Dr. Hoffer's Travel Site This site was last updated 05/05/11
UK1999 #25 Scottish Border Abbeys
From Chollerford we see one last Roman fort and head to the town of Hexham to
see their Abbey ruins and then to Corbridge to see the Roman site there. Then
south to see Warkworth Castle and northeast to the coast to visit the town of
Alnmouth at the mouth of the River Aln. We had "Tea" there and it was
We then headed north along the coast to Scotland and visited Alnwick ("Annicl") Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle and the grandest of them all, Bamburgh ("Bamboro") Castle.
We finally arrived for the night in Berwick ("Berrik")-Upon-Tweed, the last northern English town (used to be Scottish) where I preceded to smash the left front of the BMW while trying to park. We picked up the pieces and ate dinner at the hotel, the Kings Arms, reported to be the best hotel in town and slightly above the level of a dive.
Now its Sunday again and no one has any idea where a Catholic Church is or what its called. After hotel gal calls police station they think there's one up the street. After driving all over, a lady finally tells me to look for a cross above and alley. What do you know, hidden in the alley is Our Lady & St. Cuthbert Church and last Mass is just started - lucked out again!
Berwick is a dreary nothing town in our opinion so we head out to do the Scottish border Abbey tour.
Before that, however, we wanted to visit Holy Island on the North Sea, which can only driven to during low tide from 9AM-4PM (people have tried to beat the tide across the spanway and drowned in their cars for the effort). On this island is the Lindisfarne castle (lived in til 5 yrs ago and the ruins of the Lindisfarne Abbey. It is here where the monks wrote the famous Lindisfarne Gospels in the 1200s which are now housed in the British Museum in London. Very impressive to see as was the Lindisfarne Mead, a drink made by the monks from honey and still produced today. We know Dimitrii we love it so we got a bottle for him to try. We got off the island before the tide came in.
The first King of Scotland in 685 was Kenneth I and later his descendent King David I, in 1100, to fortify his southern borders, instigated and supported several grandiose abbeys, which today are all in ruins. We visited the Kelso, Jedburgh ("Jedboro"), Dryburgh ("dryboro") and Melrose abbeys and they were spectacular. Marcia said she has seen enough abbeys to last her a lifetime - she won't go to any more.
The Kodak digital camera just stopped working and I have no idea why - fresh batteries didn't help. Looks like that is the end of the pictures unless I can get it fixed.
After Marcia drove all day she makes me do the northern drive to Edinburgh ("Edinboro") and arrive (via GPS system) at the front door of the Apex hotel in the center of the city. It's chilly, dreary and damp (wish I was in Forte di Marmi). Running was not fun as it was a lot of uphill but I got to the castle. Dinner at a good Italian eatery and then to bed. We'll do a couple days here, this is the 2nd largest city in the UK and the capitol of Scotland.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #26
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
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