And I'll be in Scotland afore ye!

Great news–plans are finalized and at the end of this month a friend and I are going to the UK for two weeks!

We’ll be visiting friends in Newcastle and Orkney, and then spending a few days in Edinburgh.

I’ve been to the UK twice before. My mom took me to London, Bath, and Brighton as a college graduation present (so five years ago–yes, I’m young), and the year before that I studied abroad in Paris and spent some time in the summer travelling around Europe. In England, I visited the same three cities plus Canterbury and Oxford.

It was wonderful and I loved all those cities (especially Bath–sorry, Jane Austen, I know you weren’t a fan!), but I’m excited to see a bit further north. Less and less of my book ideas seem to want to be set in London these days, so I want to collect other interesting settings. Newcastle is one of the northern industrial cities that come up so often when researching Regency politics and labor/class relations, and Orkney is…

Okay, my main association with Orkney is still Lot and Morgause from the Arthurian legends. But it’s at the very northernmost part of Scotland, and my friend and I are taking a six-hour ferry ride there from Aberdeen. I LOVE ferries. It is going to be beautiful! (And there is a BAR on the ferry. I’ve never been on a ferry with a bar before.) Also, my friend lives in a cottage. She doesn’t even have a street address, just “— Cottage.”

I promise I will post loads of pictures!

Does anyone have any tips to share for international travel (I haven’t been out of the country in years), or suggestions for things we really ought to see? Regency-era stuff especially welcome…

3 thoughts on “And I'll be in Scotland afore ye!”

  1. SO JEALOUS!

    I wish I could send you to Oban and Fort William and the surrounding area to scout locations for Book 2 of the alt hist, but I'm sure it's too far out of your way. 🙂

    Edinburgh is one of my favorite places I've ever been. I don't remember anything very Regency-related, but I wasn't researching the era back in 1998 when I was last there. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some good Georgian houses to visit in the New Town.

    I'm already sorta-kinda planning my 2015 trip. I emailed the Rick Steves travel advisors to get a sense of how long out to make a hotel reservation for a predictable, likely to be crowded event like the Waterloo bicentennial. Their advice: find some hotels that look stable and likely to still be in business then, and contact them *next* summer, five years out.

  2. Wow. Just, wow. That's early. On the other hand, actually having your reservations will make the trip that much more real…

  3. It never would've occurred to me to plan that far ahead, except that a few years back Dylan and I visited the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the owners of the B&B we stayed in mentioned that whenever a really major, obvious candidate for the HOF retires, the very next day they get booked up for the induction weekend five years away (since that's when players are first eligible). So it occurred to me that the Waterloo bicentennial might be a similar case, as a Big Deal date known far in advance. Of course, Waterloo is close to Brussels, while Cooperstown is in the middle of nowhere, so there's probably not going to be the same kind of crunch.

    But I'm also planning to play with a couple of itinerary options now just to get an idea of how much I need to be budgeting. Besides, half the fun is in the planning.

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