A United Road Trip – Part 5 – Haggis and York

This post is part of a series called The United Road Trip which is a 12 day roadtrip I undertook within the United Kingdom in September. You can read part 1part 2part 3 and part 4 here.

I think you can guess already by the title of this entry where the next stage of the roadtrip went to.

Thought about it? Yup that’s right – Bonny Scotland. Which at our time of visiting had just voted No in their referendum. Luckily we visited a small town in the South which was quite settled.

On our way north we stopped by yet another castle in Carlisle. We were indeed well and truly over castles by this stage. But with our English Heritage memberships (aka free entry), we felt it was our duty.

But.. the fact that I didn’t take any photos during the visit kinda speaks for the quality of this castle. I wouldn’t recommend it just with not being that interesting.

One of the very few Carlisle photos I did take

After a nice bit of haggis toasty for lunch, we were on our way to Lockerbie in Scotland to stay with another friend of Shelleys. But we did stop by an abbey with a graveyard for a nosey on the way.

This was a much more interesting stop. And they sold strawberry wine!

We stayed in Lockerbie for a couple of nights. It was a great visit as it involved a bit more chill time with newborn baby cuddles. And regular visits to the local pub. We did a little bit of sight-seeing of local pretty places too.

The valley where Scots hid their cows. And evidence that yes I am safe to hold babies

At St Mary’s Loch

What a beautiful wee Scottish loch

Playing with my camera capturing a bumblebee

I lay in the soft green loch grass for a while

The three of us. Photo credit Shelley Hassledine

Riding on a local sheep statue. It’s okay cause I’m a kiwi!

All good things come to an end though. We got off the sheep statues and left Lockerbie to head back into England getting to Leyburn later that day. Leyburn was just a quick stopover for the night with yet another one of Shelley’s mates (I swear she has more friends than me!). It was the final night of our roadtrip though which was a bit sad! But at the same time it was awfully nice to think of doing any more driving for a while..

On day twelve of the road trip, we headed back to Shelley’s home stopping in York for the afternoon.

York Minister Cathedral

One of the many cat statues. We actually did a walking tour based on these cats

Mint pea soup at my favourite restaurant – Bills

Photo credit Shelley Hassledine, Mmmmm drinks!

We finally made it back to Shelley’s house near London the next evening after a massive cream tea (my last one) followed by six hours of driving from Leyburn. Utterly exhausted but happy with such a fantastic trip to so many amazing parts of the United Kingdom. There had been a lot of laughter during the whole trip. What luck we’d had with the weather too. Only one day out of twelve had rain, which happened on a driving day meaning it didn’t matter so much. I went to sleep that night in Shelley’s bed dead tired after driving seventeen hundred miles. I was already thinking about my next adventure tomorrow. Starting with a flight to Ireland.

The open road is calling

A United Road Trip – Part 4 – The Lake District

This post is part of a series called The United Road Trip which is a 12 day roadtrip I undertook within the United Kingdom in September. You can read part 1part 2 and part 3 here.

Again it was hard to pack up and leave to continue the road trip. We’d been staying with relatives of Shelley in a small village beside the Peak District National Park, whose warm hospitality, puddings, and cosy evenings made it hard to want to leave. After sad hugs and goodbyes, we were off ready with maps and a compass for the Lake District.

We had chosen a secluded spot for our first night of camping in Wasdale Valley based on some great advice from the above rellys. It was remote and beautiful. We loved it.

Shelley getting excited

Our view entering the valley. Our campsite was right down the far end of the lake

Photo credit Shelley Hasseldine. It was my turn to drive that day. Apparently I make the peace sign when driving!

Once we’d established our campsite, it was time for a hike!

We hiked past the smallest church in England

It was quite steep hard work. We had to have regular breaks so Shelley could laugh

Some rock art and sun beams

The view at the top of the trail was AMAZING and the sense of satisfaction HIGH

Classic pose

Then it was back down to the campsite and off to the pub (only 50 metres from our tent) for a delicious dinner.

It was super hard packing up and leaving the next morning again. We both loved Wasdale Valley with its’ deepest lake, highest mountain and smallest church in England. But there were more lakes and sights to see. We took some more photos on the way out.

Our faithful steed

Moody goodbye

We had a fun drive going over Hardknot Pass after that. The road gradient is rated at 30% steepness with a rather narrow road. Good thing we had some swiss chocolate with us to ease the stress.

Eventually we arrived at our chosen campsite after visiting Beatrix Potter’s house and the Drunken Duck Inn for a pint. What a great name for a pub. I may have been a little tiddly during the tent set up. Located by Lake Windermere and Wray Castle, our campsite was literally in the woods.

The next day we hired bicycles and went to check out Lake Coniston. It was a magical day.

Photo credit Shelley Hasseldine

Photo credit Shelley Hasseldine, we went for a ride on this old steam boat around the lake

Photo credit Shelley Hasseldine, Captain Sacha

 We had to return the bikes as we’d only hired them for half a day. We figured we weren’t fit enough to handle a full day hire. But I’d forgotten how much fun cycling is and didn’t want to give my bike back to the campground! It was still early in the afternoon so we made our way to Wray Castle.

Stopping by a jetty on the way to the castle, what should we see but a pair of lovely swans

I looove swans

Another stop at a viewpoint. Shelley looks far too relaxed

Photo credit Shelley Hasseldine, A view over Lake Windermere

Finally made it to the castle!

We’d worked up an appetite by then. And I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my last English cream tea

A game of castle croquet made this day even better

We had woodfired pizzas at the campsite that night and drank red wine to celebrate our last night of camping in the Lake District.

Where we stayed (first night): A field next to Wasdale Head Inn
Price: £5 per person per night
Overall: Basic but the inn had a toliet and shower for camp use. Beautiful setting and super close to the all important pub. And no doubt much cheaper than the National Trust campsite further down the road.

Where we stayed (second and third night): Low Wray Campsite, Ambleside
Price: £18.50 per night for a small tent and 2 adult, and £5 booking fee
Overall: Run by the National Trust, this was a great campsite right on the lakeside. There were different types of pitches. We chose the coolest (woodlands), and there was a castle within walking distance. And pizza! What more could you ever want?