Monday, 31 October 2016

Road Trip

 This year has not been the best for us - though some events have certainly made up for the tougher times. Anyway - we had not had the chance to take a holiday so we were determined to make a run for it before the winter weather sets in.

We had decided to go to the West Coast of Scotland, but went via a visit with  friends that live in County Durham ( The North East of England!).

 It was lovely to catch up with them and a lot of talk over a good meal before our first hotel stay near Newcastle. 

The next day saw us visiting more friends in Northumberland.  There was some tea drinking, fabric swapping and pattern checking as Ann is a prolific quilter.

We then headed off to Cragside  a National Trust property  that was the summer home of Lord Armstrong - Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius. 
The house was the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.
 There was lots to see

An extra wing was added on when The Prince of Wales announced that he was to visit and included this enormous marble fireplace!

 A great day spent with old friends and off to the next hotel before our holiday started proper.

We had planned to visit Lindisfarne but were advised  that we should make a stop at Bamburg Castle 
which was a great suggestion - well worth the visit. 

And on to Lindisfarne or Holy Island

 Reading the 1939 newspaper  - War has been declared - whilst having a cuppa
This bed dates back to 1727!

We included a visit to St Aidens church

This was a visit that we had been promising ourselves for many years, and we are so glad the we began our west coast adventure on the east coast!

 Another night spent this side and then over the border

St Abbs

And at last, over to the western side of Scotland, starting in Inverness with a call into Culloden Battlefield

very atmospheric
the mountains around Loch Ness

There were so many wonderful views to be had,  but I can definitely say that after leaving Inverness and making our way over to Ullapool it just got more and more spectacular

 We stopped to walk and went "off piste" to find this waterfall

 On the road to Gairloch

 Another day looking towards Skye
 As you can see, the weather was very good to us- the first rain that we had was on the Isle of Skye

View from our room in Portree

Skye cottage

 Then back across the bridge at the Kyle of Lochalsh and to Eilean Donan Castle - another recommended stop

 no photos from inside this building. It is privately owned and was rebuilt in the 1920's to be used a summer home. 
spotted this lovely rose in the garden
Then onto Fort William -  and yes - there is snow on those mountain tops
Bridge of Orchy

 Fort William saw some more rain - actually it was raining stair rods - but I had a beast of a migraine that day, so spent the morning in bed before venturing out for a short walk.

Near Fort William are "Neptunes Steps" a course of 9 locks on the Caledonian Canal ( the canal runs from the Irish sea to the north sea through 4 Lochs with one third of its 60 mile length being man made connections between the Lochs)

 This canal is wide and deep enough to take quite large ships and has great views of Ben Nevis

A view over Ben Nevis
 From Fort William to Carlisle with a stop off at the Commando Memorial. This area was where the commandos completed their training before heading off to foreign lands. There is a memorial garden too, and it was very moving to read the inscriptions, some from very recent conflicts. Many of the fallen, just boys really.

 Near Carlisle we visited some of the sites that still show Hadrian's Wall - this was built by the Romans (to keep the Celts out!!) and runs from west to east coast of England.

Hmmmm - am thinking we might walk the length of it .... but I'll not tell "him" yet!

The last stop on our Road Trip was in the Lake District - which is beautiful BUT so many people and cars and so commercial so this may be the last time we visit this area!
So - 1677 Miles - 10 hotels - 23 Lochs - 15 Locks - 7 Castles - 2 Highest peaks and 1 wall to keep them out -  all in 14 days!!

Not leaving the house for ..... a while !!

I have been doing some sewing, and next time I will catch you up on all my makes. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Where do I Start!!

So much has happened during what has been a very busy month for me. 

I'll keep it as short as I can....

The last weekend in September saw me and these three reprobates friends head off to Yorkshire to attend  Yarndale - a fiber festival held at the Auction Mart in Skipton
 Lots of lovely woolly goodness was on sale

The two non knitters were the first to make purchases!!

 One of the members of a patchwork group that I belong to had sent off a pair of hand knit socks for display, and that will be distributed to homeless people in that area.
Last year saw 75 pairs of socks donated -  this year 160 pairs had been sent for the cause and we had promised to find our dear friends donation amongst these

 But find them we did !!!!

 I could show you lots more photos of the wonders that were on sale but I feel you may become somewhat jealous.......

But I will show some of the fabulous Yarn Bombing pieces that were decorating the area surrounding the venue

 and through the walk up to the Auction Mart

I may have made just a couple of purchases .....
 We walked down into the town which has the Leeds Liverpool canal running through it.
 Sunday saw us visit Bolton Abbey

 The weather was very kind to us, and we walked almost 5 miles that afternoon

 with some messing about going on

 And half way round our route we had to partake in a little pick me up

 Anyway - a great weekend with great company and I hope to do it again another year

 DD and SIL came to stay for the weekend and we took advantage of another lovely day to walk down the Green-way near to our home

 A game of Pooh Sticks is always a favourite
can you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Another lovely weekend spent

 A quick bed change and the other half of the family came for a few days

Lots of fun in the park ...
 for the big ones too
 seems they never grow up !

 and another trip to Foxton Locks
Votes to be cast later!!

 And spending time with these lovelies always warms my heart .
 And then we packed our bags and headed north for a little break .....

But I think that will wait for the next post !!