Sunday, June 27, 2010

26th June 2010 Last Day of the Holiday!

As it was the last day we decided to go to Seahouses for a last trawl round the Farne Gift shop and to visit out favourite bakers, Trotters of course!
This is the interior of the Farne Gift Shop, as you can see there is quite a wide range of things on sale, you name it, they have it!
And these custard and almond buns (plus a couple of Rum Truffles! are what we bought in Trotters, absolutely delicious!
Next stop was a little place called Burnmouth, just over the border into Scotland,it has a single street along the base of the cliff, a harbour, and that's about all.
A simple fishing village, and nothing whatever to attract tourists, which is why I like the place
Then on to Eyemouth for a walk and lunch, this is a typical Scottish turret house, there are lots like this just over the border.
And a street statue memorial to Willie Spears, leader of the fishermen, he prophesied a disaster when after weeks of bad weather there was a calm morning, but a very low barometer reading, but they still went out and 129 fishermen from Eyemouth were lost that day, it became known as "Black Friday" October 14th 1881.
And this house belonged to a very wealthy local merchant (much of his wealth allegedly came from smuggling!)A short blog as we had some getting ready to do for the journey home, it had been a really great week and we enjoyed ourselves!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday 25th June 2010 Low Newton, Craster

.We set off just after nine and stopped for a cuppa on the Rothbury to Alnwick road, from the steep hillside there are some cracking views, this is just one view looking back in the direction of Rothbury. The castle isn’t of course actually built on the bridge, it’s about a quarter of a mile behind it.

.Here is the plaque at the top of the hill at Low Newton, these are a great idea and give some useful and interesting information about the places you are about to visit.

.Pat took this view looking down onto the cottages and Dunstanburgh Castle on the skyline. You can see it’s a great beach and people have built huts the size of small bungalows in the dunes behind the beach

.The village is comprised of cottages and a pub arranged in a “U” shape with the open end facing the beach, once the homes of fishermen, holiday cottage now!

.On then to Craster and this rather corroded plaque that tells of how the modern harbour came to be built, there were fishermen living there for many many years before that, but the had to operate from a rocky shore with no protections from storms.

.This image is a panoramic from seven images and even though I have reduced it to one twentieth of its original size you will still have to scroll your screen to see it all.

.As can be seen here the main catch of crabs and lobsters these days, the boats were out at sea while we were there.

.There were quite a few visiters among the rocks, (they like to have a quick look before making the long hike to Dunstanburgh Castle) and Pat took this rather nice shot of a group of them

.This is where we had lunch, it has to be just about the best “Greasy Spoon” cafĂ© I have come across (and my experience on this subject is comprehensive!) We had an excellent “Chicken Supreme” with salad, a slice of lean bacon, and mayonaise in a large fresh Stottie, not only was it very tasty but there was so much Chicken we had a job to finish it. The cost? £3 each
And a great cuppa for a £1.
He also does Craster Kippers in a bun, and Haggis and sausage too!
If you go there, treat yourself, you can’t go wrong.

.On then to Alnmouth and I can never resist this shot of the Oxbows in the River Aln, they are truly classic in form.
.The only really decent view of Alnmouth is from the Warkworth Road, and you are so far away that you get far too much foreground and sky in the picture, so I have cropped them out of this fine shot taken by Patty.

.We stopped halfway between Walkworth and Amble and Pat took this one of the old boats, it doesn’t seem so long since they seemed complete and merely at anchor, but the weather plays havoc over the years.

.They have a circus in town in Amble it seems, and isn’t it nice to see so many fishing boats tied up near the Marina?
Always had a soft spot for Amble “The Friendliest Port” (Its got a Good Chinese take away and Chippy too!)

.Looking back from the same point Pat shot the massive Castle at Warkworth, its been some years since we went round it, it was very impressive inside as I recall.

.This is the Coquet lighthouse, Not far out from Amble in the sea, it looks as if you could walk there at low tide, but you most certainly can’t!
.And Pat took this shot with her telephoto lens, it had been a really great day out, but by now she was getting a little stiff so we headed back to site and a rest.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday 24th June 2010 lindisfarne and Beadnell

.Knowing how busy it seems to be getting round here we were off early and enjoying a cuppa on Lindisfarne itself, opposite the refuge on the original Pilgrims way across the sands, I other words half way between the causeway and the village.
Already there was quite a flow of traffic heading for the car parks , we went into the village and parked where we always have, then walked past the village cross and Pat was fascinated by the flowers outside the first house

.This was one of many fine roses growing up the wall.

.Then it was past the pub, through the rusty turnstiles and across the common, where Pat took this one of the ruins of the Priory, famous as the birthplace of Christianity on the English Mainland, it was raided by Vikings, but managed to last until the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry the Eighth.

.Then through the other turnstile, down the little hill and into the area filled with fishing gear and the old boat huts. I took this one of a rather more modern (though decrepit) boat and surrounding gear.

