I've missed popping into this wee space for the last two weeks but I have been on holidays with my family. We headed off to the North East of England to explore somewhere different this year.
Our holiday cottage was above the very lovely Harley's tea rooms in Rothbury, Northumberland. I heartily recommend the fruit scones and the Victoria Sponge. My men could also recommend the cheese scones, Toffee Fudge cake and white chocolate cheese cake. Proximity to such delicious home baked tea room goodness was definitely a dangerous thing!
We were welcomed by this fantastic fruit basket on arrival. Wasn't that nice?
Northumberland was new to us and overall it was a holiday of big scenery, big houses and big castles but very quiet even by our standards.
This gorgeous house is a National Trust property in Rothbury. It is Cragside - first home in England to have electricity generated by a hydro electric source. I loved this house.
It was heavily Arts and Crafts influenced inside with much innovative design and mod cons (the owner was an engineer and inventor).
By far my favourite room was the ladies' drawing room where "suitable Victorian pursuits such as sewing, reading and afternoon tea could be undertaken in comfort". Yep, my kind of room!!
I've only added this photo because it's so pretty. Hubby got all wildlife photographer in Cragside's gardens and chased this butterfly around until he got his pic.
We had a particularly bracing walk along the beach at Alnmouth where the wind was creating pretty streams of shifting sands. (It was actually quite warm, just blowing a hoolie.)
My men folk found some adventures to embrace - starting with coasteering. (I stayed at the cottage and tried not to think about them breaking limbs and being swept out to sea.)
It was also the holiday of the
ridiculous cool sunglasses.
The men also found lots of mountain biking routes - see the big scenery I mentioned? It felt like every hill we climbed we could see for miles and miles and miles.
It's big castle country too. This is Alnwick Castle where we spent a lovely Saturday exploring and watching falconry displays.
On our last day we headed off to Wallington in Cambo, home of the socialist Trevelyan family. Another National Trust property, we felt we made good use of our membership this holiday (we visited Lindisfarne Castle on our membership too).
Wallington was really beautiful and the Estate grounds were amazing, but in these houses I always enjoy spotting the stitching, and these three cross stitch samplers were among many in the Nursery.
I was delighted to discover this log cabin quilt in a guest room.
These weeny log cabin squares must have been about 4" each. Not sure if the quilt is original to the house but I loved seeing it. It was so hard not to reach across the ropes and stroke it!
All in all, we had a very relaxed fortnight in Northumberland. We enjoyed it but found it to be very much quieter than our other holidays. Aside from visiting the tourist attractions like the National Trust Houses and the Castles, the other towns and villages are very localised and not much geared to the tourist passing through - lots of places closed on odd days mid-week, pub restaurant doors locked until 6.30 - but if it is open the people will be very welcoming and friendly, and the scenery of the area is pretty stunning!
My favourite part of the holiday was popping down to York to meet up with Di. We spent a lovely day together coffee shop hopping and we found a couple of fabric places too. All I will say is that it's good that Hubby and DS were too tired to talk on the train journey back because I think I talked myself out all day and was too hoarse to have held a conversation!! (Just a note - I hate selfies!)
So, that's been my last couple of weeks - family time out, a wee bit of exploring and a great day with a lovely friend. Feels like that rounded off my summer quite nicely.