United Kingdom · 40 Days · 44 Moments · July 2018

The Grand Tour England /Scotland July -August


18 August 2018

Saturday 18 th August 2018 330 miles from Dunbar Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 to Manchester England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿. Really enjoyed Dunbar very good accommodation and lovely walks around the town and the coast, also it’s history. Surprised at how the history was presented to us in all the places we went. I am impressed that we saw and enjoyed all the things we wanted to do. THE END

17 August 2018

Friday 17 th Weather a bit Scottish, windy and cooler, nice weather to walk this coast of Scotland. Back to John Muir’s home/ Museum as I find this Scottish / American man very interesting. Picked up a book on his life. Back to our Hotel for some serious packing and reorganising of our cases for our long drive back to Manchester tomorrow.

16 August 2018

Thursday 16 th 2018 Beautiful view even from our breakfast room. Off to explore, first stop laundry , £10 later all clean again. 2nd stop Dunbar golf club, yes sir £95 green fees, £50 club hire each, disappointed looks really good. Then walking passed a sign saying where John Muir was born, I first came across this man in Yosemite National Park California, he is considered as one of the first conservationists and along with his friend president Roosevelt established America first national Parks. Off to the park and ride just outside Edinburgh. Huge number of people on The Royal Mile, watched the buskers. Then up to the Castle, excellent show, the highlight of my trip.

15 August 2018

Wednesday 15th What a great trip today, from Hexham UK 🇬🇧 to Dunbar Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. Through the Northumberland moors. Then to Jedburgh where we spent 2 hours exploring the town and Abby, then on to Dunbar. We only picked this place because of it proximity to Edinburgh. Our hotel is great and our room has a magnificent view out over the rocks below and the North Sea. The villages and the countryside were extremely scenic. We consider this day’s travel to be one of the best.

14 August 2018

Tuesday 14 th Left Boston for a 3 hour drive to Hexham, mostly on freeway with lots of traffic and very little to see because of the 🌳.trees Arrived at our nice 👍 hotel. Mostly we have stayed in the centre of the old part of town, it’s a different look and feel to the rest of the town. It’s amazing how old these places are.

13 August 2018

Monday 13 th August 2018 Started off with the Full English on our way to Boston. Our accommodation was spot on . Jo had some nervous thoughts as she went to find out accommodation, as it was poorly signed down a narrow alley. Then she met Rick who guided us to our 🚘 car park, and then took our bags to our room, very nice just recently renovated. As we are in the centre of town , we walked around the town square and beyond. Found an old time men’s shop where I bought leather gloves braces and belt. Then a very nice light lunch on the square, and for dinner the best meal we have had in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿. Beef rib on a hash brown, Jo had salmon on mash potatoes and pesto. Plus desert. The only disappointing thing was that the Guildhall was closed, it had a lot of information about the Puritans who had left for Boston USA 🇺🇸

12 August 2018

Sunday 12 th August We did a walking 🚶‍♂️ tour of Cambridge today, and our guide brought it alive . Cambridge is a very old location with lots of influences. Students started here in the 1200 ‘s. There were a lot of Asian tourists here . I was speaking to a man from Hong Kong with his 3 daughters and he hopes they end up here. Although it’s not purely academic ability that will get you in , there is an initiative test as well. Tired tonight after walking all day.

11 August 2018

Saturday 11th Left our little farm house on our way to Cambridge, with a stop of in Coventry. We were last here in 2003. 0The bombed out cathedral was not quite so impressive as then, but I was impressed again about the story of the cross of nails they made and sent to Dresden in Germany and Hiroshima in Japan that suffered horrendously in WW2. Always apprehensive on how your next accommodation will turn out to be. This one has been recently updated 👍. It’s got a washer and dryer so we have given it a good work out. That was the only thing missing from the Little Spring Farm.

10 August 2018

Friday 10 th August 2018 Shrewsbury flower show, hardly got there when it started to rain, another umbrella and poncho. It seems to rain quite heavy over here then it cleared up. Another couple of these for the day. While it rained we were able to go into the big tents and see all the amazing flowers and vegetables . Lots of people and lots of other exhibits. After the last shower we decided that we had seen enough, so back on the park and ride bus and we left Shewsbury for our car parked outside of the city it was the only way to do it . We would have liked to of seen more but it was too wet. Tomorrow we leave here, have enjoyed our stay.

9 August 2018

Thursday 9 th The museum tickets we bought yesterday covered at least 10 museum, so today we had in mind to see 2 or 3 more, but we only got to see Blists Hill a Victorian town . Similar to our Sovereign Hill, again lots of people and children with their Grandparents, lots to see and do. We have really enjoyed the Museum. After 4 hours we had had enough so off to see the famous iron bridge at Ironbridge. This was our second attempt to see it. When we got there it was completely covered in plastic as they are doing repair work to it . Jo was annoyed that they didn’t tell us it was covered, but I soothed her down with a nice coffee and chocolate brownie.

