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LisaP 05-05-2009 05:35 PM

Hi all. On my wish list for our upcoming British Isles cruise is to tour a castle. I've narrowed the field to two: Sherbourne Castle in Portland, England (of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594) or the Castle of Mey in Scrabster, Scotland (restored by the Queen Mother). Both are offered through HAL, and we would do them through the cruise line due to their distance from the pier.

As for Scrabster, another option is John O'Groats and Dunnett Head, billed as the northernmost community in Britain. Would we be missing much if we passed on the Castle of Mey and did this tour instead? We are first-time visitors to the area.

Thanks in advance.

queenofcruzin 05-06-2009 09:31 AM

Hey Lisa P, told you I would be there for you on this Celtic Kingdom Cruise. First, let me say I am a castle person, the history of these many beautiful castles is amazing, this one is in wonderful shape thanks to the departed Queen Mother who restored it in the 1990's. It has plenty of great stories, and an award winning gardens. John O Groats and Dunnett Head are quite desolate, Lighthouse fans will be pleased, but you will get the view as you round the north edge. I vote Castle Mey.

susanmaz 05-06-2009 12:37 PM

LisaP - please do a review of this cruise when you return. I'm trying to talk my hubby into a British Isles / Baltic / North Sea kinda cruise. So I'm looking for information I can give him to convince him... Thanks, Susan

LisaP 05-09-2009 08:26 AM


you will get the view as you round the north edge.
Thank you! This is pretty much what decided it for us. The Castle of Mey sounded more intriguing, anyway, so we will have a nice tour there and then snap some photos of the view from the bus.

You'd think there would be a tour that combined the two.

We're still deciding on Portland. One more idea is Portland Castle, which was more of a fortification, although it did serve as living quarters at one time. We may also take in a walk along Chesil Beach. There's so much to do here.

Susan, I will gladly share excerpts from my journal upon my return, and hope to follow that with a full review. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to cover.

LisaP 07-23-2009 04:16 PM

Thank you all for your castle thoughts. We returned from our cruise this past Saturday, and had a great time. As for castles, we saw several -- one that was mainly for defense (Portland Castle), one that was primarily a residence (Caerhay's Castle and Gardens, near Falmouth), and two that were some of each (Cardiff Castle and Edinburgh Castle). They were all so interesting yet quite different from each other.

We were also set to go to Castle of Mey (thank you, queenofcruzin), yet high winds prevented us from anchoring in Scrabster.

My narrative/review is nearly done... I'll let you all know when it's set.

Thanks again!

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