UK Destinations 2019 - Trip Intro  - posted late March 2019

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In August '18 my wife and I asked our friends Rich & Linda if they would like to accompany us a 2+ week trip to the UK, one year later, in fall '19.

Our stated goal was to spend at least a week in England's Lake District, with the rest of the trip being a general intro tour to Scotland.  They didn't take long to acknowledge.   

Trip Overview

Our cultural destinations will be: Scottish & English Castles, Manor Houses, ruined Abbeys, homes of famous literary persons, and, an excavated Roman Fort at Hadrian's Wall.  Neolithic Stone Circles, and a very old Hanging Tree are also on the menu.

Scenic highlights are expected to occur when we explore England's Lake District, from our home base in Keswick.  The lakes & mountains in the area are beautiful and great drives & hikes lie in every direction. 

Since I've visited & driven in the UK twice before, I asked if I could plan the road trip, and the overnight stays, which was well-received.  In late September we agreed on a property to rent for a week in the Lake District, and after that, all other overnight accomodations were booked.  Once our flights were posted in early December, trip planning was complete. 

A few weeks into the new year, I started looking for public domain photos to post, for a preview. 

Why a preview? 

I wanted these photo pages to give us travelers a brief look at expected destinations.  As regards the Lake District, I wanted all of us to know that we have a smorgasbord of hiking and cultural destinations to try out, on any given day.  As you'll see, I intentionally did not try to plan out our days there, as we shall figure it out, once there. 

Having been to Glasgow & Edinburgh once before, I wanted to learn more about them, and maybe take a new look at the attractions.  Guide book research turned up the West End in Glasgow, and, New Town and Dean Village and the Waters of Leith, in Edinburgh.    

Scottish History

Knowing little about Scottish history, once our trip was on the books, I've enjoyed reading a few pertinent books, as follows: 

How the Scots Invented the Modern World, by Arthur Herman, is full of insight & great writing.  Lot of info here and I had to read it a second time.  Queen of Scots by John Guy, a terrific story-teller.  It is almost impossible to visit Scotland without crossing Mary's path, at least once, or for us on this trip, a few times.  The Bard, by Robert Crawford, about Robert Burns, was a good read. They all manage to inform & entertain.   

Hiking Resources

Both Rich & I purchased hiking trail guides to the Lake District, and, I have a few key Ordnance Survey, or OS Explorer maps, for the Lake District and the Scottish Borders areas where we'll be staying.  I had to take the scissors to them to make them more usable.  

OS maps are huge - you can't fully open one up in a car - and they are unbelievably detailed, with superb topographic info.  In a very short time, looking at these maps, it dawns on you that walking paths are everywhere.  This is one of the most marvelous aspects of both England and Scotland ! 

Source of Photos 

Nearly all photos are from Google Images, with a few from Wikipedia. Many of the Lake District photos are from Andrew Locking's website, which I highly recommend.  More on him plus a link, later....   

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Two main trip guides cited in the text:

Rick Steves SCOTLAND, 2nd Edition, 2016, pub. by Avalon Travel,

Fodor's Travel SCOTLAND, 2016, pub. by Penguin Random House, LLC.