Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola
“Excuse me, this is the best museum I’ve ever been to,” said Lola very sweetly to the man on the desk at Tullie House in Carlisle. He beamed and then helped supply the date that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at M&S – 1745 – to key in and enable Lola to lift the sword out of the stone on the first floor galleries. Later on we looked for the plaque and were amused to see that Butcher Cumberland had also stayed there, a year later.
At Tullie House www.tulliehouse.co.uk the kids got in free (they were even given a free gift and a sticker when we arrived), the collection is fantastic and brings the area to life. When we left we’d tried out a Roman saddle (they may have worked out how to build roads but they didn’t know how to do stirrups, tsk, tsk); fired a Roman stone shot; found out a lot more about the horrors of living in the Marches (ie, the Borders) during the time of the Reivers from a specially made film; seen a leather post bag hooked on to a train; climbed through a Roman mine and eyeballed various stuffed animals that are distinctive to the uplands and dales of this gorgeous area. And the children got a free gift when they arrived. You must go if you are ever in Carlisle – and don’t forget to look at the Cursing Stone (which I’ve written about before) and have now gone back and eyeballed for the second time. Carlisle is so interesting I feel that I could spend a lot more time there, though I’m sure part of that is pure nostalgia from having a VSO boss who came from somewhere around there. Nell had insisted we went back because she wanted to see the guns at Carlisle Castle and during our second walk around it we ended up in the local militia museum getting a much more English view of the Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie problems (Catholic absolutists according to one of the curators, a Revier named Forster with an r). I still can’t believe that back in June I’d never heard of the troublesome Reivers.