Sunday, 28 May 2023

Heading north then west

Our trip is certainly even less than a once over lightly of the areas we are traversing. There are others who travel and record far more comprehensively than we do: Ian and Irene, Bernice and Roy Vannini, Robin and Jenny Benton. For better descriptive detail and more comprehensive info, please check out their blogs: Free Spirit, The Vanninis' Manoeuvres, and Romany Rambler.

Whitby Abbey was pretty stunning. You can read about it here.

MB almost dwarfing the abbey - yeah right ...

Stick firmly in hand 😏
You can still see the intricacy of the stone work even after all the weathering of the last 5 centuries.

Whitby Bay
Now that looks spooky ...


That night, after a day of heading towards the west, we stayed at a Britstop site - in the carpark behind the Dyvels Inn at Corbridge. Once we had parked up in the far corner of the pub carpark, we had a walk around before dinner.

One of those lovely bridges with angled pieces originally for pedestrians to get out of the way of coaches, I think.
I was impressed that, even though the stones underneath had been removed, the top of the wall remained intact!

In the dining room of the pub was this photo
And beside it was this 👍👏💚

Custard must not be wasted! We had shared a piece of ginger cake with the custard served in a jug - I could not possibly leave any custard in it!

Housesteads is a Roman fort built straddling Hadrian's Wall. You can read about it here When we lived in Church Enstone we made a couple of visits to Chedworth, the site of a Roman villa. Some of the information was common to both sites, but the fort was far more extensive. Definitely worth a visit.

It's about half a mile from the parking area. We had fortified ourselves with breakfast in the cafe first. David had soup, I had a scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream. We got a cauliflower and chickpea pasty for later. David said the soup was the best 'not made at home' he'd ever had. High praise indeed!

Northumbria has beautiful expansive views

The fort's well

Who are these people? They keep showing up!

Hadrian's Wall stretching into the distance from the north east corner of the fort. This is not the full height of the wall - apparently both the fort and the wall had stone blocks removed for local building - stone walls, buildings etc.

An outer wall of the fort. It was built on a fairly substantial slope, and had expansive views - the full 360 deg.

I was interested that the pillars at the fort appeared to be built of large cylinders of stone whereas those at Whitby Abbey were of smaller circular blocks - different stone, different geological areas.

Pediments in situ


Overall the Housesteads Roman Fort is a very impressive place to be and it has been really well curated by English Heritage. There were a couple of school groups there at the same time as us, and their guide (dressed as a Roam legionary) impressed them by showing them the latrines - and having them stand on the toilet surrounds without telling them what they were first ... 👍😜


Eiron and Donna said...

Evening Marilyn and David.
We have waited for this update to say it was wonderful to meet you in the midst of the abbey ! You certainly have a wonderful life and were a lovely couple. After chatting we parted company but not without heeding your advice.
Yes we did park by the church in Robin Hoods Bay and walk down.
Yes we did do the Wall Walk in York.
Yes we did look up Black Prince Holidays.
Once again it was lovely to meet you and doesnt my wife have a lovely shoulder in one of your photos lol
Take care and all the best.
Eiron and Donna

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Eiron and Donna, It was lovely to meet and chat with you too! And yes, Donna's shoulder is lovely!
I'm glad you followed instructions. Well done and have you booked with Black Prince yet?
If you'd like a couple of days tryout onboard nb Waka Huia, email me ( and let's see if we can find a time that works for you both to join us for a taster. Of course it will require that you travel to us wherever we happen to be - we don't run to a schedule or particular planned route ...
Marilyn and David

Eiron and Donna said...

Marilyn that's a wonderful offer and thank you. We couldn't possibly intrude on your life but once again thank you for the thought. After the lovely break in yorkshire we are now focused on preparing our daughters wedding later this year !
We will continue to watch Narrowboat life vicariously but you never know I may one day operate a lock, hold a tiller or brew a coffee ( I only mention the last one after buying a truly horrendous cup of coffee from a narrowboat in the Basin of Stratford upon Avon on the way home. )
Both of you take care

Jenny said...

Whitby Abbey ruins look stunning. Guess this was yet another victim to Henry VIIIs pillage of 800 churches and monasteries to get his greedy hands on their wealth?

Diane Nattrass said...

Oh I can almost smell Scotland from where you are in these photos Marilyn :-).......I remember going to Vindolanda to the Roman Fort and Hadrian's Wall with school back in the day, and I went with Luke as well once. I don't think we ever went to Housesteads though.......I've heard of it......enjoy......give the famalam a cuddle from us and Scotland a kiss for me! :-) much love.....I think Luke is planning to do the jobs at your place this weekend XX

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Jenny,
I think his other motivation was to be able to divorce his first wife - that required invoking the divine right of kings and making the pope NOT the head of any church in England. Hence the Anglican church was born, I gather, and the RC structures (physical and religious) destroyed wherever possible.

It was wonderful seeing the family, and I know you will be loving Bevan and Mads' photos - I bet they have been to see your mum and dad too!

We thought of you often while we were up in your neck of the woods, darling!