Saturday, 30 June 2012

June Happy Things

Gorgeous Turkish Delight smelling Peonies

Our holiday to Northumberland

Pretty garden flowers

380 Granny Squares

Yummy Pancakes at the Diner

Goodness that is Coffee Cupcakes

Giant Frilly Poppies

Hatching Fabric Plans

Beach Time in Northumberland and Kent

Going to Scotland 

Jubilee Celebrations


Wednesday, 27 June 2012


This past weekend we went to Kent to visit my Mum. On the Saturday morning we fancied some outside time so we headed to Dungeness. The weather was windy but bright, perfect weather for time at the Coast.

We've never been there before and nothing had prepared me for the unusual landscape - miles and miles of shingle. It really is quite unique.I love the amount of Flora there is and the Lighthouses. The many scattered dwellings are all so different to each other - some are hut like others are train cabins. There are seemingly random forgotten things, derelict things, rusty things. 

I love the fact that the Coast is actually growing here. The shingle gives a pinkish orange glow to everything. There aren't any boundaries and it almost seems desolate, but then you look again and realise it really isn't. There is so much beauty here. It really is an area of outstanding interest.

We really enjoyed our long walk at Dungeness, we took lots of Photos, got battered by the wind, talked lots, giggle quite a bit and enjoyed the surroundings. We will definitely be going back!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Day Eight

This was our travelling home day. But unlike our journeys on the way to holidays where we go straight there we always stop at as many places as possible on the way home. Our first stop was The Angel of the North. I always expected it to be large, but it was simply massive! It was rather busy there as we were only an hour away of the Olympic Torch being there. I'm so glad we stopped.

Our next stop was Durham. We headed straight to the Castle and Cathedral. The Cathedral in it's sheer size just blew me away. There was a Orchestra rehearsing whilst we made our way around the Cathedral which made it all the more special. The Norman Architecture is so different from that of the Cathedral in Norwich but equally as stunning. I can't believe it was completed in just 40 short years. Most of the shop windows were celebrating the graduates of the University which was really nice to see. We had a potter around the centre for a while and bought our last Stotties to take home from us. We really must learn how to make them as they are a delight.

Next up was North Allerton to go to Bettys to buy some of our much loved Fat Rascals. The queue for the Cafe was nearly out the door so I was glad that we just wanted things to take away.

We had a potter around North Allerton too and gosh I am glad we did as we saw the most wonderful yarn creations decorating the town. I love each and every bit - I cannot imagine how much work went into this.

Our very last stop was our beloved Sutton Bank. I remember the first time we went to Sutton Bank and I will always love it there. The views are amazing over the Vales of York and Mowbray. I love the Road up to the top which has a gradient of 25% and a hairpin bend.

And here ends our holiday, well apart from getting horribly lost in Lincolnshire due to many many road closures! We had a wonderful time. We did and saw many lovely things and albeit a lot of blog posts, I'm glad I've gone into such detail so I won't ever forget our wonderful Northern adventure!

Day Seven

This morning we headed south towards Hexham as we were off to find Hadrians Wall. The weather was so rainy - hence I have borrowed a couple of photos from the Internet. On route we came across Kirkharle Courtyard where there is a collection of boutique shops, arts and craft workshops set in converted 18th century farm buildings. It seemed like a good thing to get out of the rain and we saw some rather wonderful work. We even bought a couple of pieces.

John Speight - hand cut silhouettes which are completely beautiful and so well done.

Lindisfarne Landscape by Peter Phillips - his work is amazing. I would love to own an original.

After the rain ceased we went to Vindolanda, a Roman Fort. It was built about 40 years before Hadrians Wall and was occupied for about 400 years. There is so much to see from the ruins of bath houses and temples. They also have a great museum where you can see Roman writing tablets and thousands of artifacts like shoes, arrowheads and jewellery. The shoes were amazing - the intricacy and how much had survived was quite astounding. We spent a long time at Vindolanda wandering around and fortunately managed to escape most of the rain.

We then headed to Cawfield Quarry to see Hadrians Wall. Even through the rain it was quite wonderful to see. The wall  lining the ridge of the slope and then the quarry cutting through the wall. 

We then went further along the wall to see the Turet at Banks. It's quite well preserved with adjoining stretches of the wall. The view from here over Cumbria was fabulous. Whilst in this area we also saw Hare Hill which albeit a short length of the wall it stands tall at 2.7 meters.

At this point we weren't far from the other side of the country, only about 20 miles and just 16 from Gretna Green. So off we went! We went to the Famous Blacksmiths Shop. The building was wonderful. We had a look around the Shop and bought a few gifts for people back home and particularly enjoyed the pumped up bagpipe music.

