Spring Break in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England


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April 1st 1994
Published: September 27th 2011
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We had a week off school for Spring Break so decided to visit Linda's sister Shirley and her kids in Northern Ireland since we hadn't been to visit since Trevor's funeral in November 1991.

1 April 1994 Friday. We drove to Calais and caught the ferry to Dover; then continued around London and up the M40 and M6 to Carlisle where we spent the night at the Post House Hotel. After supper the kids had a swim at their indoor pool, and then we turned in.

2 April 1994 Saturday. After breakfast we drove to and visited Dumfries of Sir Walter Scott fame, on the way to catching the ferry in Stranraer for the crossing to Larne, Northern Ireland. Upon arrival we drove the northern coast road to get to Balleymony; arriving at Shirley's by late afternoon. We spent the rest of the day with the kids playing and Linda and I getting caught up with what was happening in Shirley's life.

3 April 1994 Sunday. We attended the Easter Sunday service at Shirley's church, and then pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day.

4 April 1994 Monday. We went sightseeing to Coleraine and Portrush, and then to the Giant's Causeway, a geological World Heritage Site, where we walked around the hexigonal rocks.

5 April 1994 Tuesday. We stopped at one of Shirley's friend's farm so that the kids could pet the lambs. One of the reasons we ususally headed to the British Isles and Ireland in the spring is because this is laming season. Eventually Will slipped and fell in the muck, so we had to return to Shirley's to clean up. The kids spent the rest of the day playing with their cousins.

6 April 1994 Wednesday. It was a short visit as we also wanted to see Scotland on the way home. So after breakfast we said our farewells and drove the fast way to Larne to catch the ferry back to Stranraer, Scotland. From there we took the coastal road north along the Irish Sea, past the famous golf course at Turnberry, and then through Glasgow to Dumbarton, where we stayed in a B&B for the night.

7 April 1994 Thursday. We drove along Loch Lomond and had lunch at Fort William. We continued to Loch Ness where we stopped at Urqhart Castle on the western bank to
At Giant's CausewayAt Giant's CausewayAt Giant's Causeway

Tamara, Peter, Bob holding Rosanna, Shirley, Jeremy, Cameron, Will, and Gillian
see once again if we could spot Nessie, but didn't see her. We climbed around the castle. From there we drove to Inverness and then cut south to Pitlochry, where we bought some woolens. We continued to Edinburgh where we spent the night at a Traveler's Inn near a Beefeater restaurant, where we had dinner.

8 April 1994 Friday. We took the A7 south to Galasheils and then almost to Carlisle, but cut east to see Hadrian's Wall. We stopped at Housesteads Fort, built in AD 124. While I walked the wall, Linda and the kids explored the fort. I had to curtail my walk when the weather turned bad. The wind started blowing and soon it was driving rain. I got back to the fort to find Linda and the kids hiding behind a wall with a herd of sheep. They were able to keep dry that way.

We then visited fourteenth century Langley Castle which has been converted into a hotel. It was too early to stay for the night, but it was a place we wanted to come back to. (Note: I recently checked it out as a possible location for my daughter Rosanna's wedding.)

From there we headed to New Castle where we caught the M1 to Sherwood Forest, of Robin Hood fame. We walked around the forest and the kids hid in the trunk of a very old tree. It really wasn't much, so we continued on the back roads to Lincoln.

There where we checked into another Post House Hotel. We walked around the town, had some fish and chips, and stopped to listen to the choir practicing at the Lincoln Cathedral.

9 April 1994 Saturday. From Lincoln we drove through Boston, and King's Lynn to Sandringham Castle, but couldn't get in as this is a Royal Residence. Oh well.

We continued on throught the Norfolk countryside to a neolithic flint mine. We went down into the mine, and the guide gave the kids a peice of flint that that had been shaped into a crude carving knife by some stone age man thousands of years ago. We thanked him. Linda added it to her stone collection.

We continued towards London and caught the M25 around the east side across the Thames to the Post House Hotel in Maidstone where we spent the night, and the kids got to use the indoor pool.

10 April 1994 Sunday. We drove to Dover, stopping at the Tesco at the top of the hill to buy British groceries, before then boarding the ferry to Calais, and then home.


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