After our sightseeing in Bath (which I will write a post about soon!), we headed on to Windsor to go to the famous Windsor Castle. As we were running a bit late (like, really late), we almost didn’t make it. When we saw how long the line was to enter, we were already disheartened as even if you were in line and already purchased a ticket, if you don’t reach the cutoff time to enter, you won’t be allowed to do so. I guess then that this is one of the perks of travelling with a tour group – as a tour group, the person manning the entrance told us that we didn’t need to queue at the end of the snaking line at all – tour groups had their own entrance and queue.
On the way to Windsor Castle from the coach parking lot.
Our first view of Windsor Castle!
One of the places I’ve really taken a shine to when we went on our UK trip was Glasgow, particularly the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. Before our trip commenced, I already looked at all the sights and places that we were going to and even before seeing it in the flesh, I already knew that Kelvingrove was going to be a favourite of mine, and I was right!
My first glimpse of Kelvingrove.
From Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, we caught a glimpse of the University of Glasgow.
You may think that this is the front, but this is actually the back of the museum! A popular myth about Kelvingrove is that the building was built the wrong way, while another myth is that the architect committed suicide here by leaping from one of the towers. As most myths usually are, neither of the two is true. Way back in 1901, when Kelvingrove first opened its doors to the public, the main entrance was at the back as visitors came from Kelvingrove part, but fast forward to today, most visitors now enter from the main road located at Argyle Street.
I didn’t really expect to fall in love with Edinburgh – before the start of our trip, I thought that I would moon over London, but that wasn’t the case. Edinburgh was the first stop on our trip; as our flight arrived at 8 in the morning, we immediately got to explore Edinburgh, as well as made a quick stop at Rosslyn Chapel. We were only able to stay in this beautiful city for a day, but I think that we at least saw some of the important sights to be seen here like Calton Hill, the Royal Mile, and, of course, Edinburgh Castle. Too bad though that we weren’t able to go to the Elephant House, where Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, wrote the books while enjoying the cafe’s coffee and cake.
So as soon as our plane landed at Edinburgh Airport, after getting through customs we were fetched by our coach driver and we headed into the city to start our tour. We first fetched our guide, and then we were off to Rosslyn Chapel, which was quite a drive (around 30 minutes) from Edinburgh, and after staying there for a while, we drove back to the city, went to Calton Hill, and then had lunch. After lunch, we went to Holyrood Palace (which I’ll probably have a short post about it up sometime soon!) and then Edinburgh Castle – on the way, we were greeted by this.. This creature. Haha, I honestly don’t get what it’s supposed to be! 🙂
A shot of the castle I took while waiting for our tickets. The structure is massive! Images of Game of Thrones popped out unbidden in my mind when I finally saw it for the first time. It doesn’t help that Edinburgh Castle stands on Castle Rock – Castle Rock.. Casterly Rock? Lannisters! I don’t even know anymore, haha.
Around less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, we arrived early in Glasgow. Our coach driver said we were lucky as according to him, there’s usually quite a traffic jam from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
We were off to a pretty early start, and we began our short walking tour at around 9 AM. The streets in Glasgow was almost deserted, save for a handful of people that crossed our path. I almost thought that this was the norm until we headed to George Square and there were tons of people everywhere.
The last stop to end our first full day in the UK before heading to our hotel in Penrith (you can read my review of our hotel, the North Lakes Hotel & Spa here), would be the Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall. Along the way, we got a little lost as the Sat Nav pointed our coach driver onto the wrong direction + the fact that there seemed to be road works when we went.
On the way to our destination. Rolling hills, the occasional farmhouses, and tons of sheep greeted us to and from Hadrian’s Wall.
Straight from Edinburgh International Airport, we headed off to Rosslyn Chapel – one of the places that’s included in our itinerary. Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century chapel which was formally called as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, is located at the small village of Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland. It’s actually just a pretty short drive away from Edinburgh.
It’s rise to fame is mainly due to the movie adaptation of the book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Some parts of the movie was shot here in Rosslyn (particularly the basement), and Tom Hanks actually stayed in the village during the shooting of the movie.
I think that it’s almost in everyone’s bucket list to see Stonehenge. Well, if not bucket list, at least the sights to see when in the UK. We were already running quite late and behind our schedule, our coach driver warned us that we may not be able to arrive on time. Lucky enough, we managed to get there just in time! Anyway, during our visit to Stonehenge, I was feeling quite under the weather so I wasn’t able to take as much photos as I wanted to. I have managed to take quite some decent shots of Stonehenge, the main attraction of the place, but not of the small cafe and centre where the toilets are located.
Anyway, before being able to come near Stonehenge like this, you would have to ride a bus to go there. The ride takes around a couple of minutes, it was less than five minutes I think. The lines do get quite long though and some people don’t want to wait. Instead, they opt to walk the more ~scenic~ route on the way to Stonehenge. I think that there are various walk paths available if you’re the type who doesn’t like to wait, but I think that it’d take you quite longer to reach Stonehenge if you choose to walk there – like maybe half an hour to an hour at least, and that depends if you walk fast or not.