Posts tagged Northumberland
Go Visit: Lindisfarne and Dunstanburgh Castle
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Good morning! I hope you've awoken on this bank holiday to skies awash with sunshine.  If you're wondering how to spend your extra day off (assuming of course you have one) and are located in the North East, why not try Lindisfarne or Dunstanburgh Castle?  Today's post is the second Go Visit from our Easter trip to Northumberland - you can check out the first here.

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Lindisfarne started out life as an old fort before being moulded by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll into a spectacular Edwardian house; what remains is the latter, complete with a viewing terrace with views out to Bamburgh Castle and beyond.

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My favourite room is without doubt the kitchen (why is it always the kitchen?!) with its cosy wooden seating arrangement around the crackling fire and Mrs Beeton cookbooks strewn casually across the wooden table.

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There are hidden treasures in every room; from images of the householders, to decadent furnishings and piles of paintings.  Yet by far the most interesting thing about Lindisfarne Castle is that it is located on Holy Island and is only accessibly by a causeway that disappears with the tides.  Check here for tide times to make sure you don't get stranded...

Less than an hour away via a picturesque coastal route lies the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle,  Make sure you're kitted out for a walk, because the castle itself is an energetic 20 minutes away from the village of Craster, although the stunning coastline views make it worth the trek.

DSCF4706Walk to the top of the tower and cast your eye over the horizon that changes almost every moment with the weather; one moment the fields glow golden, punctured by the white coats of sheep; the next the waves are the stars, chasing the shoreline back to the edge of the grass.

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Dunstanburgh is owned by English Heritage, but National Trust members also get it for free. As Lindisfarne is also National Trust, they can quite easily form the outline of a frugal day out.

Have you visited either of these castles, or do you have a favourite place in Northumbria to visit?  Wishing you all a bank holiday filled with happiness, good food and the best of company.

CC x

Go Visit: Beamish
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Pretty much the entirety of the week leading up to Easter was spent in walking boots.  Mr CC and I went away to Northumberland and met up with some of the CC clan (of which there are numerous members...) for a few days of gorging on local produce, hiking over the hills and long overdue catch-ups.  It was bliss, and the sun shined every day!  We went to so many places that I'll be blogging about over the coming weeks, but first here is a day out with a different: Beamish.

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The 'living museum' close to Newcastle explores Northern life in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s; it boasts a farm, a colliery, a manor house and even a town complete with shops where you can buy real items as if you had truly gone back in time.  If you read last week's post, you will no doubt have gathered that the 1940s farm was by far the favourite spot of Mr CC.  As we arrived at the farmhouse the scents of home-made scones wafted through the doorway and lured us into the heart of the 1940s home: the kitchen.

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The best part of it for me was the larder shelves; although they were intended to show a different era it was surprising how many dishes and pots I recognised from our own kitchen!

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The town came a close second to the farm.  Boasting a bakery, a co-operative store, a print shop, sweet shop and even a pub, the Edwardian street is the perfect spot to imagine what a pre-war Northern town would have been like.  Unfortunately we missed the morning's bread from the bakery, but Mr CC indulged in a pint of Beamish Gold in the pub and we contented ourselves with an ice cream!

We ended our day with a trip on the waggonway and boarded for a short steam ride through the Georgian landscape, watching the white smoke curl against the vibrancy of the blue sky.

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I would highly recommend this as a day out not only for history nuts like Mr CC and I, but also families as there are plenty of interactive activities - you can even take a ride on a tram if little ones don't fancy the walk!  One final word of advice: if you want the fish and chips, be prepared to queue.  The smell was overwhelmingly tempting, but we resisted as the queue snaked around the entire building...

Have you ever visited Beamish; what did you think?

CC X