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Report 2043: Northumberland in the Snow in January

By Eleanor from UK, Winter 2013

Trip Description: Eleanor And Michael won three nights dinner bed and breakfast in Northumberland. This is the review of what they did.

Destinations: Countries - United Kingdom; Regions/Cities - North Country

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 10: Introduction

photo by MAW

The Pele at Embleton

I spent six years in the northeast in the 1960s and fell in love with the wide open spaces of Northumberland. It truly is God’s own Country. When I read the request for a guest blogger on Silver Travel Adviser for three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast, I knew my name had to be on this one. My whoop of glee when rang up with the news not only deafened the caller but must have been heard along the street. I got out the maps and began to plan.

Friends and family thought we were mad “Northumberland in January ... everywhere will be shut and it might snow.”

Nearly everywhere was shut and it did snow. There had been steady snow for ten days before we went and a heavy fall the day before we set out. We found a map of the primary gritting routes in Northumberland on the internet and I rapidly rethought plans taking out some of my more ‘adventurous’ ideas like finding Duddo stone circle and the cup and ring marked stones near Doddington.

As we drove north, a thick layer of pristine white snow covered everything. Next morning snow along the coast had thawed although hills inland were still white. We reluctantly decided to cross off higher settlements like Rothbury and Wooler having been warned that conditions underfoot were very slippery and to concentrate on the coastal fishing villages. Tide times ruled out a trip to Lindisfarne.

We stopped at three different places, Bamburgh Castle in Seahouses, Lindisfarne Inn at Beal and the Hog’s Head in Alnwick. All belong to the same chain and provided warm, comfortable accommodation. The best way to describe them is as a very upmarket Premier Inn.

Rooms were large with comfortable king size bed with crisp white bed linen and plenty of pillows. We appreciated, often cold, a well stocked welcome tray with biscuits when we arrived. There was an abundant supply of hot water and thick, absorbent towels. Staff were friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. Food was excellent, sourced locally and portions generous. Meals and light snacks are served throughout the day.

The full English breakfast of local sausage, bacon, sautéed potato or fried bread, baked beans, mushroom, tomato and eggs set us up for the day. The evening menus varied but there was always plenty of choice and difficult decisions needed to be made. We never did manage a dessert. The Lindisfarne Inn possibly had the edge on choice, quality and presentation.

The wine list had Italian wines as the house wine and a choice of five different red or white wines and three rosés. All three had cask mark accreditation so we stuck to the real ales, a different selection in each place, all in excellent condition.

This is an account of what we got up to. Days were dull and overcast which explains the poor quality of the pictures.

We might not have achieved all we set out to do, but had a great time and it was good to be back.

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