Showing posts with label Northumberland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northumberland. Show all posts

05 April 2015

Seahouses, Seals, Puffins, Beach & Castles

Easter Sunday started out with an early morning (10.30am) boat trip out to the Farne Islands to see the seals and seabirds.

The weather was perfect, blue sky, only a touch of a breeze and it was quite mild.  So off we went on the boat with 60+ other people eager to see the wildlife that the boat trip had in store for us.

The first thing we came across was cliffs full of seabirds, Gullimots and seaguls.  They were everywhere and it was a lovely sight to see.

On leaving the bird cliffs and heading to the islands where the seals are we saw loads of puffins in the sea.  They only come onto the cliffs when they're ready to mate and live on the sea until that time.  They were swooping and darting all over the place with their little wings flapping but I managed to capture these 2 just having a bit of a sit down, on the water.
We passed the lighthouse where Grace Darling and her family lived.  Grace became famous for assisting in the rescue of people from a shipwreck on nearby rocks and we planned to visit her museum in the RNLI base in Bamburgh later in the day.
Finally we came to the islands where the seals live and they were a sedate bunch indeed.  Only a couple of them lifted their heads to see us.  I guess they're so used to the boats coming past and know that we're not a source of food for them that they're just not interested.  They looked healthy enough and the boat man said there was a colony of 3400 on the islands.  Wow, that's impressive.
Safely back on shore we decided to walk along the beach in the direction of Bamburgh as it was a beautiful day and we were in no rush at all.  The thought of a cream tea in a little cafe was an additional incentive.

Before we set off we noticed a crowd gathering at the path before you head down to the beach and a woman informed us that there had been an accident on the rocks, a girl had broken her leg and they were waiting on the air ambulance to arrive so we waited for a bit too, until it arrived, which was pretty spectacular then we went on our way again.

At last the castle came into view and it was only a short walk up in to the village where yes, we dove into a small cafe and had the most delicious cream tea.  Afterwards we walked up to the Grace Darling exhibition in the RNLI museum and then just sat in the sun for the rest of the day.

Fantastic day filled with adventure and lovely things.  A great Easter Sunday however it was one without a Choc egg........hmmmmmm I'm sure I'll make up for that !

04 April 2015

High Force & Kielder Water & Forest Park

Good Friday took us up to Northumberland via High Force in Yorkshire for an Easter weekend of walking, biking and boating (out to see the seals).

First stop on Friday was High Force waterfall and what a spectacular sight that was.  I'd never seen it before and it practically took my breath away when we turned the corner and there it was at the end of the river.  Spectacular.

After this is it was back to the car to head further North to Alnwick where we were booked into a lovely B & B and then on Saturday we headed a little west over to Kielder Water & Forest park with the bikes.  The route round the park, taking in the Castle and other scenes was approx 27 miles so that would do us nicely.

The lady in the gift shop said when we arrived that it was quite hilly in places and she wasnt wrong.  The park certainly did hold a few surprises of the hilly kind but we coped quite well with them.

The first part of the path on the anti clockwise route took us round the East coast of the resevoir and followed an attractive path littered with trees and other curious things.  One of these was the Janus chairs where Chris went for a quick nap.....zzzzzzzzzzzzz.  In reality they werent the most comfy of chairs at all.
Another curio we found was this big wooden head in the forest, quirky but very cool.
Further round we were lucky enough to spot an Osprey and what we think is a Sparrowhawk and the Osprey had just caught a fish.  I wish I'd been closer and gotten a better pic but this is the best we can do an we watched it for ages climbing on the thermals higher and higher.

Further round the landscape opened up a bit as we headed towards the castle.
And after a quick bite to eat in the Castle cafe we were off on our travels again round the park.  It was hard work but such good fun.

A great day out and a beautiful park and we were lucky enough to spot an Osprey, Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard earlier in the day that we didn't get a pic of.