Castle Leod, Scotland

  I never need an excuse to explore a castle.  So, making the trip North to the Scottish Highlands to visit Castle Leod, was no hardship.  And, in the case of Castle Leod, we had another reason to visit – Castle Leod is the seat of Clan MacKenzie – and my partner is part of…

Read More

Finchale Priory, Northern England

  Finchale Priory in County Durham, Northern England has a long and interesting history – and it is incredibly beautiful to explore.  What started out as a tiny hermitage, turned into a magnificent priory and even a holiday home for monks. It is here, in the crook of the River Wear, amongst leafy trees and…

Read More

Gastronomic Experience in a Smuggler’s Cave

  Carved into the 112-foot cliffs towering over Marsden beach, is arguably Britain’s most unusual restaurant. And the history of these caves is as turbulent as the North Sea washing onto the pebbled beach. With characters such as “Jack the Blaster” and “Peter the Hermit” – and a smuggler’s ghost to boot – the stories around…

Read More

Hylton Castle, Sunderland

  Robert Skelton was executed because he overslept.  And so, he became the “Cauld Lad of Hylton” – a ghost said to haunt Hylton Castle.  Or, at least, so the story goes. Robert was a stable boy at Hylton Castle and his master, the 13th Baron Hylton had ordered him to prepare his horse for…

Read More

Dutch National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam

  “Water Connects Worlds” – A great motto for a maritime museum.  And, if you think about it, it is very true.  The Dutch have been pioneers in international trade and seafaring throughout the Middle Ages.  And Amsterdam was often right in the middle of it all.  So, I thought I had better learn more…

Read More

Old St Mungo’s Church, Penicuik

  Almost hidden behind the current St Mungo’s Church stands the ruins of the old, original church of the same name.  It is surrounded by the most tranquil churchyard I have ever had the pleasure to explore – and I spotted a little deer on the other side of the fence too! 🥰   History…

Read More

Uttershill Castle, Scotland

  With spectacular views over the little town of Penicuik and the Pentland Hills to the North and West, Uttershill Castle stands atop a rocky hill beside the B6372.   It was pretty easy to find – Castle ruins tend to stand out against the landscape, even from a distance.  Parking our vehicle was less…

Read More

St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh

  From a Leper Hospital to violent riots to today’s popular visitor attraction, St Giles’ Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile covers it all.  Steeped in rich history and magnificent architecture, St Giles’ is a must-see for every heritage tourist.   In The Beginning   It is believed that the site where St Giles is located…

Read More

York’s Medieval Defensive Walls

  Arriving in the city of York by railway, one of the first things one sees is a section of the magnificent Medieval Defensive Walls.  These walls are still as impressive and solid as they must have been in the days when its purpose was the defence of the city.   Planning a Tour of…

Read More

York Minster Chapter House

  Friday the 13th has always been deemed unlucky.  Well, certainly since October 1307.  On this day – Friday 13 October 1307 – all members of the Knights Templar in France were arrested and subsequently condemned to death.   This was the beginning of a Europe-wide persecution of the Order of the Knights Templar.  This…

Read More