On the run up to Easter we went a couple of hours up to the coast to Northumbria for a weeks break. We were staying in the harbour town of Seahouses.
We rented a lovely cottage with a garden. Both children where thrilled to discover that it had plenty of toys - Rosie dived into the dressing up box and Christopher had lots of fun in a 'Little Tykes' car that was in the garden. I was smitten as soon as I saw the window seat in our bedroom. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of stitching done there mainly reading stories to small folk but it was a lovely nook.
During the week we were there it felt like we went through all four seasons weather wise from glorious sunshine to heavy snow! On the Sunday it was a lovely sunny day but there was quite a strong wind blowing in off the sea so we decided to visit Alnwick Gardens. The gardens have been created in grounds of Alnwick Castle, now best know as one of the locations for Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films. We didn't go up to the castle but there were a lot of young wizards wandering around who were heading in that direction.
The main attraction for my two was the Grand Cascade, not because it's a stunning feature but because there where lots of toy diggers provided for small people to collect water in and get very wet!
It was a bit early for most of the plants in the Ornamental gardens, the tulips where just starting to come out but several of the Flowering Cherries were starting to put on a good show.
Just outside the gardens there is a large tree house, most of it is a restaurant but there are some wobbly bridges to charge around, we ate there later in the week when we had the bad snow. The meal was gorgeous.
Another place that was an absolute must visit while we were in Alnwick was Barter Books. Converted from the town's Victorian Railway Station it is bibliophiles heaven. While I was lost in the stacks gazing longingly at some Elsie J Oxenham's in a glass case (way out of my price range!) Dave took the kids into the children's section. They had a blast in there, one of the bookcases is designed like a truck so Christopher took up residence in the cab, pausing only to let out a delighted shriek when the toy train that runs round the top of some of the book cases came into view!
When I managed to tear myself away from drooling over the EJO's I moved onto the needlework section where to my delight I found a copy of Averil Colby's Samplers. I also indulged my Virago/Persephone addiction with copies of R.M Dashwood's Provincial Daughter, Marghanita Laski's Little Boy Lost & Emma Smith's The Far Cry (in a wonderful vintage Penguin edition)
On our last day we went a short way down the coast to Craster and walked along from the village to Dunstanburgh Castle. Rosie and Christopher both enjoyed pottering round the ruins.
When we got back to Craster, one of the fishing boats was being launched from the beach. It was being dragged down the beach by a metal cable that ran from a wheel house across the road from the harbour through some pulley's attached to the rocks and then fastened to the boats stern. Meanwhile the fishermen where putting logs under the boat for rollers. It was fascinating to watch.