Saturday 26 September 2020

An Autumn break in Northumberland

Northumberland is beautiful in any season, but our preferred time to visit is in Autumn.  

Membership of the Historic Houses Association entitled us to visit many castles for free.

We visited Alnwick Gardens a few years ago, so this time we explored Alnwick Castle.  This impressive castle has been home to the Duke of Northumberland’s family, the Percys for more than 700 years and is now notorious for being the  location  of the filming of Harry Potter.

View from the castle

Then on to Alnmouth Village Golf Club where we had a drink at the clubhouse.  The club was established in 1869 and is the oldest 9-hole links in England with good views of the bay and Coquet Island. 

We spent the next day on a mini road trip road visiting some old haunts and finding new ones.

First stop was the small working harbour of Amble.  Over the years it has reinvented itself from a fishing village, sandstone quarry and transporter of coal to a marina with trendy boutiques, bistros and a state-of-the-art fish market.

The uninhabited Coquet Island owned by the Duke of Northumberland and managed as a bird reserve by the  RSPB
On to Seahouses via Boulmer and Embleton, where we stopped for lunch at the Bamburgh Castle Hotel which gives a clear view of the Farne Islands.   
Next, Bamburgh Castle. 

Bamburgh Castle is an imposing building which looks over a beautiful beach.  The artefacts are fascinating and well curated.

On our last day the weather took a turn for the worse so we took advantage of  a browse round Barter Books at Alnwick an amazing second hand bookshop covering every subject imaginable.  It has cosy reading rooms with open fires and a toy railway runs on a circuit above the shelves.

 Going inland, our last stop was Chillingham Castle which is advertised as being the most haunted Castle in the UK and is complete with torture dungeons.  The present owner and resident of this medieval castle, Sir Edward Humphry, inherited the property as a shell.  An antique dealer by trade, he has since filled the building with a variety of interesting artefacts from tennis racquets to typewriters.  

For more details of the places mentioned, the keyword Northumberland will bring up past posts.


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