UK Day 1, a Different Kind of Pilgrimmage

Dan and I arrived in the UK yesterday pm around 4:30… And then the marathon began! The short non EU line-up proved to be by far the longest… When we got to the immigration officer, he was quite chatty, and even gave us some travel tips going to Heathrow to pick up our car…
National Express bus was it! We got our tickets and were on board about 20 minutes later…5:30ish. We headed out from Stansted, and the driver seemed to be taking lots of back routes, when one of the passengers went up to him to ask if this bus was going to Heathrow… The bus driver said it was, but he had taken a wrong turn, and needed a place to turn around!!! I’ll tell you, it’s exciting to see a bus driver do a three point turn on a main village road with traffic!!! (I think the poor guy was trying to avoid a back up on the M25….) anyway, we indeed reached Heathrow around 7:30!!! Next to pick up our car… Check and at 8:10 pm we left to drive back to H and R’s to retrieve our “normal” clothes… Richard was there to greet us and we managed to get the bags loaded and start our journey north ( I must comment that the gardens at there house were stunning with 100 feet or more of trellised wisteria shading our walk to the house! I felt like a bride!!!)

On the road and heading to the Cambridge area, we arrived at the Day’s Inn around 11:00 (12:00 by our body clock)( in the middle of a transformation to a Ramada… Nothing fancy I must say, but a bed for weary travellers!) it wasn’t long before we were dead to the world!!!

This morning we got up and got ourselves organized… Sorting through our packs, we tried to put what we needed into our suitcase so that we would only need that for the next few nights at least… My goodness, to think we lived so simply only a few short days ago… Well, I guess moving from 2 backpacks to one suitcase is an attempt at simplification!!!

After a quick breakfast we hit the road… Dan drove until just before Newcastle on Tyne and we switched…. Scary! Standard drive car ( well boat really … Nissan SUV) very sore feet, and tired mind driving on the “wrong” side of the road… Not always the best combination for driving!!!!

 The day was overcast with a bit of rain, but the sun came out as we stopped for our late lunch break near Jedburgh.
   After lunch we did a quick stop at Jedburgh Abbey ( one of the many destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII. )
 We had a lovely stop at the info centre where the fellow there gave us lots of hints and resources for our touring in the highlands!!! It is going to be fun!!! The only thing I have to figure out is how to get my legs moving faster after getting out of a car in which I have spend the last 3 hours!!! Major stiffness… I wonder what could have caused that???

On the road, I of course started to research places to stay, and to my delight came across a B and B that Alex, Jen and I stayed at 5 years ago!!! I booked it, and was practically jumping up and down in the car at the prospect of showing this place to Dan, and once again sampling the best breakfast a B and B has ever offered me! The place is 23 Mayfair, run by Ross… This man has taken a standard B and B and turned it into 5 time award winning experience…. Talk about white fluffy towels! I promise shots of the breakfast tomorrow!!!

 Well time to get ready for a nice dinner… Ross has told us about a wonderful Turkish restaurant a few blocks away that I think we’ll try!
Btw, for those of you missing news on Lisa and Alan, they successfully completed a forced march of 36 km!!! What incredible troopers! With 7-8 hours in the car today, I’ve logged about 2 km!!! Maybe that’s why my legs are seizing up!!!

Suzanne and Ian… Only 3 more sleeps!!!

Categories: UK, A different kind of Pilgrimage!


  1. We are counting down the days. Do we know where we will meet? Fun times ahead xo


  2. OMG i can’t believe you’re there again! Will you have time for the Whisky Society???? Have fun and say hi for us!


  3. I can’t even imagine how your brains must be spinning from the change in schedule and atmosphere let alone sitting so long after all the walking you have done. Love Karma from previous post! Enjoy the fluffy towels and the new adventure!


  4. Pat, your writing is a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Pat this is the place you were trying to remember when I booked a B&B in Edinburgh last year; ended up staying around the corner at the Glenalmond House which was also nice. Nice to see Richard was there to greet you in Nazeing; think Robert and Helen were out with Johnny and Lisa. Shadwalkers does look great in the Spring and the covered walkway to the house is amazing at any time of the year (even when we were there this past Christmas and again in March) but especially when in full bloom. Cheers, G&G


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