England has so many historic sites, that it is almost impossible to write to this topic without making a decision about your departure point. When I traveled to Scotland on the train I left from Alnwick.(this is pronounced Annick) This is in Northumbria in the very far Northeast.
|Alnwick Castle by Cannaletto|
Alnwick is a very historic site in its own right. Alnwick Castle is the home of the great Percy family who were the Earls and later the Dukes of Northumberland. It is the second largest inhabited castle in England, surpassed only by Windsor. If you know anything about Anne Boleyn, you will remember that her first love was Henry Percy.
This wonderful castle has been used as a backdrop for many famous movies including Harry Potter and when we visited here, they were shooting scenes from Elizabeth. It is every bit as regal a castle as you would expect from this great and once powerful family. The earliest parts of the castle date from 1096 and were built by one of William the Conquerors Normans Yves de Vescy who was the Baron of Alnwick.
Today you will see great works of art, beautiful furniture and lovely gardens.
Another stop would certainly have to be at Hadrian's Wall. Next to the Great Wall of China it is probably the greatest feat of wall building every attempted. The Roman Emperor Hadrian decided that in order to protect the Romans in England from the marauding Picts he would have a wall constructed across the north of England. Work began on the wall in 122 A.D. It was 73 miles long, fifteen feet high and from eight to ten feet wide. It was quite an undertaking and obviously quite well done since there are quite large sections of it still available to visit today.
The Holy Isle of Lindisfarne is one of oldest religious sites in Great Britain. There was a monastery here on the Isle as early as 635 A.D. The Isle is associated with both St Cuthbert and the Irish monks from Iona in Ireland. The beautiful Lindisfarne Gospels are historically significant as well as being some of the finest examples of the written art in this early times on Lindisfarne. The Isle is controlled by a tidal causeway and is only accessible at certain times of day, if you miss it you won't be getting across. If you do, you won't be disappointed by the beautiful ruins and the museum that has been constructed there.
|Photographer Stephen Mckay|
On September 9, 1513 the British and the Scots meet in the town of Flodden, Northumbria and fought another of their senseless battles that resulted in the deaths of 14,000 men and the King of Scotland all with a few short hours. A memorial commemorates the site and it is worth visiting if only to wonder at the stupidity of your fellow man. I found it a site of great sadness and it is hard to believe as you look at this quiet peaceful spot that it could have been such a place of mass slaughter. The battle is known as the Battle of Flodden.
These are just a few of my favorite spots, there are of course many more for the avid traveler to visit. We also visited Etal and Warkworth Castles in England and Floors Castle on the Scottish side of the border, all of which are worth a visit.
Forgive me for using others photos. Mine would need to be scanned but I have visited all of these places.