Friday, July 26th 2019 – North Sumercotes, England to Melrose, Scotland.
Setting off early from our rental house we made a quick stop to visit the old folks in Grainthorpe, then a quick stop in at Barney’s Diner for an espresso and nearby gas fill up and we were on our way North. Our first point of interest stop was discovered by accident: Monument to The 7th Earl of Carlisle is an impressive sight as we entered the Howardian Hills AONB. Our next stop was a planed one in the village of Middlesbrough is the Tees Transporter Bridge – one of the few operating in the world – this gondola lift platform caries cars across the River Tees. Visitors can explore this 1911 bridge by riding a glass elevator to the catwalk above. Unfortunately we were unable to travel across the river as the bridge was shut down and awaiting parts to arrive from Indonesia. Beverley, desired to walk the heights of the walkway above and we had to wait for an tour opening. This gave us a chance to visit downtown Middlesbrough and have a beer.
Departing the bridge a couple of hours later we set north again for our first tourist trap; The Angel of the North is a rusty man with wings sculpture along side the busy A1. Next up the road was the village of Corbridge (A Roman Village), a touristy but quaint village selling plenty of items tourists would like. A bit west the real Roman ruins begin. First up; Temple of Mithras – a tiny Roman temple situated in a sheep field. Next stop; Housesteads a vast ruin of a Roman fort situated along Hadrian’s wall. Nico enjoyed a drink from an ancient sink. The last Roman visit on this path was the large ancient village of Vindolanda. Having arrived just past the last entry time I was told I could not enter nor could I look out of the ticket sales windows at the ruins as the rude ticket seller pushed me out the door. Not daunted, we walked the small street around the ruins and found a small wall to climb over. Free entry! Seems some recent excavations are going on.
Farther north we stopped for a quick look at the closed Jedburgh Abbey and filled up with fuel. Not much farther north was our stop for the night – Melrose Scotland with its famed ruin of Melrose Abbey with Robert the Bruce’s heart buried within its walls.