09 10


Monday, 4 November 2013

Three reasons to love the north east of England

I have just returned from a week in Seahouses, which is a small fishing village in the north east of England. Plenty of time as a family, and, time in the evenings to make things. Bliss. And surely there is no better way to counter the post holiday blues than to bore the rest of the world with some holiday photos.

Seahouses turned out to be most definitely worth six hours in a car with four small children (and my dodgy back). I want to go back again at the earliest opportunity. I was excited enough when our stop on the way happened to be one of the fancy done up Little Chefs with Jubilee Pancakes all round (what else). Hurrah. But no. The holiday got better than that. It turns out this corner of the country is just fabulous. Being there felt good.
The Inner Farne Island (a National Trust bird sanctuary)
So, reason number one to go. The Farne Islands. I was completely ignorant about them until last week. They provide home to thousands of birds and seals. The rocks pictured above are smothered in puffins come late spring. But this time of year is just perfect to see seal pups. Baby seals in their hundreds, I tell you. All just slumped on the banks of the islands, too sleepy and fat from their mothers' rich milk (80% fat content) to move for the first three weeks of life. And then, here comes the amazing bit, they are left to get on with it. Off you go, swim. Go and join the other seals bobbing up and down around the shores of the islands. Just about the best sight I have seen in, well, I don't know how long (not forgetting important family milestones, like birth of my own children, sight of handsome husband on wedding day... ha ha). There are eight National Trust guides who live on the biggest island (which is still not very big) for most of the year - they show tourists round, and count the seal pups. Last year, there were 1603. This year is already up on that, apparently. All I know is that there are tons and tons of seals bobbing up and down as though the sea there is their playground. Just lovely. Our girls loved the seals, too, and were heard declaring it to be the best trip ever. Success.
Lindisfarne Castle
Reason number two. Lindisfarne. You can walk or drive to it when the tide is low, and it becomes inaccessible for a few hours each day. The place was home to early Christian monks until the Vikings came along and frightened them all off. Pilgrims used to walk across to the island, and plenty of people today still do the walk. There are posts in the ground to guide you of the way across the sands, and there are even a couple of `refuge boxes' on stilts with ladders up for those who get caught out by the tide and need to shelter. This didn't happen to the biggest girl and her Daddy when they did the walk together, although they did get wet feet.

new scarf and, cute fox brooch  (Mollie Makes) made on holiday

Finally, as already hinted, Seahouses itself is a lovely, and very friendly place. Plenty of tasty treats to eat - locally produced smoked seafood, ice cream, and a brilliant bakery, where I spent a happy few visits crocheting, drinking tea and eating one or two cakes. Amongst the great little independent shops on the Main Street, was `Drift', which is most definitely the shop I would love to own and run if I were to have a shop. As I entered the shop, the owner was busily working out how to crochet a poppy, and we ended up chatting about the local craft scene. Just as well I only noticed the shop on our last day, as the treasures in the shop had the potential to tempt me into poverty.

So, if you haven't been to the north east of England before. Go. You're in for a treat.


  1. Its a Fa-bu-lous place in the spring when the arctic terns are nesting and the puffins are out and about but be sure to wear a hat if you venture onto the Islands!

  2. Love this post ! As a child I spent many a holiday at Seahouses and I remember fondly staying in a cottage that had gas lights on the wall, they had little burners and glass shades! I love Lindisfarne and it is like stepping back in time. I also remember Jubilee Pancakes!!!