Allendale, Northumberland.

Our travels took us to South-West Northumberland, a place which i myself have not had the pleasure of walking around. There are many places round this beautiful part of Northumberland to walk, but for us we chose to walk round Deneholm woods which is literally right next to the small village of Allendale.

We parked in Allendale itself, which was easily accessible, parking places were crying out for cars. We decided to walk from Allendale town centre back over the bridge and up the hill which then took us to an opening to Deneholm woods. The woods have been well looked after, walks clearly sign posted and wooden bridges built to walk across the River Allen.

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Above are a few pictures taken from our walk at the beginning.


As we got out from Deneholm woods we began to approach a few houses/cottages, one of which had around 20 to 30 chickens casually exploring the local environs.

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I’m no expert but as the back of the car clearly states, this is a Rover, an old one at that but it has been kept in such pristine condition that it deserved to be framed. What an absolute beauty.


We decided to go back from the cottages as time was getting on and the route appeared exhausted as there were no clear visible paths so we walked and from this bridge i was able to capture some wildlife, or at least i tried to frame it.


On we went, back to the town of Allendale by going back the same way we came. The walk itself is about 2 miles long. Serious walkers need not apply but anyone who would like to enjoy a small but peaceful walk then this is the one. Once we were back at Allendale, this pub we were sure kept calling our names, so we thought it would be rude not to go in buy a pint!

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Cragside, Northumberland – Part Two

As we continued our journey towards the gardens, we initially encountered a small protected woodland as i said before which appeared untouched. The grass looked so lush and green, basically a cattle’s dream! I could’ve had the grass myself it looked so good.

Above are a few pictures illustrating the calm stillness of the walk and the odd piece of art which has been finely crafted to entertain passers-by. Before approaching the Iron Bridge, you get a real sense of how each tree and plant has been carefully placed and has been allowed to grow and express itself in its own space. I can imagine how good this walk is in the depths of Autumn too when the season has changed so we might be back for a bit of that action when it comes round.


As you approach the Iron Bridge it’s clear to see how much has gone in to strengthen the beauty of Cragside House and the surrounding area. With the flowers in full bloom, I’m sure if Monet was alive today he’d quite happily paint Cragside House, it can only be an inspiration to many who see it at this time of year.


After a brief interlude at the bridge it was time to get our skates on again, but we were given a couple directions, but after settling for the gardens it was ‘off we go’.

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Once we arrived at the gardens, everything from the flowers and careful positioning of plants only enhanced our way even more. It was great being there to appreciate the hard work and effort which has gone in to make it this good.


Everything exudes beauty, and hopefully these pictures do some snippets of the gardens a bit of justice. Admittedly, i’d taken pictures of tree’s and plants close up as i was testing both my lenses out, so I’m still trying to get to grips with them.

As i sat near the bird feeder, i realised i had my macro lense still on and rushed quickly to take some snaps of the finches and blue-tits close up.


Even though it was quite overcast the colours of the flowers were strong enough to shed some light in their own special way. I was trying my best to capture the low misty clouds hanging over the hills.

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Now, this picture, it really is a ‘Where’s wally?’ but replace it with the ‘Where’s the Great Spotted Woodpecker?’. I’ll give you a clue, if you look really intensely at the middle of the picture you’ll be able to make it out, perched on quite a thick branch. Although, the picture of it is extremely minute, i was happy to even have snapped it. I’ve never seen one before and was lucky enough to have had the reactions of a hawk whilst it flew quickly into the tree’s.

Part Three will be coming soon.

Cragside, Northumberland – Part One.

There were a few options available to us during May Bank Holiday and we opted to feast our eyes on what Cragside had to offer us. One reminder, and it is quite important, ensure you have cash as they only accept cash unless of course you’re a member then you’re fine. We both wanted to experience Cragside outdoors and chose the ‘Gardens and Woodland‘ which was reasonably priced, please click on link to reveal current prices.

When you get to Cragside, parking is ample, enough for everyone and you can enjoy the variety of walks the site has to offer many of which provide their own stamp and personality. You can also pay extra to set foot inside Cragside House which can offer more in terms of entertainment for families and the walks are also fantastic too!

We tried to experience everything we could but in the time slot we had, we managed probably 75% which was a good effort and the main thing, i got to test my new lenses, one of which i probably need to learn how to use before i go snapping away in public. This also goes to show how much you probably need to plan before you go so you know which routes to take beforehand as there are many.


One thing to remember about Cragside this time of year is how beautiful it looks when all the tree’s and plants are in full bloom. Rhododendrons were out in force, as were the bluebells too.

The walk which led us through Cragside House and on our way to the gardens led us through a path which meandered through a patch of woodland which was beautifully preserved, almost untouched, of which the only things capable of touching and reaching were the birds.

The pump house has also been restored inside to reveal how hydro electricity works and how the water is pumped, and this can also be interactive, and especially for families who are going with children.

With one of my new lenses i was able to get within reach of things you wouldn’t often see with the naked eye, for example, this Robin flying close to the stream catching flies.

Hexham

So we decided to travel South-West of the County of Northumberland and into Hexham to explore the town’s offerings. Parking is quite easy and if you pop into the Queens Hall for a parking card, it means you can use it for up to 2 hours which we did and we parked opposite Queens Hall on ‘Beaumont Street’.

We went for a stroll through the market which was quiet, but Hexham do tend to have farmers markets every month, the next one happening when the Hexham Spring Fair is on, which happens to be in 2 days time on the 22nd April, 2017. They also have Great British Week on too so there is plenty to check out in Hexham this upcoming weekend.

Our 2 hours spent in Hexham were spent wisely, we stumbled across a restaurant which, luckily for us, was open and served a range of things from Coffee to Scones. We would like to say both were brilliant and the service was friendly too. Below are a few pictures of the Restaurant.


Due to time constraints and trying our best to see at least a couple more things before we got a parking ticket, we tip toed silently into Hexham Abbey. The Abbey itself has gone through some restoration work which they have done a fantastic job of doing. It would be a great place for families to come with children as there was loads of interactive things for Children as well as Adults. The arch was one of many things you can build, and although it might be made for Children to put into practice we gave it a good go ourselves.


The beauty of the Abbey itself lay in its magnificent architecture, history and religious stain-glassed windows. You really need to go to appreciate how beautiful it is inside but hopefully some of my pictures might do it some justice!


Hexham is steeped in History, and it was also interesting to find new information about a  place I’ve not been to very often but always appreciate when I’m there.  Although the 2 hours wasn’t enough to explore the place properly, we will back in the future to review a couple restaurants in the area as they’ve been given good reviews on trip advisor.  Hexham is also surrounded by beautiful Countryside, and there are a few walks which we’ll also be doing and writing about in the near future.

So for anyone who hasn’t been to Hexham or you have but haven’t visited in a while, make sure you go this upcoming weekend as it promises to deliver on so many levels.