Bolam Lake in the eerie mist, Northumberland, England.

Today felt a bit eerie and maybe the Hurricane which we’re expecting helped to create such an effect on the weather today. The skies were almost dimmed uncontrollably and this mist appeared over the baron fields of Northumberland, creating a lost and unforgiven landscape in its wake. It was almost as if we were living in a completely new atmosphere where new gases were lurking. But lo and behold i had no difficulty breathing and so oxygen still prevailed in this atmosphere.

So i was sat inside thinking, i wonder how good Bolam Lake would look surrounded by this eerie mist, so i jumped up, got changed and headed straight for the Bolam Lake.


This picture epitomised the eerie mist which refused to lift over the lake.


Visibility had been turned down a notch or two.


Here we have an empty boardwalk accompanied only with leaves which have fallen from the tree.


Two swans gliding elegantly round Bolam Lake.


Incoming trio of Swans about to land on Bolam Lake.


Autumn coloured leaves floating helplessly.


Many leaves which are yet to fall to their fate.


A close up shot of Autumn leaves and a blurred out Swan.


Bird’s nests becoming increasingly exposed from tree’s losing their leaves.

Swanning off into the distance!


Close-up of a Cattail. Typical pond furniture!

A collection of today’s photo’s.


Seaton Sluice and the Oiled up Cormorant, Northumberland, England.

This jaunt of ours was specifically to go somewhere near the coast and go for a walk, so when we both agreed to venture round Seaton Sluice to blow off some steam it felt like the perfect location to do just that!

Seaton Sluice is literally a couple miles South of Blyth and only a few miles North of Whitley Bay. Seaton Sluice have their own beaches which are lovely and there’s also a nice walk which flows inland with the river.

We parked in the Melton Constable car park and followed the steps down to the river. From the river we continued to walk further inland away from the coast, as the plan was to go full circle. As we began to walk further, we came across an old boat which had capsized and there appeared to be a Cormorant which looked like it had oil on it, so we rang the RSPCA and reported it.


Either the Cormorant was ok and it was just chilling or it really was covered in oil, but it seemed as though it was struggling to flap its wings and motivate itself to take off. However, RSPCA were informed and after we had done our full circle, we decided to walk back and check on it, and by this point it had disappeared. However, one of the other pictures does suggest that there might be diesel or oil trickling out from somewhere and going into the River.


I particularly enjoy this photo where the light is hitting certain spots on the field and the Cow’s continue to roam free until the sun goes down.

As you keep walking, you end up practically on the road, we turned left in the direction towards the coast, where the views of St.Mary’s Island were clearly visible from Seaton Sluice. St.Mary’s Island has a beautiful lighthouse and has been renovated so many times over, and is one of Whitley Bay’s major landmarks.


St Mary’s Lighthouse.


This horse in particular appeared to enjoy the photo shoot and stuck around for a few minutes before trotting off.

As we nearly completed our full circle round Sluice, we passed a few more landmarks on our way before it was time for FISH AND CHIPS. We hadn’t had any for such a long time, and as a small treat and reward for completing such a “long” walk we both agreed it was much deserved.


The Harbour View is where we chose to have our Fish & Chips, and we didn’t regret it one bit, the portion’s were generous, staff were lovely and it tasted absolutely fantastic. I’d recommend this place to anyone who might be driving through and need something to eat.


There’s nothing more comforting than being sat outside with a box of Fish & Chips and watching the World go by.

Simonside Hills – A walk amongst the Heather in the deceptive heat. Northumberland, England.

Simonside Hills was our go to choice for the day and it did not disappoint, as Monday was going to be the best and most reliable day for weather we thought we best take advantage of that. We drove up to Morpeth then decided to take the route into Mitford and beyond, passing hamlets on our way up. As you approach fontburn lake, keep going for a further couple miles and you’ll see a brown sign directing you to Simonside and the car park is easy enough to find and it’s free!!

From the car park there is a sign which points you in two directions, either you go to spy law via the Simonside Hills or you can either go to Rothbury. We chose to ascend to Simonside using the steps adjacent to the car park. As you climb and reach the top of the steps, there’s another sign, one which is “St. Oswald’s Way” and one which is “Public Footpath”. We did take “St.Oswald’s Way” but on reflection should’ve chosen the other as it meant we could’ve walked over the Hills rather than round them but it was still a decent stretch regardless.


Here you can see the footpath which takes you directly over the hills.


The Heather this time of year is always in full swing, and it really helps to transform the hills over the period of Winter to Summer.


Taking the ‘St.Oswald’s’ route was actually pretty good and it gave us a whole new perspective.

