Saturday, June 20, 2009

Adventures Abroad, Day 5

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Langley Castle and took a tour of the castle. This is a fat knight.

We went up on the roof of the castle, toured the chapel and were even allowed up to the top of the towers! The staircases were VERY tiny.

The view was beautiful!

We caught the train into Newcastle and hired a car for the afternoon (not in our original plan, but everyone told us we needed to drive up the coast). We would have preferred to do it the next day when we had a full day, but it was calling for rain. We rented a new Peugot. It only had eight miles on it! John did a fabulous job driving on the "wrong" side of the road. We bought a fantastic road map for just two pounds (see it on the roof of the car?). Later we realized that that's exactly where we left it...oops!

We decided to drive all the way up to Edinburgh. We didn't make it that far, but we did make it into Scotland.

We stopped off to see Ayton Castle. It wasn't open. This is the front gate, though. It makes me think that it would have been awesome!

Then we found the Belhaven Brewery. Which unfortunately, only does brewery tours two days/week. And not the day that we were there. :-(

We stopped off in Dunbar, Scotland and had a pint and some lunch. The seafood was fantastic right there on the sea.

We continued our drive down the coast and stopped off at Berwick-upon-Tweed. There was an old fort there, and just beyond, a breathtaking beach with cliffs on the North Sea. We spent at least an hour or so tooling around on the beach picking up seashells.

After dragging ourselves away from the view, we stopped at Alnwick Castle, which too, was closed by this time. Of course. What a neat place though! On the grounds is the largest treehouse in Europe, a huge garden, and the castle, which has been used to film various movies, including some Harry Potter scenes! There's also a little town surrounding it, with shops, pubs, and B&B's. It'd be a wonderful place for a family vacation for a few days and nights.

Grudgingly, we returned to Newcastle to check into our hotel for the next two nights. It was ok, but the gentleman working there was terrible at giving driving directions, especially to two Americans who had NO idea where that part of town was located. Frustrating!

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