Posted by: Robin | June 24, 2010

40 Days and Counting

My husband Don and I will soon be making my dream trip to the UK, visiting London, Cornwall, Cardiff, North Wales and the Isle of Mull and Iona in Scotland. I get more excited with each passing day, and with each additional bit of research I do so I can more fully appreciate the places I am going. It will be Don’s first time out of North America, and I can’t wait to share the experience with him.

The itinerary is shaped by places that appear in the five novel series I am writing, especially the second of the five, but they are also, except for London, the Celtic pockets of Britain that I have read and studied so much about. I am especially thrilled about our time in Wales. My attempts at learning Welsh have been less than a resounding success, so I doubt that I will try to engage anyone in conversation other than a ‘Sut mae?’ here or a ‘diolch yn fawr’ there. Still to explore the places I have read about and studied, to look out from Yr Wyddfa (Snowden) and walk at Garth Celyn (thanks, Ellie) where the last great native princes of Gwynedd walked makes me feel fizzy inside.

In Cornwall we will be exploring Bodmin Moor and Tintagel, both Arthurian sites, with Bodmin also rich in Cornish history and wildlife with standing stones and ruins galore. We’ll stop at that mecca of mystics Glastonbury Tor, another Arthurian site, which my duty as a novelist will require me to climb, and I better be in better shape than I am now if I don’t intend to incur heart failure.

The ruins at Caerleon in South Wales will be our major expedition while in Cardiff, but hopefully we’ll have time just to soak in the city that serves as the Welsh capital before heading north where our center of operations wil be Deganwy for daytrips into Eryri, Snowden National Park, the Isle of Mon/Anglesey, and the northern coast.

Finally, our stay in western Scotland, from which many of my ancestors emigrated to the U.S., will be too short, but to see the place where Colmcille/Columba built a religious foundation that brought Christ to the Scots and Picts will be a great way to end our travels and get a taste of Highland/Western Isles culture. So stay tuned for all the adventures!



  1. I am intensely and immensely envious. This trip is on my bucket list. Did you know that Dick and Lissa Herman have done a lot of this? If you haven’t, maybe you should talk to them about some tips. And keep good notes!! When Mary and I get around to this, I will want some tips from you. Enjoy!!

    • I imagine there is a Presbytery Directory so I can contact them. Thanks for the tip. I am excited and will enjoy it for both of us. I will keep detailed notes, but I imagine much of it will be burned in my brain like the 2000 trip. I imagine your bucket list will have a lot more Scotland in it than mine, though if we’d had more time we would have had more Scotland! Thanks!

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