The Grand Tour of Scotland and the North

Our last big trip of our UK
sojourn took us up to Scotland,
on the way visiting more old (i.e. long-standing) friends and relatives. On the
day before we set off we had a visit from Ian’s sister Maggi and her son Tony,
who has just graduated from Birmingham
University with a 2.1 in civil
engineering. The graduation was later that week, and Maggi had come over from Spain
to be the proud mother at the ceremony.

We set off on Monday 13th
July, driving up the M40 with a stop in Leamington Spa for lunch and a look
round. We stayed overnight in Wolverhampton with Robert
and Teresa – Robert is a university friend of Ian, and is now a Methodist
minister. From there we drove up the M6, with a stop over at Morecambe for lunch.
We reached Glasgow that evening and
spent 3 nights in a hotel in the western suburbs, in order to visit Ian’s Aunt Margie,
who is now 89 but still in good fettle. For the next two days we took her out
in the car, travelling through the Trossachs and past Loch Lomond,
including a boat trip on the loch. The weather was rather showery, but Aunt Margie
enjoyed getting out to many of her old haunts, with frequent stops at pubs and
tea rooms.

 

On the Friday we headed back
south, through steady rain. We detoured through the Lake District,
with stops at Penrith and Bowness-on-Windermere, and with an atmospheric drive
past Ullswater and over the Kirkstone
Pass. Eventually we reached Manchester,
and stayed three nights in an Ibis Hotel in the city centre, visiting Paul and
Rosie. On Saturday the four of us drove down the M6 to Stafford,
to meet Claire who drove up for the day with Charlie in order to spend time
with us. We had a good look round the town, including lunch in a nice pub and a
pleasant evening meal in a tapas bar.

 

On Sunday the four of us drove
into Yorkshire to meet Rosie’s mother, who took us up
Ilkley Moor (bar t’at) to lunch at the Cow and Calf pub. This is named after an
interesting rock formation on the moor, which we explored after lunch.

 

On Monday 20th we left Manchester (the weather improved immediately) and headed back
down the M6 once more. We stopped at
Redditch to have lunch with more friends – Sandie’s university
friend Jenny and husband David, who gave us a nice meal and listened politely
to our adventures. Then it was back to Wycombe, after a week’s tour of the
country visiting a variety of towns and meeting friends and relatives. During
our four months in the
UK we’ve seen more of our friends and relatives than in
any two previous years.

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