8 August 2018

Wednesday 8 th Off again, after a good walk, and a bit of shopping, we had a quite day. Today we went to THE Boscobel house where one of Jo’s forbears helped Charles 2 nd to escape Oliver Cromwell . After exile in France he was invited back to become King of England and Scotland. We did the tour, walked the grounds, then for Jo back to the gift shop to pick up something about Boscoble. In the meantime I was leaning on the fence watching the big harvester harvesting wheat. I had to step way back to avoid the dust, definitely over it. Next stop the museum of Iron, and a house dating back to 1700. There are more museums here so will finish off tomorrow.

6 August 2018

Monday 6 th August. Another beautiful day, went for a 2.5 hours walk, at a guess 10 klm, had a chat to a couple of farmers and at one place we inspected his cattle in his barn. They were very good, but it was a bit shitty where they spent their time. I’ve asked the four farmers what is the value of their land £8000| 10000 / per acre. Their production wouldn’t be any better than a western Victorian farmer. This area is closely populated and the tradies are doing there best with renovating old sheds barns, whatever. Camped in the hot part of the day, then onto Telford for some Aldi therapy, and tomorrow we hope to get a game of golf so inspected the local golf course. At present the harvesters are in the area harvesting wheat. There is a paddock near by that I am keeping my eye on, looking for some action. All farmers around here use contractors.

5 August 2018

Sunday 5th Woke to the sounds of a farm, sheep and lambs calling. Inspected the neighbours new bulk grain storage then a short drive into Much Wenlock. Had a hot walk around inspecting the old buildings, the Guildhall and the local church where we met the congregation and the vicar. Had to be careful as I thought of her as the Vicar of Dibly, disappointed myself by not participating in their hospitality. Then onto the old pub where we had roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, very nice. Then back to our farm cottage for a nap. Later went for a long walk picked a few blackberries and chatted with a couple of farmers, could have been Arthur and Dennis.

4 August 2018

Saturday 4th Left our nice apartment in Nottingham, and took the longer route to Shrewsbury via Stoke on Trent where we had a picnic morning tea, nothing special about this place. Off to Market Draton, couldn’t exactly find a nice picnic spot for lunch so we had it in Morrison car park and did a bit of shopping for our farm stay. Found our accommodation about 12 miles west of Shrewsbury. While we are a bit isolated the restored barn has been beautiful done and the scenery is undulating. 3 miles to the nearest pub and little village, will check it out tomorrow.

3 August 2018

Friday 3rd August Couldn’t find Robin Hood and his merry men, sorry Max. But we did have a very nice walk around Sherwood Forest, beautiful oak trees 400 years old. Then off to Chatsworth ( not house ) and a quick look around. $80 and 4 hours later we came away giving this palace after the Queen’s the best in UK, for me better than the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Another big day, now a quick walk down the hill for a Guinness and a G&T ( cheaper than wine) a meal and an early night.

2 August 2018

Thursday 2nd Slow day today. Drove out to Wollaston Hall to the Natural History Museum. Didn’t spend a lot of time there but enjoyed the walk around the grounds and the two different types of deer. Lots of families there, as it is the school holidays and lots of grandparents Then turned off the GPS and ended up in Copgrave for lunch, had a nice treacle sponge and custard for desert. Put the GPS back on and ended up at our apartment in time for a nap.

1 August 2018

Wednesday 1st August 2018 Woke up late to our nice self contained apartment, didn’t have to use the visa for a nice egg on toast breakfast. We were given good information on how to get to the CBD by bus but decided to drive. Found the Information centre. First museum was the man made caves built by man spanning thousand years. They had many uses from homes to WW2 bomb shelters. The guides really made it come alive. Next stop the Law and Order museum, same thing did the tour with interaction from the guides. These people must be out of work actors - excellent. Our pantry was extremely well stocked by our host, but we just needed to get some beer, Guinness and meat for our meal tonight. Tescos was nearby then back to our apartment, a good day.

31 July 2018

Tuesday 31st July Newcastle to Nottingham 220 miles down the freeway. We took the coast road to Whitby, huge numbers of people around the wharf and beach, very few swimming. Left there and crossed the river Tees and followed the hop on and hop off bus to the Whitby Abbey where we were able to use our Heritage card, and with the aid of headphones spent a couple of hours there. Very enjoyable. Left us a bit behind time so only drove to the centre of Scarborough, also missed out on seeing Hull where my mate Brian Grieve came from.

