An Eastern Adventure Part 4

A change of site - we’ve moved on from Berwick-upon-Tweed - and a change in the weather too. Our journey 69 miles south yesterday to Old Hartley Caravan & Motorhome Club site near Whitley Bay was bathed in sunshine and the views were equally as stunning. However this morning it’s wet. Very. Which is why I’m sitting here at the laptop rather than out and about poncing about in my long leather coat…

Anyway, it was a great final few days in Berwick. Here’s what we got up to:

Friday started wet and there was still the occasional spot of rain as we arrived in Alnwick, twenty something miles down the A1. So we did the only sensible thing and found a café. We’d called in Alnwick all too briefly on our last trip up to Northumberland but were short of time and didn’t stop so were glad of the opportunity to have a longer look. And we both liked what we saw, solid attractive architecture and cobbled pavements and parking areas that was easy on the eye if not winklepicker clad feet. Like so many places it would look so much better without the motor vehicle perched on every corner but as we added to their number thanks to Northumberland's excellent disc parking system we can’t complain too much!

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The town was attractive enough in it’s own right but the scenery surrounding do really make this a gem of a place to visit. The views looking back across the countryside towards the castle were divine.

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On the edge is Hulne Park - we only had a quick look but again, the ride to and once there was very picturesque. This whole area is a photographers dream - I don’t class myself as one but I’d be  out with the camera every week If I lived here I’m sure.

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If you were to find a downside to Alnwick it would be that it doesn't have a railway station -that Beeching geezer took care of that. However the building remains and is now home to Barter books - one of the largest second-hand book shops in Britain and it is an absolute delight for book lovers. Comfortable reading areas with open fires, murals, a popular and well priced café and children's room too. I don’t read nearly as much as I would like but could have spent hours here. Barter Books is also the home of the original ‘ Keep Calm & Carry On’ poster.

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We wouldn’t necessarily known about Barter Books had it not been for a fellow caravanner and Twitterer Catherine who we were next door to on site. A cracking find Catherine - thank you.

More proof that social media can be genuinely social came later on on our way back from Alnwick when we took a detour to capture some dashcam footage for another caravan site arrival video.

Another fellow caravanner  and Twitter Michael made us aware of the Union Bridge in one of his videos - a link to which you can find HERE. The bridge spans the river Tweed on one side of which you are in England and on the other in Scotland. Notable just for that but it’s such a pretty spot too. The welcome you get when you cross to Scotland is sadly not reciprocated going back….

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On Saturday we returned to what was one of the highlights of our last trip to the North East - The Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The weather was kind again and we had a great couple of hours just ambling around taking in the gorgeous views and soaking up the calming atmosphere that seems to envelope you as you cross the causeway. We missed out on the castle last time due to the tide coming in and us needing to get back. We had no better luck this time thanks to extensive renovation work that would see it closed until April. Nevertheless though it was another very enjoyable visit.

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On the way back we paused at Cocklawburn beach - not a five minute drive from the site - to sample another part of the wonderful Northumbrian coastline.

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Dinner was out - though not where we’d intended. The Brown Bear closed in 2016 when owners Enterprise Inns having starved the pub of investment sold the pub at auction. A local businessman bought the property to save it and a group go together to re-open it. Sadly arrived too late to eat but had a pint anyway and it looks a great boozer. We ended up instead at a hotel just down the road - mainly because by this time my stomach though my throat had been cut. The pizzas were tasty if a touch soggy but overall good value.

Our last full day saw us stay closer to home - or ‘van - heading across the river to Berwick-upon-Tweed for a wander around the ramparts. We’d done this before - back in 2015 when we met up with friends Tony & Jane who were staying in near Edinburgh. The weather was once again kind to us, the chilly breeze notwithstanding, and the camera shutter got a good workout too. I really have grown to like this town.

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And that was our time up. The week flew by - a sure sign that you’ve had a good time they say and we certainly had. I have a feeling we’ll be back. Soon.

Until Part 5 then,

Cheers & Beers

Rich & Trev


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