Thanks so much to my latest Byre guests for this message left in my comments book this morning.

Here at ‘The Byre’ with everything nigh. Is a perfect retreat to let life sail by.

It’s got all the comforts and lots of charm. It’s beautifully presented, this cottage on the farm.

Rachel herself, has worked magic indeed. For everything was here, all that we’d need.

Rachel’s folks were helpful and friendly too. So thanks Ann and Philip for all that you do.

A car was not needed, we got lots of fresh air. Walked many miles locally, took buses everywhere.

The Northumbria of old in this modern age. Is there to explore, it’s an open page.

Lots of castles, gardens and scenery galore. The coastal walks are glorious with long sandy shores.

It’s been a privilege to stay here in this cottage of stone. For four lovely weeks, it’s felt like home.

So Rachel, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. ‘The Byre’ was excellent and deserves 5 stars!

Barb and Harry, Vancouver Island, Canada

Had Spring Sprung?

I certainly hope so! Just had a lovely walk to check out how the Aln Valley Railway is coming along and they are certainly making good progress. You’ll be able to see the steam rising as the trains progress down the newly laid track and listen carefully from the cottages and you’ll hear the hiss of steam and occasional toot of the horn.

Use the walk map entitled ‘Lesbury’ on the following link to follow the path along to Aln Valley Railway.  At the top of our track cross over the Alnmouth Road and then at the end of the wire fence opposite you’ll see the map board, head down the bank beside that and follow the path shown towards the old railway line.

Northumberland Estates Walks Maps

History in action at Alnmouth beach

Alnwick is fortunate enough to currently have an amazing Playhouse which hosts a huge range of theatrical performances and films. Not only produced by local amateur groups but regularly get famous names and tribute acts that could rival the originals (well sometimes).

Anyway, yesterday my son Adam and I went to see the Oscar award winning ‘Darkest Hour’ film about World War 2. Adam has been learning about WWII at school and throughout the film was filling me in with extra facts he had learnt at school.

So today this was forefront in our minds when we took one of our regular ‘blowing the cobwebs away’ walks along Alnmouth Beach. Now I had heard that the recent Storm Emma and the Beast from the East combined had taken its toll on the dunes at Alnmouth, but I truly was shocked when I arrived to see the level of dune erosion which had taken place. Where previously there had been a single row of ‘tank traps’ lining the coast now the full extent of the measures put in place during wartime had become completely exposed. With ‘Darkest Hour’ fresh in our minds it was really fascinating to see first hand the newly exposed tank traps, aircraft shelters and yellow brick structures which we guessed to be lookout towers. So many measures in place, evidence the threat of enemy invasion must have been such a real prospect in such a sleepy coastal village.

Adam and I both came back keen to research what action Alnmouth did see during the war, history in evidence today, what better way to learn about our past, bringing school subjects to life right here on our doorstep.

Alnmouth beach proved not only to be as spectacularly beautiful today with its expanses of sand and clear waters as it always is, but with that extra element of brand new history to discover it’s a not to be missed visit when you stay at Bog Mill. I can’t wait to get back there again soon. Rachel x

Snowed in

Well it’s a first for us down at Bog Mill. Never have we ever not managed to get out of our track due to snow, yes there have been many occasions when my dad and his tractor have been called into service but today is the first time that we have not managed to get the tractor through. Will see what tomorrow brings, wish us luck!! At least I have my photo for next year’s Christmas cards!

Latest weather update a bit worrying