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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Northern England

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 22 July 2010 | Views [679]

From York we headed to the east coast and Scarborough with its famous beach and castle. From there we spent some time wandering over the North York Moors National Park and ended up in Thirsk which is the town that the serial 'All Creatures Great and Small” was filmed in. Outside the town is a big white horse on the hillside and we walked the cliff above it collecting wild raspberries and bilberries to eat, up there was an info point about the horse but all it said was that the people (about 100 years ago) hadn't been very thoughtful in creating the horse as now it took a lot of money for upkeep and it was very hard on the citizens on the town so please do not walk on it or disturb it.

North of Thirsk is the town of Northallerton from whence hails the ancestors of Kent's Walker family :) We went to the oldest church there and enquired about the surname and looked at the cemetery but found nothing. Unfortunately it was a Sunday so we weren't able to visit the council offices. A long drive north to the city of Durham and Haidrians Wall. We spend a few days in this area exploring Durham city and going all the way along the wall. We didn't go into Newcastle as its a huge sprawling city. Not sure if we have mentioned Park & Rides before but they are a great system in these cities with their tiny streets and no parking. In cities that have them there are 4 or 5 situated on the outskirts of the city and each has a very large carpark and buses that ferry you to town every 10 minutes or so. The cheapest has been £2 per car and the most expensive £2.50 each, it is great to be able to only have to find your way off a motorway and park then we spend the day wandering around the city which is usually based on the very old scenic centre. Durhams centre was tiny cobbled streets and cute buildings and a river running through. We spent time in the library looking up Kents family but again no joy really.

Our first glimpse of Hadrians Wall came as we headed along the road beside its length and we quickly stopped and jumped out and walked into the paddock to see it close up and take pics. Most of the wall has been dismantled over time and it now stands between 3 to 6 feet tall where it stands at all. It used to be 15 feet tall (4 - 4.5 mtrs approx) with battlements on the northern side and it is about 10 feet thick (3 mtrs thick) at intervals of about 1 mile (1.6 km) along the wall there was a small fort known as a milecastle. It was 80 miles (124 km) long and stretched from coast to coast, must have been a formidable and amazing sight. The Romans were so particular in their building, amazingly the peasants in England were living in very basic huts before they arrived with their stone buildings with underfloor heating, plumbing, bathhouses and latrines and after the Romans left the peasants still lived in the same way... It took thousands of years for them to get to the level the Romans lived at then, of course now instead of having slaves we have electricity.

We had another opportunity of watching a show of birds of prey on the wing which was great. One of the birds was a New Zealand Moorpork (they call it a Bubook), small and really cute, we have heard them in NZ but never seen one.

A small foray into Scotland as we rambled through the Northumberland National Park then north to Warkworth where we visited the Castle and a Hermitage, hewn out of rock on the riverbank. North again to Holy Island or Lindisfarn, visiting only when the tide is not high as it is reached by a causeway, an interesting place.

This is as far north as we went in England, next stop Scotland.

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