Thursday, June 07, 2012

Northumberland (2)

I'm back! So sorry for delay in posts - what with the Jubilee celebrations and long weekend I couldn't post as I was away, and then, on my return I discovered my internet connection was down and I had to wait 48 hours for a technician to come and fix it! Anyway, dramas aside, I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend - if you're a UK reader then maybe you've been celebrating?  I headed up North to Newcastle and Northumberland for a family lovely to see everyone and catch up with extended was a feast of festivities with a 70th birthday celebration on Sunday in Holystone and a street party on Monday in Newcastle.  Inbetween I managed some shopping in Newcastle town centre and also a trip to the coast...

The Grainger Market in Newcastle Town Centre gears up for the Jubiliee

Blowsy poppies in the churchyard, Holystone, Northumberland

A fishing boat picking up the lobster pots outside Craster Village, Northumberland

 Craster Village is an unspoilt gem on the Northumberland coastline. Just north of Alnwick, its inhabitants still make a living from the sea and it's famous for it's smoked kippers.  As you walk through the village you pass the harbour and up the hill following the smell of the smoking fish.  There's a little pub that overlooks the harbour and out to sea from where we watched a small fishing vessel picking up its catch.  From Craster, you can do a wonderful walk to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle which began life in 1313 and saw many fierce battles before falling into decay after the War of the Roses. 
Dunstanburgh Castle, looking north from Craster
We ended our northern jaunt with a ritual visit to the best fish and chip shop in the northeast! (that's my opinion anyway) set right outside the North Shields Fish Quay, it's fish caught and fried within hours of the catch landing.  It was also a chance to reflect on the changes on the Tyne, the boat yards gone, even the fisherman's mission is now home to a growing collection of yuppified pubs and bars, but the fishing industry lives on regardless.
The Tyne, looking downriver and the local fishing boats at North Shields

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