Posted in Inspiration

More from Northumberland #Inspiration

Now I’m back from my holiday in Northumberland. I have a few more memories to share with you. The weather was less than perfect but we still managed to get on the beach with our dogs. In the evening the open fire kept us lovely and warm.

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I really do love this part of England, the coastline is rugged and wild and the castles are imposing and  full of memories of years gone by.

I particularly enjoyed staying at Letterbox Cottage , West Burton which used to be a farm worker’s cottage. Originally it was only one storey with three rooms but another level was added in 1942.

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There was a lovely walled garden, which the dogs loved and lots of wild birds came to visit. Wagtails and Jackdaws, both favourites of mine, were frequent visitors.

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The windows had views of Bamburgh castle and lots of fields with horses, cows and sheep. It was beautifully rural and lovely to see animals in the fields as they should be.

 

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#Loving # Northumberland

 

 

Posted in Book Review, New Books

4* Review: The Cosy Tea shop in the Castle- Caroline Roberts

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Blurb - Coastal

When Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.

When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!

Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

My Review - Coastal

The Cosy Teashop in the Castle

The storyline for this book really appealed to me; I love Northumberland and my guilty secret is that I would love to run my own teashop. So it was easy to understand Ellie’s dreams and aspirations for the teashop in the castle. Ellie’s enthusiasm, courage to try something new and to stick at it, even when there are problems makes her easy to like, you want her to succeed.
Joe’s affable exterior hides a multitude of secrets.
The teashop is a lovely setting and I would have liked to have got to know more about the ‘regular’s that visited it.
The romance between Ellie and Joe is lovely, with lots of easy to relate to funny moments. There is plenty of heat, perhaps a little too much for such a gentle storyline?
This is a nice cosy read for a cold winter’s afternoon.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts

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Posted in Inspiration

The Perfect Holiday Cottage

Back garden view of our retreat in Northumberlan
Back garden view of our retreat in Northumberland

If you have been following my blog posts this week you will know I visited Northumberland. Now that I am back home again I want to share some thoughts and photographs of the lovely holiday cottage which was the base for our Northumberland holiday. Intended purely for couples and their dogs it was small but well designed with everything we needed for our stay.

Living and kitchen area
Living and kitchen area

 

Raised bedroom area with a view out to the field at the bottom of the garden - Lovely.
Raised bedroom area with a view out to the field at the bottom of the garden – Lovely.

 Even though this cottage is close to the A1 and easy to get to, it is so quiet and secluded.The perfect place to get away from it all with a ring side seat  of all the wildlife. There were hares, rabbits, pheasants and at night time, bats easily seen from the garden and lots of wild song birds. We even had a visit from an Arctic Tern looking for breakfast.

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Cheeky Sparrow

 

I would love to wake up to this view every morning.

View  from back garden across open fields.
View from back garden across open fields.

 My only regret was I couldn’t try our the log burner but alas it was just too warm. 🙂

Lovely log burner
Lovely log burner

After a wonderful holiday its time to leave ‘the good life’ behind (that comment will be lost on anyone not old enough to remember the 70s sitcom)

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The neighbour’s chicks run free just over the fence.
Fresh vegetables anyone?
Fresh vegetables anyone?

Back home again I’m looking forward to finishing my third book The Dangerous Gift.

Look out for more excerpts, news on The Revenge Masquerade and lots of book reviews.

Have a lovely weekend.

 

Posted in Inspiration

The Other Side of Dunstanburgh Castle – Dunstan Steads

Dunstan Steads Beach from Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstan Steads Beach from Dunstanburgh Castle

So yesterday afternoon we decided to visit the beach we could see from the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and it was so worth it. It was a mixture of sand and rocks and bordered by sand dunes and crashing waves – lovely.

Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes

 

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Waves on the rocky beach below Dunstanburgh Castle

A quick picnic on the beach overlooking at Newton just below Newton Point.

View from beach close to Newton.
View from beach close to Newton.

