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Day 1: Home to Northumberland

For this bank holiday last year, we had booked to go on a long weekend to Monaco. Well, really a long weekend in a place called Menton in France, because Monaco is way out of our budget, but the objective was to visit Monaco and add another small European country to our visited list. The pandemic meant that trip ultimately didn't happen, but this time last year EasyJet gave me the option to rebook the cancelled flights for May 2021. Back in May 2020, this seemed like an excellent idea; I didn't think for one minute that we wouldn't be back to normal life by May 2021! Little did I know :D Obviously life is not yet back to normal and my flights got cancelled for a second time. For a while I assumed we would just spend this weekend at home, but when restrictions started to ease a bit in the UK it became clear that it should at least be possible to book a self-catering stay within England. We enjoyed our trip to Northumberland so much last year, that we decided to take the opportunity to head up to the same part of the world again :)

We didn't make a terribly early start this morning - and Northumberland is quite a long way away from Nuneaton - so today has predominantly been a day of travelling. When researching the route a few days ago I did, however, track down a place for us to make a stop around halfway through our journey.

This rather unusual landscape is Brimham Rocks, a short diversion from the A1(M) in the general vicinity of Harrogate.


I'd never heard of Brimham Rocks before, but the land is owned by the National Trust and we were able to use our membership cards to park for free in the carpark.


We followed a path, signposted as a scenic route, through the rocks.


Some of them were enormous, and there were some very unusual shapes.


I wished I could better remember my geography lessons to understand how/why they'd eroded in this way :D 


The walk through the rocks wasn't a very long one, but that was fine because the weather was constantly on the verge of threatening rain.


We did find a small picnic area, where we just about managed to eat our sandwiches before a shower hit.


Luckily the shower wasn't too heavy, so we just got slightly damp as we took a different route back to the car.


From the edge of the rocks there were some nice views out across the surrounding countryside.


From Brimham Rocks we had another two hours or so of driving before we reached the cottage we are staying in, near a small place called Bardon Mill.


It's really cosy inside :) 


There's a nice bedroom...


...and a well-equipped kitchen, where the owners have even left us some food (including local bacon) for breakfast :)


By the time we'd checked in the weather had improved a bit, so we went out for a stroll to explore the neighbourhood.


There are a few other houses around, but otherwise we're pretty much in the middle of nowhere.


There were some beautiful views as we walked around the surrounding lanes.


Even if the weather isn't forecast to be great this weekend, it looks like this is going to be a lovely place to stay :) 

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