Day 5 in the Highlands

Once again we headed out with our piece of paper with directions for the day that M planned for us.  Off I went with the mouths and M got her quiet day.

First stop was tall trees and historical roots at Reelig Glen.
Reelig Glen is a narrow, steep-sided gorge, cut by the rushing waters of the Moniack. The woodland is a mixture of old conifer and broadleaved trees, but its real glory is a stand of Douglas Fir trees that are well over 100 years old. They soar above you to a height of about 170 feet (50 metres).
One old giant measured over 200 feet (64 metres) in the year 2000 – the tallest tree in Britain at the time. After a local competition, it was named Dùghall Mòr – Big Douglas!

 

Our next stop was in Beauly not knowing that the Highland Cross was going on.
The Highland Cross is a 50-mile duathlon (20 miles on foot, 30 miles on bike) traversing the spectacular Scottish Highlands coast to coast, west to east from Kintail through Glen Affric and Strathglass to Beauly.

Highland Cross exists to raise money for causes that benefit the people of Highland, disadvantaged by disability, ill health or social need.

Beauly Priory is one of three priories founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from Val-des-Choux (‘Valley of the Cabbages’) near Dijon in France, and adhered to strict ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Beauly, meaning ‘beautiful place’, must have seemed to the monks a wonderful location in which to devote themselves to worship. Only the abbey church still stands today, housing some fine funerary monuments.

We left Beauly by the back roads to avoid the traffic of the Highland Cross.  Fred wasn’t sure where he was going but managed to get us back where we were supposed be.  I wanted to stop at the Kiltarlity Old Church on Beauly River.

The monument consists of the remains of the sixteenth century parish church of Kiltarlity, which may have succeeded an earlier one on the same site.
The dedication is said to have been to Thalargus (Talorgan) or, according to another account to “Tarrail”. It is situated in an old graveyard on the S bank of the River Beauly. The rectangular church measures 19.1m E-W by 8.4m over walls 0.9m thick. The walling is a mixture of random masonry roughly coursed with rubble.
The gables are approximately 4m high, while the side walls stand to a maximum of 2.5m. The gables have opposed square-headed windows with segmental rear arches. The W gable has a plain window (now blocked) on the upper level. There are two entrances on the S side and a window. A small credence niche is located in the SW corner.

http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM5570

I also found a Geocache which I wasn’t looking for but it was just sitting there, so I showed the boys what it was.

 

We didn’t have a long day because we did things around the croft.  When we were walking through the Tall Trees I noticed how quiet it was, this is when I figured out the boys were quiet when we were walking in the nature.

 

 

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Flat Ole Hippies Do England

This nice couple, Cindy and David, are so much fun.  They take us everywhere with them. We went to The Four Thieves and had a beer with them.

We got to ride the underground.  It was a really big train.

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We went to Swiss Cottage where we had a beer and fish and chips.  We hung out by the taps and our friends David and Gary.

 

We got to go to Chester on a train.  It was a lot of fun. To our surprise our new friends found yet another brewery pub called Brewery & Kitchen.  We had a nice beer there with a good head.

Then back on the train to go to Bebington which we were told was on the Wirral.  We were really tired and kind of slept through those few days.  We did get up to ride the ferry to Liverpool.

We got to go to The Cavern but I didn’t see the Beatles.

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Back on the train we went to head back to London.  We were told we were flying to Scotland next.

 

 

Liverpool

We had a few hours before we caught our train back to London, so we went to explore Liverpool.  I wanted to take David to The Cavern. On our way we found this group busking, playing music in the street or another public place for voluntary donations. They were really good and David got to talking to them.  They will be making a CD soon and are sending one to David to play on his radio show.

 

I then managed to find the Cavern with the help of the band.  This is not the original cavern but they used a lot of the bricks from the old one.  It is still pretty cool.  We went in and had a beer.

 

When you leave the cavern and walk to the corner you will find the Beatles Hotel.

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There is tons more to see in Liverpool, but we had limited time.  We then headed to the train station to get our train back to London.

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After a few hours we were back in London and back at Gary’s flat.  I then had to pack for our trip to Scotland the next day.

 

The Royal Iris Ferry

No trip is complete without a trip across the Mersey River on the ferry, as “Ferry on the Mersey” plays on the speakers.

This Royal Iris is not the famous one because it is decaying in the Thames River.

The MV Royal Iris sits in a dilapidated state whilst moored on the south side of the River Thames near to the Thames Barrier.To use the royal on a boat, pubs, hotels and any other thing you can thing of can only be used if there has been someone royal in or on the place.  The Royal Iris had hosted the Queen and Prince Phillip on Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The Queen and Prince Philip aboard the Royal Iris on the Mersey in 1977.

