26 Jan 2009

Fun around Hogwarts

Last week Ruth and I drove oop north for a weekend in Northumberland.

We stayed at a "luxury" B&B called The Old School at Newton-on-the-Moor. It was cute, and Kath and Malcolm were great hosts. However we felt a bit restricted by the usual mom n' pop B&B issues like breakfast being available only for an hour in the morning, and being locked out of the place between 11 and 4 in the day. Also our room got chilly, there was no bath, and the shower never worked properly. I think they are in the middle of sorting out issues with their heating system so I'll let them off, but it makes us think about staying at a hotel next time. The breakfasts were excellent though :)

On Saturday, we went to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, managing to drive across the causeway both ways without getting trapped by the rising tide. However we soon found that there is bugger all to do there during the winter months. The castle was sweet (albeit closed) and the landscape lovely, but the bitter wind soon drove us back to the car.

We then pootled down the road to Bamburgh with its amazing castle - also closed for winter. In fact the entire place seemed closed. We ventured into a coffee shop called The Copper Kettle and had really crappy service, hooray. God they were miserable. At least the beach was nice.

The saving grace of the day was Alnwick, where we completely avoided the Harry Potter freaks by spending almost FOUR HOURS in Barter Books, the funkiest (in a skillo kind of way) bookshop in the universe. If you're in Northumberland and you like books, you must visit. It's enormous and friendly and great. Nuff said.

On Sunday we went to Durham. It was like York, only not as good :) THAT IS ALL.

Oooh, apart from the food. Two things

  • The Linden Hall Hotel does lovely posh nosh for ~50 quid a head
  • The Cook and Barker pub in Newton-on-the-Moor does lovely unexpectedly posh nosh for ~25 quid a head.

There is good eatings to be had in the North! Yay!

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