Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Haggerston Castle, The Trip Home

Mick and Bren went straight home (it's hard to find places to park with a caravan in tow) but Dot and I decided we would drive down the coast and do a bit of sightseeing, although it's not always easy to find somewhere to park the van.

First stop on the journey south, was in Belford, Dot's Mam and Dad had their honeymoon there and we wanted a photo of the hotel, as part of a fathers day present.

Then we drove to the coast and passed Bamburgh Castle, to get a shot of the Farne Isles and then on to Craster. Where we parked and set off to see Dunstanburgh castle, quite a long walk from the car park and the weather was very changeable. We didn't quite make it to the castle it started to rain, so we got a photo and set off back.

Bamburgh CastleDunstanburgh Castle

After a quick look around the village we set off south to find somewhere to stop for a picnic. We ended up parked by the river Coquet at Warkworth, with a nice view of Warkworth Castle.

Warkworth Castle

Then is was south again, as we got to the new Tyne tunnel the weather got really bad so we just continued home.

One note on the tunnel, we were charged £1.20 going north and £1.50 going south??? and the roads are very congested while the old tunnel if being done up.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Haggerston Castle, Day Four

Another day out in Mick's car, the weather was hit and miss, warm and dry one minuet then wet and cold so a drive down the coast was the best idea.

First stop was Bamburgh, where I was surprised we found a parking place, Mick and I jumped out to take some photos of Bamburgh Castle while the sun was out before we moved on to Seahouses.

Bamburgh Castle

At Seahouses we parked in a pay and display car park on the front (got a one hour ticket) and set off along the pier. It was incredibly cold along the pier for this time of the year and we were not dressed for it, surprisingly everyone else was though. Not that surprising really as most of them had boat trips to the Farne Isles, that left from the end of the pier. I once went passed the the Farne Isles on a boat, I was sick, Dot fancied a boat trip I didn't.

Seahouses PierDSCF2750

After the pier we walked around the town, it smelt of fish and chips, which made us all hungry but we had a picnic with us. So it was back to the car and a dive to find a spot to eat it. We found a spot on the front at Beadnell with a nice view of the rocky foreshore. There didn't appear to be anything at Beadnell until we found the village centre inland from the seafront.


Having driven far enough south we headed back to Bamburgh, again we were lucky and found a good parking space outside a pub, very handy. But first we had a walk to he beach to see if there was a good view of the castle from there.

Bamburgh CastleBamburgh

By now my feet were killing me, so we made our way back to the town for a sit down and a beer, a very nice beer. While we were drinking it started raining again. so when we finished we headed back to the campsite. Only we didn't quite make it, we stopped at the Lindisfarn Inn again, for another beer.

Haggerston Castle, Day Three

Day out in Berwick-upon-Tweed today. It's not very far to Berwick but you do need a car to get there, so mick was driving again, good boy.

We parked in a spot close to where Dot and I parked on the way back from Edinburgh in 2009, on the south side of the river Tweed, near the old bridge. We crossed over the river and set off anticlockwise around the town walls or the Elizabethan fortifications.

Berwick Walls

Me and Dot had done this before but still managed to get it wrong, by coming down from the walls, to see the pier and lighthouse, we walked away from the walls and had to fine our way back to them.


I will do a much more detailed discription of the walk for my Walking Blog

Back at the walls, we were lucky to find a gate and steps to get back up to complete the full circuit of the town, exploring the fortifications along the way.

DSCF2626Hidden Gun Positions

At the end of the walk, we got the chips or lunch that we didn't get yesterday and eat them as the base of the walls.


After the chips, it was time for a drink and we found a Wetherspoons, bit of luck there, what wasn't lucky though, was I ordered what turned out to be the worst beer I have had for a very long time. We only had the one, not just because I had a bad one but Mick was driving.

What to do next, we headed to Scotland but just for a photo on the border.


Then as the sun was shining we headed to Holy Island again but the tide was due in and we didn't have much time. So with no time to get better photos in the sun, we sat on the island side of the causeway watching the tide come in until it was time to get on the other side.

Causeway Markers

Back on the right side of the causeway, instead of diving off though, Mick wanted to stop and watch the causeway being covered by the incoming tide. We even had ice creams from a van on the causeway, but when the ice creams van left we know we should be moving. But we didn't we waited until the sea was coming over the road before we left to go to the Lindisfarn Inn for a beer.

Time to moveCauseway

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Haggerston Castle, Day Two

The weather had deteriorated from what it had been the last few days and it was quite cold but we took warm clothes and set off for Holy Island in Mick's car for the day. I had checked the tide table and we were all right on the island until 16:00 before the causeway closed.

We parked up and set off toward the Castle, but it was very cold and my feet were hurting so we didn't make it that far. But we did take lot of photos of it.

Lindisfarne CastleLindisfarne

Then we just walked around the small harbour and then along the Heugh to the ruins of the abbey or Lindisfarne Priory, I think is the right name for it.

