A 43-day adventure by Leanne
  • Day43

    Heathrow, England

    October 1, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Today we headed back to London after visiting Mim's friend Linda Knudsen in Petersfield, Hampshire. We have travelled 5,158 kilometres (3,205 miles) over the last 23 days throughout England, Wales and Scotland. We have been around roundabouts twice to find our exit, drove into restricted areas with a tram heading straight for us, been down lots of country roads where the cars always seem to be on your side of the lane, up lots of twisting mountain tracks, and followed too many tractors on the highways. We have seen some magnificent scenery, lots of churches, ruins, lakes, Lochs, mountains, sheep and cattle, stone walls and hedges and eaten our fair share of wild blackberries. I have loved every minute and hope to come back and take some time to walk the foreshore, Lochs, lakes and countryside. Tomorrow we are off to Rome, looking forward to our next adventure.Read more

  • Day42

    Beaches in South East England

    September 30, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    A relaxed start to the day, decided to meander along the coastline to Whitstable, Recluver, and Margate enjoying the sun and beaches. Loved the beach huts at Whitstable, it was so quiet on the beach front, and you didn't have to pay for parking. We also dropped into Whitstable Castle which was a private residence for the Pearson family in the late 1790’s. I love the black flint stone in the castle tower.
    We went on to Recluver to visit the ruins of the Roman Fort of Regulbium that was occupied around 200AD. St Mary's Church was built within the Fort around the 7th Century. Only the western towers remain, which are a landmark for the shipping channel. It was a little disconcerting climbing up the steps within the towers when you see the mortar holding it together is just a sandy mix and a lot of the mix has eroded away.
    Margate is a larger coastal town, we parked on the pier hoping to have fish and chips for lunch. As we walked along the pier looking for lunch we both clamped our fingers over our noses. It was low tide and the smell coming from the low tide mark was a smell of acrid ammonia, like someone was being covered in perming solution, it was hard to get the smell out of your nose. Supposedly it is from the seaweed. We did manage to have a nice lunch in The Hoy Pub away from the awful smell.
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  • Day41

    White Cliffs of Dover, England

    September 29, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    Had another great day driving from Peterborough to Dunkirk. We drove the country roads as much as possible, it's a lot more enjoyable and relaxing winding through the narrow roads rather than racing the cars on the A1. We enjoyed seeing the autumn leaves, the ploughed fields, the crops and sheep and there were a lot of thatched cottages today when we went through some of the small villages. We drove onto Dover before going to our accommodation so we could walk along the White Cliffs of Dover. They are a stunning sight, sheer white cliffs that drop away to the sea, as the white chalk crumbles away the black flint stones fall onto the beach below. I didn't realise the magnitude of the shipping of the transport trucks that occurred in Dover harbour, the trucks went through a checkpoint then cued to get on the ferries with their goods. Whenever another ship arrived it disgorged another convoy of trucks. We also saw Dover Castle from a distance. The 11th Century Castle sits high on the hill overlooking Dover.Read more

  • Day40

    Sherwood Forest, England

    September 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We visited Rufford Abbey, Rufford a Cistercian Monastery from around 1160. The Abbey was converted to a country house for the Earl of Shrewsbury around 1536. Today it is managed through the Shire Council. We enjoyed a walk around the lake before heading to Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Forest is where the legend Robin Hood is said to have lived. We walked through the forest to look at the Major Oak (named after Major Hayman Rooke, the man who wrote about the tree). This oak tree is supposed to be the tree where Robin Hood and his merry men met. Irrespective of the legend the tree is estimated to be 1150 years old, weighs 23 ton and measures 10 metres around its girth. A beautiful tree. We then went onto Nottingham hoping to wander around the city centre but parking was problematic with us going up bus only streets and then have a tram come towards us. Thought it was time to give it a miss, it definitely wasn't a quaint small village.Read more

  • Day39

    Heading back to England

    September 27, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Travelled from Edinburgh out to the small seaside village of Dunbar, then we went along the coastal road before heading inland towards Jedburgh. Jedburgh, Scotland has a magnificent Augustinian Abbey which was built around 1135, it is now partially in ruins. We continued travelling the 'B' roads towards York, in England. Not a very good day for landscape photos as it was hazy all day. Everyday more and more trees are changing to autumn colours.Read more

  • Day38

    Edinburgh, Scotland

    September 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Blue skies again in Edinburgh. Walked to the Royal Yacht Britannia and had a lovely couple of hours wandering around the ship. The ship was decommissioned in 1997, after 43 years service. It was nice to see the less formal furnishings on the ship. The Royal family definitely must have relaxed aboard the ship as seen in the many family photos displayed. After having luncheon in the tea room we went by bus to the city to take some time out walking around the gardens.
    We walked through Princes Street Gardens then went over Dean Bridge hoping to walk along the Leith River or Dean Gardens. There was no access to these parks or Queens Park unless you lived in the catchment area and paid £115 a year for a key to unlock the gates.
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  • Day37

    Edinburgh, Scotland

    September 25, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Heard the rain during the night, things didn't seem promising for a sunny day for sightseeing. By the time we made it into the city the rain had lifted and only fog in the distance. Another wonderful day of exploring Edinburgh Castle, we walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace. Holyrood Palace is the Scottish residence of the Queen, the Abbey Cathedral ruins are behind the Palace. Edinburgh's buildings are blackened with age but the dark lines suit the city, the darkened stone grooved buildings stand out against the grey sky.Read more

  • Day36

    Northern Highlands, Scotland

    September 24, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    We left Inverness travelling through the Northern Highlands to reach Edinburgh. We went along the 'B' roads, Mim handled the car like a rally driver over blind summits, down hidden dips, around sharp turns, watching out for oncoming vehicles in the middle of the road, not to mention the cyclists who appear from nowhere peddling like crazy on these often one lane roads.
    The back roads brought us out at Crathie near Balmoral Castle. Now we knew the Queen was in residence so didn't expect to see the Castle but when we arrived at the information centre people were mulling around waiting along the fence. We then realised it was Sunday and the Queen would be going to the Sunday Church Service at Crathie Kirk across the road. So we waited too. We saw Queen Elizabeth with William in the first car and Charles and Camilla in the second car.
    We then continued onto Edinburgh.
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  • Day35

    North West Highlands of Scotland

    September 23, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Off discovering the North West Highlands out to Gairloch on the coast. The Lochs didn't have the deep dark colours so no reflections but we did see waterfalls and rugged barren mountains. Once again the scenery is stunning. We decided before heading back to Inverness to go north east up to Dunrobin Castle just outside the town of Golspie. The Sutherland family live in the Castle with sections open to the Public for part of the year. There are 189 rooms within the castle, making it the largest in the northern Highlands.Read more