Blogs from Northumberland, England, United Kingdom, Europe - page 8

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland June 29th 2008

Having skipped Scotland we had to cut across the top of England and find somewhere to stay. Our resident ‘Roman History’ buff wanted to see Hadrians wall. The Roman’s built it to separate the area they conquered from the ‘barbaric Scottish’…yawn.…miles and miles of nothing…yawn…stone walls (though slightly wider) just like all over England…yawn…a few wind swept sheep, some rocks and hardly a tree in sight. The hostels are full with walkers (crazy people wandering over barren landscape in the wind and rain!) so we sought out a cheap pub. After dinner we started chatting with a couple of old guys…well we could talk to one but the other had such a strong (Scottish I think)accent I could only pick up a word here and there (Darren had no idea what he was saying). ... read more
rain or shine we'll keep solidering on
disposable umbrellas
castle ruins to be found everywhere

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland June 28th 2008

We spent the afternoon at Alnwick Castle but should have allowed more time, it was great. The Duke of Northumberland and his family still live there and it was the set for some of the Harry Potter films. It was so interesting; the kids were knights and princesses for a day fighting their way through the ‘Dragon’s Quest’, in the many towers and rooms around the fortified walls were interesting displays of the various stages of English history and some of the main house was open to look through. I couldn’t take photos of the Dukes residence but it was so opulent. They live here but at certain times of the year part of the residence to the public, it’s strange to see plasma TV’s and family photo’s mixed with the opulent antiques. ... read more
Castle along a remote coastal path
Alnwick Castle
Owl display

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland June 27th 2008

Pronounced Anick, how can they keep skipping letters of a word!! I keep having to check words for local pronunciations. We have a hostel in a quiet country lane all to ourselves with the added bonus of an open fire. It’s still not getting above 16-18. But we soldier on and go for some nice walks around the coast discovering a castle here and there and try to warm up on a sheltered beach and watch some crazy kids paddling in the icy water, our kids could only manage dipping in a toe. We’re still really tired and the trip to Edinburgh didn’t win out over staying an extra night here beside the fire. ... read more
Cozy fireside living room at the hostel
Taking a walk down the lane
the remaining tower of a nearby castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland June 4th 2008

Wow - it was a long day, but I think I've got the hang of this 'driving on the left side' thing. Justin sits next to me and repeats the mantra "left side...left side...left side" about every 30 seconds or so. I do okay, but every now and again when we go around a corner, and I see a car coming my way in the right hand lane, I instictively jerk the wheel. I'm in the proper land (left) but my brain tells me the guy is coming straight for me, because I'm used to being in that lane. I think I've developed a twitch. Northumberland is beautiful! I'm glad we took this route. The roads are narrow and winding, with barely room for two cars. I've pretty much grinded the tread off the left ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland May 16th 2008

Friday 16 May - After a relaxed morning, we left Byrness at 11am to start our big trudge uphill through a conifer plantation and then had a short scramble up a rock ledge. Even though the day was a lot cooler than the previous day, it did feel like we had done a Jane Fonda workout by the time we reached the top of Byrness Hill. Up on the open ridge were views of the magnificent Kielder Forest and Catcleugh Reservoir sparkling in the distance. As the Pennine Way continues, it crosses some of the least-populated parts of England. As we continued on, it was disconcerting to hear gunfire and blasts - the Pennine Way passes through Ministry of Defence property and there are signs everywhere warning walkers not to trespass. One of the signs says: ... read more
Lovely burst of colour on the Pennine Way. Northumberland
Lovely burst of colour on the Pennine Way. Northumberland
Hot Work: Phew! Nearly at the top of a very steep climb through a conifer plantation. Pennine Way, Northumberland

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland May 15th 2008

Thursday 15 May - After starting breakfast at 8am, we were still talking and laughing with the very friendly owner of the B&B an hour later. We left the table to make way for the other guests who were due for their breakfast at 9am. During breakfast the owner had advised that she worked for a company that sold professional artist pastels - Malcolm being a keen artist decided he would like to buy a set of her pastels. The B&B lady said she would accept no charge for the pastels as long as he donated the money to the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and gave her a picture showing one of his favourite scenes whilst hiking the Pennine Way to put up in her office. Malcolm agreed to do this - we are very grateful to ... read more
Indiana Burch! Taking an adventurous detour off the Pennine Way, to see a waterfall. Northumberland
Day 19 - Steve and Lav still full of smiles. Pennine Way, Northumberland
The beautiful Hareshaw Linn Waterfall - well worth the detour and extra miles needed to reach the waterfall. Northumberland

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland May 14th 2008

Wednesday 14 May - Timidly we showed our faces at breakfast, after coming last in the quiz the previous evening. However, we were not overly worried because we were so delighted to be celebrating our third wedding anniversary and in quite a novel way, helping to raise money for charity. It was a very good breakfast and on seeing our Ectopic Pregnancy Trust 'Hiking 429km the Long Way Up' t-shirts, a few people showed an interest and asked us more about our fundraising hike. Two ladies who showed an interest as well, were on an archaeological dig - one of whom said she had recently read something about the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust in the Telegraph; and told us that Marilyn Monroe had suffered from an ectopic pregnancy. Whilst paying our bill, the landlord of the Twice ... read more
Off to explore more of Hadrian's Wall. Pennine Way, Northumberland
There are lots of ascents and descents along Hadrian's Wall. Pennine Way, Northumberland
Steve heading up some very steep steps. Hadrian's Wall. Pennine Way, Northumberland

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland May 13th 2008

Tuesday 13 May - Waking up today, we were filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing the famous and historic Hadrian's Wall - especially because it was another glorious day. Following breakfast, Malcolm's 'first' English breakfast, which we were sure would be one of many along the Pennine Way, we left Greenhead. The area is full of history and the first interesting site we approached on our walk was Thirwall Castle. The castle was built in the early 14th century as an impressive family stronghold and splendidly surmounts a green hill overlooking the tree-lined Tipait Burn. The setting of the castle was simply charming. Fascinatingly the thick walls are built from recycled Roman stone. Our fascination and excitement quickened as we glimpsed our first sighting of the magnificent Hadrian's Wall - which was the most ... read more
Steve excitedly explains to Malcolm the highlights of the Pennine Way so far. Northumberland
Ruins of Thirwall Castle. Pennine Way, Northumberland
Craggy cliffs at Hadrian's Wall. Pennine Way, Northumberland

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Northumberland February 29th 2008

Last Weekend I went to the Borders with the International Society and got to see a lot of really beautiful places in both Scotland and England. The first stop was Rosslyn Chapel, from "The DaVinci Code" for those of you who read it. The Chapel was absolutely gorgeous but unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside of it. I bought a lot of postcards for the inside pictures though. It was absolutely amazing. The original Chapel was built out of Sandstone if I remember correctly. So it was a lot of different colors within the chapel. But a mixed blessing cam along in the form of the Victorians who came in to restore the chapel by painting over the very soft stone with CONCRETE!!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!! By painting it with concrete the Victorians successfully ... read more
Date Stone
Melrose Abbey
Inside of Melrose Abbey


Staying in the historic city of Berwick Upon Tweed was a tactical decision, because it’s within easy reach of Holy Island, (and because I found some really good books in the hostel lounge.) It struck me as a curious place, so I took a brisk walk around before leaving for Scotland. The quintessential border town, Berwick (pronounced Berrick) was claimed by both Scotland and England, and changed hands numerous times during various scuffles. In the Middle Ages the Scots finally ceded it to the English, who promptly fortified it as a border defence. The township is still encircled by the same city walls, strengthened by enormous grassy ramparts on the eastern side during the reign of Elizabeth I. The views from the ramparts were marvellous, the air was fresh, and the accent strange. Berwick is further ... read more
Who said the mediaeval military weren't publicly minded?
Gargoyle
Melrose Abbey and church




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