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A Belated Christmas Present To Share with You All [part one]


Our Christmas present from Simon and Clare in 2012 was a real cracker! We were presented a Scroll which comprised of a Riddle written in a lovely Italic script, it was six pages long and each page contained a clue as to what our gift was. Here is the first page

Dear Mum and Dad
This year your Christmas Present is not something you can touch or hold.
It is instead something to experience
Bet you’re scratching your head and wondering what have those two conjured up new!!
Well you are right we have been a little more unusual than ever before.
Are you worried yet?
We’ve decided to see if you can guess with a few clues on the preceeding pages
No cheating
only turn one page at a time.

Clue One

In the heart of Anglo Saxon England, Bernicia was the largest and most powerful of seven kingdoms and a royal capital was formed and called Din Guayrdi
This is important as its the heart of your gift.
Are you getting warmer??

Clue Two
You will enjoy this together but you’ll not be alone

Clue Three

According to the A.A.this place will take three hours and thirty five minutes to get there by car. But you will not be expected to drive.

Clue Four

[This was a Copy of William Wordsworths “Daffodils”]

It is at the time of year when this poem means the most? I bet you are close now…..

The Answer At Last
You will be collected on the afternoon of Friday 1st of March 2013 and chauffeu and chaperoned by your Son and Clare to Bamburgh where you are booked into The Lord Crewe Hotel. Here you will recieve Two Nights with Dinner, Bed and Breakfast fully paid for
You may even be brought home on Sunday 3rd of March 2013 [ if you are lucky]
It is hoped a tour of Bamburgh Castle on at least one of the days and the other day is open to suggestions.
Happy Christmas
Love Simon and Clare xxx

Needless to say we were both absolutely thrilled and although we eventually realised it was a trip to somewhere we never expected a mini holiday!

So I hope you also enjoy this wonderful present. I have decided to split the blog in two halves so you can rest inbetween ;0))

Simon and Clare picked us up on the 1st March after finishng work and we set offfor Northumberland. The Journey took longer than envisaged as there was a lane closed on the motor way, we were all pleased when at last we arrived at our desination. Imagine our delight when we were met with this amazing sight, Bamburgh Castle fully illuminated and right opposite our Hotel;0))

We entered our hotel and were given a very warm welcome, Clare had rung to let them know we were running late due to traffic problems and although we were over an hour past the last serving time for evening meals,the hotel were very good and rustled up scrumptious meal, after dining we were all eager to explore the wonderful Medieval Hotel which dates back to 1165 and was used as a hiding hole by Monks of the nearby Blanchard Abbey for centuries.
The hotel is named after the Lord Crewe the Bishop of Durham, It boasts a vast Fireplace where General Tom Faser hid during the 1715 Jacobite rising, the Hotel is reputedly haunted by his sister, Dorothy Forster! [thankfully we didnt meet her lol]. After a couple of nightcaps we retired to bed tired but excited thinking of all the wonderful places to explore the next day.

We woke early next day just in time to watch the sun rising behind Bamburgh Castle, what a lovely way to start the day!
After a huge breakfast we set off to explore the surrounding area,

First stop Was the beautiful Church of St Aidans, a place of worship was founded on the site of the present church in 635 by Saint Aidan, St Aidan was called to Bamburgh from Iona by King Oswald to establish Christianity in his newly united Kingdom og Northumbria.

In the grounds of the Churchyard we came across this Impressive Mausoleum the resting place of-

Grace Darling 24th nov 1815-20th October 1842

English Lighthouse Keepers daughter, famed for her participation in the rescue of the survivors from the shipwrecked Forforshire. In the early hours on the 7th September1838 after looking out from the window at Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands she spotted the wreck and survivors . Her father determined that it was to rough and stormy to get out the Lifeboat at local Seahouses and with Grace took a rowing boat across to the survivors bringing them back to safely to the lighthouse. .

There is also a very interesting Museum just across the road from the churh which tells the tale in detail and houses lots of genuine artifacts which relate to the rescue. Well worth a visit!

Time to leave the Church now and head onwards to explore the magnificent" Bamburgh Castle", so we follow as Clare leads the way!

Bamburg Castle is a majestic sight and sits on a rocky plateau 150 feet high above North coast line a Royal City home to the ancient Kings of Northumbria

An outdoor Throne for the Kings

An here we have King Simon the first lol he just couldnt resist trying it out!

A formidable defence weapon!

