A few weeks ago, I was surprised with an email saying that my uncle was going to take a trip over for a few days to come and see me! He wanted to take a tour around Lancaster, as well as a trip up to Scotland.
I think it’s safe to say I was very excited. We agreed that we were interested in seeing the Lancaster Castle—I hadn’t made it there yet myself—and the Lancaster Cathedral.
The Castle is very beautiful to walk around outside of, especially on a nice spring day like Steven and I had. The grounds were well maintained, as were the walls. The Castle still works as a functioning courthouse. For that reason, any tours must be done with a guide. Our guide took us through the castle into a few select locations, telling us some of the history. One of the most interesting parts of the stories behind the Castle, were that of the Pendle Witches.
Just as the United States had the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, Lancaster had the Pemble Witches hundreds of years earlier. I recommend a quick google of them, because—and maybe it’s just me because I like geeky cool things like that…shh—they’re really quite fascinating.
The guide then took us deeper into the Castle down to the cells. He actually locked my uncle and I, as well as another family of three, into one. I have never seen darkness like I had in that cell, and Steven felt the same. We couldn’t see the hands in front of our noses. Every sound was amplified and that just made it all the more eerie. Thankfully, we all made it out in once piece and on went the day.
Steven and I enjoyed a few nice pubs. Pemble Witch —aptly named— Was one of them. We also went down to the Water Witch —Sensing a theme yet?— which was delicious as well. We tried an Italian restaurant, Bella Italia, for dinner, and it was actually quite good—we were craving pizza…I’m still craving it—and that was a great way to spend the evening.
Now, we spent an entire day in Edinburgh, Scotland. From Lancaster, it was between a two and a two and a half hour train ride, direct. We met up nice and early—twenty to seven am—and watched a few episodes of The Tudors—watch it, it’s amazing—on the train.
Unfortunately, while we were there, they were doing road construction. Apparently, they’re installing a tram service through town and the road work is taking far longer than it should. Despite that, though, the city was beautiful.
Guess what time it is? It’s time to click this link. Yes. Click these words right here. These words will take you to a few pictures of Scotland. You should click on them. With your mouse. It’ll be cool. You’ll see.
One of the most impressive things about Edinburgh was obviously the Castle. As you can probably tell from the picture, it was one imposing looking place. It loomed above the entire city with a watchful, protective, eye with all of it’s fortified glory. As Steven and I walked around, we tried to imagine laying siege to it and…we don’t think it’s very possible without many casualties and eventual failure. I suppose that’s really the point.
It was a steep walk uphill, but we made it there eventually and wandered around the grounds for ages. One thing we learned was how proud the Scottish seemed to be over their military history. Most of the buildings were dedicated to all of the military costumes and different types of weaponry. There was one monument to fallen soldiers that was particularly moving. If you ever get to Edinburgh, I suppose it goes without saying, plan a large portion of your day around the Castle because it’s really worth the time.
At 1pm every day, there is a cannon that goes off. We remembered it about five minutes to, but we eventually did find it. It’s been a tradition for a very long time for the 1pm cannon to go off, and it was exciting to watch. And loud. I may or may not have jumped and almost knocked into a small child. It’s more ‘may’ than ‘may not’. No one was harmed so who’s really keeping score?
Up next was taking a wander up and down some famous streets. The Royal Mile was the first up and it was beautiful to walk up and down. There were so many little fascinating shops and good smells emerging from cafes and restaurants. The one thing I noticed was that the city was very clean and it definitely struck me. It made everything nicer and more enjoyable in a way I can’t really describe.
Thoroughly exhausted with throbbing feet, we found a restaurant with the best gigantic, squishy, purple, chairs that Steven and I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. Maybe it was just because we were tired and hungry…but man we loved those chairs. One of us started to doze off. I won’t say who. (*coughStevencough*) What? Sorry, I have a tickle.
After we were thoroughly fed, (despite craving some ice cream), we took off for the train station. On the way, we passed a small newsagent store that advertised Magnum Ice cream bars, and I introduced heaven to my Uncle. (Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Lloyd for showing me them in the first place!) They hit the spot. They hit the spot perfectly.
We ended the trip with a train ride home with more Tudors and some napping because we were both exhausted.
It was a really, really great few days and I really can’t describe how much I enjoyed every minute of them. Travelling in foreign countries with family is a wonderful experience that allows for more bonding and memories that will never fade. Thank you so much, Uncle Steven, when you read this, for taking the time to come out and see me. It meant a tremendous amount that you could fly over here and I had a great three days that I will never forget. I hope we can take more trips like that in the future.
So there’s Scotland (with a pinch of Lancaster for flavouring) in a nutshell. I’m sure there are many more places within the city to explore, however I was only there for a day. It’s definitely a place to stop.
Coming soon will be Cardiff, Wales! Thanks for favouriting and following!