30 July 2018

Monday 30th July We are staying in a nice old hotel in central Newcastle, very convenient. Started the day off with a 4 hour visit to the Discovery Museum which was excellent. It covered the times of Newcastle starting before the Romans, the Rocket, first steam train built by the Stephenson and the brave men who came from here and were deeply involved in breaking the Inigma code in 2nd WW. The city itself is very old and needs a facelift. We have had a good day and done a lot of walking. Luckily we were trying to buy some socks in a mall when the sky just opened up for a short time. Then off to the pub for a Guinness and a G&T and a lasagna, and now bed. 9.00 pm

29 July 2018

Sunday 29 th July Sunday night arrived in Newcastle upon Tyne from our stay in Newton Stewart, where we left 2 days early, after being disappointed with our castle experience. It was too good to be true. The room was nice in an add on from the castle but it was very noisy, and there were no ammenities for cooking or fridge which we thought it was supposed to have. It was very wet and anyway we left after one night still raining. Stop at Carlisle and arranged accommodation at Newcastle upon Tyne, then spent 3 hours Exploring it and visiting a museum. We gave it the thumbs up. On our way to Newcastle we visited Hadrians Wall, a lot of history which we enjoy. A good day and a good decision.

27 July 2018

Friday 27th July Lucky to get a 24 hour park for £5 near the ferry terminal to Isle of Mull. Very calm trip over then a 50 minutes bus trip to Tobermory. A very heavy shower as we were getting onto the bus, brought a umbrella and the weather improved markedly. Nice walk around the town, ordinary lunch of fish and chip on the side walk. On the bus back to our ferry we were entertained by the bus driver.

26 July 2018

Thursday 26th July Had to do a return trip to Glenfinnan home of the famous viaduct that is featured in the Harry Potter films. We had passed it on our way from the Isle of Skye but were late and there was nowhere to park. So today we saw it at our leisure but missed THE train going over it. Then back to Fort William where we saw THE JACOBITE train passing through a little station called Banavie, where there is a lock system linking the North Atlantic with the Irish Sea. Then back to Oban where we had a beautiful walk along there seafront. We like this place, another great day.

25 July 2018

Wednesday 25 th July Oban is an old version of Lorne except the beach. Our Hotel is old but nice and clean. Today off for a nice walk called Bridge over the Atlantic and Anchorage circuit. A bit disappointed it only took an hour. Next stop Arduaine Gardens. As one can guess we really enjoy the gardens. Back to Oban organise tomorrow’s schedule and off to the Pub for a Guinness and for Jo G & T nice meal. Looking to be in bed by nine.

24 July 2018

Sunday 22nd July 2018 Nice drive from Nairn to Portree, enjoyed a nice picnic lunch that Jo prepared on the way.
Tuesday 24 th July Left Skye via Armadale where we enjoyed another garden and museum. Then caught a ferry back to the mainland and down to Oban For four nights.

23 July 2018

Monday 23 Rd July Our accommodations was unusual, a bit squeezee but very adequate. History museum was amazing, hard to imagine how people lived as crofters less than 100 years ago. Roads in parts were single lane with passing bays - a bit of reversing was required! Hard walks up the side of a mountain, Jo got further than me, visited a beautiful garden at Dunvegan. More driving and walking along the beautiful costal cliff.

21 July 2018

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Saturday 21st July Highland games were high on our list, so today was 170 th games at Toumintoul half way between Aberdeen and Nairn in the Scottish Highland perfect. What a great setting slopeing oval surrounded by pine trees on the edge of town. Big Scotch men throwing the Caber and throwing 40 lbs weight 16 feet over there heads. Scottish girls dancing and of course bagpipes and bagpipes, plus tug of war, foot racing. It’s been going on for 170 years. Very fortunate to have seen it, the weather was perfect.

20 July 2018

Friday 20th July Off to the golf in light drizzle, closer we got the heavier it got. A big crowd, no idea as to where we are going. Got a glimpse of Marc Leishman then Tiger who didn’t look happy, then we were able to catch up with and follow Lucas Herbert (Bendigo boy 1st British Open) who played really well to finish even and will make the cut. We briefly caught up with the other Aussies but the crowds were too thick and the Umbrellas were a pain. A great day and another thing to tick off.

