Monday, July 05, 2010

We're back from Northumbria

Yes, we got back home after a long drive from Morpeth to Nottingham, travelling
for about 180 miles along the A1, M18 and then the M1. We stopped off at one of
our favourite National Trust properties, Hardwick Hall, for lunch (well, it's up
North, it's called dinner) and a stroll around the gardens.

The weather in Northumbria couldn't have been better, a mixture of sunshine and
cloud (with only a short spell of light rain one morning) ... temperatures around
21 deg C, really lovely, whereas it was much hotter in London: 29 deg C for a good
part of the second Wimbledon week.... I would have wilted on the tennis court, if
I were playing in that heat.

We stayed in an old castle, Morpeth Castle, which is now being looked after by the
the Landmark Trust (and which offers self-catering accommodation at its properties). I've never stayed in such an old building before ... a very interesting
experience, especially with having the run of the place without lots of tourists milling around.

We visited some of the local sites of interest and the fairly deserted beaches
along the nearby coast ... very unspoilt, if you prefer a quieter type of holiday.

I've put onto my Flickr site a selection of my holiday snaps, including photos of
several family members (on Mrs C's side of the family).

The only downside of the holiday was being without a TV, a microwave oven, and
internet access ... not that I particularly missed all the footie and tennis
which was on that week, or the other two. We has plenty of time to catch up on
some of the action when we got back.

I've spent the past two or three days catching up on emails, doing website stuff,
seeing our family in Nottingham, and doing some work for my local U3A. This
afternoon, I went along to an interesting illustrated talk all about Dorneywood,
the country residence of the top aides of successive prime ministers. Our new
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, is due to be the next occupant.
The talk was given by Ken Clarke's wife, Gillian, both of whom stayed there
from time to time, over a four year period. Very posh living, paid for by the
Dorneywood Trust (and not by the tax-payer).

There's more info about Dorneywood on Wikipedia, but the history of the house
is inaccurate / incomplete. (It was renovated in 1920, not built in that year).

I'll end this post with a few holiday snaps (more info about them on my
Flickr site) ....

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2 Comments:

Anonymous edtNZ said...

Nice pics at your flickr site. Did you eat nay of the Craster kippers? Regards from a bleak wet winters day in New Zealand.

3:40 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Ta very much for your kind comment about my pics, EDT. No, we didn't try any of the kippers, but we had some expensive (and lovely tasting) fish and chips at a restaurant next to the kipper factory. There was a lot of smoke from burning wood chippings drifting around the village, which can't be very healthy for the inhabitants. The best thing about Craster was the lovely coastal walk to nearby Dunstanbugh Castle, pictured on the blog.

3:16 PM  

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