Osborne's Fort, LindisfarneLindisfarne Priory

Then it stared to rain so we made our way back to the village and retreated to a pub, what else can you do. They had some really good hand pulled beers but as soon as it stopped raining we headed back to the car, while it was dry. 


Back across the causeway, at the junction with the A1 is the The Lindisfarne Inn, so we had to have a look in, just to see what beers they had and good beers is what they had. As Mick was driving, we soon had to get back to the campsite and give the bar there another go. We were going to get some chips for lunch but didn't find any so first we had something to eat, the spaghetti bolognese we were going to have later. As yesterday, none of us liked it in the bar so it was back to the vans for the night again and we had some cheese and crackers for supper.

Haggerston Castle, Day One

We would not normal use a site like Haggerston Castle but we got a special offer of four nights for £37. Mick and Bren also got the same deal.

It is a very large Haven Holiday site just off the A1 in Northumberland close to Berwick-upon-Tweed. All you would expect from a large holiday complex, bars, food, pool, shop, etc. Plenty of historic and interesting places to visit.

Haggerston Castle

Haggerston Castle
Nr Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2PA

We arrived not long before Mick and Bren and were given a plot near to each other. I got the sat working (England playing again) and we all set off to see what the complex was like. You have to walk passed all of the games machines to get to the bar, it is like walking through hell. The bar is nice enough and they had two hand pulled beers but there was something not right about it. I was a bit like drinking in a large canteen, so even though we got good seats in front of a big TV for the match, we only had the one and set off back to watch it in the van.

The Bar

England played very badly and the whole lot should be dropped from any further England games, its important to us but to them its just something hey get payed for and they wanted to be on holiday. Most of them are the same players that let the country down in 2008.

Lasagna for supper (made with minted lamb) and a film with a few beers before bed.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Durham, Trip Two 2011, Day Two

The girls were out early after breakfast, watching the rowers and playing in the dirt with their new cars and bubble swards.


We headed into Durham for lunch and got something very similar to yesterday and again eat in the main square. I was a lot warmer but also a lot noisier as workmen were digging and drilling to fit new seating in the square.


After lunch we set off to find some new sandals for Emily to take on her holidays to Spain. New sandals in the bag, we went back to the £ shop to get even more toy cars to play with. Next it was time for ice cream, we knew there was a man selling some from an old fashioned ice cream vending tricycle in the main square.

Ice Cream

After the ice cream, the twins surprised me by asking to go to the pub, it was to get their new cars out to play. Back in the Swan and three Cygnets, I was disappointed to find that the Old Brewery Bitter was off. So I had to have an Organic Wheat Beer the same as Dot.

Organic Wheat Beer

Back at the site and after tea, we went over to the bar for a beer and game of pool, before a DVD and an early night.

Durham, Trip Two 2011, Day One

On arrival at he Durham City Boathouse CL, it was obvious that the hardstanding hadn't been done but the exceptional dry weather meant the grass was firm enough to use.

There was nobody about to tell us where to pitch or to book in with. A caravan was just pulling away from a nice spot on the river bank, before they left I asked if the ground was ok there and they said it was. There also said that nobody form the club had spoken to them or even asked them if they had booked or payed for their stop, the same happened to us.

We pitched by the rive and set off into the city centre along the river, the girls wanted lunch and so did I. It was not as busy as I expected for a bank holiday, we got sausage roles, cheese and onion pasties, a meat pie and some cakes from Greggs, then went to the main square to eat them. The square was full of WW2 military vehicles, a swing band and people dancing in period costumes, entertainment with our lunch, very nice.

Lunch Durham Centre

After lunch we set off for the castle and cathedral and had a good look around the cathedral before heading down to the river for the girls to take some photos.

Photo of the Cathedrel

Back in the centre while I had a sit to rest my feet, Dot and the girls went in the £ shop and bought a big bag of toys to play with.

On the way back to the site the sun had come out so we stopped off at the Swan and three Cygnets for a beer and got a seat outside. Just as we started to drink, it started to rain and we had to rush inside.


Th girls played with their new stuff while Dot and I had another beer (or two), before heading back for supper. I walked straight back to get the food ready while the girls stopped for a play on a roundabout.

Back at the van I discovered the electricity off and when I took my shoes off I also discovered that the floor was very wet. To cut a long story short, the tap had been on and pumped a full 100 liters of water onto the floor and also flattened the battery. I mopped out the small amount of water that was left on the floor and started to top up the water tank. I do not know where the water went though.

After tea we even went over to the club bar for one last beer, before watching a DVD and then bed, in the bar the girls were allowed to play pool and it was free.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Durham, Trip Two 2011

When we were last in Durham I booked another two days there for during half term school hols, it was also on a bank holiday, both things we hardly ever do. We had the twins anyway, so we thought it would be good to take them somewhere interesting and Durham is. The new hardstanding was supposed to be done for then as well, so we would not be on the car park.