Holiday in Northumberland – Day 3 (of 7): The Coastal Cruise

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Up ‘late’ again today! 8am!!!! Unheard of for us, but a good sign that we’re chilling-out. Today  was the day that we’d planned to ‘do’ the coastal route from Amble up to Bamburgh. The weather forecast suggested some rain, so we took the chance.

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First stop was Amble – one of those little coastal towns that in the hot summer sun would have been very quaint. Today, in early October, it was very different… cold, windy and a faint hint of rain – and whilst the locals were in their shorts (hardy types), Ann and I were packing layers and scarves… and still finding it perishing!

Bleaksville aka Amble

The War Memorial in Amble

A quick walk up the high street was all that was needed to decide we were better off elsewhere! Once back in the car, It didn’t take long to get the circulation re-flowing, and full of optimism, we headed for our next town: Craster.

Scenes from Craster (but mostly inside ‘The Jolly Fisherman’)

Craster felt much the same as Amble, but at least we found sanctuary from the wind and the rain in the shape of The Jolly Fisherman Inn. A snack was the order of the day. Ann opted for a smoked salmon sandwich and a coffee, whilst I chose their ‘famous’ crab sandwiches and half a black sheep (that’s the Ale, not something from their Specials Board!).

As we left, it was most definitely ‘brolly time’, and we quickly headed back to the car and continued up the coast. The weather deteriorated and we therefore bypassed Seahouses and then Bamburgh (including the Castle) before deciding to abandon all chances of any quality sight-seeing. We sped up the A1 and headed for Berwick-upon-Tweed – at least there were shops there that we could look round.

Our first challenge was parking. There was no problem in finding a space, but the ticket/disc machine was broken, and the list of alternative locations meant that we would have had to walk into town.. in the rain… to get a ticket… to walk back to the car… and then head back into town again. ‘Bugger that’ we thought, and parked the car at one of the furthest points from where the ticket inspector might enter the car-park. On walking through the car-park, towards the exit, we noticed that the majority of other motorists had risked it too!

I’m sure Berwick-upon-Tweed has a lot to offer, but like everywhere else today, the offering was rain, rain, rain and err, rain! All the shops therefore looked pretty dismal. Plan B then, and look for lunch. At least that was easy, as we stumbled upon The Castlegate Cafe a few minutes after leaving the car-park.

Berwick – Nice Plaice!

The place was excellent (and so was the plaice!) – and with change from £20, at least we’d bagged a bargain. We did another circuit of the shops looking for a deli and some cheese (no luck!) and decided to cut our losses for the day and head back to the cottage.

It was a good journey back and we seemed to cover the miles a lot quicker returning than going! We saw a signpost for the town of Wooler and thought we’d have a look round. By now, the weather had improved ever-so-slightly, so we took a quick walk around the high street. Well, at least, as we discovered, it had a deli, and so we stocked up with a few cheeses to keep us going for the rest of the holiday.

Wooler on a Rainy Monday

We were soon back at base – toasty-warm in Craggy by about 3.45. It’s been a disappointing day, mainly due to the weather, but that’s how it goes sometimes. One thing the weather can’t spoil here is the indoor facilities, so it was off to the pool and Jacuzzi. The pool wasn’t quite warm enough, but the Jacuzzi was just perfect!

Perhaps getting wet can be good thing!

Tomorrow: Edinburgh by Train.

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