Well, I've never thought of my travels being interesting enough to write and post a trip report but, a few folks on another forum asked for one about my most recent trip. And so it's all their fault that I'm writing this about my February/March trip to Edinburgh and London.
I live equal distance between ORF and RIC and just a block from the Williamsburg Amtrak Station. And rather than connecting flights through those two airport, I rather enjoy the short walk to the train station and taking Amtrak to DC to fly direct from Dulles to LHR.
So, on the 25th of February I took the early morning Northeast Regional to DC Union Station, checked into Phoenix Park Hotel and then spent the day at the Natural History Museum. Saturday 26th of February I checked out and took the DC Metro and Silver Line Express bus to Dulles, for an evening United flight – UA918. Will the Silver Line to Dulles ever open?
It was nice to be on a plane again, though otherwise uneventful. Landed at Heathrow on the 27th a few minutes early and walked off the plane around 6:30am; it took longer to walk from the arrival gate to immigration, than it did to actually get through the immigration e-gates – it all was a breeze. Then onto the Piccadilly line to Kings Cross.
I had a night's reservation for The Megaro and headed there to drop off my luggage. It was barely 8am and the clerk put my bags away and told me to come on back at 10am and they would be able to check me in then… sweet! Walked to the nearby McDonald's for a coffee and surfed the web, then headed over to check out the Coal Drops Yard area by Kings Cross, before returning to check into the hotel. Many of my travel plans were made while COVID testing requirements were in place, and I figured that it would be easiest to simply do my tests in London and spend the first night there; rather than trying to test, train travel to and arrive in Edinburgh all on the same day. Needless to say testing requirements were no longer required by the time I arrived in the UK.
Late morning the 28th boarded the 11:00am LNER to Edinburgh. Nice relaxed ride and beautiful country. Arrived in Edinburgh and headed to Eden Locke Hotel, where I would stay the next 5 days and got checked in. Had one of the Locke Studios and spent a couple hours learning to use modern UK kitchen appliances before heading out and wandering the city and getting an understanding of where things were.
March 1st I spent nearly the entire day at Edinburgh Castle. The National War Memorial is rather moving. My own museum where I work is preparing an upcoming special exhibit on the Stuart Monarchy, so it was pretty cool to also check out the Royal apartments and the room in which King James was born. Loved checking out Mons Meg and taking pictures of construction details – forged wrought iron guns are just too damn cool. Late in the day I walked across town to check out the Be Inspired Fibers yarn shop.
March 2nd I took the Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Britain and Scottish Borders tour with Rabbie’s. Absolutely enjoyable tour of the border and catching the 16th century Border Reivers history along with the Roman Britain history. Hiked along Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rig and then visited Vindolanda. It was a nice very long day seeing the sites and the beautiful countryside of England and Scotland...