We first went to St.Abbs on the North Berwickshire coast to see the cute working port, before over-nighting just outside the town. It was then breakfast at Eyemouth, a busy working port. We then drove down the coast to Bamburgh castle in Northumberland. The visit of here was fascinating, the castle having the usual medieval history augmented by the brilliant engineer Lord Armstrong in Victorian days. He restored the castle, and it remains in his family today, and it contains artefacts from his collections, as well as all sorts of engineering exhibits. An absorbing afternoon.
We wild camped outside Warkworth (another Northumberland castle), before visiting Berwick-upon-tweed with its Elizabethan ramparts, walled town and evidence of the turmoil of changing hands between England and Scotland 10 times over the centuries, not to mention some great architecture. The afternoon was spent driving to Acaster Malbis, just south of York, where we pitched up on the banks of the Ouse on an idyllic campsite.
As we had recently visited York and gorged on history at the museum, we decided to just cycle in along the river, and have a relaxed day where Tracey shopped and I grumbled for an hour, before reverting to a hostelry for cultural reasons of course!
After York it was Cleethorpes, where we stayed on the car-park of the go-karting track for the weekend! The self-sufficiency of motor-homes is fantastic for this kind of thing. We spent the weekend catching up with friends and dancing the night away at our regular scooter scene dances, as well as a lot of convivial blethering in various pubs of course.
Monday was back on the culture trail cycling into Lincoln to see the castle, with its medieval and civil war history, as well as its Victorian jail, and of course, the Magna Carta in its new exhibition. It was so interesting, we were glad the cathedral was open late or we wouldn't have been able to do it justice. This was our longest day of culture-vulturing, and the history was so interesting, the wealth and breadth of things to see and learn about so overwhelming, that Tracey had no time to catch the shops. Gutted I was!
Tuesday we headed West to Buxton, and visited Poole Cavern, ideal in the rain that day. It is a deep limestone cave, with lots of history both prehistric and modern, let alone geological of course. We wild camped at the foot of Mam Tor near Edale, and nipped up in the evening, planning a longer walk on the Weds. Unfortunately, Weds was really wet, so we passed the morning driving North to Malham Cove with its spectacular 200ft+ cliff of limestone, and intricate limestone pavement. That night we camped at Sedbergh on a very quiet, secluded and idiosyncratic farm site.
The following day we took a taxi to Cautley, and did a circular walk on the rolling Howgill Fells. Cautley Spout was very pretty, despite the low rainfall, and the walk up onto the fell tops steep. We cooed at the views over Morecambe Bay, Silverdale, Grange-over-Sands and of course the Lake District as we romped along the excellent limestone path that undulated over the tops, before descending to Sedbergh in time to catch the shops (you have to please everyone!).
Thursday night Tracey was treated to the poshest campsite toilets in the World at Braithewaite in the Lakes, as well as a nice meal in the Royal Oak, a favourite walker's pub. The weather for Friday was poor for walking, so it was back off to Scotland.
And so ended our 820m round trip, as we came home today. Not my usual tale of mountains and the like, but a huge amount crammed into a short time, and we could have done so much more had we more time. Our island is packed with history, interest and beauty, and despite how far and wide I have travelled, this trip showed me how much more I have to see without leaving our shores.