And did I mention sheep? And pubs. There’s a lot to love about northern England.
This is a trip I have had in the back of my mind for a few years. In fall 2016, I heard Delta was having a fare sale. I jumped on the internet to see what I could find. Pittsburgh to Edinburgh for $486! No way I was passing that up. So I booked the flights for September 2017 and figured I’d fill in the details later.
Our goal was to walk and enjoy pretty scenery. I zeroed in on the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall. Since we were flying into and out of Edinburgh, and it is our favorite city in Europe, we decided to spend a couple of days there too.
My biggest concern with this trip was that there would not be much variety. There kind of wasn’t. But we didn’t mind! The walking was wonderful with lots trails and beautiful vistas. It’s all very green, and there are lots of farms and villages. It’s also very hilly, but we have hills where we live so we are used to them. We saw endless sheep, and a lot of cows too. I don’t know why, but I am enchanted with cows and sheep. I am less enchanted with sheep doodoo and cow pies…but oh well. You have to take the bad with the good. And you have to watch where you step!
Outside of Edinburgh and the Lake District, we hardly saw any Americans, and most of the tourists we saw were British. The locals were very friendly, and seemingly everyone has at least one dog. We’ve never seen so many dogs. They take them everywhere – good for them!
We also saw endless tea rooms and pubs. There are lots of coffee shops now too. Personally, I think they should stick with tea rooms. I don’t drink coffee, and it just doesn’t feel British. The pubs definitely feel British! The beer is good, the food is good, and the atmosphere is cozy and convivial.
The weather was mixed. This was actually a relief, because the forecast called for rain, rain and more rain. But much of the rain we got was brief showers or mist, and we had plenty of sunshine. The clouds were fluffy and white or moody shades of gray, and we saw spectacular skies every day. The temperature was in the 50s and low 60s during the day, which is perfect for walking.
We did not rent a car. It stresses out my husband, and when he’s stressed, I’m stressed! We love the trains and find them much more relaxing. But they don’t go everywhere we wanted to go, so we had to take buses. I was a bit apprehensive about this. However, I shouldn’t have been. They were on time, they ran frequently, they were clean and comfortable, and the drivers were friendly and helpful. There was no need to buy tickets in advance; you could just hop on the bus and pay cash. Super easy.
Now for our stops: