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Stonyhurst & The Hodder

Stonyhurst College under moonlight
Stonyhurst College under moonlight

An aesthetically pleasing marriage of Elizabethan and Victorian architecture, the towered structure of Stonyhurst College sits modestly beyond what was once the main road adjoining Clitheroe and Preston, within a stone’s throw of the banks of the River Hodder, and it immediately imposes itself upon the eye of those who have sought it. Continue reading Stonyhurst & The Hodder

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Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

I got talking to a Frenchman in Salamanca one time, about the differences between France and Spain.
‘In France its about the countryside. But here its all about these amazing cities,‘ which for me sums up the best of Spain’s ‘amazing cities’. Continue reading Santiago de Compostela

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Settle

Settle
Settle

Settle has one of the best chippy’s in the North of England (says me), a market full of characters (with some great faces!), a honeycomb of interesting streets, walks both long and short and you aren’t far from a cracking little waterfall, which is a perfect spot for Summer picnics (the sun needs to be high in the sky to even touch this sunken treasure). Continue reading Settle

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Heptonstall

Heptonstall
Heptonstall. Two Churches in one churchyard.

Hepptonstall gives you a feel for what Haworth must’ve been like before the tea rooms arrived, and the twinned churchyard of St Thomas a Becket and the new Church of Saint Thomas is a good place to picnic beside a gravestone (Edith Plath’s, if you can find it). Continue reading Heptonstall

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Oxford Road & Street Manchester

The Palace Hotel and Oxford Street, and one of Europe's busiest bus routes.
The Palace Hotel and Oxford Street, and one of Europe’s busiest bus routes.

There’s a vibrancy about Manchester’s Oxford Road and Street that few areas of the city can match. Students from Manchester Met and Manchester University fill out its pavements and keep its cafes, bars, eateries, and cheap take-aways busy throughout the year (and into the small hours). Continue reading Oxford Road & Street Manchester

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Cheviots

Cheviots at sunset
Cheviots at sunset
Gateway to the Cheviots

Take the B6348 off the main A1, not far from the opposite turn off to Bamburgh, and head in the direction of Chatton and Wooler. When night falls along this road you know you are close to a relative wilderness and far from the maddening crowds, which makes it a great place for a cottage rental, for those who like to look at the stars and be up with the larks on their windowsill. Continue reading Cheviots

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Northumberland Travel Guide

Holy Island Lindisfarne
Northumberland: A Travel Guide

Welcome to a unique words and pictures guide to some unmissable things to see in the land of the sunrise. Continue reading Northumberland Travel Guide

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Berwick upon Tweed

The Barrels are full in Berwick upon Tweed
The Barrels are full in Berwick upon Tweed

Too often overlooked but worth the drive up the A1. Lowry loved this place for a reason: if you were to take a typical worktown and dress it up in idealised clothing, it would probably look something like Berwick upon Tweed. Continue reading Berwick upon Tweed

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Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle in the cool blue of a sunrise.
Dunstanburgh Castle in the cool blue of a sunrise.
 Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle

…(or better still, carry on walking and have a pint in The Ship at Newton by the Sea).

If you are expecting a picture-perfect postcard village, Craster might be a disappointment because it isn’t that picturesque: no architecture of note, the only place to park (unless you’ve been allocated a slot with your holiday let) is the car park on the road approaching the village, and there’s nowt much to do on a day trip other than breath the salty air and sniff Mr. Robson’s kippers. Continue reading Dunstanburgh Castle

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Bamburgh

bamburgh_castle_4930
Bamburgh Castle. Or at least a small portion.
A Walk Along the Beach at Bamburgh

Bamburgh Castle is a spectacular sight by day but it fizzles out come night time, when it should be at its finest. I’ve no doubt it can be expensive lighting up a full castle at night, especially out of season when there’s few folk around to enjoy the spectacle.
But if this hulking jewel were mine, I’d be looking at ways to light it up so brightly that Tim Peake would be able to see it from his bedroom portal on the space station.
Continue reading Bamburgh

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Beadnell

Beadnell Bay and the Lime Kilns
Beadnell Bay and the Lime Kilns

If you didn’t know about it beforehand (as many watersporters do), Beadnell can throw you somewhat on arrival.
OK, so the Craster Arms looks like a decent place for a pint and a butty, and the church is cute.

But is that it?
Mmm. A stroll towards the coast reveals a collection of nondescript houses (of the forgettable variety that this coast has too many of, and which is one of Northumberland’s few blights).
So is that it?
Actually no. There’s a cute little harbour by the old lime kiln, against which the waves come a crashing when the weather isn’t playing nice, and the same waves provide the surf for the many water sports along miles of duned beach. Continue reading Beadnell

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Warkworth Northumberland

Warkworth. For many the jewel of Northumberland.
Warkworth. For many the jewel of Northumberland.

For some, Warkworth is Northumberland’s Jewel. Warkworth Castle lords it over the wonderfully preserved Castle main street and the short riverside walk is perfect for a daily stroll at either end of the day. Continue reading Warkworth Northumberland

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Haworth

Haworth in the Snow. Haworth Church and Parsonage at Christmas.
Haworth in the Snow. Haworth Church and Parsonage.

One of the wonders of literature is how the Bronte Sisters managed to unearth such marvels from relatively shallow lives. But the life of the imagination is a back-tale unto itself, and – with the right quill and under the right gaze – the lines on one solitary face can be made to outlive those on any topographic offering you care to choose. Continue reading Haworth