You can tell it’s the summer holiday, so many posts showing visits to campsites and castles!
* This last week saw us in Northumbria, exploring Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman fort of Houseteads, (nearly 2000 years old), Dunstaburgh and Alnwick Castle ( Hogwarts to all you Harry Potter fans), and staying on the nicest campsite I’ve ever seen. We are definitely joining the Caravan and Camping Club – beautiful surroundings, flowers planted in every conceivable nook and cranny and spotlessly clean facilities.
The granary with hypocaust to keep the grain dry- a sophisticated system of underfloor heating.
A Roman en-suite….
CC on the path to Dunstaburgh castle.
Bamburgh castle in Alnwick.
* Whilst in Alnwick we paid a visit to the rather marvellous Barter Books – a second hand book shop inside an old railway station.
* As well as taking a tour of the lovely Alnwick castle gardens- including a visit to The Poison Garden- where staff educate the general public about poisonous plants and class A, B and C narcotics !( they have a special licence from the Home Office to grow Opium, Canabis etc)
The Bamboo Maze.
The world’s largest tree house – including very wobbly bridges…
The view from our tent and breakfast – bliss.
We ended our trip with an amazing visit to Cragside – home of the famous Victorian inventor and industrialist- Lord Armstrong. The house was the very first to be lit by electricity; Armstrong devised a system of Hydroelectricity to operate lighting, lifts for his servants, automatic spits for roasting meats and a rather interesting dishwasher.
The interiors were designed by William Morris and are a beautiful example of the Arts and Crafts movement.
* Nearer to home we visited Lancaster Castle – it has finally opened to the public – the Category C prison being closed just this year. After living for many years in Lancaster, it was amazing to be able to go through the gates which have always been closed to the general public. Our friend Trev led the way…
In turn we showed him a new nature reserve my parents had introduced us to ( they always find all of the best places!); set up behind some allotments in the city centre, the land is grazed by some White Park – old English breed cattle.
* On the home front we love our little sunroom – as you can see Cat has given her approval too…..
It’s lovely to be able to see the garden and the extra light in the house is wonderful. Nasturtiums doing well, roses picking up, sweet peas abundant and regularly cut for the house, Calva Nero cabbage good – but popular with cabbage whites ! Tomatoes and potatoes doing fairly well.