Monday, 13 June 2016
Sunday, 20 March 2016
Sorry for the delay, I've had a few issues with getting Blogger to work and so I am a bit behind schedule with my posts!
Another dull, grey start to the day, which was sadly our last full day in Northumberland for this visit.
A trip to Seahouses was in order for last minute gift buying, and more importantly, trying to arrange our next visit! It turns out that one of the reasons we are struggling to get much of a choice for the week we have off in June is that it is just after the bank holiday, so those fortunate enough to be able to have booked extra time off for the bank holiday. It makes sense once it was pointed out to us, it just wasn't something we had realised.
Lunch was taken in the Neptune fish and chip restaurant in Seahouses, and it was better than the one we had earlier in the week at The Pinnacle just across the road from it.
A quick stop off at Beadnell on the way back, and a walk around the village to parts of it that we hadn't been to before left us with an even more positive view of the village. Yes, we could imagine ourselves living there when we are retired. Assuming we would be able to afford it of course! I would say that about 80% of the properties there are either second homes or are rentals for holiday use. Therefore the prices are somewhat high. Oh well, one can dream I suppose.
Back at the cottage, we got ourselves as packed as we could, and sat down to watch the second and third episodes of "One Child" on BBC iplayer. I didn't really fancy it to begin with, but actually did enjoy it in the end, despite that rather unexpected and somewhat sad ending.
Talking of sad endings, so to bed for our final time in Kipper Cottage. We would both be more than happy to return at some point if the opportunity arises.
So, to end this holiday blog, I'm going to put some photos of the cottage on. These were taken just before we left, so all of our junk was out of the way, and the place was nice as tidy, just as when we arrived!!
Thursday, 17 March 2016
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
The weather app had always claimed that Tuesday was going to be the least good this week, and so we had always planned to go to Alnwick today to look around the shops and mainly to go to Barter Books, the huge second hand book shop set in the old railway station. Then last night the app changed to say that today was actually going to be really nice, and so we changed the plans, and I looked up a route to take in a few of the towns going South from where we are staying that we haven't been to before.
Then, we woke up to find that it was raining. So, back to the original plan. After a lie in, we had a nice cooked breakfast, which is something that we hardly ever have. Sausage, poached egg, mushrooms and toast to set us up for the rest of the day.
So, we quickly juggled our plans, and instead headed North to Holy Island, or Lindisfarne if you prefer. We took the opportunity to drive on the coastal road as far as possible, which meant that we got to pass through Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh on the way. All three have a special place in our hearts from previous visits up to the area, and the spectacular view of Bamburgh Castle is something's that you could never tire of.
I had also checked the tide tables before we set off. The island is only accessible by driving across a causeway that gets flooded by the sea at high tide, and you have to consult the charts as the times it is safe to cross vary quite dramatically from day to day. Today it was safe to cross from 09:45 until 16:30.
Once there, and parked up, we had a quick chat to the man at the NT van in the car park, who told us that the castle may well be closed for the whole of 2017 for major renovation work. The previous time we visited the island the castle had not yet opened for the season, so it was definitely the right time for us to give it a visit, fate it would seem had taken things by the scruff of the neck.
The castle is about 3/4 of a mile walk from the carpark, which is on the edge of the village. The castle itself sits imposingly on a tall rock, and despite being quite small does look very impressive.
There were plenty of people making the walk up to the castle, although once inside it wasn't as busy as we expected it to be. It seemed very "cozy" inside the castle, which is something we have never felt before with either a castle or an old house. Perhaps because it had been quite windy outside and the thick walls were keeping that at bay it just felt nice and warm inside?
I hadn't really known what to expect of the inside, but it wasn't quite what we found. It turns out that the run down castle had been discovered by the owner of Country Life magazine many years ago, he had bought it and renovated it to live in. So the furniture and fittings were not as old or medieval as I had expected, and the castle's military history was virtually nowhere to be seen.
Despite this, it was very interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The views from the castle both inland and out to sea are very impressive, and the inviting nature of the rooms almost had us thinking "we could live here", as opposed to the usual thinking of "how the hell did people live here" when wandering around old houses or castles.
The walk to the castle had been up a fairly steep cobbled slope, so the walk back to the village was a lot easier, and the sun had started to really show itself by now, and the day was becoming very pleasant indeed. Back in the village, we needed refreshments and stopped at a cafe that prided itself on its coffee. Of course, we both opted to have tea! Sally went with a slice of carrot cake, and I chose something called Cuthbert cake, which neither of us had come across before.
The carrot cake was lovely, but the Cuthbert cake was amazing. Fruit, nuts and seeds combined together and with a lemon icing to finish it off, it was truly delicious, and quickly had us checking Google for more information. It seemed that "Uncle Google" had also never heard of this awesome cake, and as we were leaving we were going to ask the staff for some information about it. Just as Sally was waiting to ask, I spotted some recipe cards, and one of them was for Cuthbert cake! We bought the recipe and the lady behind the counter said that this was the recipe they constantly sold out of first. Seeing as the others were for cakes that everyone would have already have heard of, I found this unsurprising!
We wandered around the rest of the village and ended up visiting the famous Meade shop and sampled some of their wares. I had been keeping an eye on the time due to the tide, but we left the island in plenty of time, and made our way back South to pass through Bamburgh again, and finally stopped in Seahouses for a bite to eat and a look around the shops. It does seem that everywhere closes ridiculously early around here, and by 4:30 pretty much everywhere was closed.