September 20th, 2011

Wanaka tree

Northumberland and beyond - part two: Lindisfarne

From Newbiggin I went off to find my hotel. Once I'd checked in and freshened up I felt like a celebratory drink, so I went to the pub (which was part of the same complex) and made the happy discovery that Guinness was on a special offer - buy one, get one free. What a great way to start my holiday.

The next morning I was away and heading up the coast early. I was bound for the (sometimes) island of Lindisfarne, not far from the border with Scotland. My plan was to go to the furthest point of my day first, and then make my way back down the coast castle by castle (as you will see in the next few entries.)

Lindisfarne is joined to the mainland by a narrow causeway which is flooded by the sea for half the time. On a previous visit I had had to have a quick look round and then hurtle back because the tide was on its way in and I didn't want to spend a minumum of eight hours there. This time I'd got it right and could visit the ancient ruined Priory at my leisure. I did have a bit of a wait before I could go in though. They were checking everything out to make sure it was safe, because of the wind again, before allowing tourists onto the site.

There is a lot of history there, and I especially love what is known as the 'Rainbow Arch' with its intricate carving and beautiful shape.

<tr> <td> I'm not sure what this is but it just caught my eye on the journey up the coastal route. </td></tr>
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Bamburgh Castle

Northumberland and beyond - part three: Bamburgh

After spending a couple of hours on Lindisfarne I made a short hop south to the village of Bamburgh. By far Bamburgh's most outstanding feature is its enormous castle. Perched on a massive outcrop of rock on the edge of the North Sea it is a really imposing thing. Visible from miles away and dominating the landscape. I didn't go into the castle, although you can, but instead settled for taking photos of it from the wonderful expanse of sandy beach below its walls.

This is where I can show just how windy it still was. The dry sandy surface of the beach was blowing around, so much so that from a distance you could only really see people from the knees up.

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