Surf Northumberland

A friend’s birthday gave us the perfect opportunity to try out a sport I’ve always wanted to give a go. Although a regular swimmer in the sea around our beautiful Northumberland coast, surfing was something I had never really tried beyond body boarding with my kids. So it was on Saturday that myself and four other friends- who really were old enough to know better took to the waves.

And what a fantastic time we had! Our teacher, Sally is an old colleague of mine from when I worked as a swimming teacher has opened a brand new surf school.  Surf Northumberland is in its first season and she’s so in her element that I can’t imagine a better job for her. The passion she has for the sea and surfing couldn’t be clearer, from the moment we arrived her stated aim of ‘just wanting everyone to enjoy themselves as much as she does’ is clear and she certainly managed it with our group of feisty forty somethings. I just can’t wait to get back out there again and should you wish to give it a go too Sally offers adult lessons for £30 an afternoon and kids for £25. More details on her website

I’d highly recommend it .

A family of Oyster Catchers


Admit I had to consult the bird book to identify these beautiful birds but their distinctive long red beaks and black and white markings mean a family of Oyster Catchers have joined us to enjoy their holidays at Bog Mill.

Walk too close and a very protective parent calls to his family until the danger has passed, so photos are a bit distant but what lovely birds, I hope they stay around for a while.

A weekend of great music in Alnwick

Nile Rodgers and Chic Wed 11 July

Tom Jones Friday 13th July

Madness and the Lightning Seeds join us Sat 14th July

Il Divo play Sun 15th July

More details on the Alnwick Castle website



Roughting Linn

Family day out and found somewhere I’ve never actually been before, Roughting Linn near Lowick. A bit tricky to find but if you want to give it a go when staying at Bog Mill make sure you let me know and I’ll talk you through the directions.

Also there is the largest rock covered in cup and ring marks in Northern England. Just want to know what all those markings mean?

A bath from the past

Chatting this morning with the Byre’s current guests they commented on the fantastic bath in the Byre and it reminded me of this photo. Taken more years ago than I care to remember as that is me probably about 3 years old with my brothers. This is the bath that occupied the original farmhouse when my parents first moved in to Bog  Mill. The main farmhouse needed complete renovation and so during these works we camped out in what are now the cottages but were then very much still farm buildings as you can see in the photo.

Although the bath was removed from the house I am so glad my parents kept it, as a re-enamelling later and what a spectacular centrepiece we have for the Byre’s bathroom, large enough for even the tallest bathers.

If only baths could talk this one would certainly have quite a story to tell, hopefully it’s now rightfully proud to have pride of place in the beautiful Byre.


Visit England Star Rating Award

Am absolutely over the moon to have just been told that BOTH the Byre and the Granary have not only been awarded 4 stars but they have also achieved the Gold Award for excellence in the self catering category. What a day, together with being reawarded my Super host status for a second time in a row on Airbnb it really has been an amazing day for Bog Mill Cottages. 🥇🥇🥇🥇

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