From London we traveled by train to Edinburgh and stayed there for three days.
|View of Edinburgh Castle from Prince Street|
|View over a cannon from Half Moon Battery|
The rest of our two weeks we spent driving from eastern to western Scotland and down the length of Wales back to London with no defined route in mind. Our goal was to see the countries, meet people, traipse through as many castles as we could fit into two weeks AND not forget what side of the road we had to drive on!
A surprising result of all this traipsing is that no story ideas popped into my head. I wasn't thinking like a writer; I just took in the sights, amazed that I was traveling through countries with centuries of history. When we visited a castle my thoughts always went to what it must have been like to live there, trudging up hundreds of stairs, inching across narrow battlements and trying to stay warm!Loch Lomond, Scotland's Midlands
So today, as a nod to the castles of Ireland and Scotland, I'm going to share pictures and whereabouts of those we visited.
|Beaumaris Castle, Northwest Wales, on the Isle of Anglesey|
Ava Fychon, the female protagonist in Almost Taken, the first book in my historical romance Almost series, hails from Wales, (I had to say that!), specifically, the Isle of Anglesey. So when I saw Beaumaris Castle (beau marais, fair marsh), I felt a connection to it because of the research I'd done about this northern area of Wales.
The English monarch, Edward I, ordered this castle to be built. Begun in 1295 it was never completed because of dwindling funds and supplies. But even unfinished it is quite remarkable and the only castle we saw that had a moat.
Dumbarton Castle, Scotland, WNW of Glasgow was a stronghold from the 5th century until 1018 and an important refuge for royalty.
It's built on volcanic rock....
and overlooks the Firth of Clyde
More than 200 steps gets you to its highest vantage point. As I walked those steps I thought about the men who had to do this day in, day out. They must have had some awesome thighs! They were climbing on the original Stairmaster machine.
This is Caenarfron Castle, Northern Wales. A military stronghold, seat of government and a royal palace.
|Caenarfron houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Wales's oldest regiment, and in my husband's opinion, the castle's star attraction|
Conwy Castle, Wales, (pronounced Conway) is built on a rock. Its towers are only 8 of the 22 that surround the city of Conwy, known as The City of Walls.
Harlech Castle, Wales
Another with 150+ steps to get to the top. Well worth the effort to see this view!
Stirling Castle, Scotland
famous for its statue of Robert the Bruce...
Below is a photo en route to Cardiff Castle, southern Wales. The white dots aren't specks on the camera lens - they're sheep
|me on the castle's walkway - I have no idea why I look so goofy!|
the Royal quarters
And one more. We almost overlooked the tiny sign for this one as we were leaving Scotland and entering Wales. Muncaster Castle and Gardens is a privately owned castle in Cumbria England. Muncaster boasts the World Owl Centre, one of the largest owl refuges in the world. Of all the castles we visited, I was most surprised by this one.
|Street musician, Edinburgh|
Any castle sightings of your own? Stories inspired by those sightings and visits?
Polly posts on RB4U's blog on the second of every month. You can find out more about her and her books at her website: www.pollymccrillis.com
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