Saturday, 21 March 2009

We've Been Away - Part Two

Apologies for delay in posting, Spa2Summit has kept me occupied for the last couple of weeks...

So from Devon the logical place for us to head on the next part of holiday was... Edinburgh. So on Tuesday morning, bright and early we awayed. The weather was glorious again, but surely wouldn't last the stay in Scotland? Not only was the weather on our side, so was the traffic! Effortlessly it seemed, we arrived at Tebay Services on the edge of the Lake District. Now when we where there this time last year, the rain came at us sideways. This time we were strolling about in tee shirts, soaking up the sun. And the sun continued to shine as we drove in to Edinburgh...

We were staying north of the city centre at Leith, which had nice bits and less nice bits, but our hotel was quiet, clean and had the city centre bus stopping right outside.
So on Wednesday, we headed in to the city. Large parts of Edinburgh seem to be dug up at the mo, something to do with new trams, but we made it to the Calton Hill end of Princes Street with out too much aggro. We set off up Calton Hill to get an overview of the city before we ventured in to town. We trundled along Princes Street then stopped for a quick drink before heading to the Georgian House in Charlotte Square. This is a Georgian house that has been fitted out with period furniture to give you a good idea of what life would have been like. Well worth a visit. As we headed towards Broughton Street we blundered in to what appeared to be a link being filmed for Taggart. We will be credited as "Bewildered Tourist 1" and "Bewildered Tourist 2" in a future episode...
A refreshing beverage in the garden of the Cumberland Arms was necessary before we hopped on the bus to go to the Royal Mile in the Old Town. This was a little more touristy, but hey, we're tourists! This was Bev's favourite Edinburgian sight:

The next day we drove up to Perth (nice river) and on to Dundee (umm...). From here we headed across to Piltlochry and on to the Queens Viewpoint overlooking Loch Tummel (very nice!), then the road past Ben Lawers and back to Edinburgh.
Friday was Going Home Day (which was bad...) We decided that we would visit an area previously unvisited by Team KnB, so set off along the A1 towards Berwick upon Tweed. BuT seemed pleasant enough but didn't really grab us so we continued towards Holy Island/Lindisfarne. We needed to build our strength before braving the crossing to Lindisfarne so stopped at Beal Barn for a drink and an awesome raspberry fondant and white chocolate slice. Well worth a stop!
The road across to Lindisfarne is brilliant, go drive it (at low tide)! This is the view back towards the mainland:
From there we headed across Northumberland towards Alnwick, which is a really cool little town with an awesome secondhand bookshop. Alnwick got the coveted "Ken and Bev Seal of Approval", not often given!
Onwards, onwards, heading towards Kielder Forest and it's lake. The roads were deserted, the sky clear and the scenery beautiful. It was incredibly restful. After much "oohing" and some "ahhing" at the views we arrived at Kielder to be slightly disappointed by the lake. Then on driving down a bumpy forestry track for 400 metres we realised we'd been looking at the smaller, southern section...

After standing here for about 30 minutes, enjoying the total absence of any man-made noise, we sadly had to press on. In order to pick up the M6 at Carlisle we had to continue across Northumbria, then the Scottish borders for a fair way. Happily, the scenery continued to be pleasing to the eye, and the roads empty to the car.

Finally we made it to the motorway, where the hecticness that we'd avoided for so long caught up with us, humbug. The weather continued in it's general awesomeness however, so we had a pie-based picnic at Tebay (I heartily recommend their Beef and Horseradish pie!) before setting off on the 200 miles home. And that was that!

1 comment:

  1. that 'lake' in kielder forest is a reservoir! I remember the hoo haa when they were planning it, as it meant flooding the valley, submerging houses and farms.

    Northumberland is spectacular, probably England's best kept secret!