Friday, 27 March 2009

Birthday Outing

Saturday, the 21st, was Bill's birthday. He wanted a day out and he chose Dunstanburgh Castle, about 45 miles north. Simon and Rhiannon went in his new Mini -- a lease car from his job.

When Chris found out Martin and Helen had a convertible, he decided to go with them and Sarah instead of with Bill, Jane and me.

(I noticed that on the return journey both Chris and Sarah opted for cars with roofs.)

On the way to Dunstanburgh we passed Warkworth Castle, but didn't stop,

though it is probably my favourite of the ruins near us. Our destination was Craster,

a lovely little village

with unbelievably pretty

sights all

right next to each other.

Thanks to Jane for sharing some of her pictures.

We both spotted several of the same things, but some of hers came out better.

I love these seaside gardens,

though they are all postage-stamp sized and lined up together.

I looked up one of the houses we passed that was for sale - it's only £375,000.

Simon had followed us to Craster, but we waited around in the car park for about 45 minutes before Martin & Co. arrived. Turned out they'd followed a Black Mini, but it was the wrong one. Before we left I had remarked to him that as he had sat-nav and an A-Z (detailed map), what he didn't have was an excuse; however, whilst we were waiting Bill did remark that the combination of Martin and Chris didn't really bear thinking about and so perhaps he actually did have one.

We all went up to the castle. Bill remarked that everyone coming back from the castle had taken their 'clothes' (jackets/scarves) off. We were curious about that.

Dunstanburgh Castle was established in 1313 by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, cousin of King Edward II, his most powerful opponent and the strongest Baron in the North. He had guests arrive by sea as this even more amazing an approach.
The Earl was also described as arrogant and unpopular and the castle was just built to impress people. I expect it worked. Nevertheless, he was beheaded in 1322 for treason.

We went through the gate to the castle and a few decided to go inside the castle where one had to pay; others of us were happy to just sit in the sun.

It turned out, however, that one was supposed to pay to lean against the castle after all, so we sat outside with the sheep instead.

When everyone was happy they'd seen enough sea, sheep and scenic ruin we traipsed back to the cars and headed for the next destination: Barter Books in Alnwick.

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