Showing posts from June, 2019

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

Any trip to Northumberland must include time on Lindisfarne or Holy Island as it is known. Obviously it has a long and varied history, but also it's a wonderful island to just follow the footpath around the coastal edge and marvel at the wildlife and soak up the peace and tranquility. We have visited the island before, but a re-visit was today's objective - tides permitting!  Lindisfarne Castle is really two buildings; the comfortable Edwardian holiday home with the Lutyens features and the cosy atmosphere is the obvious one as it is what we see today. But hiding behind all this is the old fort, dating from Tudor times and taking up three quarters of the Castle's history. Lindisfarne Castle as we know it first appears in about 1550, but wasn't in any completed state until 1570. For the next three hundred years, the fort (as it was known then) was home to temporary garrisons of soldiers on detatchment from the larger force based at nearby Berwick. Their

Bamburgh and Dunstanburgh Castles

What to do on a squally day? - we decide to visit two of the great castles / ruins in the area. After all you can usually shelter in a castle if a shower appears.  So, first stop was at the huge Bamburgh Castle. The 6th century Kings of Northumbria established Bamburgh as their capital, building a wooden stockade to create a stronghold on the existing Castle site. After being ransacked by the Vikings at the end of the 10th century, the Normans built a new castle on the site, the core of which remains today, and in the 12th century Bamburgh Castle became the property of Henry I, the reigning English monarch. Next came the arrival of the Foster family, gifted the ruins by James 1st and then the subsequent acquisition by Lord Crewe and the formation of the Crewe Trustees.  Finally the castle passed into the hands of the First Lord Armstrong, with the intention of creating a respite home he passed away before its restoration was complete and became the Armstrong family home. It is

The Magic of the Inner Farne Islands

In the afternoon of 10th June, we had booked a trip to Inner Farne, home of a multitude of seabirds - one of the best locations in the British Isles. This time of year, most breeds are plentiful, as they are busy raising young. So, blessing the calm day, we made our way to Seahouses, our point of embarking. The trip visits some of the outer islands, just for a brief look. This was interesting as we skirted the island housing the lighthouse from where Grace Darling and her father made their heroic rescue. Then passed large numbers of gray seals lazily watching us sail past. Finally, we landed on inner Farne to be dive bombed by Terns who were nesting near the landing point. Guillemot covering the rocks as we approached by the island. Longstone Lighthouse - our closest approach. Some trips actually land - but not ours. Grace Darling became a national heroine after risking her life to save the stranded survivors of the wrecked steamship Forfarshire in 1838.

Start of our holiday in Beadnell, Northumberland

Thinking of going abroad? There is a very good reason of course to stay at home, and that is the beautiful country that we live in. So, off to Northumberland, a place that always attracts. Beadnell, to be precise. We had a lovely cottage, shame about the road leading to it! As several days of this holiday were wet, very wet!, we found ourselves almost floating through large areas of this unmade road. On the nearby beautiful beach was this seaweed left by the receding tide. The foreshore just across the road was less inspiring being made up of rock and stones as above. However, just round the corner was miles of gorgeous beach, backed by sand dunes. Wonderful. A great base to explore the surrounding area.  Past history revealed near the harbour, as the old lime Kilns show. I believe the harbour is the only one on the east coast which faces west. Only a small one now though.  Another view of the magnificent beach and dunes as the tide receded. We walk