February in Northumberland

My good friend Agnes came to visit for the first two weeks of February.  It was such a pleasure to have a travel buddy, and to take time to do some sightseeing.  Agnes found a great round trip air fare from Newark to Leeds, so I made the two hour trek south to meet her at the airport.  We then went straight to the North York Moors National Park where we spent a few nights.

View on one of our hikes
Exploring Whitby, a little town on the Yorkshire coast

After a quick one-day break in Bedlington, we took off for Scotland, traveling up the Northumberland coast for part of the trip, where we stopped for tea and scones at a delightful little pub in Seahouses, and visited Bamburgh Castle:

The Olde Ship Inn, Seahouses
Bamburgh Castle
View from inside Bamburgh Castle

In Scotland, we very bravely tried a traditional Scottish dish called Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (uh…sheep stomach stuffed with other unmentionable parts, with turnips and potatoes), and spent a day in Edinburgh, which we loved:

Haggis, neeps and tatties – very tasty!
Part of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle
Dinner at the White Hart Inn, the oldest pub in Edinburgh

On our return to Northumberland, my friends Kay and Peter generously continued acting as tour guides, taking us on a day trip to see Washington Old Hall, which was the residence of George Washington’s ancestors, and the ancient Durham Cathedral, among other places:

Washington Old Hall
Durham Cathedral

For the last couple of nights before Agnes flew home, we stayed near Leeds, where we enjoyed a “high tea” and visited the fascinating ruins of an old castle which we could wander through to our heart’s content:

Spofforth Castle ruins

During my last couple of weeks in Northumberland, I wrapped up my research at the archives, and spent some final precious time with Kay and Peter.  They took me on two more day trips, one south to visit Beamish, a living history outdoor museum, and the other one north to visit various parish churches and towns where my ancestors lived.

A view of Beamish
Low Newton, a place on the coast where my Patterson family lived

Whew, another busy month!  I left Northumberland in a blizzard, but with lots of warm feelings, great memories, and a deeper understanding of my ancestral home.

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