Antony Gormley's Angel of the North welcomed us, a background of a blue sky and fluffy white(ish) clouds, was this a good sign had we left the rain behind us in the south of the country?
Waking on Sunday morning to a cloudy sky we headed north from where we were staying in Bellingham to Berwick upon Tweed. After a stroll through the streets of Berwick we headed into Scotland and the village of Coldstream and a visit to their museum.
Monday we drove to Hadrian's wall and visited Vinolanda Museum, I would recommend a visit to this ever changing Roman site, archaeological excavations are still taking place and you can watch and speak to the team about their work. It was a lovely day and quite warm, but we were glad of our walking boots the ground was soggy.
The fields of Northumberland were full of sheep and cattle......
Tuesday looked as though it was going to be the best day of the week, and so a visit to Holy Island (Lindisfarne). It's a mile walk from the car park to the castle but well worth it. After all that walking and climbing of stairs up to the top of the castle, it was lunch at a cafe, we sat in the garden in the warm sunshine, after lunch we visited the Priory.
It was then back to Bellingham and dinner in the Hotel two doors away from the cottage we had rented for the week, the food was good so we ate there every evening and as they served real ale why try anywhere else?
On one of our trips out we passed a tree and I noticed lots and lots of boots trainers and shoes in the branches. Next time we passed we stopped to have a look, there was nothing saying why, Art? This tree is miles from anywhere and I don't think it would be easy to get the shoes etc so high in the branches from the side of the road.
Wednesday we visited Otterburn Mill in the morning, now I know where the expression 'on tenter hooks' comes from, it's all to do with the drying of the woven fabric ( yesterday Country Tracks included it in the Programme). The rest of the day was spent at the cottage reading and dozing well one of us dozed while the other one read and did a bit of needlework. Well we were on holiday!
When we visited the Priory we joined English Heritage, Dave was happy, he has reach that age where he gets 'Concession'! So to take advantage of the membership on Thursday we visited Belsay Hall, Castle and the Garden.
The gardens were beautiful!
Dave decided to take the steps.... I decided to stay on the ground and take photos.....
After all that walking and climbing it was time for lunch.
Stottie was on the menu, the girl serving said it was a lump of bread with a filling! A lady standing next to us said it was a North East thing, so we both decided to try it. I chose hot beef, horseradish and gravy, Dave had hot chicken and gravy. I was a bit unsure when the girl asked 'do you want dressing with the salad'! Salad and gravy, but it actually worked really well the gravy soaked into the bread so didn't mix with the salad..... I have to say it was a lot of bread but it was lovely, not sure I could eat one every day!!!!
From there it was a drive to Kielder Forest, the weather was starting to turn and the forecast for Friday was heavy rain and strong winds.....
Time to head home we thought so it was back to the cottage pack our bags, a last dinner at the hotel ( a light one after the stottie), Friday it was a rainy and windy journey home. No photo of the Angel of the North she was shrouded in a rainy mist.
Washing done, shopping done Betsy collected everything back to 'normal' have we been away? And guess what, the sky has changed here too, yesterday we sat in the garden in the warm sun today it's raining........Oh well, when is the next holiday?