So far, seeing England has been interesting. We’ve managed to avoid most of the heavy tourist spots, except for Hadrian’s Wall and Stratford-upon-Avon, and we’ve seen some fascinating glimpses of English history. But we didn’t come to the United Kingdom to just see England. There are still other countries to investigate and learn more about. So after seeing Hadrian’s Wall, it’s time for us to move on to Scotland, where we plan to do some hiking and exploration of less traveled parts of the UK, including the mountains.

Hadrian’s Wall isn’t actually on the England/Scotland border. It’s completely within England. The real border between England and Scotland was determined by the Treaty of York, which was signed by England and Scotland in 1237. This means that Amy and I still have some driving to do through northern England, including Northumberland, before we reach Scotland. When we reach the border, it’s interesting to see the signs marking the transition between countries; they’re written in both English and Gaelic.

During today’s drive, we stop to visit one more castle. We’ve decided we’re starting to get a little tired of castles and gardens, so we don’t want to spend too much more time on them. Durham Castle isn’t very far from Hadrian’s Wall or the Scottish border, so it’s on our way and we figure we might as well take a look.

The town of Durham sits on a hill, and has both the castle and a cathedral, built by the Normans in the 11th century A.D., which were the main reasons for its importance in English history. Because of that history, like so many of the other places we’ve seen, Durham is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The castle is beautiful, and now houses a university as well as allowing visitors to tour some parts. If we hadn’t already had our fill of castles, we might have enjoyed it more.

Continuing north through the countryside and across the border, we keep running into cows and sheep roaming around. (We don’t literally run into any, though.) Apparently fences and boundaries aren’t common around here to keep the animals on the farms we assume they’re from. When a car approaches, the animals tend to look both curious and dumbstruck. It’s very cute.

Domesticated animals and farm animals aren’t all we see. At one point, a herd of reindeer cross the road in front of our car!

Johnny Monsarrat: Durham Castle, which houses an
Durham Castle, which houses an active college
Johnny Monsarrat:
Johnny Monsarrat: Scottish castle and gardens.
Scottish castle and gardens.
Johnny Monsarrat:
Johnny Monsarrat: The cows are even more curious
The cows are even more curious and stupefied than the sheep. These were near a small stone circle.
Johnny Monsarrat: Investigating us up close
Investigating us up close

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