Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

CatsWhiskersTours provide unique tour experiences tailored to suit you. Call +44 (0) 141 638 5500

Front elevation at Castle Howard, England

This morning, we departed our lodgings in York and drove north for 15 miles to Castle Howard, a 300 year-old grand house which is the home of the distinguished Howard family.

Features at Castle Howard include:

  • Baroque architecture with hints of Catholicism.
  • Great Hall with high dome and frescoes, carvings and wrought ironwork.
  • Ornate chapel with work by pre-Raphaelite artists including William Morris.
  • Temple of the Four Winds located away form the main building and offering 360 degree views.
  • Garden statues.
  • Ray Wood with extensive botanical collection.
  • Grand entrances.
  • Lake with water birds.
  • Connection with Brideshead Revisited, both T.V. series and film.

Spring blossom at Ray Wood, Castle Howard, England

Grand bedroom at Castle Howard, England

Great Hall, Castle Howard, England

Atlas Fountain, Castle Howard

Castle Howard viewed from Temple Terrace


Temple of the Four Winds, Castle Howard

Video clip of Castle Howard, front elevation.

The visit to Castle Howard was enhanced by dry, sunny weather which lasted until 3.00pm when rain set in.

We departed Castle Howard mid-afternoon and returned to York to spend time in the famous and historic Shambles shopping area which is now tourist orientated but has its origins in the medieval period.

Shambles shopping area, York, England

Shambles, York, England

Finally, we returned to our lodgings in York.

Tomorrow we visit Bracepeth (Yorkshire) and then Hadrian’s Wall.

Preston England Mormon Temple

This morning, we departed our lodgings at Welshpool, close to the Wales-England border and drove north for about two hours to our first stop at the Preston England Mormon Temple at Preston in N.W.England.

Preston England Mormon Temple

After a short visit to the Mormon Temple we drove east for about 90 minutes to our next destination of York, England. En-route the temperature dropped to around 1 degree C. We saw snow on the hills and encountered heavy hail in York which affected road conditions. These low temperatures are unusual for late April.

Bootham Bar, York. Part of Medieval defences.

Hail covered road, York, England

On arrival at York we drove around the city and viewed the medieval city walls which were built on Roman predecessors. Guests spent about two hours visiting the famous Minster ( Cathedral) which sits at the heart of the city.


York Minster, England

Inside York Minster, England

Inside York Minster, England

We later checked into our lodgings, in York. Tomorrow we spend more time exploring York and visit Castle Howard, a mansion verging on a palace just north of the city.


Roman baths at Bath, England

This morning, we departed our lodgings near Bath, England and transferred into Bath to visit the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey and avail of refreshments at Sally Lunn’s, a historic building and eatery dating from the 15th century.

The Roman baths date from the 1st century AD and exploit a constant supply of warm water. The baths went in to decline after the 5th century but became popular again from the 18th century.

Roman Baths at Bath

Roman` inscription at. Bath

Sally Lunn’s Eatery, Bath, England

After lunch, we departed Bath and drive west across the Severn River Crossing (bridge) to South Wales and then to our next destination of Merthyr Tydfil, a large town which has a history in heavy industry.We undertook a short driving tour around Merthyr and stopped to visit St Tydfil’s Church.

St Tydfil’s Church, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Next through Brecon and on to Llanllugan, a hamlet in central Wales to reach which entailed navigating very narrow, single-track roads flanked by high hedges. At around this time we encountered snow with temperature down to 1.5 degrees C at one stage. At Llanllugan we visited St Mary’s Church.

St Mary’s Church, Llanllugan, Wales

Llanllugan, Wales

Finally, we drove on to Welshpool in eastern Wales where we checked into our hotel for the night.

Tomorrrow we visit York in England.