So I think the new one just stole the royal from the original ferry because it was previously the Mountwood.  I feel that this is like stealing some war heroes medals because Iris was awarded the Royal.

Enough of my ranting and back to our ride across the Mersey River.  Before catching the ferry we went and looked at the World War I submarine and some old buoys. I got some photos of Liverpool from Birkenhead.

 

We then went and got our tickets.  We walked down the walkway which I think is so cool because it goes up and down with the tide.  The tide was out when we went because the walkway was going downward.  Got some great shots of Liverpool while crossing the Mersey.

 

If you every get to visit Liverpool or the Wirral it is well worth the ride.  They also have special cruises that are always fun.

The Wirral

I wanted David to see the little village I lived in and meet my very close friends Anna and William Stead, so off we went to Bebington.DSC_0288

After they picked us up at Bebington train station we headed to their house for a nice drink.

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The boys went to William’s allotment and got some fresh strawberries.  After the drinks we moved to some beer.

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We had a wonderful meal and then off to bed.

The next day we were going to show David the Wirral.  I wanted to show him Port Sunlight. In 1887, Lever Brothers began looking for a new site on which to expand its soap-making business, which was at that time based in Warrington. The company bought 56 acres (23 ha) of flat unused marshy land in Cheshire, south of the River Mersey. It was large enough to allow space for expansion, and had a prime location between the river and a railway line. The site became Port Sunlight, where William Lever built his works and a model village to house his employees. William Lever personally supervised planning the village, and employed nearly thirty different architects. Between 1899 and 1914, 800 houses were built to house a population of 3,500. The garden village had allotments and public buildings including the Lady Lever Art Gallery, a cottage hospital, schools, a concert hall, open air swimming pool, church, and a temperance hotel. Lever introduced welfare schemes, and provided for the education and entertainment of his workforce, encouraging recreation and organizations which promoted art, literature, science or music. It was raining, this was not a surprise because we were in England, while we were there.  We stopped for a little bit but then moved on and planned to come back which we didn’t do.

Not sure why the posts there had crocheted covers. I guess it was to protect you in case you fall after a pint.

 

Then was the whirlwind trip around the Wirral.
Wirral (/ˈwɪrəl/), also known as The Wirral, is a peninsula in northwest England. It is bounded to the west by the River Dee, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey, and to the north by the Irish Sea.
The roughly rectangular peninsula is about 15 miles (24 km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide. Historically, Wirral was wholly within Cheshire; in the Domesday Book, its border with the rest of the county was placed at “two arrow falls from Chester city walls.” However, since the passing of the Local Government Act 1972, only the southern third has been in Cheshire, with the rest in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in the modern county of Merseyside.

 

We ate lunch at Remember When. It was a very nice tea room and food was good.

 

We headed back to Anna and William’s house.  We walked to the allotment where we pulled weeds and picked currents.

 

When we returned Anna made us a wonderful meal.  David got to eat pheasant for the first time.  We then had an ice cream that Anna topped with the strawberries and currents that we had picked.  We had a nice couple of bottles of wine and had some good laughs.  Anna told us how when she was at the university they had to stand with different sandwich boards to make money.  She actually still had one.

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The next day we had to leave our dear friends to head back to London.  I am so glad that they had a few days to spend with us because they have been running around like a chicken with its head chopped off and its wings flapping. They have been going to Wales, Ansty and Bebington trying to take care of 3 houses.  Luckily, they just got the one in Wales sold.  Now all the work will begin on their one in Antsy which is an old thatched roof house. Thanks again Anna and William for showing us a good time.

 

 

 

Chester

Chester is one of my favorite cities with its city walls, roman remains, medieval buildings and Victorian restorations.  Chester was originally a Roman fort on the River Dee and close to Wales. I could not wait to show the town to David.

We got to Euston station to catch the train to Chester .  We were actually heading to the Wirral where I had lived before with my late husband.  I wanted to introduce David to my dear friends  Anna and William Stead, who we were staying with.

We grabbed some breakfast before we left in the train station where we were joined by a pigeon.

 

We arrived in Chester ready to go do the tourist thing, but wait there was a brewery near by.  Off we went to find it hoping that it was there.  I had in my hand the address and directions.  We headed out and were not sure what we were on because the United Kingdom likes to hide the street signs on the buildings if there even is one.  David saw a taxi stand and headed over there to get directions.  When he came out he said throw those directions away because they are totally wrong.  The Brewhouse & Kitchen was just around the corner.

