Tag Archives: adventure

Our Northumberland Yurt Adventure

2 Apr

This Christmas my parents surprised The Boy and I with a holiday: two nights in a yurt at Wild Northumbrian in dark sky country up by Kielder Water. We were both really excited and couldn’t wait for our yurt adventure. We decided to book it as a relaxing couple of days after my first work trip of the Spring, so I returned from Canada on  Friday 27th March, and on Sunday 29th March we packed up our warm clothes, food, and bikes and made our way to Northumberland for our adventure.

 

 We had chosen to stay at Brock yurt, a cosy 16ft yurt perfect for two. The yurt was located a short walk from where we parked our car and so we donned our wellingtons and made our way down to the stream to move into our home for the next couple of nights.

  

The yurt itself was perfectly formed. There was everything we could possibly need including a gorgeous little wood burning stove, which The Boy particularly enjoyed tending, and which kept us toasty warm at all times, and a gorgeous handmade wooden bed that was so cosy and comfortable that it was often difficult to leave.

With no electricity, mains water or gas, this really was an opportunity to get back to nature. There was no phone reception, so we turned off our 21century devices and adopted a simple, slow life for a few days. We listened to the sound of the wind, the stream, the birds, we read, we played cards, we talked. It was wonderfully relaxing. Everything took on a much slower place, and we were no longer slaves to the clock. 

 

We experienced every sort of weather, including snow, but we did get some clear skies with and opportunity to enjoy the myriad stars above us. The yurt had handy star gazing binoculars which made this all the more fun. 

And there is nothing quite so lovely as waking to the morning sun peeking through the roof light of the yurt, all warm in your bed with the chill morning air all around you, and getting the wood burning stove going for morning coffee. There is something very lovely about a back to basics life like that, and we thoroughly enjoyed our immersion.

We were both pretty sad at the end of our visit to have to leave our yurt and return to the 21st century. However, I’m sure we will return. 

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School Trip

26 May

Friday 25th May, for ‘team building’, 16 over-excited women high on sugar and one very patient male tour-guide, hopped on the bus in Durham (and Newcastle) and headed out for a day’s adventure in Northumberland, and what a day for it, the weather was absolutely glorious!

Lisa and Lidsay at the back of the bus – caffeine and excitement, a dangerous combination!

First stop, once we were all on the bus, was Craster Shoreline Cafe for tea and cakes! Sadly nothing vegan or wheat-free on their menu, so it was just coffee for me (and a Nakd bar I’d sneaked into my handbag) whilst everyone else munched on huge homemade scones. All the windows were wide open and we had glorious views of the sparkling sea whilst we enjoyed our morning coffee break.

Craster Harbour

After the trip to the tea shop we wandered through Craster. Some of the group dropped into the kipper shop to buy some famous traditional smoked kippers, whilst the rest of us walked along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle

Walking along the path to the castle.

After our stroll we all got back on the bus and drove up the coast to Seahouses where we were having lunch. Lunch was arranged at the Bamburgh Castle Inn. Alex, our fab tour guide from Northern Secrets had made sure there was something I can eat so we sat down to a massive 2 course lunch. I had homemade tomato soup to start (delicious) followed by a lovely salad (lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber, apple, pear, olives and pineapple). Everyone really enjoyed their lunch but were completely defeated by the portions, especially since they had all been eating scones about an hour before!

Keeping it glam on the boat!

After lunch we headed down to the harbour and joined the Billy Shiels boat trip (Glad Tidings IV) to go over to the Farne Islands to see the seals and the birds. The boat trip takes you around some of the islands where you can see the birds nesting on the cliffs and flying or floating all around you. They also take you to see the grey seal colony. After 45 minutes of sailing around they land on one of the islands so that you can go and look at the nesting birds.

Looking back to the mainland with Bamburgh Castle

The birds are pretty tame, and will happily sit there on their nest whilst you get up really close. A lot of the birds had chicks in their nest that you could see too. The puffins live in burrows, and are quite shy, so they tend to scuttle into their puffin-holes when you get close, they are so funny. I love their orange feet, I think they look like they are wearing wellies! (gum boots for my US readers)

The terns are the most aggressive of the birds. They nest really close to the paths and shriek at you if they think you are getting too close (it must be very stressful for them) they will also dive-bomb you if they are really pissed with you, so we were all recommended to wear a hat. Even so, they still had a go at everyone. It made me laugh so hard to see everyone ducking and scuttling along as the birds dived at them. L was particularly bothered by them and one bit her ear whilst she shrieked, “It bit me Bee, it bit my ear! It’s like Hitchcocks fucking Birds!” I nearly wet myself I was laughing so hard!

The bird on the left was sitting on an egg, when she stood up slightly you could see the chick was beginning to hatch out. The bird on the right was giving her snuggles, probably telling her what a clever mummy she was.

Can you see the chicks in the nest with her? She was grooming them whilst we photographed her. Isn’t her plumage gorgeous?

We caught the boat back to the mainland at 4.30pm and were back at the coach in Seahouses by 5pm. After a quick pause for a 99 ice-cream and a photo we headed home, a lot more quiet than we had been on the way there. We’d had a fabulous day out with Northern Secrets, and couldn’t have wished for better weather.