Keep Calm and Carry On to England …

Sunday the 17th June – Hamilton – Dumfries – Thirsk

After a lazy day, we were recharged to continue out of Scotland. The plan is to start creeping down to England find my Great Aunts and finish the final days of our UK section of the holiday. Using the map for our Explorer Pass we picked the castle closest to our route out of Scotland and plugged it into the GPS and set off. The pass  turned out pretty well, we visited three castles and a church or two. You can use it on non subsequent days, which is handy.Worth buying!

After an hour or so, we arrived at Caerlaverock Castle, which overlooks a nature reserve. This castle is a little different then most – it has a MOAT for one…. (moats are cool ..OK!) and a triangular design. It has seen it’s share of action, being on the border it was quite sought after. King Edward 1 laid siege to it back in the day – the Scots held out for a few days before surrender – the English were surprised to find only 6o men holding the place. There was a long poem written about it by the heralds at the time, but it only covers the acts of valour by the English side. There is a small info centre you can check out, detailing the events of the siege.

We wandered around for awhile, trying to avoid getting in the way of a couple getting their wedding photos done. It would be a nice spot for photos that’s for sure. You can walk around the back of the castle and follow a path to where the original foundations were laid – they moved the castle as it was sort of sinking in the wetlands where they initially placed it. We went to explore and passed by a Scottish family, where a young girl of about 5 years old informed me “…there are lots of puddles” whilst looking doubtfully at my open shoes. It cracked me up! She was so sassy! I would have loved a pair of boots to get into the mud and puddles with though.

We finished our visit with a cup of tea and scones. I have to point out right here, that Greg willingly ate a scone with sultanas in it…unheard of! I wouldn’t have believed it unless I had seen it happen! To be fair there were no plain ones to eat, so it was the fruit filled ones or nothing.

We kept on for another hour or so on the motorway. The UK is well set up on it’s large roads. You can pull off at exits for fuel and there will be several food options and a small motel as well. I mean, the food options are Burger King and things like that…but still. We got to the town of Thirsk – which is about half an hour north of York. We booked there becasue I got a room for 25 Pounds – bargain! We looked at options for things to do in the area the next day, then crashed out!

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