Then we walked back on the track by the sand dunes. A lovely walk which is dotted with wild flowers and Unusual beach huts. I would love to hide away in this one – the perfect writing cave with a view of the beach and sea.

The perfect writing hideaway?
The perfect writing hideaway?

 

Beach side with a sea view...
Beach side with a sea view…

 

With a wild flower garden.
With a wild flower garden.

The last part of the walk is along the edge of the golf course. No one would mind putting their ball in the water here.

Has anyone seen my ball?
Has anyone seen my ball?

A scream disturbed the silence of the golf course. Not the start of a thriller but me tripping over a stone and plummeting down the grassy bank. Thankfully Jazz and Vince caught me and I escaped with a bruised back. Undefeated I carried on and saw how great Dunstanburgh Castle looks from the golf course at the side of the beach.

Dunstanburgh Castle from Dunstan Steads
Dunstanburgh Castle from Dunstan Steads

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Another great walk with lots to see on quiet, dog friendly beaches I’m really going to miss this.

 

Posted in Inspiration

Spectacular Ruin On Rugged Coast – Dunstanburgh Castle

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Approaching Dunstanburgh Castle

Yesterday we visited a ruined castle at Craster. It was the most spectacular yet. I thought Lindisfarne was amazing built on a volcanic rock on an island but Dunstanburgh castle is a spectacular ruin on a breathtaking stretch of the Northumberland coast.

Alongside the walk to the castle
Alongside the walk to the castle

The photographs speak for themselves although in real life the waves crashing against the rocks is even better.

The view from the walk to the castle.
The view from the walk to the castle.

You do have to pass close by to sheep and cows so you will need to keep your dogs under close control but they are clearly used to visitors and ignored us which suited me.

Jazz and Oby were well behaved.
Jazz and Oby were well-behaved.

The ruined castle has some interesting features including these windows.

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 There is also a double height tower.

Double Height Tower
Double Height Tower

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Today is our last full day here in Northumberland and I will be sad to leave the beautiful coast and countryside and the friendly locals. Today we are off to explore the beach we saw from the castle yesterday.

From from the castle gorunds towards Craster Harbour
From from the castle grounds towards Craster Harbour

 

Amid the ruined castle
Dunstanburgh Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in My Dogs

Jazz and Oby On Holiday

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Jazz
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Oby

It’s no secret that I  love my dogs. Jazz and Oby are my constant companions when writing. Vince and I both love the countryside  and walking,so it makes perfect sense to take the dogs on holiday with us. Oby has been part of the family for just over ten months and  this is his first holiday with us.

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

 Yesterday it was raining in the morning so we all chilled. I secretly think Jazz and Oby were glad of the extra rest since they have been having lots of exercise. The sun made a dazzling appearance in the late afternoon so we took the dogs, now bouncy and raring to go to Beadnell beach. We passed Bamburgh castle on the way and I couldn’t resist taking a few more photographs from  the roadside.

 

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

Beadnell has a lovely beach  surrounding Beadnell bay which is very popular with surfers. Notably it has the only west facing harbour on the east coast of England.

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Beadnell Beach

 It is bordered with sand dunes where lots of pretty flowers manage to grow despite the harsh conditions.

Flowers on Beadnell Bay
Flowers on Beadnell Bay

I like this beach because at this time of the year it isn’t overcrowded and there is plenty of space for the dogs to run and play.

Sand Dunes on Beadnell Bay
Sand Dunes on Beadnell Bay

As you can see from the pictures Jazz and Oby seem to be having a great time. 🙂

Jazz on the beach
Jazz on the beach
Jazz and Oby paddling in the sea
Jazz and Oby paddling in the sea
Oby playing ball
Oby playing ball

 

Jazz in pursuit
Jazz in pursuit
Come and play Oby
Come and play Oby
Dogs having fun
Dogs having fun

 

Jazz in action
Jazz in action

 

Race you...
Race you…