As is now traditional on the May Day weekend, we met our friends Valerie and Kenn somewhere between their home in West Yorkshire and ours in Glasgow. This time, the choice was Northumberland, specifically Belford, a coaching stop on the main A1 road from London to Edinburgh until it was bypassed in 1983.
It was quite sleepy-looking when we were there, although it livened up with the Saturday morning market. Its coaching past was also evident with the historic Blue Bell Hotel.
Our own accommodation, a former farmhouse, was called Bluebell (all one word) Lodge so it covered all bases by having a blue bell and bluebells (just visible on the middle window upstairs). It was very comfortable and so spacious that we could all have sat in separate rooms if we’d fallen out – which we didn’t, of course.
We were also provided with plenty of reading material – the landlord seemed to know several authors who had left collections of their books. If the weather had been really bad, we would have had plenty to choose from. It wasn’t – mainly bright, but too cold to sit out in the garden or on the tiny little deck over the stream which ran down the side of the house.
So what did we do? Castles galore! More to come…