We do love a Sunday afternoon outing here at Lily Ella and after the Beast from the East, followed by really dour weather up here in the far north, we were so grateful to get out into the wilds of Northumberland under bright blue sunshine skies this last Sunday!

Pic: Looking south over the Tyne Valley on the road to Bellingham

We decided against our usual Sunday outing to our local beach, as during the storms it was scoured clean of sand and is now down to bedrock, boulders and rocks that are just too chunky to walk on comfortably!  The sand is coming back in dribs and drabs, so whilst we’re waiting for the return of the golden grains we decided to take the opportunity to get out and about in our beautiful home county.  With pockets of snow still dotted about on the hillsides it proved to be an invigorating outing.

And how pleased we are that we made the effort, it’s so easy to forget what treasures there are on our doorstep in Northumberland’s glorious National Park, we even saw wild ponies! Well, maybe they do belong to someone but they were roaming freely with not a boundary to be seen for miles.

Pic: Ponies west of Otterburn

Northumberland is England’s northernmost county and has the lowest population density in the country.  It is big, wild and open and incredibly it’s quite easy to find yourself in places where there are spectacular 360 degree panoramas with vistas stretching as far as the eye can see towards Scotland, Cumbria and County Durham with hardly a building in sight. 

Pic: Near Tarset

Home to the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe, you really do feel a million miles away from the rat race when you’re out and about in Northumberland.  

The Northumberland International Dark Skies Park  -  https://www.visitnorthumberland.com/darkskies

If you are not familiar with this part of the world, we do urge you to treat yourself to a trip up here sometime, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.  The pictures on today’s blog post were all taken within an hour’s drive of our Newcastle base, we think you’ll agree, it’s like stepping into a different world!  

This was just a drive out, this time we didn’t go exploring castles, Hadrian’s Wall or the spectacular coastline, we just pootled out to a lovely country pub with a roaring log fire and enjoyed a walk in the woods near Kielder forest on the way back.

Pic: The Holly Bush Inn at Greenhaugh

This is the pub we visited http://www.hollybushinn.net


Pic: Sidwood


Pic: Christmas tree plantation at Sidwood


Sidwood is a mixed woodland on the edge of Britain’s largest forest, Kielder.

It is also great countryside for red squirrel spotting, but on this occasion we didn’t see any.


Sunday sorted!

Pic: Driving back from Tarset with the sun at our backs. 






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