This article was written for us by a retired Australian couple who visited Britian and Ireland on a Great British Trip this summer. They created a self-drive tailor made tour with us and visited England, Ireland and Scotland.After driving over 3000 miles around Britain and Ireland we have a lot of memories but a few places stand out for various reasons - an enduring memory will be of the green countryside - trees bursting into leaf, flowers, rock walls and the carpets of bluebells underneath the trees. We both really enjoyed our visit to Bath - a beautiful city with its abundance of creamy gold Georgian buildings, cobbled streets and of course the remains of the Roman baths.
Killarney proved to be a friendly and inviting stop - great pubs, great food and great Irish entertainment. The Ring of Kerry provided a look at the diverse landscapes within this quite small area but I am glad we took a tour and I was not the driver! Muckross House and gardens were definitely worth a visit - the gardens beautiful in late May when we were there. Ross Castle was an insight into how people lived in bygone days. A great area to visit with lots to do and see and our 3 days there was not quite enough.
The Orkneys - a very different landscape, quite bleak but with its own attraction, and so much history. Skara Brae would have to be the highlight here - incredible that this "village" was buried so long and was so well preserved. Earls palace, the round kirk, the Ring of Brodgar and the Italian church also well worth the visit. For those interested in a wee dram the distillery is open for tours and purchases!
One of our favourites was Edinburgh - easy to get around and lots to see and do. We also enjoyed one of the best meals of our trip in this fair city at a restaurant "the angel with bagpipes". Very easy to fill in the days with visits to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Brittania , Holyrood House and abbey and the beautiful grounds and if that was not enough lots of souvenir shops to browse in. We used the hop-on, hop-off bus to get around to attractions and public transport from our accommodation to the centre of the city - relatively cheap and very reliable.
Durham and surrounding area remains one of the highlights of our trip for a number of reasons - the towns and villages in the area, particularly Holmside where our accommodation was located - a lovely quiet place ,where we could watch birds eating as we enjoyed our breakfast - these included our first sighting of a woodpecker. Lanchester for the great pub food, Durham Cathedral - what a magnificent building, the great supporting columns and vaulted roof absolutely awe inspiring! This was also the area where Terrys father was born in 1912 and where we were able to see the house he first lived in all those years ago.
The Lakes District was a beautiful place to visit - a place of great natural beauty with some amazing scenery to feast the eyes upon. Vistas of green pastures, steep mountains, valleys, tumbled rocks, waterfalls and of course the lakes - great bodies of tranquil water. Very easy to see how Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter were inspired by this area. Windermere was an inviting town with many places to dine. We took a tour of the area with one of the local companies and saw many of the areas highlights in a day without having to worry about driving! we were able to concentrate on what there was to see while someone else concentrated on the road!
Anne Hathaway's cottage in Stratford was a delightful place to visit - a combination of history and beauty. To see and visit a thatched cottage was a treat and the gardens, with all the spring blooms added to the atmosphere and experience. Just to sit' and survey the gardens was good for them soul.
These were places we really enjoyed, but we must admit there wasn't a lot we didn't enjoy - except perhaps the narrow roads we encountered lined with hedges or rock walls!
By Julia and Terry Handcock, Australia
Date: 2017-11-28 13:17:20