We decided to get an early start on our sightseeing around Newcastle before having breakfast and checking out of the hotel.
A long walk through Newcastle revealed some treasures we didn’t know to expect and ticked off some sights we had read about previously. The following photos show some of these sights – St Mary’s Cathedral (first 2), Cathedral Church of St Nicholas (next 2), All Saint’s Church, a building on Quayside and the Newcastle Central Train Station.
Castle Garth and Castle Keep are the key landmarks in Newcastle. They are the ruins of the original Roman castle built in the second century AD. The ‘New Castle’ (which gave the town its name) was founded in 1080 by the eldest son of William the Conqueror.
A pleasant surprise for us was finding the Seven Bridges of Newcastle. The photos below show The Tyne Bridge (remarkably like the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and The High Level Bridge.
The next two photos are of the Millennium Bridge, the first one with the Sage Gateshead Music Centre looking like a metal caterpillar on the banks of the Tyne.
And finally a profile shot of the Tyne Bridge, Swing Bridge, High Level Bridge and Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
After having some breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we left Newcastle making our way towards the Scottish border. A little over an hour later Keith saw a sign advertising Berwick upon Tweed as being the Northernmost town in England, home to the ruins of the old town walls and fortress. We decided to stop in and check them out.
Berwick upon Tweed was a busy little town. We found some free car parking near St Andrews Church and went for a short stroll past the Church and Council Offices up to the Town Wall ruins.
The last two pictures above are of the old Fortress and a creepy looking cemetery. After leaving Berwick upon Tweed driving along the coastal road, it wasn’t long before we realised we had just driven across the Scottish border. These photos are of Hilton Bay, just across the border on the Scottish side.
We continued driving along the southeast coast of Scotland making our way to Edinburgh. Since it was close to lunch time, we looked for a little Scottish pub to have a meal. Driving through Dunbar we spotted the Castle Hotel and decided that it would do the trick.
Dunbar is a sleepy coastal town full of charm with a history of conflict. There is a small port there that used to be the site of one of the most mighty fortresses in Scotland. We went for a short walk and found a good view of the port and ruins of the castle.
After lunch we continued on our way to Edinburgh via the coast. Stopping at a look out for what we thought would be a few quick photos of the Scottish cliffs and ocean, we spotted castle ruins in the distance. Keith got so excited we had to turn around and back track to see if we could get a closer look.
It turned out that it was Tantallon Castle which was open to tourists to walk through. It only cost about five pounds each to enter the castle, but it was priceless. The photos speak for themselves.
The plan for today was to make the short 2 and a half hour drive from Newcastle to Edinburgh and have plenty of time to explore the country’s capital. With our unexpected finds of the bridges of Newcastle, city walls of Berwick on Tweed, ruined castle of Dunbar and now the incredible Castle Tantallon, we were well behind schedule.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we actually make it to Edinburgh!