Wednesday, 13 February 2019


We had the honour of being invited by Sarah and Gareth to join them at a holiday let in Alnmouth for a bit. Correct me if in future I say Alnwick, I seem to get the two confused. Alnwick is the location of the famous Harry Potter flying lesson location of Alnwick Castle. I've visited the gardens there once, but not on a day when the Castle was open to tour. Must do that one day. It's not that far away, only about an hour perhaps.

Alnmouth is the place where the River Aln enters the North Sea. Also the finish of the dastardly 14(or so)-mile Coastal Race from Beadnall to Alnmouth (across three beaches and mileage varies with the tide table). But today I'm going to show you Warwick Warkworth (I get those two confused as well - both have castles I suppose)  from the car window anyhow.

I have attempted to snap this castle any number of times and am pleased to say I finally nailed it. I'll not mention how many dud photos I've deleted. 

I do have a talent for catching the moment when the tree/bush perfectly screens the object of interest. 

This aptitude requires burying one's camera strategically out of reach, having a knackered machine where pressing the button doesn't always work and also possessing the skill of knitting or crochet and thus being distracted.

There was a brilliant programme on the telly last week on BBC One about this place, touted as a 'perfect medieval village'. Sadly I didn't take notes so can't really tell you why it is so perfect - but you can kind of tell just by looking at it, right?

I do remember two things from the programme. One was about burgage plots, something I'd not met yet. I'll let you read about them. I quite envied people who had these, sort of like having your own allotment garden (maybe you should read about those as well). I think I've written about them before.

The other fun thing in the programme was that there was a row of houses that had extended back yards where livestock were raised, but with no rear exit, so the back door aligned directly with the front door and people ran the cattle through their hallway to remove the animals. 

I recall them saying the floors were on a downhill slope to aid in sluicing out any unwanted wastes... sounds really messy, eh? I wonder what sort of air freshener they used after market day.

I am doubtful that many cattle are reared by these homeowners these days, but I could be mistaken.
There was also something about the marketplace, the location of which is shown in the photo above, where the road divides. 

I'm thinking this is a day-out destination to add to the list!

I hadn't realised that a marketplace was such a special feature, it seems to me I run across them fairly frequently. Morpeth, South Shields and Barnard Castle all come to mind with ease. Perhaps the North is more blessed than elsewhere, just as Northumberland has so many brilliant castles?

Did I mention we got a new-to-us car in December? Not as racy as the last one, but quite comfortable and perhaps a bit more practical. I'm hoping it will be easier to take photos, though I didn't think to try this went I did the test drive. 

Warkworth Castle is a very picturesque ruin that I remember Bill's kids climbing all over on past visits. I've been a few other times with various friends and enjoyed exploring the quaint tearooms and the views from the bridge, probably all in the days prior to owning a digital camera. 

As I recall the views from that stone bridge are quite stunning.

I was pleased that this shot-across Bill's arms out the driver's side caught the lovely blue of the North Sea on this fine, sunny day. I can report that his jumper (pullover sweater) was almost exactly this same shade of blue.

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