A few more pictures of what was taken along the way, more of the same really, but beautiful all the same.


Ravenous honey bee’s collecting the pollen from the Heather.


Simonside from the other side.


A few sheep part-timing in the grass. It’s a hard life.

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Autumn appears to be already prevailing in the last pic in this slideshow. Either that, or it may likely be diseased. I loved the contrast of orange and green.

The old famous grouse captured taking flight. They were tricky characters to capture because they would wait until last minute then fly off and by that point my reaction speed had already failed me.

The texture in the grass contrast with the Heather is beautiful.

To complete the collection, i end with this collage of pictures, which again illustrate the beauty encompassing Simonside Hills.

It’s well worth a visit, the views are breath-taking and it gets you out the house for a bit.

Harlow Hill and the magical sunset, Northumberland, England.

We embarked on a drive out to the Countryside and unexpectedly captured such a beautiful sunset. As we drove past Stamfordham, the skies were beginning to clear, clouds were moving swiftly, and the colours intertwined with one another to form an unforgettable sunset. This time of year I’ve noticed the light can be special, it’s almost summer’s way of saying farewell.

We stopped near the lakes at a lay-by, and got in through a side gate which took us from Whittle Dene to Harlow Hill, it’s a public footpath so there was no trespassing, and we didn’t walk through wheat fields like our current Prime Minister once did. We just kept it simple and followed the path up to Harlow Hill, as the sun was setting, the colours became more prominent and dazzling. You know when you take your camera and by luck everything falls into place, well, this was one of those evenings!

I did have my camera on the P function which exaggerated some of the colours, but it still captures how beautiful the sunset really was.  The path which took us up to Harlow Hill was clearly marked and you can either go one or two ways, one which goes East to Harlow Hill or you could go West which would take you to East Wallhouses along Hadrian’s wall.  The place itself is easy to find, tap ‘Military Road, Northumberland’ in if you need to locate it any easier, however be wary, signal strength may not be the best.


The silhouetted tree’s and the sun still radiating it’s last shine before it gifts another part of the World.

There is also a Nature Reserve here, and they’ve also provided a hut for enthusiasts to enjoy, the hut also allows wannabe photographers such as myself to gain a much favoured vantage point over the lake itself.


The colours of the sky because of the P function exaggerated the sunset but it’s still beautiful.


This is a fine example of what it really looked like.


Another of the Nature Reserve hut and the colours reflecting off from the lake.


I love this close up shot.


It’s harvest time. Tractors this time of year in Northumberland are out in full force.

This was the result of a last minute ‘fancy a drive?’ and the experience from what this drive has given us has been rich in colour, steeped in history and a walk which we weren’t aware of, especially one which we thought didn’t exist. So again, drives out into the Countryside can give us all the learning experience we require to share with others.

The walk itself was in fact short by any standard, but given this is Hadrian’s Wall, the walk can go on for as long as you want it to.

Shaftoe Crags, Northumberland.

Our midweek walk took us to a territory of Northumberland which was just north of Belsay, and for those who aren’t accustomed to Belsay, then Shaftoe is north of Ponteland off the A696. If you pass Belsay, then Shaftoe is literally the third major turn off but the only snag is, you can’t park there as it’s a private road, so we basically parked 100m from the private road on a lay-by.


It does feel a little awkward walking up the private road as you begin to encounter property and it feels like you shouldn’t be walking round there, but lo and behold, if you turn right and walk round, there is a road which leads you away from the house and onto Shaftoe Crags.


The cattle were alerted by our presence and probably wanted something from us, something we didn’t quite have, which was food.

The road basically ensures you reach the crags, but halfway up we decided to take another path through the bracken.


The views were still breathtaking despite it being more than overcast.

You get a real sense of achievement reaching the summit and being able to take in the landscapes is an added bonus.

It also appears when you go round from the top there’s more routes to indulge yourself in, but on a wet overcast day, remember to take your wellies and waterproof’s! There’s plenty to explore and it’s another beautiful part of Northumberland which on a clear day  illustrates how expanse, natural and raw this land is. This walk was a good stretch and we probably spent an hour walking there and back. So for anyone who hasn’t been, get yourself there for a lovely walk.

Allendale, Northumberland.

Our travels took us to South-West Northumberland, a place which i myself have not had the pleasure of walking around. There are many places round this beautiful part of Northumberland to walk, but for us we chose to walk round Deneholm woods which is literally right next to the small village of Allendale.

We parked in Allendale itself, which was easily accessible, parking places were crying out for cars. We decided to walk from Allendale town centre back over the bridge and up the hill which then took us to an opening to Deneholm woods. The woods have been well looked after, walks clearly sign posted and wooden bridges built to walk across the River Allen.


