When I pop my clogs and shuffle off this mortal coil, a small piece of my being will be forever devoted to a place which makes my heart soar, Northumberland. I have fond memories of childhood holidays, and more recently revisiting with my own family. I’m not alone in my thinking as this region won gold in the Best UK Holiday County/Destination at the prestigious 2018 British Travel Awards. #Northumberland
One of the many reasons that I love this destination is the warmth and friendliness of the locals. “Eeeh’ come in pet” or “canny like” are phrases which come to mind. Spring is an ideal time to visit, you can nab great accommodation bargains, and it is not overcrowded. My advice is to wrap up warmly, and head to the hills, beaches, castles or wherever else takes your fancy – there are no shortages of places to go here.
We decide to swing by Alnwick Gardens on our mini-tour. We’ve visited before but can’t resist its show-stopping water features. Amongst the first blooms to burst through the winter gloom are snowdrops, crocuses and Tête-à-tête daffodils, all popping their heads through the soil.
Clever architectural planting and hedging ensure that there is structure no matter the time of year. #visitnorthumberland #Alnwickgardens www.alnwickgarden.com www.visitnorthumberland.com
I can vouch for the glorious displays of tulips which follow later on in the season after the camellias and cherry blossoms have had their moment in the sun. After this, the gardens truly burst into colour, marching their way through the months with confidence, looking more impressive as each year passes.
Lunch at the Pavilion Cafe, ideal if the weather is inclement or you are exhausted by your perambulations. The new caterers, Searcys, have an interesting north-east connection. The company was founded by John Searcy in 1847. He worked for 10 years for the then Duke and Duchess of Northumberland as a confectioner and pastry chef, catering for them and their high society friends. His cakes must have impressed as the duke and duchess helped set up this business, and 172 years on, it seems a fitting and proper homecoming as the company returns to Alnwick.
Hopefully, you can now see why I love to return to this place time and again. It holds a very special place in my heart. You can read my full travel article here www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/travel #stelleruk #stellerstories