Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Northumberland Tourist Information - no, not really!

Ok, so here at last a little gallery of pics from our Easter in my home county of Northumberland. First up, this is part of the bay at Newbiggin by the Sea, where I was born. I spent my childhood playing on the beach and exploring the rockpools. It's all a bit different from when I lived there - then the bay was all just sand, now there's a huge quay wall that you can no longer see over and lots of concrete terraces on the sea side of it to try and protect the area where the North Sea bombards the prom. They are now starting work on a new breakwater to try and give some protection, they are going to bring loads of new sand up from Norfolk or Suffolk to replenish the beach. So it'll be interesting to go back in a few months to see the changes.

So now I'll share a couple of my most favourtie places in the whole world - ssshhhh don't tell everyone though, the peace and quiet is one of the best things!
We both love castles, abbeys, and other ancient places and visit as many as we can. We are Life Members of English Heritage so we can visit lots of these fantastic places all over the country without panicking at the entry fees! It also means we can visit places just to top up the addiction - like mine to this, my MOST favourite castle in the whole world! Every time we go north I have to just pop in to make sure it's being looked after properly - I will admit also to feeling so protective that I have to stop myself chasing off those who climb on the walls - well, it is against the rules....
Warkworth Castle is just stunning at any time of the year and between us we must have hundreds of photos of it. The first photo is my latest, taken from inside the castle walls on the walkway above the gatehouse

And the second is probably Hubby's favourite view, from down by the river, complete with all the wonderful reflections. We have one of his photos of this view on our dining room wall, and I'm also using one for my pc wallpaper...what d'you mean "am I addicted"?

Next on the favourites list is my favourite beach, and we head off to the beautiful Druridge Bay. It's BIG, and edged by a wide, lumpy bumpy area of dunes which as kids we absolutely loved to play in. It's like a wild secret land just waiting to be explored - a perfect, unspoiled playground for the imagination.
As if the dunes aren't enough, the beach is an enormous swathe of sand, and when the tide is out it's just immense. I love it, it fills me with awe, and in the Easter Sunday morning sunlight it was magical.
Just a shame it's impossible to really get a feel for the place in a photograph

The area around Hadrian's Wall is beautiful, even just watching from the car window is breathtaking - II've never felt the need to be like those mad people who go and walk along the thing, though I'm sure they have a lovely time! I'm quite happy to see it from the road, or a nice easily accessible spot - and then to visit one of the Roman sites you find along there like Corbridge, Chesters Fort or Housesteads. This trip the weather was nice so we decided to do the trek to Housesteads - obviously a lot of other people had decided it was a good day to do a bit of cross-country walking too as the place was packed. I think I prefer Chesters really, but even with the Easter crowds, at Housesteads you really do get a feel for how remote it was up there, and isolated those Romans must have felt! Check out some aerial photos here

This was our lunch spot with a view! Pretty eh? It's just along the road from Housesteads travelling west, and not far past Steel Rigg. Now I think it 's Cawfields Lough, but I'm not absolutely sure on that, but on a warm, sunny day it was a perfect place for a picnic. I t was really peaceful too - well except for the Rescue helicopter that flew over very low at one point!

On Monday we had another picnic by the lake at Kielder - not quite so warm, but hey, we had a flask of hot coffee and one of my aunt's homemade meat pies still warm as it had been wrapped up straight from the oven.
Kielder was one of my Mum's favourite places, it does have something for everyone and you can be as active or as peaceful as you want, there's room for everyone.

Now we go to back to my favourites list for one of my more bizarre favourite places!
This is Winter's Gibbet and for some unknown reason seeing it is one of my earliest memories.
My family loved picnics and we'd all head off in the cars for picnics in the beautiful Northumberland countryside - my earliest memories are of family picnics with my parents, brother, Grandparents, my Aunt, Uncle and later, my cousins. I must have loved picnics right from being tiny because if I was promised a picnic, then a picnic we HAD to have - on occasion this meant a picnic in the car in the snow - well, you can't break a promise to a child can you? I have vague memories of my poor dad lighting the little primus stove outside in the freezing cold to make a cup of tea to warm us up! I think the Gibbet must have featured on one of those trips - probably when I was about 2 or 3, and it must have had some sort weird fascination for me right from then. We stopped off there again druing one of our drives and I took this pic - I'm quite pleased with this photo I like the moody sky and the eerie into-the-sun silhouette feel of it - a bit of an accident really as it was only because I couldn't be bothered to climb the fence to put the sun in a better position!

And with that one I'll stop before I bore you death. I may already have sent you to sleep.
I'm busy with some crafty stuff at the moment, so will share the photos of those soon. For now you'll just have to put up with holiday snaps! If you'd like to explore my homeland more, check out this site, which has some great photos from all around the county, and the BBC site for the area around the River Tyne
Bye for now


Mel Diener said...

Oh WOW, what absolutely GORGEOUS countryside..I'm so jealous. And your photo skills are sensational.

Lisa said...

OMG those photos are gorgeous!!! Amazing piccies!

Paula said...

Great pictures from one castles & Abbeys lover to another!!
I don't know what it is about these piles of old stones but they are romantic & mysterious. I am proud to love them as much as I love wildlife & the RSPB!!I'm kind of an anorak but not a train spotter heehee!!

Charafi said...

OOh Kathy you are a star!!! Those pictures are divine, and when hubby said that he thinks we need a long weekend away in may I said..ohhh I know the perfect place!! So Mrs B I shall be requiring all your local knowledge..will have to email you! I Definitely what to do the gorgeous beach, and some breathtaking scenery please....

You should get commision from the tourist board!!


Caroline said...

Love the photos Kathy and the beach really looks beautiful, certainly a lovely part of the country........

Rosie said...

Gorgeous photos Kathy!

We were at Housesteads on the Saturday at Easter! Yep, pretty busy it was indeedy and know what you mean about being pretty bleak (brrrrr - glad the sun was shining!!!!!)

Am sorting some photos out of Housesteads for my blog as I have been a very bad blogger recently and neglected it!

Paula said...

You and your hubby take lovely photos. Sounds like you miss the place?

CarolineO said...

These pics are so gorgeous! Really makes one want to visit and see for oneself.

Clare said...

Hi Kathy - I know this is an old post but I had to come tell you to go look at my blog entry for today (17th June)- theres a photo there just for you - not the most wonderful photo ever - but if it has the same effect on you as it did me - then you better find a tissue before you look!! LOL xx