Northumberland Castles, Beaches & Pubs

We drove north from Keighley through the Yorkshire Dales, taking many narrow roads, flanked by dry stone walls. There were sheep and cattle, ice cream farms, and charming villages.

Reaching the Northumberland coast, north of Newcastle, we stopped for a picnic at the crowded seashore, this fine August day.

August at the beach: blustery winds and icy water didn't stop the picnic

Before checking in at our B&B, we visited nearby Alnwick, and strolled through the town, as well as Alnmouth, a small fishing village.

Alnwick Castle has been seen in many films and television programs.
Top: Ruth meets Sir Henry Percy, also known as "Harry Hotspur". Bottom left: Alnwick Castle barbican; Bottom right: inside the barbican.
A stroll through Alnwick
Bondgate Tower - a part of the town's defenses, built in the 15th century.

After checking in at our B&B in Warkworth, we walked to town and had a very fine meal at a pub (so good we returned two nights later), then participated in the quiz night at the pub. Hampered with two Americans, Kenny and Deb could only manage to take third place.

Kenny's burger with onion rings
Steak and ale pie with Jenga chips - delicious!

Next day was a tour of Alnwick Castle.

Alnwick Castle remains a residence of the Duke of Northumberland and his family, so the State Rooms were very extensive and interesting, but photographs were not permitted in them.

While at Alnwick Castle there was a falconry exhibition, which included a golden eagle.

and a Harris Hawk.

The next day we drove farther north, to Holy Island. There is a causeway that leads to Holy Island, but at high tide, the causeway is completely submerged, so visitors must time their visit to coincide with low tide, or else they will be stranded until the next low tide.

Mainland from Holy Island - the causeway is at the far right.

Lindisfarne Castle is on Holy Island, and the remains of Lindisfarne Priory can also be seen.

Lindisfarne Castle
Lindisfarne Priory

Turning south we stopped at Bamburgh Castle. The early Anglo Saxons built the original stronghold around AD547. Sacked by Vikings and conquered by Normans, Bamburgh Castle was rebuilt, fortified, and expanded over many centuries, including many of its great additions in recent centuries.

That evening we went to the beach in Alnmouth, where we watched the Volcano Festival. About 30 teams were given a signal, and required to build a "mountain" of sand until time was called, and before high tide reached their mountain. Atop each mountain the team was to place, and light, a fire. The team whose "volcano" last remained alight was the winner and received the volcano trophy, below.

Before departing for the Lakes (, we stopped for photographs at Warkworth Castle.

On our way to the Lake District, we visited Hadrian's Wall.

Created By
Scott Thomas

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