Above are a few pictures taken from our walk at the beginning.

As we got out from Deneholm woods we began to approach a few houses/cottages, one of which had around 20 to 30 chickens casually exploring the local environs.


I’m no expert but as the back of the car clearly states, this is a Rover, an old one at that but it has been kept in such pristine condition that it deserved to be framed. What an absolute beauty.

We decided to go back from the cottages as time was getting on and the route appeared exhausted as there were no clear visible paths so we walked and from this bridge i was able to capture some wildlife, or at least i tried to frame it.

On we went, back to the town of Allendale by going back the same way we came. The walk itself is about 2 miles long. Serious walkers need not apply but anyone who would like to enjoy a small but peaceful walk then this is the one. Once we were back at Allendale, this pub we were sure kept calling our names, so we thought it would be rude not to go in buy a pint!

Cragside, Northumberland – Part Three

Part Three is the last chapter of the album which I’d like to share with you all. We walked back from the Garden to the car park and followed the paths which took us further up the hill and away from Cragside House. The paths were great and i could imagine them being super fun for families to enjoy too.

The first picture is the cafe which you can find walking back from the gardens, and at the iron bridge turn left on your way to the other pump house. After the pump house, you go up some steps near a reservoir and the cafe is on your way towards the car park. As we began the walks, you get a different perspective of Cragside House.


The start of the trail pretty much sets the standard in terms of how beautiful the walk is.

Using the macro lense to take close up’s of moss and small tree’s, sometimes using it to take pictures of things further away which is a bit of a rookie error.

All of a sudden, you get ‘that feeling’ something could be moving so you look, and lo and behold a red squirrel was scurrying around the tree’s. Quickly, i tried to swap lenses so i could get closer to it, you can just about make it out through the branches as it was trying its best to disguise itself.

There are also fun things for Children to feast their eyes on and learn in the process, various animals and insects which have been made and planted on the trail. Due to my macro lense, there was a picture of a place in the middle of the trail which serves as a midway point, picnic benches, play area to sit and rest, unfortunately this picture was too blurry to illustrate. There was also a labyrinth which was brilliant and we pretty much got lost in it for a while which was good fun. This demonstrates the hard work that has gone in to make Cragside the place it is today, a place where you can discover despite getting lost along the way. Definitely recommended.

After we got to the lakes it was time to make our way back. Apparently, there is over 40 miles of walks to discover so we only covered maybe 6 or 7. Another 33 or 34 to go…

Cragside, Northumberland – Part Two

As we continued our journey towards the gardens, we initially encountered a small protected woodland as i said before which appeared untouched. The grass looked so lush and green, basically a cattle’s dream! I could’ve had the grass myself it looked so good.

Above are a few pictures illustrating the calm stillness of the walk and the odd piece of art which has been finely crafted to entertain passers-by. Before approaching the Iron Bridge, you get a real sense of how each tree and plant has been carefully placed and has been allowed to grow and express itself in its own space. I can imagine how good this walk is in the depths of Autumn too when the season has changed so we might be back for a bit of that action when it comes round.

As you approach the Iron Bridge it’s clear to see how much has gone in to strengthen the beauty of Cragside House and the surrounding area. With the flowers in full bloom, I’m sure if Monet was alive today he’d quite happily paint Cragside House, it can only be an inspiration to many who see it at this time of year.

After a brief interlude at the bridge it was time to get our skates on again, but we were given a couple directions, but after settling for the gardens it was ‘off we go’.


Once we arrived at the gardens, everything from the flowers and careful positioning of plants only enhanced our way even more. It was great being there to appreciate the hard work and effort which has gone in to make it this good.

Everything exudes beauty, and hopefully these pictures do some snippets of the gardens a bit of justice. Admittedly, i’d taken pictures of tree’s and plants close up as i was testing both my lenses out, so I’m still trying to get to grips with them.

As i sat near the bird feeder, i realised i had my macro lense still on and rushed quickly to take some snaps of the finches and blue-tits close up.

Even though it was quite overcast the colours of the flowers were strong enough to shed some light in their own special way. I was trying my best to capture the low misty clouds hanging over the hills.


Now, this picture, it really is a ‘Where’s wally?’ but replace it with the ‘Where’s the Great Spotted Woodpecker?’. I’ll give you a clue, if you look really intensely at the middle of the picture you’ll be able to make it out, perched on quite a thick branch. Although, the picture of it is extremely minute, i was happy to even have snapped it. I’ve never seen one before and was lucky enough to have had the reactions of a hawk whilst it flew quickly into the tree’s.

Part Three will be coming soon.