19 July 2018

Thursday 19th July Left for a nice drive up the coast, looking for the area George Gobham was born. Nothing there just reasonable size farms. Then on to St Combs where we decided to go for a walk along the beach and the back of a golf course, it was a bit smelly and the beach was all rock. Then we pulled into the next village called Inverallochy, drove around a bit but the beach was rockey, pulled into the golf course and out of interest asked the price of a round. £30 for senior, they didn’t have any hire clubs so the man looking after everything said he would lend me his no charge. Jo said she didn’t want to play, but the old guys offered to lend her a set, as they had finished for the day, really nice old guys, anyway she declined and said she would caddy. 18 holes later I walked off having a very good round. Had a half a pint and a toasti gave the young guy who loaned me his clubs a good tip. Went on to Fraserburgh where we visited the lighthouse museum and the WW 1/2 memorial

18 July 2018

Wednesday 18th July We had a nice drive from Alyth to Aberdeen, stopping at Montrose and Stonehaven. Went for a hilly walk to the war memorial over looking the North Atlantic. The sea was as calm as a millpond, would love to see it in all its fury. At Stonehaven we crossed a golf course to walk the beach and met up with a couple of groups of golfers. We asked how much for a round of golf £60 each with out the hire of everything else, would certainly need a bucket of balls as there is gauze every where of the fairway. Today Thursday we had a nice continental breakfast then off down Union street. First stop Aberdeen Tolbooth, this was the place where George Cobham was sentenced to 14 years for fraud, and then sentenced to the penal colony of NSW in 1838. For more info ask Jo or Ted. We continued walking down to the beach and back to the Maratime museum. Then a nice Angus burger and a Old Engine beer, it really looked like engine oil, tasted good. More walking and exploring.Happy days

16 July 2018

Monday 16 Th July First stop today was getting the GPS working on the Benz. As we expected it was that the SIM card came loose and the service man only had to tap it back, he also answered a few questions about the car. Next stop St Andrews, where we walked along the beach (A Chariots of Fire scene was shot there) then a picnic lunch over looking the North Atlantic on one side and St Andrew on the other, memoriable. Then a walk back along the side of the golf course. Along side the first fairway the have 27 hole putting green, so for a £ each we filled in a good hour of fun. Where ever you drive the scenery is beautiful and the farming land very productive.

14 July 2018

Sunday 15 Th July Can’t believe how long the days are, I don’t think I would like how long the nights are over here in winter. Went for a lovely Sunday drive over to Dunkeld and on to Aberfeldy and then down to Kenmore on Lock Tay, the scenery with the moors and the farming in the valleys was beautiful . Very narrow roads so one had to be careful, this car is a bit big but very comfortable. We stopped at the Queen’s view centre overlooking Lock Tay, even though it was raining quite heavy the view was superb.

13 July 2018

Friday 13th Drove to the Yorkshire Dales near Bolton Abby hoping to do a bit of rambling, raining quite heavy when we got there so change of plans and off to see the Industrial museum, interesting but it could have been better. Certainly living conditions and working conditions were terrible.

12 July 2018

Thursday 12th July At the Yorkshire show at 7.45 am filled in 7 hours no problems lots to see and people to talk to spent the last hour and a half watching all that was going on, on the main arena, excellent day and another thing to cross off my list.
Tuesday 10 July 2018 Looked like smooth sailing as we were given priority, and hour and a half later we were in our car, IT malfunctions. Still we were upgraded again to E series Benz, lovely car explained all the gizmos and we were off. Less than a mile we turned around for another half hour on how to work the GPS and turn up the volume also to turn off the radio. Found Wetherby and Morrison supermarket where we had fish and chips mushy peas and two buttered slices of bread our first meal in England M’mm. Our cottage is in Wetherby with a beautiful rear view looking over a river and acres of open sports land.
Saturday 14 July Big drama after we packed and loaded the car we proceeded to put in the code for our address in Alyth Scotland 5 hours away. Didn’t work, all it said was need to insert CD card. We have been using it successfully for 4 days and now this, no idea why it won’t work, and we have no idea on how to get out of Wetherby. Luckily we had the old Garmin GPS so we pluged it in and away we went. Definitely not as good but we got used to it. Hope to find a Benz dealer in Perth or Dundee on Monday. The rest of the trip was fine with nice country side. Had picnic lunch in a little park in Stirling after we gave up on seeing Stirling Castle, no parking and too many people. Set off for Adronie Farm outside Alyth, definitely on a sheep farm a fair way out. Good accommodation, so all is well.

11 July 2018

Wednesday 11th July Set the post code to Castle Howard 30 miles away, and then spent 4hours exploring the grounds and the Castle. Excellent way to see how the upper class lived in days gone by. Had to ask but our John Howard was not a descendant.

10 July 2018

What staggers me is the number of children in Premium Economy,parents must have very good jobs.
8 th July. 2018. Flying is the hardest part. Singapore Airlines is nothing special, cattle class is still squeezie and as to be expected Asian food. Writing this in Premium Economy so a bit more room, food still Asian and not so good. I am having a bit of a whinge , but 14 hrs is a long time. Filled our time in Singapore with 3 hour. walk around the beautiful Botanical Gardens, then back to check out of one hotel into another because it was too long before we flew out. Bit expensive but worth it. After a shower and rest off to do a river cruise via the Metro then a couple of drinks on the river frontage and back to our hotel before we checked out at 10.30 pm, off to the airport via the metro.