It was then six o'clock and we were 82 miles from the Caravan. The rain was coming down hard. But the wonderful sat nav took us on the A7 route. What a road! So picturesque. When we got back to the caravan, I grumpily put out bags together in preparation for our journey home the next day. It's almost a good job that  it had rained for most of the day otherwise I would never have wanted to leave!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Day Six

Bright and early on our Sixth Day we went to Alnwick, to Barter Books for Breakfast. Their Station Buffet is excellent and we enjoyed two Bacon Baps and hot delicious Coffee. I love the story behind these rooms. As it says on their website; "Back in 2008, the Shop Manager of Barter Books, David Champion, went scouting around to find room for more badly needed office space. And he not only found it, he found a whole room - a room no-one really knew existed. David slid open the heavy door to reveal a room in such disarray it seemed untouched by time since the last train had left Alnwick Station almost half a century before. But the room also revealed two wonderful surprises: clinging to the far wall was a magnificent green fern miraculously alive after all these years thanks to water from a nearby leaking drain pipe and light from a totally unexpected source, a large glass skylight. "Look", said David, one hand gesturing around the room, "office space!" "No", said Mary, looking from the fern up towards the skylight, the sun streaming into the lost room even then conjuring up something she had wanted far longer than a desk, a chair, a lamp: "Forget the office! This is our Buffet!"

We then went back to Alnwick Castle as we wanted some better photos as it was quite overcast the day we originally went - thank goodness we go the annual passes! The Castle look amazing against the Blue Sky and made the building really shine.

We also took a walk around the Castle and ended up near the Alnwick Gardens so got to see their most excellent tree house and purchase a rather lovely print by Sarah Farooqi. Her work is beautiful and it's already adorning a wall in our Living Room.

We went back into Alwick and saw the preparations for the Olympic Torch Event - there really was a carnival feel to the market town with a Fair, Stalls and lots and lots of bunting!

Then it was time to head to the Coast. We wanted, no, needed to return to Holy Island. We just had to see the Priory. This time, as we were driving over the Causeway, we saw to rather large Gulls flying towards the Car. We watched them and noticed one had a Fish in its mouth - just as it went over the car, it dropped it, and boy did it make a thud on the car! Me and the boy just kept exclaiming "we just got hit by a fish!".

The Priory was stunning and we were there all on our own. It was so Peaceful and beautiful. I just can't imagine the violence that this place is reported to have seen with the Vikings landed in 793. I did a course in my second year at University and read plenty of sources about it, but being here, you just couldn't imagine.

By now it was about 4pm so we headed up the Coast to Berwick. As we were driving into Berwick, there were a lot of people buzzing around. We got closer to town and there were even more people and a band and lots of flags. Then we worked it out - we were really close to the seeing the Olympic Torch. We parked up and headed back down the hill to join the crowds. We bought a flag and waited. Then we saw the runner, Scott Richards, as we later learnt and the crowds cheered with joy. It really was most spectacular and well worth stopping!

We saw this in the window of a shop in Berwick and it made me smile!

We still wanted some more Coast time, so we carried up further North into Scotland to St Abbs, a small fishing village. There rock promontories which jutted into the sea - so dramatic. I love this type of Coast. I love wandering around Harbours - seeing Lobster Pots, the Boats, checking out the names of said Boats and just watching the waves - I sometimes think I need to be by the Sea as often as possible.

I then thought we would turn back for the Caravan, but the Mr decided the view were so spectacular that we could continue up the Coast further and we ended up in North Berwick. He made such such such a good decision as we got to see Bass Rock - you could just about see the Seabirds. It's really amazing. But boy was it windy! We had Hats, Coats, Jumpers on and were still cold! But it was totally worth it. The North Berwick Law was pretty spectacular too complete with its Napoleonic lookout ruins.

By this point it was 8pm and we were hungry. We started on the route home and about an hour later we came across a town called Duns, that had a Chinese Restaurant where we ordered some takeout and found somewhere more rural to stop and eat our tea. Whilst we were eating, two Deer came out onto the Road, so we got pretty good entertainment whilst we ate. Then we were back on the road to Wooler. However, we saw a sign to the Flodden Battlefield, so just had to stop. It was a long way up, but the sunset and view was totally worth it. There was still so much light considering it was ten at night. It was so silent up there and beautiful that you just couldn't imagine the carnage that took place.

We got in about 11pm and fell straight into our beds as it had been a very long and completely special day.