The Brewhouse & Kitchen is a bit different from your traditional pub. They  brew their own, unique craft beers on-site in there brew-tiful microbrewery! As well as matching every dish on their menu to a style of beer they also love cooking with beer, be sure to keep an eye out for recipes that make use of the beers they brew.  We had a nice meal there also.

 

 

I guess the brewery was more important than the tour of Chester.  We checked the time and noticed we had only a short time before we had to catch the train to Bebington.  We walked a little ways down main street to check out Chester.

 

 

We walked across the Dee to the railway station to catch Mersey Rail to Bebington.

 

The Search for Breweries

I wanted to go visit my friend, Ian Mcinnes, in Hampstead.  I once again did a search for breweries and Gary, David and I set off.  We took the underground at Earl’s Court to King’s Cross where we walked to Euston.  I picked up my tickets for our trip to Chester the next day.

 

 

 

 

After our visit we were off on the search for the greatest beer.  We used our Oyster card to hop on a couple of buses.  We got off and started down the road.  We then noticed that the numbers were getting smaller, then turning around we started back up the road.  We found the address just where we had gotten off the bus.  As we all stood there looking dumbfounded at the empty building, we wondered if there was another building 100.  We had now gone completely around the building looking for a brewery.  Gary saw a security guard in the building, so he knocked, asking is this 100 and told yes.  Is there a brewery here?  No, this building is empty and has been closed for many years.

Ok no big deal we have another one to find.  We  got directions, so off we went.  We found the address with no problem.  Only problem was it is now Tesco Express.  Once again Gary went in to see what he could find out.  No one knew anything, until a gentleman came out and told us that the brewery has been gone for many years.

Once again it was rush hours, so we decided to go to the Ye Old Swiss Cottage to eat dinner.  We walked in and David noticed all the taps were Samuel Smith beers.  I guess I should mention that the one thing he wanted to do while we were here was going to Samuel Smith brewery which is in Tadcaster.  I tried to get us there but it was just going to be a pain, so we decided to skip it. David was in heaven.

The Swiss Tavern was built in 1804 in the style of a Swiss chalet on the site of a former toll gate keeper’s cottage, and later renamed Swiss Inn and in the early 20th century Swiss Cottage.

Swiss Cottage is a district of the London Borough of Camden in England. It is part of Hampstead and is centered on the junction of Avenue Road and Finchley Road, at the tripoint of the postcodes of Hampstead NW3, Kilburn/West Hampstead NW6 and St Johns Wood NW8. Swiss Cottage is 3.25 miles (5.23 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross. It is the location of Swiss Cottage tube station.

 

After some great beers, nice meal and rush hour was over we headed back to Gary’s flat.

 

 

 

London

We landed at Gatwick and then caught the train to West Brompton where we walked 2 blocks to my brother-in-law Gary’s flat.  We didn’t do much except go get some dinner and a couple of groceries from the Co-Op the first day.

The next day we took off to go brewery searching.  I got online to start looking for some close by ones.  I found two that we went to find after we finally got moving.

After riding the underground and buses we finally found Four Thieves.  It is what they call a brew pub here, which means it has the brewery in the pub.  The brewery is very small but impressive.  The brewer brews about every three weeks and also brews at several other brew pubs.  They have what we think is about a five barrel system.  We were given a tour that we enjoyed. The beers we tried were very nice but they don’t bottle, so none to bring home.

 

After that we headed out to find another brewery. After several buses and walking in circles we finally came to the Sam Brook’s brewery at 6:03.  We walked in to go up to the bar and no one was around.  I wandered around and took some photos.  David found a bell that said push for help.  We then found out that it closed at 6:00.  Whoever heard of a bar closing at 6.

 

We then walked by the clock that runs backwards. That is called World’s End Clock.

World’s End is a district of Chelsea, London, lying at the western end of the Kings Road. Once a Victorian slum area, council housing was built here in the 20th century, including the brutalist World’s End estate. The area takes its name from the public house The World’s End, which dates back to at least the 17th century.

In the King’s Road, near Milman Street, is an inn styled “The World’s End.” The old tavern was a noted house of entertainment in the reign of Charles II. The tea-gardens and grounds were extensive, and elegantly fitted up for the reception of company. The house was probably called “The World’s End” on account of its then considerable distance from London, and the bad and dangerous state of the roads and pathways leading to it

It is mentioned in Congreve’s Restoration comedy Love for Love (1695) as a place of questionable reputation to the west of London:
MRS. FORE. I suppose you would not go alone to the World’s End.
MRS. FRAIL. The World’s End! What, do you mean to banter me?
MRS. FORE. Poor innocent! You don’t know that there’s a place called the World’s End? (Act II, Scene IX)

 

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We then decided to go get something to eat to avoid the rush hours.  I say hours because it is not an hour but hours in London.