the North Sea to the Solway Firth, to hold off the northern invaders. This natural land barrier provided the perfect spine for a wall such as this.
We are now sitting in a campground in Cumbria on the site of a mansion, ENGLETHWAITE HALL , that served as a Girls School, a WWI Hospital, TB hospital and Boys Home, but was demolished in 1969 by agreement with the Caravan Club, as being unsafe.
We have just read a headline warning the UK that they are in for another month of cold and rainy weather. We are now officially LOOKING FOR THE SUN and will leave the UK in 2 weeks heading for Cape Cod where we understand the temperatures are in the 70s with sunshine. 5/11-5/18
There are more photos below