North East England

North East England

The region has a beautiful and diverse landscape of cliffs, heaths, saltmarshes, beaches and extensive moorland that contain a number of rare species of both flora and fauna. Rare seabirds such as the Roseate Tern are found in the Farne Islands together with 35,000 puffins, and the Magnesian Limestone grasslands of East Durham are a habitat found nowhere else in the world.

Northumberland’s 70 castles and the ancient history of Hadrian’s Wall hold it’s fascinating history while it’s strong religious past can be seen in Lindesfarne and Durham Cathedral.

Angel of the North

Angel of the North by David Wilson Clarke

 

REGIONS

THE NORTH EAST

The region has a beautiful and diverse landscape of cliffs, heaths, saltmarshes, beaches and extensive moorland that contain a number of rare species of both flora and fauna. Rare seabirds such as the Roseate Tern are found in the Farne Islands together with 35,000 puffins, and the Magnesian Limestone grasslands of East Durham are a habitat found nowhere else in the world.

Northumberland’s 70 castles and the ancient history of Hadrian’s Wall hold it’s fascinating history while it’s strong religious past can be seen in Lindesfarne and Durham Cathedral.

EAST ANGLIA

This area is characterised by the flatness of the land, partly consisting of fenland and reclaimed marshland.  Scattered with unspoilt villages both in the depths of the country and on the coast it is a wonderful area to explore by bicycle.  With the cities of Cambridge and Ely as well as areas such as Constable Country, the Broads and the North Norfolk coast it is rich in places to visit and things to do.

YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER

A mix of hills, moors and old industry define this area.  The moors is one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom  and sheep are a ubiquitous part of the landscape. Their grazing helps to maintain the open wild landscape that is needed for many other plants and animals to thrive.  The Bronte sisters’ books famously describe life here.  Sheffield and York, the best known cities, provide plentiful culture and history with York alone providing enough to keep visitors busy for at least a week.

EAST MIDLANDS

Mainly agricultural, this area is known historically for its food – examples of which include Red Leicester, the Lincolnshire sausage, the Melton Mowbray pork pie, Stilton, the Bakewell tart, and the Bramley apple.  Don’t visit this area without sampling these wonderful and traditional delights.

CLIMATE

England’s climate is renowned for it’s unpredictability but spring, May/June and autumn September/early October are often the best times.  In between the summer is usually warmer and dryer but not always!

WHAT TO WEAR

Most important is to have layers to cope with changes in weather and a waterproof jacket is vital.  Casual is accepted more generally but smarter clothes will help you fit in as appropriate eg going to the races

TRAVEL

The main airports in England are Heathrow and Gatwick which are served by all the international airlines.  In addition both Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports cater to some international flights.

From all airports it is easy to get coaches or trains to other locations or hire a car.

The Eurostar has trains from Europe to London from where you can also get public or private transport to the rest of the country.

There are numerous Cross Channel Ferry companies although these, except for the route from Hull to Rotterdam, all arrive in southern or Western England.

GETTING AROUND

Getting around England by train is easy but may involve a number of changes and will not get you into the depths of the countryside.  Coaches and busses are best for this.  Alternatively hire a car or a bike (take it on the train for longer journeys).  Booking tickets in advance and travelling after 09.30 and before 17.00 makes fares cheaper.

The amazing canal system criss-crosses the country for a more leisurely travel experience.  Barges can be hired for just one day or as many as you like.

CURRENCY

British Pound (GBP)

LANGUAGE

The national language is English.  There are many dialects, some quite tricky even for native speakers to understand.

POPULATION

About 53 million in the whole of England.

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO

1 York Viking Festival

2 Newcastle Races

3 Cambridge Folk Festival – one of the longest running and most famous folk festivals in the world.

4 Viking Raiders – Holy Island

5 Royal Armouries Summer Jousting Championship

6 The Tall Ships Races, Hartlepool – Best Tourism Event of the Year

7 The Norfolk Food & Drink Festival – the largest food event of the year.

8 Latitude Festival – Suffolk – music, theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance and literature.

MUST SEE + DO'S

Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales

1 Hire a punt and explore the Backs of Cambridge

2 Rent a bike and travel through glorious, and flat!, Suffolk

3 Camp in the Yorkshire Dales, Rukin’s campsite with its fabulous cafe is a favourite

4 Ride along the wild Northumbrian coast. Pedal Power will deliver a bike to wherever you want to start.

5 Take a tour around the ancient city of York

6 See the biggest collection of Hockney paintings in the Saltaire gallery

7 Take a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

8 Join in a wild Friday night in one of Newcastle’s many clubs

9 Be brave and go Wild Swimming in the icy rivers of the North

10 Catch a cricket match and listen to the sound of willow on leather, one of the most iconic sounds and sights of village life in England.

