My Plaid Heart In England: Lindisfarne Castle

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday to you. And happy first day of spring!

Today’s trip is going to take us through beautiful southeast Scotland and across the border into neighboring England. We won’t be going too far away from Scotland mind you, only about seventeen miles. We will be leaving the mainland, however. Don’t worry, you won’t need a lifejacket. A long causeway will lead us to our destination.

Intrigued? Grab your things because today we are headed to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (or simply Holy Island) to see Lindisfarne Castle.

It is very important to check the tide schedule before you visit Holy Island. Twice daily, the North Sea tide comes in, making the causeway to the island inaccessible.

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Dalhousie Castle

Hi Friends,

I have missed you! I’ve been on a little blogging break and now I feel refreshed and ready to get back into the groove. I think it’s really important to do that every once in awhile. Do you feel that way too?

Reader, today I would like to take you to Dalhousie, a 13th/15th century castle that sits about eight miles to the southeast of Edinburgh, Scotland, near the town of Bonnyrigg.

Mr. C and I had the pleasure of visiting Dalhousie in the spring of 2014. While we did not spend the night in this beautiful castle hotel/spa, we did dine in The Dungeon Restaurant.  What a marvelous experience!

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St. Margaret’s Chapel

Hello friends,

Do you ever feel like the gears in your brain get stuck? Seriously, I have been trying to put words to paper for four solid days and I haven’t been able to get past ‘hello’! Maybe it has something to do with the elephant sitting on my left sinus cavity. Anyway, if today’s post stinks, you will know why! ūüėÄ

“And all I could say was, “hello”. –An Affair to Remember, 1957

Today we’re going to take a quick look at the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. This is St. Margaret’s Chapel, located at Edinburgh Castle.

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My Plaid Heart In the West Indies: Castillo de San Felipe del Morro

Greetings!  How is everyone?  My goodness, can you all believe there are only 14 days until Christmas?  How the days do fly by.

Friends, today I would like to share something a little different with you.  The day after Thanksgiving, Mr. C and I along with his parents, took a Holland America cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.  It was a new experience for me on two counts.  First, because I had never been on a cruise.  Second, because I had never traveled farther south than Houston, Texas or the Florida Panhandle.

Our journey began in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where we embarked on our seven-day sea adventure. We sailed first to Turks & Caicos, then to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and finally, to the Bahamas where we spent a day on the cruise line’s gorgeous private island, Half Moon Cay. ¬†Then it was back to port in Florida, another great vacation in the books.

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Docked for the day at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

One of the greatest highlights from our trip was our stop in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. ¬†I had done a little research beforehand and knew that if I only had time to see one thing while I was there that it would be the 16th century fort, Castillo de San Felipe del Morro (or simply, El Morro). ¬†After all, you guys know I’d never let a good castle go to waste!

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Bass Rock

Hello, my friends. ¬†How are you guys today? ¬†I’ve missed you. ¬†I have been away on holiday with Mr. C and his parents, off the grid and making memories. ¬†But I’m back now, ready to catch up on all the things you’ve been up to and eager to share some of the best moments from our trip. ¬†For today, though, I’d like to show you a tiny island located in the outer part of Scotland’s Firth of Forth, where the river meets the North Sea. ¬†This island is called Bass Rock and it is a beast of a thing!

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Rising to a height of more than 300 feet, the rocky island is a steep-sided volcanic plug that dates to the Carboniferous Age – arising a whopping 300+ million years ago. ¬†At a distance, the surface of the rock can appear white, almost as if covered in a dusting of snow. ¬†This is because of the presence of the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. ¬†In fact, in the peak of their nesting season, it is estimated that more than 150,000 of these sea birds call Bass Rock home!

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Lovely Lauriston (the sequel)

Hi Friends!  A warm welcome to you today.

Earlier this year, I took you guys on a photo tour of the spectacularly beautiful grounds at¬†Lauriston Castle. ¬†Well I would like to revisit Lauriston with you today. ¬†Only this time, I invite you to join me as we explore the beautiful Edwardian interior, decorated and designed by the castle’s final owners, Mr. William Robert Reid, his wife Mrs. Margaret Johnstone Reid, and Mrs. Reid’s brother, Mr. William Barton.

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Mr. C and I visited Lauriston Castle for the second time in March 2017. ¬†It is one of our favorites, so no trip to Edinburgh will now ever be complete without paying a visit to this lovely place. ¬†We were thrilled to be able to take a guided tour of several of the castle’s main rooms. ¬†Our docent was excellent and was a wealth of knowledge of the castle’s history, from the first construction in the sixteenth century until the passing of Mrs. Reid in 1926. ¬†I think that if I lived in Edinburgh, I would want that job!

To recap a little of Lauriston’s history…

Lauriston‚Äôs tower house was built by Sir Archibald Napier sometime around 1593 and the pretty Jacobean-style extension was added in 1827. ¬†Over the centuries, the castle passed through numerous hands until it came into the possession of its final owners ‚Äď William and Margaret Reid. The Reids acquired the property in 1902 and lived there until Mrs. Reid‚Äôs death in 1926. ¬†Because the couple had no children, they left the castle to the city of Edinburgh under the condition that it be preserved unchanged. ¬†And so the promise was kept. ¬†The remarkable Edwardian interior, filled to the brim with their fine furniture and artwork, is now a museum maintained by the city. ¬†For a nominal fee, you can take a guided tour of this home (uh, castle) which remains exactly as it was at the time of the Reids. ¬†The manicured grounds, which boast a view of the sea and a stunning Japanese garden are a real bargain ‚Äď free! ¬†Lauriston truly is a gem in Edinburgh. -from my previous post, “Lovely Lauriston“.

Well, are you ready to step inside and see what a 425-year-old castle clothed in 100-year-old decor looks like?  Great.  Follow me, friends.

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