The Gerrard Chronicles 2020 - Traveller's Tales - History trips

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History Trips in Britain

Ken, needing photos for history lectures at the U3A took us to more British historical locations. We went North on
Wednesday 9th September, which we had marked down for a Mainland Europe trip but Covid-19 put that out of the question.


We left home at 08:55 & had a torrid trip to the M1, taking nearly an hour. We stopped at Scratchwood & the Blue Boar for pees & Tibshelf South of Sheffield for a toastie for Avis. (Ken had eaten up leftovers in a breakfast fry-up). As soon as we left the M1, we were on rubbish packed City roads but Ken found the turn-off to Saltaire easily &, it being a Sunny day, took these photos.

Left & below left: Saltaire model village
Below centre: Salt's Mill on the left &
the New Mill on the right
down the Leeds-Liverpool Canal

The interest here is Titus Salt's factory & model village, which he started building in 1853.

Kettlewell & the Tor Dyke

Tor Dyke

Because of a massive road-up, we had to go round Skipton but the castle there is not mission-critical. What was, is the Tor Dyke & it was a bit of a problem getting onto the right road out of Kettlewell. It was very steep in two places with passing places but, by the Dyke, there was quite a large flattish area to turn round on. The dyke, which is the dry stone wall in the left-hand picture, has a ditch behind it, seen in the right-hand picture. It was built by Venutius against the Romans. (The Romans called him Venutius, the ex-husband of Cartimandua, the quisling Queen of Brigantia).

This shows the Tor Dyke overlooking Weardale in the Yorkshire Dales


Left, shows Kettlewell from above &
Right shows the Racehorses Hotel we stayed in. While the hotel is very comfortable, the dinner was pretty mediocre pub food & not that cheap. Ken took some photos round the village before dinner & we chatted to people in the bar.

Thursday 10th September to Melrose

Kippers for breakfast, proper big ones. We left at about 09:40 after doing 230 miles yesterday. The road was North out of Kettlewell & is quite narrow, with passing places. Then, it goes over a pass into Wensleydale. Via Richmond, we found they had moved the Services at Scotch Corner on the A1(M) to the Piercebrdge junction, so we went via Piercebrdge, a short cut, to the A68.
We dropped off at Corbridge, so Ken could photo the Roman town site, then had lunch on Hadrian‘s Wall. Eventually, we got to Melrose. Ken photoed the viaduct & the Trimontium site, which is just a field the other side of the viaduct. At the hotel, Avis crashed out while Ken went to the Abbey to photo it. King David I had endowed the Abbey. Warning, if you book the Kings Arms, they put us in a very comfy annex but accessed over cobbles from the end of the Beer Garden, not good if you are 85 like Avis, so check they don‘t do this to you.

Corbridge Roman site

The splendid railway viaduct at Melrose


Melrose Abbey

Friday 11th September to Fort William

Since we were in Scotland, Ken took advantage to get his Hill Fix, as Europe was out. He had a thing called a Stornoway Stack for breakfast, From the bottom: fried ethnic bread; a black pudding; an egg; another black pudding. Very filling. Avis had an edited Full English. We aimed to get to Queensferry by 10 & we were a couple of minutes out. Then, came the rain, damping us at Kinross Services on the M90 but this slackened & dried up soon after the A9 road works. After that, the day was largely dry & sunny until much later. We went off at Dalwhinnie & up General Wade‘s Military Road to Laggan, stopping for cake & drinks at the Pottery Café.

Panorama over Laggan from the Military Road

The Scots seem to be taking Covid precautions more seriously than the English. On the A86, we went across & down to Fort William but got there a bit early, so we went off to Glen Finnan but this was in intermittent very heavy rain. The Guest House run by Dana is very nice but is just a GH & in two large semis. The Lounge & Breakfast Room are in the ‘other’ semi, so you have to go outside but nothing like as grim as the Kings Arms. Booking somewhere for dinner would be a nightmare in Fort William, if you do not like Chinese. The Chinese Palace is very good.

Saturday 12th September 2020 Home 502 miles

Excellent breakfast in the breakfast room in the next house, edited Full English. We were off at 08:22. Apart from a few showers & a bit of a storm in Glasgow, the weather was quite kind & warmed up with a few clouds eventually. It was so easy, apart from some ‘smart motorway’ works, that I got us home in less that 12 1/2 hours, including two petrol stops, a lunch stop & a dinner stop (at the Blue Boar) plus several pee stops. In bed by 9.

Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, L6ndon N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 15/9/2020 Copyright: ©Ken Baldry 2020 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.