Showing posts from May, 2009

Hadrian's Wall

Today we meandered around the very historic Hadrian's Wall as we made our way back into Northern England. We stopped at several scenic locations during the day and even had time to take in a amazing old church from back in the 1200's. Most of the church was destroyed, like so many others, during King Henry VIII's time of destroying the Catholic Churches in Britain, but most of this priory remains in tact today, restored to it's former glory (mostly) just over 200 years ago...WOW! 200 years now really doesn't seem very long when you consider the age of most of the historical things we have seen here.

After admiring the Priory for some time we stopped to enjoy our sandwiches for lunch before stopping at a tea house for a coffee/hot chocolate break. We then headed back to the car and followed the wall right across the cost (on the Southern side) until we reached Durham where we will now spend the night before rising early tomorrow to head back to Waterl…

Stirling Castle

What trip to Southern Scotland would be complete without a trip to Stirling to see Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument? Certainly not this one.
Jean decided to stay at the campground for a much needed rest today while we took Carol on a trip to Stirling with us. We headed off nice and early to make the most of the sunshine which so gracefully presented itself to us yet again (who said Scotland is always raining?). It was raining most of last week but has been nothing short of perfect (aside from the very strong winds) since our first morning. What more can eager travellers ask for?
On the way to Stirling we stopped at Linlithgow Palace, birth place of James V and Mary Queen of Scots. Linlithgow Palace is now not much more than a shell of it's former self, but the remains are so beautifully preserved that you are able to get a full feeling of what it may have been like all those hundreds of years ago. Like Edinburg Castle it is perched high on a hill. The main difference here i…

Edinburg Castle & The Puffins

This morning we set out in search for the history surrounding Mary Queen of Scots. We headed off to Edinburg to find the most amazing city surrounded by historic buildings like those spotted in Europe…gothic spires, large irregular brickwork…and then, on top of a huge hill…the castle!

We parked the car and started to walk up the road in the direction of the castle until we all game to a grinding halt when we discovered the sheer enormity of the hill slope we had to climb. Not bad at all for most of us…but there was no way we would be able to get Nanny up there. Luckily for us there we some really nice Scottish Police Officers standing around their cars and wagon at the bottom of the hill where we stopped for Nan. They phoned around for a mobility scooter for her to no avail but, in the end, she got her own personal police escort up to the castle.

Once there we were greeted with the sight of an extraordinary castle perched high on the hill, surrounded by massive walls. How the English ev…

The long road ahead......Scotland, here we come!

Yesterday Carol (Matt's mum) and Jean (Matt's Nan) arrived from Australia for their very own European Experience. Determined to help them see as many countries as possible (and to continue fulfilling our own list of places visited), we set off this morning on the latest adventure in the Episodes of The Bergman Travel Tour.

On the way we stopped at the very historical town of Statford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespear. William Shakespear, one of the most famous playwrites of all times, was born on the 26th of April 1564 to a small farming family. It was here in the forests of Stratford area that William was inspired to created most of his, now very famous, plays. He later died in London, after a rather frivolous night of partying, on his birthday in 1616....just goes to show that you can have too much of a good thing.

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a beautiful old town, in the heart of Warwickshire, litterred with houses from Shakespears own era. Many of the buildings are white…

Southsea Castle, Portsmouth

More history of the Maritime and Castle variety today. We set off to Southsea Castlein Portsmouth.

After the boys finished rolling down the lush green hills that we saw on our first visit to Southsea Castle (back before it was open for the season) we walked the walls of this ancient castle, dating back to the days of King Hentry VIII. Once inside we stopped at a display being held by local archiologists. We got to see relics recovered from the many ships that line the walls of Port Solent in Porstmouth. The boys even got to do a facial reconstruction with clay and plastic skulls while one archiologist told us of the thousands of wrecks that line the order of their era from bottom to top. We then listened to a story teller as he dramatically told the story about a ghostly Monk (not a true tale).

Next we ventured into the tunnels that helped soldiers protect the castle from invasion, before climbing the spiral staircase to the keep, from where it is believed that King Henry VI…

Celebration of STEAM - the Portsmouth way!

For those who don't already know, Portsmouth is home to the very Historic Dockyards that house the famous HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and what remains of Henry VIII's beloved Mary Rose. Once a year the everyday activities at the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth come to a grounding halt as the staff and visitors clamber around for the 'Celebration of STEAM'. Just for this weekend the dockyards are filled with what can only be described as a historic fair. Trevor the Traction Engine can be spotted along with many other steam driven machines from a long gone era. Along the promenade you will find steam wagons, miniature steam rides, saw bench displays, model boat and railway exhibitions, fairground attractions and, of course, over priced food.

It cost us all of £36 in total to get in...this is cheaper than usual and includes all the regular attractions + the extra celebratory displays...great value!

The boys were excited to finally get on board the historic vessels. They got t…

'The Great Battle'....history of the most eerie kind!

This morning we set off on a 2 hour drive across to 'Battle' in search for history surrounding the date of one of the most significant battles in the history of England - October 14, 1066. This battle, where William the Conqueror found his way onto the English shore and defeated King Harold of England, is known very famously as 'The Battle of Hastings'.

We were surprised to discover, when planning our trip, that it was not actually the heart of Hastings where this battle ensued. The place where this battle was fought is actually named 'Battle' and is 7 miles north of Hastings itself.

As you approach the car park for the Battlefield you are instantly drawn to the enormous fortress of the 'Great Gatehouse', rebuilt in about 1338. The brick work, like so many of these old English Heritage buildings, looks like something out of a medievil film, with large, irregular bricks that have stood for centuries and, yet, still look so imposingly strong....amazing!