Hadrian’s Wall, England

To Hadrian’s wall!
Like Scotland’s barbarians,
We come from the North

Driving to Hadrian's wall

Approaching Hadrian's wall after driving south from Edinburgh

Chesters Roman Fort

At Chesters Roman Fort

Ruins of Milecastle 39

Hiking west along the wall


A married couple
Seeking shelter on their trip
Stop in Gretna Green…

Not just famous for weddings!

Visiting Hadrian's wall, we happened to stay in Gretna Green, a town which it turns out is known for runaway weddings!

Blacksmith Shop

When we arrived on a Saturday evening, even the historic Blacksmith's Shop (now a wedding venue) was deserted except for a few stray wedding guests.

Courtship Maze - now open!

Signs pointed to the new attraction in town, a courtship maze…

No courtship today :(

...but its gates were locked.

Main Street

Even Main Street was deserted. At this point, things start to feel very Twilight Zone to us.

Rats!

And then we see this.

I hope it's not too late...

And this, which we begin to suspect refers to the town itself - not just this electrical station.

Carlisle

I will admit to being somewhat relieved when we were able to drive to nearby Carlisle for dinner, proving that we weren't trapped in Gretna Green for eternity!

 

 

Edinburgh Summary

Four nights: Tuesday, July 10 to Saturday, July 14

After leaving York, we headed north to Scotland. It was about a four hour drive to Edinburgh and the scenery was great! This was partly due to the fact that we routed ourselves through the North York Moors National Park. We stopped off at the visitor’s center which also has a gallery with exhibitions of art inspired by the regional landscape. The rest of the time, we just enjoyed the views as we drove along, while avoiding the sheep on the road.

Speaking of which, driving in the UK is getting a little easier. The open road is fine and roundabouts are manageable. However, driving trough villages or in cities can be a little harrowing. I was happy our Edinburgh apartment was on the edge of the city, near Holyrood park. However, due to some questionable Google Map data, I ended up taking some wrong turns and found myself in the middle of Edinburgh! After navigating by gut towards the southeast, we eventually hit a road on our map and made it safe and sound to the apartment – and only 25 minutes late. Adventure!

As for our visit, we had a pretty low-key stay in Edinburgh. The highlights of our three full days were checking out the Old and New towns (including the Royal Mile), hiking the impressive Holyrood park, checking out the excellent National Museum of Scotland and getting our hair cut. Notably, there were three things we didn’t do in Edinburgh: visit Edinburgh Castle, enjoy a wee dram of Scotch or tuck in to some haggis. At least one of these got remedied at out next stop.

As for food, one principle we adhere to when staying at an apartment is that on any given day, only one of lunch or dinner is eaten out. The other meal we prepare ourselves in the apartment. The primary reason for this is so we don’t gain 100 pounds (or 7.14 stone) by the end of the trip. Anyway, we ended up having a really nice lunch out at a contemporary restaurant called Iris, plus two pub lunches: one at The Tron and the other at The Beehive Inn. The Beehive was pretty good, if a bit touristy. The Tron was pretty bad, but I liked the name.