DON'T FORGET TO PACK

1. Waterproof jacket

2. Student card

3. Credit card

4. Driving licence if hiring car

5. Warm clothes

EAT AND DRINK

Feast on a traditional home made English Cream Tea.  Served with a pot of ubiquitous tea – Home-made scones, strawberry jam and thick clotted cream will keep you going for hours.

Fish and chips – a day by the seaside is not complete without this wonderfully filling and often necessarily warming English custom.

Sunday Roast – this could be roasted beef, pork, lamb or chicken served with roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables and gravy. Not necessarily only available on Sunday’s but more easily available.

Stottie – a huge Newcastle flat, round, bun filled usually filled with ham and peas pudding but other fillings easily found.

Beer – the English love their beer!  Smaller brewers are becoming more fashionable in the towns whereas most country pubs will sell some local varieties.

SHOP

Ely is a great place for rummaging through antiques, and signs lead down to the river and bargain-hunting heaven Waterside Antiques Centre.

Victoria Quarter, Leeds – the North’s premiere fashion and lifestyle destination.  Housed in elegant Grade 11* listed buildings and home to over 70 of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands, Victoria Quarter is justifiably renowned as one of the country’s finest shopping destinations.

ITINERARY

Judith starts her journey in the historic city of Cambridge where she takes a punt around the famous Backs She takes a bus to the village of Lavenham where the houses are bigger on the top than the bottom, so built to reduce ground tax. She has a fabulous home made cream tea at Munnings Tea Room and Emporium.  From here she goes to Bradford where the large Indian and Pakistan population run many restaurants and curry houses.

Further on she visits Saltaire, home of the textile industry and takes a horse drawn barge along one of the areas many canals.  The journey starts with Bingley Five Rise Lock, the Three Rise lock and an aquaduct – all in the first 3 miles.

After hiring a car she arrives in Keld where she meets some amateur actors walking the Corpse Trail to Grinton.  The countryside is wild and beautiful, some of the best trekking in the north east.  The accents are getting stronger as she travels further north and she begins to struggle to understand the broader ones.  Exhausted, she settles in at the Bivouac where the rustic atmosphere blends in perfectly with the surrounding hills.

On her continuing journey north Judith goes over the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in a gondola – one of only 11 in the world.

She wanders the streets of Newcastle before going the races where she manages to put a bet on the horse that comes in about 5 minutes after all the others.  And on to Chillingham Castle where she is met by Sir Humphrey Wakefield who has filled the castle with a wonderful collection of objects d’art collected from all over the world.  Part of his estate has been given over to wild cattle who have lived here for over 700 hundred years.  They are one of the rarest animals in the world, totally untamed and never even treated by vets.

The Northumbrian Coast is beautiful, wild and wind swept and has tremendous views of a number of castles.  From here Judith cycles to Holy Island and the famous Lindesfarne which became the base of English Christianity in AD635 and heralded the start of the Viking Age in AD793.

Judith ends her journey on Farne Island which she gets to by boat.  30,000 puffins live here as well thousands of very territorial Arctic Terns who dive bomb visitors in the vein hope of chasing them away.

SLEEP

Chillingham Castle

Holiday here at any time of the year, with just one person, a couple or a group in this totally original and unspoiled medieval castle and its historic Coaching Rooms.

Free access to the stunning castle grounds with a glorious and secluded setting in Northumberland’s famously beautiful countryside.

There are some beautiful apartments to let in the actual castle and in the Castle’s Coaching Rooms where the coaches and horses were once kept.  The longer you stay the cheaper it is!

http://www.chillingham-castle.com/

 

The Bivouac – Accommodation consists of six original, hand crafted, round-wood timber frame Shacks tucked away in beautiful woodland, and eight canvas Yurts burrowed into the hillside, resting on individual wooden platforms. Above the reception area is the cosy bunk barn that can sleep up to 12 people.

http://www.thebivouac.co.uk/

North East England

Globe Trekker

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