On the tour bus through a village in Yorkshire

When our coach turned off the oh-so-bland motorway and onto a winding, dipping narrow two-lane road into English countryside, I finally felt like our journey had begun.

Yorkshire ruin
A crumbling ruin in the Yorkshire Dales

It was a strong contrast to the beehive of humanity in London. A stop at Hadrian’s Wall, an ancient defense built by the Romans to keep out the Picts, let us stand atop a bit of history that inspired a trail – Hadrian’s Path – leading hikers coast to coast across the northern fringe of England.

Hadrian's Wall
John and his mom at Hadrian’s Wall, the first stop off the motorway

Out in the countryside, people walked and biked. We saw campgrounds around one of the national parks. Unlike in America, the parks and historic sites in England are managed by a private trust. Public access to cross private land is a right. And there are trails everywhere.

Hadrian's Path
We passed quite a few hikers walking Hadrian’s Path across Yorkshire
Trail in Yorkshire
We had a brief stop at the Scottish border to walk out on a trail

Mists closed in, as they should, as we rode into the moorlands of Yorkshire. They are a scrub habitat where little grows, bleak in demeanor under a cloudy sky. They go on and on and on.

Moors in Yorkshire
The moors of Yorkshire are a moody place. When it rains, even more so.

Closer to the road are sheep farms, their green grass a strong contrast to the moors. At the Scottish border, moors gave way to forests and grassy fields.

Yorkshire sheep
Sheep on a Yorkshire farm near the Scottish border