Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Postcard from Northumberland, No 3

Coloniescross, Going Postal
The Gates to the Poison Garden

As some of you might recall Mrs Cross and I have recently celebrated out 40th wedding anniversary. My lady wife had the idea that we should do forty things together, over the next 12 months, by way of marking this momentous event. One of the things on the list was a return to Northumberland, following our anniversary weekend glamping, this time to visit the coast and some of the castles.

First stop for any self respecting Postallier on a visit to the North East is Barter Books in Alnwick, I bought a couple of crime novels, a couple of books about American Indians, including a copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and then, getting caught up in the moment I paid £18 for a copy of 1985.


If you like castles, art, militaria, history, gardens etc. you’ll love Alnwick Castle. They have a poison garden tour which is quite interesting and informative.

Leaving Alnwick we travelled a few miles up the A1 to our excellent B&B in Belford. A breakfast that it would be hard to rival, with one of the finest sausages, sourced from a butcher in Bamburgh, that I have ever eaten.

Saturday morning saw us head up to Berwick for a walk around the walls and then along the quayside to the old lighthouse, a lovely sunny day with lots of sea birds to look at and photograph.


Coloniescross, Going Postal
Some Sea Birds (Ed. No puffins?)

From Berwick we travelled south to Holy Island, we started to walk across the sand flats from the nature reserve car park, but it soon became clear that it’s a lot further than it looks, it started to rain so I wussed out and went and got the car. Holy Island is well worth a trip too. I was beginning to think that 3 days wasn’t anywhere near long enough to explore this beautiful part of the world.

Coloniescross, Going Postal
A Priory

After a good wander around Holy Island, where large seal colonies can be seen, basking on sand banks, we decided to visit Seahouses, where we hoped decent fish and chips might be available.

We weren’t wrong; we also got to see, from a distance, the home of the emblem of the Postallier, The Farne Islands. I plan to return in June next year and take a trip out to visit the alleged 25,000 or so nesting pairs of Puffins, something to look forward to.


Coloniescross, Going Postal
The Lighthouse on Farne

The fish and chips, from Neptunes, were more than passable, lots of northern folk, from all walks of life, tucking in to a very traditional fish “supper” with mushy peas, tea, bread and real butter, lovely.

On Sunday Morning we checked out of our digs after another hearty breakfast and set off to Bamburgh, the castle is imposing but the highlight of the day, for me at least, was the small but wonderfully proportioned Grace Darling Museum. The story of Grace and her family is truly inspirational. That this brave and very bright young woman died from TB in her twenties was a real tragedy.


© Coloniescross 2017


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