Britain 2011 - Day 22


First job today was to find the airport and deal with Mr Budget. That was easier than we thought, but as expected the pushy person from Heathrow had not made any arrangements, so the poor guy at Edinburgh had to sort it out. He apologied profusely that he did not have a car of the same class, and that he would have to upgrade us to a nice new Alfa Romeo. We were in no position to refuse, so off we went in the Italian beauty. (Nice looks, nice engine, but awful interior design - nowhere to put anything, especially my sunglasses. And it had this awful habit of shutting the engine down when stopped at traffic lights - saves fuel apparently.)

Getting into Edinburgh was a mission. The central city roads are all being dug up to lay new tram lines. Eventually we found the carpark near the Castle and walked down the Royal Mile to John Knox house. From there back to St Giles Cathedral for a look and lunch, then we headed off on a longish drive south to Whitby. Getting out of Edinburgh was also a mission, with roads dug up. But we found the A68 by chance and headed south, onto the A697 through to Newcastle and then over the Yorkshire Moors to Whitby.

Edinburgh - John Knox House

On our previous visit to Edinburgh we had walked down the Royal Mile but did not have enough time to visit John Knox House. So this time we were able to have a good look. It is a wonderflly preserved old building, dating from 1470. It is now home to the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Knox Museum.

Edinburgh Castle on top of Arthur's Seat.
The Castle.
Looking down the Royal Mile
Past various buildings....
and taxis lined up.
More of the Mile.
And then John Knox House
It has various symbols and deities on the wall....
as well as carved story boards around the door.
The view from the upper window
Neighbouring buildings.

Edinburgh - St Giles Cathedral

St Giles is an enomous cathedral. It is the "mother" church for all of the Church of Scotland. They charged a modest entry fee, and rather than ban photography as some other churches do, they asked camera-toting people to buy a licence (in lieu of buying postcards I suppose). Canny Scots. After a wander around, we went downstairs to find their small cafe. I had found good reviews about it, and sure enough they did good coffee and exellent food - all at a very reasonable price. We decided that the cafe here was much better value than the huge affair under St Pauls in London.

The entrance to St Giles
Going up the steps.
The huge interior.
Part of the ceiling
The ceiling in one of the chapels.
More of the ornate ceiling.
The organ.
Statue of John Knox.
Part of the outer walls
The spire and bell tower.
Returning past the Castle and the terrace seating being dismantled - another tourist season over.
And through the markets on the carpark.

Scott's View and the Wallace Statue

A little south of Edinburgh above the River Tweed we saw the signs pointing to Scott's View and the Wallace Statue. We decided to investigate, despite the cloud having settled in and light rain about.

Scott's View, through the mist..
Looking down on the River Tweed.
Further along the ridge is the Wallace Statue.
The car park..
The story board.
The walk through the trees..
And then the red sandstone base appears.
Suddenly the full statue is in sight.
William Wallace, carved in 1814.
In front of him is this urn.
The inscription to Wallace.
The view he is looking at.
Then the walk back through the trees....
To the car park..

The Border and on to Whitby

We continued south and east, crossing over the border into England. This was our third crossing at this point, and every time it has been cold, windy and damp. Then on to Whitby, where we found the place full of people, on the last fine weekend of the summer. Car parks were scarce, but I managed to find one close to the B&B. By next morning I was able to bring the car around in front of our B&B. We booked into Hudsons B&B at 30 Hudson St. Half the houses in the street were B&B-type establishments. Our one had been recently renovated. Even though we had quite a small room on the top floor, it was built to a high standard and we were very pleased with our stay. It was only a short walk from there to the quayside in Whitby.

Across the moors towards Whitby.
The last of the sun.
Our fancy Alfa in front of the B&B.
We had the top room on the right..

After setting into the B&B we walked down the hill to the town. It was Saturday night after a rare fine warm day in late summer. The sun had brought thousands of people to Whitby and they were all milling around the town. Many were still dressed in their beach atttire, displayinga large acreage of fine English flesh that was showing signs of a rare day in the sun. There would be a few sore bodies at work (or home sick) the next day. After walking all through the town looking at eating places overflowing with diners, and streets full of people scoffing takeaway Fish and Chips (no burgers to be seen in this place) we decided to join the queue outside the door of the Magpie Cafe. This is regarded as one of the best Fish and Chip shops in Britain. We waited about 20 minutes and then we were shown to a table upstairs. They have an extensive menu of fish and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Best in the world? - possibly, but try to avoid a crowded Saturday night in late summer!

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Last updated: 19/06/2017