A Travellerspoint blog

Castletown Estate

Meeting Lord Giles


A beautiful ride south through the Scottish countryside to the Scotland/ England border takes us to a town called Jedburgh. In the Middle Ages this was a border country which has a bloody history (The Battle of Neville's Cross, The Scottish Reformation). . Jedburgh Abbey is a ruined Augustinian abbey which was founded in the 12th century (ca. 1118). The walls of the abbey are well maintained which gives you a great idea of how it would have looked back in the day. As you drive through the town it towers over the main road. Hard to miss.


Travelling on we cross into England and drive through Northumberland National Park...home to England's cleanest rivers, clearest air and darkest skies. It is one of the least populated and least visited National Parks and also is known officially as the most tranquil place in England. The park covers 405 square miles from the Scottish border to Hadrians wall noted for its history and cultural heritage and known as the Land of the Far Horizons. One third of the parks landscape is made up of priority habitats which are recognized for their national and international importance. Walking, stargazing and visiting Hadrian's Wall are popular on the to-do list.


The park is home to a World Heritage site - Hadrian's Wall - it's a stunning example of the dramatic legacy the Roman Empire left in the area.
The community in the park has deep roots - and the cultural identity of the local people is reflected in their speech, traditions, folklore, knowledge and skills.


We are visiting Hadrians Wall a UNESCO World Heritage Site which reflects its frontier past.

A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian's Wall Path. The largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, it runs a total of 73 miles in northern England. Regarded as a British cultural icon, Hadrian's Wall is one of Britain's major ancient tourist attractions.

It is a common misconception that Hadrian's Wall marks the boundary between England and Scotland. In fact Hadrian's Wall lies entirely within England.

Housesteads Roman Fort is the remains of an auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall. The fort was built in stone around AD 124, soon after the construction of the wall began in AD 122. The site is owned by the National Trust and is in the care of English Heritage. Finds can be seen in the site museum as well as a short informational video.


This is where the rock collection for this trip begins. Rick has been picking up a few rocks on the walk up to the site...a thrill for him is “bringing home a piece of the land”.

We’ve worked up an appetite so we journey onward to Castletown Estate for a “regal” lunch. Country sausage, cold curried chicken and a green salad. Dessert followed with homemade raspberry-mint ice cream and small merengue cookies filled with lemon curd. Lady Penelope was at a charity luncheon today and could not join us. Our host : Lord Giles. How can I describe our host...a friendly, welcoming, funny, very rich entertaining man. He welcomed us with a “refreshment” while he gave a brief history of the house.


Conversation at the table included his estate, of course, .on the River Eden in the heart of an estuary, the gardens, the organic farm and his cattle, we touched briefly on Brexit and we learned that he asked Nancy Reagan to dance “at some party” but she turned him down.

Lord Giles then took us for a tour of the gardens...take a look!


Moving on to a popular village in Cumbria called Grasmere we learn that this was William Wordsworth town. This is where he wrote some of his famous poems. He is also buried here. The next place (and the touristy thing to do) in this town is to visit The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop. Sarah Nelson invented this recipe in 1854.

If you’re interested in reading about Sarah Nelson: www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk


It’s been quite a long day. “A funny thing happened” back at the hotel where one of my favorite questions was asked: “what is with all the bathrobes?” as clearly there are many guests walking around in the Low Wood Bay Spa robes and slippers. Well..you know who you are and I still laugh everytime I think of
It. A funny moment to remember!

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 09:41 Archived in England Tagged bay wall low wood estate lord castletown giles hadrian’s hotel/spa

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So much rich history and beautiful photos. I enjoy reading about your experiences and look forward to more of your adventures. As always, I'm sure it's a trip to remember.

by Erica

Sir Giles has a small cannon displayed on his lawn. When I noticed he laughingly revealed it was pointed toward Scotland.

by John Rhody

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