England and Scotland - 2004

 

We had visited the Isle of Man for 2 weeks and wanted to travel some of Lancashire, home of many of our original ancestors, and the spend some time in Scotland, a land that we had never  visited. We landed in Manchester from the Isle of Man and began our tour of this part of the world.

Lancashire England

The primary reason to visit Lancashire, was to pay a visit to the location of the Smith family origins, primarily Downham, Lancashire. Our oldest know Smith, Christopher Smith born in 1700, married and raised his family in Downham, with the last Smith of our family leaving here in about 1842. We drove from Manchester and spent our first night in Lancashire in the small town of Sawley, a few miles from Downham, and also with a connection to our early families.


Above Left:  We stayed in a lovely B&B in the village of Sawley, about 2 miles from Downham. Located on the River Ribble, the building was formerly a barn built in the mid 1700's.


Above Right:  The village of Downham in northern Lancashire and home to the earliest members of the Smith family so far researched. Christopher Smith married Jenet Hindle here in 1725. It is by far the prettiest village we have seen anywhere in the United Kingdom, so there. This Christopher Smith was "of Pendle" and Pendle Hill shows in the background.


To the Left:  The first Christoper Smith had a grandson of the same name. Born in 1767, he married and raised a family in Downham. He was a school master and was still teaching in 1841, two years after this school was built in 1839. It is in use to this day.

Scotland

After 2 days in the Downham area, we drove north and east to the border between England and Scotland, and then up the East Coast to the Scottish town of North Berwick. During our stay here, we traveled by train to Edinburgh, then drove north to well known places like Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and Doune Castle, site of the famous Monty Python movie the “Search for the Holy Grail. Thence to Glasgow and south along the west coast to Lochanns, where we stayed in a delightful small inn, and then visiting a beautiful port town of Port Patrick. It was then back to Manchester and a flight back home.

Above Left:  Gail and Tracy at the waterfront in the town of North Berwick in Scotland, where we stayed for 3 days while visiting Edinburgh and surroundings. The place is home to dozens of golf courses, the most famous of which is Muirfield, home of the British Open every four years.

Above Right:  A photo taken from inside the walls of Edinburgh Castle, a huge castle which has dominated the skyline of the city for over 800 years. This scene looks toward the Firth of Forth at the upper left and centre.

Above Left:  Mons Meg, a huge siege gun, built in Belgium in 1449. It was too difficult to move around however and they set it up in the castle as a defensive piece. It could fire a 330 lb. stone ball 3.5 kilometres, but because of the heat of explosion could only be fired 8 times a day.


Above Right:  Gail stands in front of the oldest building in the city and in the castle. It is a chapel, St. Margaret's Chapel, constructed in the period 1124 to 1153.

Above Left:  Doune Castle, used to film the classic Monty Python film "Search for the Holy Grail". I could see in my mind's eye, John Cleese standing on the wall, taunting King Arthur using a French accent, and calling for the cow catapult by saying, "Fetchez la vache, fetchez la vache." And brave King Arthur crying, "Christ, its a cow, Run away, run away".


Above Right:  Romantic Loch Lomond, did not look all that romantic this day despite the rainbows appearing from all directions in the mist.

Above Left:  Stirling Castle, a cold and forbidding looking castle, perched on crags overlooking the plains where many of Scotlands important battles were fought.


Above Right:  We drove down the Ayrshire coast from Glasgow to Lochanns. It was a beautiful day for a change. These ruins represent a common site throughout the UK. It appears to be the ruins of a church or abbey, not sure which.



Above Left:  We stumbled on Port Patrick quite by mistake. It was only five miles from our Inn at Lochanns. It was a gorgeous little seaside village. The big building on the cliff to the left of the photo was an expensive resort. Tide was low at this point.


Above Right:  Tracy took this photo from the resort hotel area on the cliff back towards the port and village of Port Patrick. This shot would be pointed directly at the Isle of Man some 40 miles to the south. Apparently it can be seen from here on a clear day as well as Ireland to the west.


On the Left:  We had a delightful last night in Scotland, at an Inn owned by Peter standing beside me. Peter was a former golf pro and top ranked soccer player as well.


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