Thank you @Teens
I’d decided it was probably the Tyne Valley, but had thought more south Tyne, but hadn’t recognised the church. It is a beautiful county and as you so rightly say, much under rated by the tourists. I love Cragside and especially the Armstrong connection. He was a very clever man.
Chillingham Castle, is decidedly different, and not at all what I’d expected inside. Then there are the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh….
I may have a bit of an advantage as I live in Northumberland…. The first remark every visitor makes is how green the county is (yes, it does rain a fair amount). It is full of history and there are vast spaces of verdant countryside. Idyllic I hear you say? Well, yes, it is flyover country, as it were, for tourists heading from London to Edinburgh, which means it is peaceful and it’s easy to gain access to the innumerable sites, from historic Victorian houses (try Cragside, and if you like reading books that evoke locale, keep an eye out for L J Ross’s “Cragside” which is set there); to Hadrian’s Wall, to forts, to castles dotted along the beautiful, and often rugged coastline. So it isn’t surprising that so many authors are choosing Northumberland as a setting for their books, including Paula Hawkins! I hope whoever wins a copy of the book enjoys it!!
@Sararose – thanks for sharing your Northumbrian stripping story! Let’s hope it is a little warmer when you visit next. Alnwick is a lovely place to stay, isn’t it? Did you find the heavenly Barter Books? Located in the old Victorian station, I can think of nothing better than hunkering down there for a few hours, browsing books by the fireside, drinking tea, and eating cake when it’s too cold and wet to walk or explore outside.
I must confess I am only now about to pick up June’s Silver Travel Book of the Club, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. But to defend myself, I have just returned from being #OnLiterary Location for you in Sardinia, following in the footsteps of the author, her characters and locations from our Book Club’s first selection, The Little Theatre by the Sea. Stay tuned for an article on this literary adventure…..
Northumberland can be cold. I remember one Christmas we were stopping near Bellingham in the North Tyne Valley. Knowing that the Otterburn Ranges were open to walkers over Christmas (the army was on holiday so there was no live firing) we decided to spend a day walking up towards the Scottish border.
It was a bitterly cold morning with temperatures well below zero. We sat in the car to put on our boots. My feet got so cold that it took about an hour’s hard walking before they warmed up. The sun came out and it turned into a beautiful sunny winter’s day. There was no wind and by lunch time we were gown to shirt sleeves. We walked as far as the Roman army camps at Chew Green and didn’t see a soul apart from a few sheep and curlews calling overhead. It was another wonderful day.
A group of friends went on a walking holiday staying at an HFS hotel near Alnwick. There were two categories of walkers and I was definitely in the “short walk” category. Our visit was in March and it snowed! We wrapped up in layers and layers of clothing and set off by coach so that we could be dropped off and walk back along the coast. It was, of course, very beautiful, even in appalling weather and all was well until I needed the loo! We were miles from anywhere with toilet so I had to find a boulder to crouch behind and it took me ages to strip off layer by layer!! I do, of course, have fond memories of all the beautiful walks we took but I will never forget “doing a strip” on the beach!
Yes, I recall being awestruck by the starscapes…no light pollution, night sky as it should be ! (probably why I fell in a ditch as I was looking skywards not forwards!)
in utter darkness as there are no street lights and you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face,
But if it is a clear night, the stars are amazing. The milky way really is milky.
Husband used to go camping up the Coquet valley with the CCF when he was a t school and had a lot of tales to tell about their exploits and night marches…
I remember going Youth Hostelling in Northumberland as a kid – place called Wooller, I’d’ve been about 9. It was my first real taste of the “great outdoors” prior to this I didn’t really know what a hill or a valley or river or a forest was. The sheer expanse of it all overwhelmed me. I remember doing lots of walking and YHA issuing packed lunches, campfires, sing songs, weather varying from
bright to blustery to blizzardy…water too, I know Hawkins uses the water theme in her book, in Northumberland you’re somehow surrounded by it wherever you go – rivers and streams.
Revisited many years later on a camping holiday at Twice Brewed outside an old farm house, went walking around Hadrian’s Wall and learned a lot about Roman history, evening visits on foot down country roads to the local pub in utter darkness as there are no street lights and you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face, very soundless and tranquil. Even more interesting trying to make your way back to your own tent when you’ve had a few !! Fresh country air and birdsong, most invigorating.