Last week I went on my holidays. Having already spent a week in the sun in Menorca with some friends in July, Mr G and I packed up the car and went off on our annual less sunny, camping trip.
We had a wedding to got to in the Lake District on Saturday 11th August, so had decided to start off in the Peak District and head over to Northumberland – both areas we hadn’t been to before – and aim to end up in Cumbria. So what follows is a bit of an advert for holidaying in the North of England. The weather was suprisingly fantastic for most of the week (although there was nearly a diva strop moment when it wouldn’t stop raining in Durham). And the scenery is just unbelievable. Absolutely glorious countryside, unspoilt beaches and more castles than you can shake a stick at! If you haven’t visited any of these areas before then you’re missing out. Holidays abroad are all well and good but you can’t beat Britain at it’s finest.
Whilst in the Peak District we visited Chatsworth House which is absolutely stunning. Having just watched the BBC programme that went behind the scenes (and of course Pride and Prejudice which was filmed there) we were keen to see it for ourselves. We had a lovely day and I’d say the gardens are probably even more impressive than the house.
We then headed over to Durham for a look at the cathedral and had considered taking in some country cricket but couldn’t quite squeeze it in! Then we took the Northumberland Coastal Road from just north of Newcastle. It’s a really lovely scenic route and we stopped off at Craster Harbour to have a look around and walk over to Dunstanburgh Castle.
We then stayed the night in a place called Beadnell Bay and took a walk up to yet another castle called Bamburgh. I’m not sure the photos do it justice but the miles and miles of unspoilt, uncrowded, clean beaches were fabulous. If this was Cornwall you wouldn’t have been able to move on the beach on such a sunny day. This whole part of the coast is truly an undiscovered gem. And Bamburgh was pretty epic too – well worth the six mile walk ! And we treated ourselves to some excellent fish and chips in the touristy town of Seahouses afterwards too. Yum.
We also took the opportunity to drive over to Lindisfarne which is also known as ‘Holy Island’ and is only accessible by car at low tide (also not to be confused with Gazza’s backing band on ‘Fog on the Tyne’). It was fun to drive over and there’s yet another castle plus an old priory to explore. There are nearly 200 people who live full time on the island. It’s a lovely place but I can’t imagine being so remote. And while we saw it on a lovely sunny day, I wonder if it might be a bit bleak in the winter. Although, they do make some amazing liquers and wine on the island so maybe that gets the locals through the winter months. The damson wine in particular comes recommended!
Not being content with the history we’d absorbed so far, Hadrian’s Wall was next on the hit list. Although I have to say I’ve visited more thrilling historical places…it’s just a stone wall after all! Although the part we went to did have the remains of a Roman Fort as well. To be honest, the views far outweighed the history on this occasion. We’re not usually such history buffs either, but this part of the world has so much to see we’d have really missed out otherwise.
From Hadrian’s Wall, it was then just a hop, skip and a jump to visit friends in Carlisle (didn’t see much of it but looked like a nice city) and onto the wedding bash in the Lake District where – needless to say – a good time was had by all!
And now the tent’s packed away until next year. Roll on 2013 🙂