Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle P1020073

I think that Northumberland is one of the loveliest parts of the United Kingdom, with the Cheviot Hills and in particular the beautiful golden sands along the coast of the North Sea. It also has a large share of castles. Since we moved here we’ve visited all of the coastal castles, except that is the ruins of the castle at Dunstanburgh. It’s a spectacular ruin standing alone on the coast on an isolated headland between Embleton and Craster, looking out over the North Sea.

Last Tuesday we decided it was time for us to go there. It was a lovely hot, sunny day and we walked from the car park down the road to the little village and harbour at Craster, well known for its kippers.

Craster P1020067

From there it’s about a mile and a half walk northwards along the coast to the castle, which is owned by the National Trust (NH) and managed by English Heritage(EH). But we never actually got to the castle, because the heat defeated us and my knee, which has been a problem for a few months now, became painful so we only walked about halfway there, then turned back. I took a few photos zooming in as close as I could:

Dunstanburgh Castle P1020072

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster began building Dunstanburgh Castle in 1313. He was the wealthiest nobleman in England at the time and later took part in the barons’ rebellion against Edward II, resulting in his execution in 1322. John of Gaunt modernised it in the 1380s and later during the Wars of the Roses it became a Lancastrian stronghold, finally falling into ruin in the 16th century.

We will go there again to see more. At least we enjoyed the coastal walk and the view of the castle, despite the heat. And as always I was trying to visualise what it must have been like when it was new and how it had changed over the centuries, thinking of the battles that it had seen, of all the people who had lived and died there.

A Walk in the Woods

One day last week we went for a walk. I  was a bright, but cold day and just an ordinary woodland footpath in winter

Footpath P1010397

bare trees and snowdrops in flower:

Snowdrops P1010395

There was no breeze as we went down to the river:

River & hut P1010399

There’s a little hut on the riverside, now unused and peering through the window we could see it was half full of dead leaves.

We carried on through the woodland walking away from the river into a disused little quarry:

Quarry P1010407

and then we came across some strange objects hanging from the bare trees.

Shells and stones:

Shell P1010410

bones (little fish?):

bones P1010408

and then on one side of a tree a toy scarecrow:

Scarecrow P1010412

and on the other a totem:

Totem P1010414

Now I’m wondering – what is it all about? What’s the story?

Saturday Snapshots

My snapshots today are of Inchree Wood and Righ Falls in Glen Righ, on the eastern side of Loch Linnhe, near Glencoe. It was a cool day in September this year when we walked up the woodland trail to see the waterfalls, but the views were still spectacular.

The walk is through woodland with views of Loch Linnhe below:

The waterfall comes into view:

It cascades down the hill side:

The trail continues uphill through broad-leaf and conifer trees:

It’s a good place to see red squirrels:

through the viewing holes:

But we were disappointed not to see one!

See more Saturday Snapshots on Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

Saturday Snapshots

Today’s Saturday Snapshots were taken on a local walk near home over two years ago. It was a few days after Christmas and the ground was still covered in snow, when we walked down to the River Tweed:

View of River Tweed from the public footpath

We walked through the woodland above the Tweed back home climbing over the ladder style from the woodland into the adjoining field. The photo below shows our  grandson climbing the style:

Climbing the ladder style

And this one is on the footpath in the field :

Walking back home

For more Saturday Snapshots see Alyce’s blog At Home With Books.

A Walk Along The River Till

The other day D and I went for a walk by the River Till. From where we parked the car the path ascends above the river along a tree-lined path. 

The remains of an old chapel, St Mary’s Chapel are just below the path – only the outline of the chapel and a cross can be seen.

D recorded the route on his iPhone – this extract below shows the position of the chapel.

The path gradually descends to the river side.

 

Then we spied a heron motionless on the opposite bank.

It saw us too and flew away. Then I spotted it in the river.

Again we were seen and it flew away. I just pointed the camera and hoped to capture it flying – you can just see it over the water

 and landing on the bank further upstream.

We continued our walk along the riverbank, meeting a group of cyclists struggling to ride on the stony surface (the route is Sustrans 68).

After a rest on this seat we turned round and walked back.