A Travellerspoint blog

England

The last full day of our amazing trip!

We enjoyed a nice breakfast at our b&b before heading off for the day. Our first stop of the day was the TKTS booth in Leicester Square to buy theatre tickets for tonight. We chose “Woman in Black” which was recommended by Allison and Patrick. From there we caught the underground to Saint Paul’s Cathedral where we started our morning walk towards Borough Market. We viewed Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Temple Bar. Temple Bar is the only surviving 13th century Gateway into the city of London.

Then it was across Millenium Bridge where we viewed Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the Shard. We stopped for our morning coffee as we neared Borough Market. Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest markets, with a market on that same site dating back to the 12th century. We enjoyed wandering through the busy market area trying different foods.

We then continued our walk towards the River Thames and Tower Bridge. Around mid afternoon we caught the tube back to our b&b to start organizing our suitcases for our flight back to Canada. In the evening we enjoyed the theatre production of “Woman in Black”.

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Temple Bar
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Saint Paul’s Cathedral
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Millennium Bridge and Saint Paul’s Cathedral
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Jim on Millennium Bridge
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Borough Market
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Borough Market
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Along the River Thames
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Tower of London

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Tower Bridge

Posted by Jimpat 10:57 Comments (0)

England

Off to London

Today we left Scotland and headed back to spend the last two nights of our fabulous trip in London. We caught a train from Glasgow which took us back to London in less then five hours. It was a relaxing trip and a nice break for Jim from driving.

We dropped our bags at our London B&B and had a bit of a rest before heading out for dinner. Jim found a Thai restaurant online near Victoria Station so we headed there. After dinner we stopped at a pub for a drink before heading back to our B&B.

Posted by Jimpat 08:50 Comments (0)

Scotland

Our last full day in Scotland

In the morning we walked to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This is housed in a beautiful sandstone building. There is quite an eclectic,is of exhibits, from Ancient Egypt, to Canadian wildlife, to original artworks including a Salvador Dali original.

We stopped for a quick lunch on our way back to our apartment, in an up-and-coming neighbourhood called Finnieston. Glasgow is an interesting city - there are many old derelict buildings, many new buildings, and much construction. All of this is interspersed, and gives a rather “down-at-heel” impression. We were also struck by the Scottish accents here - much more pronounced than we had heard elsewhere in Scotland.

In the late afternoon, we were picked up at our apartment by two gentlemen, George and John Dunwoodie, that Jim has recently learned are his cousins. Jim’s great-grandmother was a Dunwoodie, from Barrhead, near Glasgow. George and John graciously volunteered to show us around Glasgow and Barrhead.

We headed out through pretty countryside toward Barrhead, and learned about the former industrial greatness of this area, formerly home to cotton mills, leather works, shipbuilding works, and more. It seems that this area was once rich by virtue of being a corner of the infamous triangle that traded goods from the UK to Africa, transported slaves to the US, and brought raw materials to Scotland for processing. Nowadays all of these industries are gone.

In Barrhead, we saw places where Jim’s Dunwoodie ancestors lived and worked. We also saw the street where their homes had been destroyed by bombs dropped by the Germans during WWII.

We stopped at the home of the aunt of George and John, and enjoyed afternoon tea. Later, on our way back to Glasgow, we visited the estate of the Stirling-Maxwell’s, a branch of the once-powerful Maxwell clan.
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
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George and John Dunwoodie
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Stirling Maxwell estate
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Pollok Country park
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Stirling Maxwell estate

Posted by Jimpat 08:48 Comments (0)

Scotland

Off to Glasgow

Today we are off to Glasgow for our last stop on our wonderful tour throughout Scotland. We started our morning at Kilmartin Glen to view the most important concentration of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in mainland Scotland. The setting was beautiful as we walked through a pasture area to view the remains of the Nether Largie cairns, the Nether Largie Standing Stones and the Templewood Stone Circles. Some of these remains date back five thousand years.

Once back on the road and enjoying our scenic drive we stopped in Inveraray for our morning coffee. Then it was back in the car heading towards Glasgow passing Loch Lomond, an area designated as a National Park for its epic splendour. Unfortunately, as we drove through it was overcast and raining lightly. Loch Lomond is also considered the boundary between the lowlands of Central Scotland and Highlands.

Once in Glasgow we settled into the apartment where we’ll spend our last two nights in Scotland. After a nice dinner out we walked around the city centre of Glasgow and took in some of its beautiful 19th-century Victorian architecture and wall art.

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Nether Largie standing Stones
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One of the Templewood Stone Circles
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Lovely old building
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The Duke of Wellington statue in all his glory, cone and all — a true testament to the incorrigible Glaswegian sense of humour.

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Lovely old buildings
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Wall art
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Wall art

Posted by Jimpat 07:29 Comments (0)

Scotland

Glencoe

This morning we headed north to Glencoe.

En route we stopped to take photos of the offshore Castle Stalker. This was the filming location for the final scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

From Glencoe village, we drove partway along beautiful Loch Leven. Then we proceeded east along the Glencoe valley, and stopped across from the Three Sisters peaks. We hiked up the beginning of the Aonach Eagach Ridge Trail, where we had spectacular views across to the Three Sisters, and up and down the valley. We could hear the strains of a bagpiper busking at one of the laybys along the highway, which added to the mood of this beautiful spot.

We continued east, and entered the Glen Etive, a valley going south. We drove down this beautiful valley about 15km, enjoying lovely views at each turn. Parts of the valleys are cloaked in bright purple rhododendrons, making the scenery even more lovely.

We returned to the Glencoe highway, and continued across the Rannoch Moor. We then turned west along a one-lane track that followed the pretty River Orchy.

We stopped at a pub on Loch Awe for a pint. While there, we learned of nearby Kilchurn Castle, so we backtracked to visit. Kilchurn Castle was built by the Campbell Clan in the 15th Century, and its remains are quit impressive.

We returned to Oban for another lovely dinner.

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Castle Stalker
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Castle Stalker
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Three Sisters peaks in the Glencoe Valley
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Glencoe valley
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The stunning highlands of Scotland
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Jim checking out the view
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Pat relaxing while enjoying the view
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The stunning highlands of Scotland
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The stunning highlands of Scotland
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The stunning highlands of Scotland
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The picturesque Scottish Highlands in Glen Etive Valley
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Beautiful purple rhododendrons surround the lake
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So pretty!
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So many lovely views along our drive
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A river we stopped beside
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Impressive Kilchurn Castle
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Kilchurn Castle
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Kilchurn Castle
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More highland cattle
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I love the hairstyle!

Posted by Jimpat 12:42 Comments (0)

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