In two days, I’m going on a research trip! On June 30th, I’ll arrive in London. For three weeks, I’ll be traveling through England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
This is a trip I have long wanted to make with my daughter, Amy. We’ll be visiting the British Museum in London, where I particularly want to see the Sutton Hoo ship burial artifacts and the Roman rooms. Of course, we have to do a touristy thing in London, the double-decker bus tour, the London Eye, and the Tower of London. Then we’ll pick up our rental car and head south to Salisbury. We’ll visit the Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge (where we’ll take an after-hours tour inside the fence among the stones), then dip into Devon and Cornwall, where we’ll see some coastal towns and explore a little of Bodmin Moor before we see Tintagel, Camelford, and Glastonbury of Arthurian fame. We plan to drive north through Wales, with overnight stops at Caerleon and Caernarfon, places where Merlin was wont to appear. Then it’ll be on to Yorkshire, stopping en route in Chester, then Eyam (the setting of Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders) in the Peaks region. We’ll spend two nights in York, exploring its Norse heritage, and then we’ll head north again to Hadrian’s Wall, where we’ll spend two nights near Hexham at a guest house near a beautiful ruin.
After we leave the Wall, we head north to Edinburgh. We’ll explore the Royal Mile and the castle before we head north again, along the beaches of the eastern coast of Scotland, famed for smuggler’s coves, and then turn west through the Cairngorms for Inverness. Near Inverness, we’ll see Culloden Moor, where the Highlanders fought and died in a failed attempt for freedom from English rule, and we’ll also visit the Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial site. At Inverness, we turn south, passing by Loch Ness, Loch Lomand, and the Trossachs, to Glasgow.
From Glasgow, we’ll fly to Dublin for a couple of days. We’ll briefly explore the Viking heritage of Dublin, and drive north to Newgrange, an ancient Irish burial and memorial site.
It’s going to be three weeks of immersion into legends, histories, and stories from literatures which have fascinated me since childhood and which I studied in school and have fictionalized in novels (or plan to). I can’t wait! I hope you’ll tag along with Amy and me through the pictures and brief blog entries I’ll post along the way. Next entry: London!