.And Pat did this very nice portrait format image of the upturned bow of one of the old boat huts with Lindisfarne Castle and boats at anchor. I rather like this shot!
.Pat is turning out some very competent shots with groups of people against interesting backgrounds, and this is a good example as a family heads out towards the castle

.In between us arriving and leaving the council had turned up to repair the railings on the causeway bridge, typical timing when we wanted to photograph it, but of course repairs must be essential when you consider the structure is out there in the middle of the bay and subject to some dreadful storms!

.We dropped into the Oxford Farm shop to reserve a table for dinner, then continued on the A1 to go north to the hill above Berwick where I could get 3G internet access to upload the blog.
In front of me there was a caravan being towed with the skylight wide open, so I flashed him and we turned into the next lay-bye.
When I set off again I hadn’t gone very far when I found a Police Car on my tail flashing his lights for me to stop.
I turned off at the first junction and he pulled in behind me, he told me that according to the computer in his car, there was no insurance taken out on my car!
Fortunately I was able to produce the certificate and he was full of apologies for stopping me, saying that the computer system obviously hadn’t been updated.
But, the Insurance was taken out in April, Officer, I said.
Ah well, he replied, it does happen occasionally, if you hadn’t any insurance we would have taken your car away.
I didn’t say anything but if I hadn’t had my insurance certificate with me, I wonder if this is what they would have done? It doesn’t bear thinking about!
Any way we continued and uploaded the Blog then had a great Beef salad at the Oxford Farm Shop followed by Meringues, Strawberries and Ice Cream. Heres Pat with hers.

.And this is mine, I liked it so much I wanted a photo!

.On then to Beadnell Bay, and it had clouded over. To judge from the amount of Kelp on the beach the sea had been pretty rough quite recently

.We got as far as the harbour and then a passer bye told Pat that the Seahouses Lifeboat was bringing in a fishing boat that had a failed motor and sure enough before long we could see them approaching

.When they arrived in the bay and dropped anchor we watched the crewmen transfer back to their boat, and with a gentle shove from the lifeboat men it made it the last few yards to a waiting tractor and trailer

.Job done the engines of the lifeboat roared and off it sped like a speedboat. I’ll bet the crew really enjoyed their run out under ideal conditions, it must have been a very welcome change from the winter storms and raging seas that they have to endure on most launchings.

.HM Coastguard were waiting in force and the boat owners had to give an account of themselves to a group of guys who must have heard it all before!

It was a very eventful day out, that we had really enjoyed, so back at camp we had a lazy evening.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday 23rd June 2010 Cragside

.Another bright and sunny morning so we went for a brief tour round to kill time till Cragside opened at 10:30.
Pat took this first shot to give an impression of the vast empty spaces around here and how isolated some of these houses really are

.This next shot is looking down onto the village of Earlsdon, a pleasant spot with a strange multi-story tower house (top right of the village) from the days when manor houses had to serve as fortifications at times.

.When you arrive at Cragside you can either walk to the right in the direction of the house, or to the left as we did to reach the Restaurant area and the Shuttle Bus (its’ free!) that will take you to any point in this vast property. As you do so you pass these huge Rhododendrons and trees tall enough to make you dizzy looking up at them, being on a steep slope increases the impression of great height
.In front of the Restaurant and Shop is this lovely lake complete with picnic tables, very popular with families at lunch time as the Restaurant is good, but cheap, it aint!

.The Shuttle bus came round within five minutes and whisked us over to the formal gardens, which were a little bit shall we say lacking in colour, as the gardeners were busy just setting out many of the displays, this one for instance celebrates the fact that Lord Armstrong (who had the house built) was born 200 years ago

.At least there were a couple of water lilies on the pond, and the fish were perky enough

.Here is a shot Pat took of one of the water lilies, aren’t they a sight to see? and Pat grows more confident in using her new camera with every passing day.

.She is very proud of this image, her first shot of a Damsel Fly, and she has a right to be as they are notoriously frisky little beasts and disappear in an instant if startled.

.The end wall of the garden was a real sight, with a display of poppies of types we hadn’t seen before, some really lovely colours and they were big flowers too!

.Look at the petals of this one, they look as if they have been all crumpled up, yet they were undamaged.

.I couldn’t resist this alien life form (sorry, flower) as I have never seen one like it before, talk about strange looking!

.Lunchtime and the Shuttle Bus whisked us back to the Restaurant, rather than sit outside under a soggy looking umbrella we had our lunch inside (much cooler!)
Cauliflower Cheese and locally made Bread and Butter, plus a Latte for me and a Cuppa for Pat. Excellent, and quite filling!

.This whole area used to be the stables, part of them are incorporated into the restaurant, and the rest are a permanent exhibition, explaining how the house was way ahead of it’s time, being the very first in the world to have Electric Lighting, and all the other things mentioned on this display.
Lord Armstrong designed and had built a Hydro Electric Generating Station on the Estate to power the house.
He was the richest man in the world in his day, and invented the hydraulic systems that power Tower Bridge in London, as well as practically owning Newcastle and building the Japanese imperial Navies Battleships (they were our allies back then)

We had a great day out at Cragside, then did some shopping in Morpeth, uploaded the previous day’s blog and returned to site for a well earned rest.