I am writing this in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel somewhere in the countryside near Bradford. It is our last day and it looks like being a big one. Everyone is bleary eyed and that strange combination of amused and grumpy that results from not quite enough sleep. Last night we shared the hotel with a wedding reception – lots of men with loosened ties outside smoking and women drinking cocktails with rude names, wearing shiny dresses that revealed poorly executed tattoos!! We had our dinner, packed our cases and were in bed at 10.30.
At about 2.50am, we were awakened by the screams of the fire alarms going off! We all emerged into the hallway wearing a variety of night clothes (including one woman – not with our group – who was wearing the hotel bedspread) and stood around wondering whether to evacuate or call Reception. The sirens stopped as quickly as they’d begun and with no sign of anyone official, we all went back to bed!
The wake up call at 6am was greeted less than enthusiastically and we were eventually told that one of the wedding guests had had a skinful and decided to have a bit of fun. With the police conducting interviews, we think that the fun may have been short lived.
I’ve missed a day or to so I’ll just recap. We left Edinburgh on Friday and headed South crossing the border with England and getting a glimpse of Hadrian’s Wall.
I wonder if Hadrian would have imagined Elizabeth perched atop his wall after a light lunch at the nearby pub
The weather was cool and cloudy with showers but we took advantage of the fine breaks to stretch our legs. We called in at the house once owned by Sir Walter Scott where there is the greatest collection of antiques / collectibles / junk you can imagine. Mum and I lasted long enough to see Napoleon’s pistol, some 18th century armour and several stuffed animals before we retired to the gardens and spent our time enjoying the grounds.
Sir Walter Scott’s house – part medieval castle, part 18th century manor house, part junk shop
More miles through the moors. Kept my eyes peeled for the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy by to no avail. The afternoon brought us to our hotel – near Shipley … or Bradford … or Leeds … or somewhere!
Friday saw us make the relatively short journey to York, a beautiful city of historic buildings, great tea shops and quirky corners. My photography does no justice to the proportions or the grandeur of the cathedral but, as you can see, the sky was blue.
York – the cathedral standing over the city
The streets of York are lovely and we would have liked to spend more time there. One of the pitfalls of group travel is having to move when the guide says move!
At one stage we wondered whether Phred had a passport because we’re sure we saw her on one of the roofs in York.
A grey cat disappears across the rooftops of York. Could it be …?
York has a famous tea shop called Betty’s and we availed ourselves of their wares. Yum!
Mum enjoys a small sample of what Betty’s has to offer
Outside Betty’s befriending the locals
York was followed by yet another grand house and then a drive back to our hotel.
And that brings us back to today and the trip down to London. The last dregs of Hurricane Bertha was making its presence felt and our stop at Cambridge, although lovely, was a little damp. Alison, Mum wants to know why, when you thoughtfully insisted she bring your aqua jacket, you didn’t offer her the matching gumboots! She could have used them today.
Mum enjoys the markets in Cambridge … that’s a display of local tomatoes she’s admiring
And so tonight we are happily ensconced in the Strand Palace Hotel. Dad, we have a very similar view to the one you and I enjoyed and, believe it or not, there’s an old bloke with a collection of cardboard boxes setting up for the night opposite.
Goodnight and take care. Love to you all.
M and E