Day 14 (Edinburgh, Scotland to Askrigg, England)
This turned out to be castle day. Some were planned, some were surprises. We started down the east coast of Scotland, heading for Tantallon Castle. We found the ruined castle near the coast, and just off shore was a lighthouse built into the rock of an island. As we continued south we saw another castle just off the road. Then we went to the next planned castle, Holy Island, in northeast England.
We had read that Holy Island was accessible by a causeway at low tide. What we didn't realize was the distance. As it happened, we arrived at low tide, and started out the causeway before we actually realized we were on it. The realization came quickly, as we could see the road head right out into the water! There were signs with tide tables all along the way, and warnings not to proceed if the tide is coming in soon, as you may become engulfed in sea water.
The causeway seemed to go on forever (well, five miles, anyway), and it is difficult to describe the eerie feeling of driving on a dry roadway, right in the middle of the sea. We arrived at the island and could see the castle in the distance, again, built right into the rocks. Due to the size of the tiny community on Holy Island, you must walk to the town from an external (pay) parking area. Since we couldn't afford to spend that much time there, we took some photos and returned across the causeway.
Turning south down the coast once more, we stopped only a short time later at Alnwick Castle. This castle is wonderfully intact, and from it you can see the Holy Island castle, a few miles north.
At Newcastle we turned inland and wound our way down toward the Yorkshire Dales. Just before entering the Yorkshire Dales National Park, we headed into the town of Raby, looking for Raby Castle. We never found it, but we did find Barnard Castle, in the town of Raby, as well as another hugh and apparently intact castle, whose name we never did learn.
Entering the Dales, we found ourselves again on beautiful back roads, quite narrow, with sheep everywhere, rock walls and hedgerows. We twisted and turned across the hills and into the valleys, and on several single track roads, finally descending into Askrigg, and found our B&B,
Why Askrigg? You well might ask. Over the past several months we've been working our way through the complete DVDs of the BBC television series, "All Creatures Great and Small", by James Herriott. The scenery was so beautiful that we wanted to see it. Then we learned that many of the places used as locations for the series were in Askrigg. So it turned out our B&B was next door to the house used as "Skeldale House" (the site of the vetrinary practice), and just up the street was the Kings Arms Pub, which was "the Drovers" pub in the series. We had a very pleasant supper there one night. So, that's why we went to Askrigg.