Sunday, May 28, 2023

Holiday Highlights

All too soon, our sojourn in the UK will draw to a close.  It has been a whirlwind of time with cherished family and friends, sprinkled with new experiences.   I hope you enjoy these highlights!  

We rarely fail to fit hiking into our holiday, and this trip was no exception.  Some walks were short strolls; others offered a bit more challenge for a variety of reasons.  Beginning at the end (why not?), a few days ago we climbed 3,000 feet in a little more than 4 miles to scale the tallest mountain in England, Scafell Pike.  I was suffering from congestion that day, and it was a push to complete the final mile or so on very rocky terrain.  But our smiles say "We did it!"

Below, Spousal Unit on a bridge near the beginning of the hike.

Can you see the red arrow in the picture below?  That is our destination!!!

Scenes along the way.


(By the way, Spousal Unit has done this hike one time before - the day that Charles and Diana were married - July 29, 1981.  He hiked it with his father and one other family friend.) 

The day after arriving in the UK, we completed a short walk along the River Tees.  Rain was threatening, so we took in two waterfalls and then retreated to the cafe for coffee and cake while the rain lashed the windows.


After the pandemic, we started a new tradition with my in-laws: each time we visit, the four of us go away for a week or so to some part of the UK.  You can read about a couple of those trips (November 2021 - Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5); April 2022 - Post 1, Post 2Post 3).  A mental note for me - check that I have finished both of those trips, and start posting about the October 2022 trip!!!

This year, we went to the Isle of Skye.  Connected to Scotland's northwest coast by bridge, it is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles.  The largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, it has an indented coastline of peninsulas and narrow lochs, radiating out from a mountainous interior.  

It is such a long drive to get there that we stopped for our first night in the village of Dunblane, hometown of tennis champ Andy Murray.  Nearby is Stirling Castle, famous for the Stirling Heads.  

The Stirling Heads, displayed on the ceiling of the King's Chamber, declared King James V's status as a European monarch.  They proclaimed his royal bloodline, his powerful connections, his fashionable court and his aspiration to be a wise and virtuous ruler.  As one of the docents said, "It was his Instagram!"

The pictures to the right and above show hand-carved and painted copies of the originals.  When the ceiling collapsed in 1777, the originals went to the four winds, and have since been painstakingly re-collected.  Many of them can be seen at a special display in Stirling Castle - check out an example below.

The picture to the left does a poor job of demonstrating the scale of these "medallions" - each one is a little more than three feet wide (a meter), and was hand-carved from 16th century oak.

Check back next week for a post about our time on the Isle of Skye!


Linking to Leeanna's Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday.  Prompt for June 1: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream at the moment?  Who makes it?  Soft serve or dipped?  Do you buy it in the huge box or a pint at a time? 

My favorite does not waver - mint chocolate chip.  I don't have a preferred brand, and we don't buy it for home consumption - not because I am worried about calorie count - we just don't generally tend to sweet snacks or desserts - we much prefer salty snacks.  Ice cream (dipped almost always) is a treat when we are out for the day and the conditions are right - hot and sunny, or any day at the seaside!

Linking to Mosaic Monday


  1.'s easy to see who so many building in the UK are built with stone! Beautiful scenes, thanks for sharing them.

  2. Hello,
    Wow, that is some hike, at first I did not see the little red arrow. The scenery is beautiful, love the river and waterfall views and the wildflowers. I will look forward to seeing the Isle of Skye! Beautiful photos! Have a wonderful week!

  3. I love tagging along with you on your journeys! I had no idea there was such a peak in England - the views along the way are gorgeous.

  4. my hiking days are gone. I enjoyed yours, though

  5. What a wonderful getaway, everything looks so wonderful. Have a safe journey back home.

  6. Dear Angie – I love the short walk along the River Tee, feeling fresh and comfortable through senses. I had thought mountains in Britain were much easier to climb compared to the ones in the mountainous country of mine. But the last rocky part was out of my imagination - you did it despite not-so-good health condition.

  7. I live vicariously through you, Angie, as you conquer your hiking trips. =) How fabulous for you to once again enjoy the splendour of the UK with your family.

  8. Wonderful scenery and a great vacation.

    God bless.

  9. Thank you for sharing these wonderful holiday highlights.
    Beautiful scenery and so lovely to spend time with family, it is just so special.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  10. How nice to go on big adventures while you are visiting. I love seeing photos of the flowers and views you photograph on your hikes! WOW!

  11. I no longer hike but enjoyed going with you virtually. Love the wild garlic and peaks. It's a wonderful tradition to go somewhere with family.

  12. Hubby missed the big wedding? So did we. And the Coronation and we had to watch highlights on Greek News with subtitles. What a great two weeks we had!

  13. Thank you for sharing with

    Indeed, Angie, that's a good idea. Walking with the Family.

    Hugs by Heidrun

  14. Congratulations on completing the hike while suffering with congestion! Such beauty to enjoy.
    The Isle of Skye is associated with so much history and romance. It's a place I'd love to visit one day. Thanks for taking us along on your jaunt!

  15. The pictures of the hikes and landscapes are stunning. And I'm with you on the mint chocolate chip ice cream - always a favorite!

  16. Recently we started hiking at lot in the UK too, and loved every bit of it. Gorgeous photo, Angie! I am so glad you are having such a great time. Coffee and cake after a day outdoors is just perfect. Safe journey back home.


  17. enjoy to read your "report" of your travel.... enrich my knowledge...
    thank you for sharing your beautiful photos....

  18. Just wonderful photos! You have really had a wonderful visit! Wishing you a grand weekend! Cathy

  19. What a beautiful post, Angie. I enjoyed reading it and also your lovely accompanying photos. How fortunate to visit such an interesting place. Imagine the size of those carvings. And what a nice tradition with the in laws to visit somewhere when you are there.

  20. Beautiful pictures! It's nice to see you hiking again. I enjoyed reading about your hikes in Montana .

  21. I just wrote a LONG comment, and gulp! google disappeared it like if often does, while i'm writing. Let's see, synopsis, sorry... great trip and photos, wish I was there what a dream. Mint choco chip is the running fave of flavors in our group so far, and did you have any time travel tugs along the way in Isle of Skye?

  22. Can't believe how late I am on commenting here on this post. How marvelous that you could have another lovely trip to the UK to catch up with your family and friends. Hikers at heart for sure. Well done in getting to the top and enjoying the views.

  23. You did it indeed! Great to see your UK Trip - the Isle of Skye sounds epic! I've been enjoying the UK as well and I am counting down to my Montana holiday!
    Wren x

  24. Awww…the end of a traveling journey can be bittersweet, can’t it? Your beautiful photos are lovely – especially the waterfall one! You are absolutely making fabulous memories!

  25. Dear Angie,
    the photos you brought back from your trip look very nice - I especially love the pictures of the water. Exciting, the "Instagram" of King James V. 😉 I think the tradition you started with your inlaws is really great. Such shared experiences are treasures. I am curious what you will report from the Isle of Skye.
    All the best and have a nice June 🌻🐝🦋!

  26. Wonderful post and photos Angie, I enjoy your travels.

  27. Looks like a special holiday, Angie. Have a safe trip home.

  28. Wonderful photo's. I tend to stay away from rocky terrain for hikes/walks. I've had far too many sprained ankles to count. So many in fact, that hubby purchased crutches a long time back instead of renting them again.

  29. 100% Mint Chip! So beautiful!! Way to explore!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...