Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Fuel shortage up't'north!

We awoke to glorious sunshine and pretty clear skies. Yes, it was cold, but the day looked promising. I was first up for a change - I thought I should show willing.

After a bit of discussion, we decided to visit Craster and walk up to Dunstanburgh Castle. This plan was quickly scuppered when we discovered from the National Trust Guide that the castle isn't open on a Wednesday! So, a quick change of plan, and we headed out through Alnwick to Rothbury. Because it was a clear day, the views were wonderful. Across rolling valleys to snow capped hills in the distance, with the vistas only spoilt by the pylons and power lines.

We stopped at Rothbury and had a quick wonder around this quaint old town. Typical stone buildings, independent shops and the odd cafe made up the majority of the town centre. We couldn't find anything to hold our interest for long - the biting cold wind helped see to that, but we did get some books in the RSPCA shop. I took a fancy to a snooker table they had in there too, until it was pointed out that we really don't have anywhere to use it.

We had realised that we were running low on petrol, so out came the satnav and we asked it to find the nearest petrol station. Low and behold, there was one less than a mile away! Except there wasn't. It was a garage, but it didn't sell fuel. We asked a local, and she looked shocked at the question, and couldn't think of where there was a petrol station this side of Alnwick.

Thankfully, that was only around a dozen miles away, and we had enough to make that with no problem. Unfortunately, the garage the satnav sent us to was now a building site with flats being built on it. The next one on the list was already houses, and the next one was not only on the wrong side of the road, but also deserted. It had closed down! Aaaaargh!! The next one on the list was 7 miles away.......

Two hundred yards down the road, near the new Sainsburys was a BP station not on the satnav. Phew. Just when we were beginning to think we were going to get stranded in the fuel forsaken north, we were able to quench the engines thirst for amber nectar!

After this little escapade, we decided to head for Low Newton-on-Sea for a proper visit there after yesterdays quick "peek a boo" at it. We parked up in the only carpark which is about 200 yards from the "village" itself. Actually, to call it a village is a bit overstating it - really it is just a couple of cul-de-sacks and the "main road" is a no through one. At the bottom of the hill, just yards from the beach is the famous "Ship Inn", which we had heard so many good things about.

We had a long walk along the beach, and were able to take some good photos of Dunstanburgh Castle up on its hill, before doubling back to the Ship Inn for a spot of lunch. Sally had the leek and potato soup, and i had a bacon, mushroom and tomato stottie. For those of you who don't know what a stottie is, it is a type of bread roll peculiar to northern England.

Seahouses beckoned to us yet again after lunch, and we had another wonder around the town, looking in the most amazing gift shop - it holds a HUGE amount of stock of a HUGE variety of things - many totally unconnected to each other. Despite their enormous stock levels, we failed to find a single thing we wanted to buy, and moved on to the only amusement arcade that we could find that was actually open. We limited ourselves to £1 of 2ps in the machines there, plus a game of air hockey (which i won 7-0.....yessssssss!!!!!)

The National Trust shop was about to close, but we made them stay open for just a bit longer while we had a look around. The joys of being in retail eh? Those pesky customers...... ;-)

By 4pm, most of the town seemed to be closed - it is all very odd around here - either they don't open at all or only briefly - i know it is "out of season", but do they want our money or not? You wouldn't find it quite so odd if the shops we were talking about were particularly touristy ones - but it seems to be everywhere that behaves the same.

Back at base camp, we had a pot of tea and some toasted fruit bread - the closest we have had to a cream tea on the holiday so far! Watched another episode of Wallender on DVD, and chilled out.

Here's hoping for more good weather tomorrow.........

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