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Northumberland Gazetteer

Stretching from the high Cheviot hills in the east to the relatively low coastal plain in the west, and from the crowded industrial areas in the south to the loneliness of the Scottish Borders, Northumbria has it all. In fact, when it comes to castles it probably has too many.

Oddly, despite their very distinctive accent, the locals did not seem to have a particularly strong sense of regional identity. Unlike their neighbours to both north and south.

Alnwick

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NU 187 135

Last Visited: 2004

Alnwick

Alnwick

Castled out by the time we reached Alnwick (pronounced "Annick"), but we did enjoy a very interesting bus tour around the town.

The castle, a Victorian restoration of the original medieval structure, is best known for its appearances as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films.

The current Duchess of Northumberland has undertaken a massive reconstruction of the gardens including a Poison Garden especially for the children! Something else to come back for.

The town itself is picturesque with plenty to see and do, and lots of places to eat.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Alnwick Castle
      All you ever wanted to know, and more.
      https://www.alnwickcastle.com/
    • Alnwick Garden
      Separate site covering the gardens and the progress on the re-construction
      https://alnwickgarden.com/

Comments

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suzanne younger

The best in England having lived there for 23 years travelled quite a bit it is nice when you want to go home and it has never changed, nothing will pull at my heart strings more than being at home. Hopefully in the near future.

Beadnell Limekilns

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NU 237 285

Last Visited: 2004

Beadnell Limekilns

Beadnell Limekilns

Beadnell Limekilns are the substantial remains of three limekilns, the oldest of which dates from 1798.

As the nearby plaque explains, they were filled with alternate layers of coal and lime that were brought from the nearby estate of one John Wood on a tramway. The burnt lime was then loaded into ships in the tiny adjoining harbour, and would be used mainly as a soil improver and fertiliser.

The whole site was cluttered with bits of fishing tackle and other paraphernalia and rather untidy when I was there, which was a shame.

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Craster and Dunstanburgh

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NU 259 198

Last Visited: 2004

Craster and Dunstanburgh

Craster and Dunstanburgh

Known worldwide for its kippers, Craster Harbour was built by his brothers and sister in 1906 as a memorial to Captain John Charles Pulleine Craster of the 46th Punjabis who was killed in Tibet.

The Robsonʼs Smokehouse still operates, although these days the herring have to be imported. It has a restaurant, but this seemed to be a bit sniffy about children which rather put us off (even though we didnʼt have any kids with us).

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle

The pub in the village, Jolly Fisherman, can be warmly recommended though, especially the crab sandwiches.

From the village there is a pleasant walk along the coast to the romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. Unfortunately I did not have the legs to tackle it and do the castle justice. Something to come back for.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Dunstanburgh Castle
      National Trust Handbook entry detailing opening times, ticket prices, facilities, etc.
      https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunstanburgh-castle
    • The Jolly Fisherman
      Unpretentious village pub, with a good range real beers, and the excellent Craster Kipper P?t?, Homemade Crab Soup and Crab Sandwiches.
      Site also includes a history of the village and Dunstanburgh Castle.
      http://www.thejollyfishermancraster.co.uk/

Comments

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Colin

I found the memorial quite moving. Across Northumberland there are quite a few reminders of the past and the wealth which the empire brought to the county. The harbour was actually built to help ship the stone quarried from the Whin Sill - basically where the small car park is now. That is what it was used for - but also as a memorial. Thank you Colin

Howdiemont Sands

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NU 263 156

Last Visited: 2004

Howdiemont Sands

Howdiemont Sands

Howdiemont Sands

Howdiemont Sands

Howdiemont Sands are reached by a narrow back road from Long Houghton through Low Stead Farm.

Here there is a gate across the road and you are asked to pay a modest parking fee in aid of the local church. Pleasant low-lying coast-land, with some interesting rocky outcrops.

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Woodhouses Bastle

Location

Northumbria Map

OS Ref: NT 965 002

Last Visited: 2004

Woodhouses Bastle

Woodhouses Bastle

Woodhouses Bastle

Woodhouses Bastle

Driving round this area of Northumberland, once you get your eye in you can spot Bastles everywhere. There were, after all, over 1000 of them at one time.

A sort of cross between a Castle and a Barn, these were fortified houses built to withstand the constant cross-border raids this area suffered right up to and even after the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603.

Most have now either been incorporated into later more comfortable dwellings, or lie in ruins.

Woodhouses Bastle, however, was occupied, largely unaltered, right up to the early 1900s, and has now been preserved by the National Park Committee. There is an interpretive display board by the entrance path.

External Links and References

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