Shearwin's in Europe 2015 travel blog


It was with a tinge of regret that we left our accommodation at Ellerby. The staff had been good and our dining experience excellent.

Our first objective for the day was to visit Staithes an old seaside fishing village now a tourist destination. It lays claim to Captain James Cook's first employment as a grocer's apprentice before moving to Whitby to join the navy. Positioned alongside a steep roadway that winds its way to a protected harbour, Staithes is similar in character to Robin Hood Bay. There is a definite seafaring village charm shared by both.

The day's main objective however was to visit Alnwick Castle and the adjoining gardens. Alnwick castle is the home of the of the Percy family who have owned the Castle for 700 years as the Duke's of Northumberland. The Castle has also received notoriety for the filming of the Christmas edition of the TV series Downton Abbey. There is no question that the stately homes that are full/part occupied by family or descendants offer the most interesting interior furnishings to view.

The Gardens, separate but adjoining the Castle were first laid in 1750 but declined following WW2 and have been redeveloped as "the most ambitious large new garden project since ", reopening in 2001.

To say we were impressed with the castle, it's grounds and furnishings would be an understatement. The Gardens were equally impressive as was the old town of Alnwick (the source of labour for the Percy family) where we took a mid afternoon wine break from our lengthy wanderings.

In the late afternoon we completed a further 18 miles on our march to our accommodation at Belford and our eventual objective of Edinburgh.

Our accommodation is south of the township and isolated. As a consequence we drove to Bamburgh on the coast to view the town and the imposing castle that dominates the area. We were too late to enter the Castle however viewed it from the shoreline which must be one of the nicest sandy beaches in the region. The township was very appealing and would have been the better location to stay. As dinner was approaching we stayed for a drink at the Mizen Head which followed into a lovely dinner of seafood - Kaye had the crayfish, Jan and I the flake.

After dinner we returned the 5 miles to our motel and straight to bed in preparation for our drive to Edinburgh.



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