Tag Archives: enland

The Happy Wanderer(s) – Day 4

After a wonderful and deliciously filling English breakfast – farm-fresh eggs, sausage, beans, bacon, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes – 

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it was time to say goodbye to the proprietors of Carraw B&B, Kevin & Leah, pack our few bags and head east towards the coast.

map day 4We would eventually head north to Beal (point D on the map), but before going there, we would spend the morning at Aydon Castle (point B) and the afternoon on the beach in Seaham (point C).

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Setting our GPS for Aydon Castle, we were immediately redirected off of the main road and onto a lovely one-track lane. The first time I traveled to England, I was terrified of these tiny lanes and feared that I would perish in a head-on crash!  But this was now my third time traipsing across the English countryside and I was not daunted in the least.  David, however, sat in the passenger’s seat with eyes as big as half dollars!

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Within half an hour, the road opened up and before us sat Aydon Castle – one of the finest and most unaltered examples of a 13th century English manor house. Set in a beautiful and secluded Northumberland woodland, it was originally built as an undefended residence, but almost immediately fortified on the outbreak of Anglo-Scottish warfare.

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Here I am, taking a look at the outer fortified walls of the castle. They’re definitely showing signs of age, but I guess that’s to be expected – they’re over 700 years old!

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Entering through the outer gates of the castle and amazed that many of the buildings are still intact.

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David in the inner courtyard.

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The manor house is on the left and the servant’s quarters and barn, on the right.

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My favorite part of the estate – the orchard!

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Another view of the orchard and manor house (not taken by me).

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Walking around the perimeter of the grounds and listening to the sound of the river below.

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Can you guess what this hole in the wall is for?

Here’s a hint:  inside the building, this is where the bathroom’s located.  You got it right…this is the sewer…leading out of the castle and down to the river below. Ugh!

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Inside the great hall of the main manor house.

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Can you imagine trying to stay warm with just one fireplace in each room? Brrr!

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The kitchen area with a fireplace that filled the far wall.

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One of the many sleeping chambers.

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Up on the rampart walk that surrounds the inner courtyard.

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I was increasingly intrigued by the plant life that had found a way to survive (without soil) in the tiny nooks and crannies on the castle walls and along the ramparts.  These were some kind of petite violet, growing in a bed of moss. Beautiful!P1060520

A new seedling that’s just beginning to take hold.

After a couple of hours at Aydon Castle, the weather has begun to change (for the worse).  Time to get back in the car and head to the coast – Seaham – a sea glass mecca.

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My favorite beach for picking sea glass – once the site of a Victorian-era glass factory.  After years of dumping slag glass into the ocean, beautiful orbs and smooth discs of multi-colored sea glass now dot Seaham’s pebbled shores.

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Looking to the north towards Sunderland. Lots of gravel to search through…lots of sea glass waiting to be found!

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It’s just like picking agates along the shores of Lake Superior…except there’s tea and scones waiting for us when we’re done here!

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Bending down to pick up a lovely piece of sea glass.

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This aqua beauty is a keeper!

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I found another amazing piece…this one deserves to be photographed!

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An amazing English “multi” that will make a lovely piece of jewelry one day.

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Introducing David to my English friend, Robert, and his dog, Lucy.

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Interesting caves…waiting to be explored!

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David – my spelunker – checking out the inside of one of the many sandstone caves.

DSC00010Some of the multi-colored pieces that we found in one afternoon.

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Feeling very content with our little stash of sea glass, we headed back to our peppy VW and headed north towards Beal. 

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Our route took us through a number of historical coastal towns.  Looking out over the North Sea was the beautiful Warkworth Castle.

Not wanting to pass up another historical ruin, we decided to make a U-turn to take a closer look at this ancient building…

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…only to discover that our VW was capable of time travel!

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A few miles further north and we found ourselves, once again, on a single-track lane…this time contending with cows that were in no hurry to go anywhere!

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With the weather getting foggier and the rain falling in earnest, this sign was a welcome sight!

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Fenham Farm Bed & Breakfast – a lovely oasis on this rainy and foggy day.

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Heading to the main house to check in to our room – the Sandpiper – formally the cow byre!

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Rustic and modern – all at the same time!

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Camera tucked inside my jacket, we take one last walk to the beach before the day is done.

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David’s ready to head out too!

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These guys obviously don’t get much company…they were quite taken with our presence.

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Looking out over Foulwork Burn…hoping to get a glimpse of Holy Island through the haze.

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There it is….Holy Island and the Lindisfarne Priory…waiting to be enjoyed on the morrow!

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TO BE CONTINUED…..

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