The Kings Hall,
Just magnificent so much to see and explore, we spent a long time wandering through the many rooms, would certainly go back as its impossible to take in everything, so just a few pictures to give you an idea of the treats in store.

A view from the castle over the Sea,

After enjoying a welcome coffee and scones we left the Castle to walk amongst the sandunes down to the beach.

The clouds started to build up and the wind grew cold ans blustery. but we thoroughly enjoyed the bracing walk

I just love these picture kind of quirky and think they may inspire me to get out my paintbrushes again when we return home;0)

All that sightseeing and walking has whetted our appetites ,so its back to the Hotel now to get ready for another fantastic meal and a relaxing evening at
“The Lord Crewe Hotel”.

Hope you have enjoyed yourselves and will join us again soon in Part Two;0))

More blog posts by PANSYPOTTER

Previous post: At Last The Snow Has Gone

Next post: The Joys and Colours of Springtime in My Garden 2013



Wonderful surprise for you...
King Simon looks very regal ! ;o)

17 Apr, 2013


What a lovey and thoughtful christmas gift and enjoyable blog.

17 Apr, 2013


Ooh, what a lovely present for you all. I have never been to that part of the world. It looks very beautiful, if cold. The hotel both looks and sounds wonderful too! I think I shall have to add this to my faves for future reference Carole! Thanks for sharing!

17 Apr, 2013


My fave. part of the country there Pp. I love this castle and especially the coast line, so clean and beautiful. What a wonderful gift, so thoughtful and I am so glad you had a wonderful time. Look forward to part 2.

17 Apr, 2013


What a lovely place to visit, and so nice of Simon and Clare to have thought of such a surprise. Glad you enjoyed it...who wouldn't have? Harry looks well wrapped up, but the sun shone down on you all, hotel looked lovely. Thanks for sharing it it with us.... look forward to part 2... don't be too long sharing it, you've wetted my appetite! :-)

17 Apr, 2013


Fantastic present Pp....Great blog...:>)

17 Apr, 2013


Brilliant blog and it brought back the memories of our camping out somewhere near Bamburgh Castle what an amazing view it was. Thanks for bringing back the memories :O) Lovely Christmas present. :O)

17 Apr, 2013


Lovely blog, very enjoyable. I love hammerbeam roofs.

17 Apr, 2013


What a wonderful surprise Carole, a magical Christmas present for you to tuck away in your memory box.

17 Apr, 2013


We enjoyed the view of an illuminated castle when we stayed in our caravan on a site near by.
Great blog!

17 Apr, 2013


What a treat Pp ; a wonderful present .

17 Apr, 2013


Lovely pictures. A very imaginative gift! We(Julie and I ) will be using our Xmas present from our son ,Lloyd, in 3 weeks time.A National Trust package these sort of gifts are so much better than a box of chocolates or smellies!!

17 Apr, 2013


Lovely blog and pics,Carole..nice to see them on here..although we did hear all about your lovely thoughtful gift from Simon and Clare :o) such a wonderful place,I would love to revisit at some seems ages since we were last there..Don't forget your camera next week ! Lol..x

17 Apr, 2013


We went a few years ago to Bamburgh beautiful part of the country, loved seeing your photos brought back happy memories :o)

17 Apr, 2013


wow PP that is a present and a half!!! what an incredible christmas surprise.

i love that north east coast ~ it is just beautiful, the castle looks magnificent.

i can just imagine a painting of that last but one photo with the castle in the distance and the photo before that as well with the seagull gliding ~ you could just pop the rest of your family into the picture and there you are memories that will last forever!!

17 Apr, 2013


Thanks to everyone for all your lovely comments;

Thanks Terra, Scotcat and Karen, Yes it was a lovely present, the best ever, Karen you would love the Hotel great service, food,atomosphere and such friendly staff would highly recommend it!

Thanks Grandage its my favourite part of the country too, Thanks Val the weather of a little chilly but lots of sunshine too, but whose bothered about the cold with such lovely scenery to enjoy, I will start part 2 after next weeks holiday, promise you will love it too!

Thanks Motinot,Olive, and Dianne pleased you enjoyed it and it brought back memories for you;0)

Thanks Stroller yes it was certainly magical and one for the memory box;0)


17 Apr, 2013


Eirlys pleased youhave also experienced the Beautiful illuminated castle, we left our bedroom curtains open each night,, was such a treat!

Thanks Driad and Paul it was such a wonderful treat, hope you enjoy your Christmas National Trust presents too paul;0)

Hi Sandra, perhaphs its somewhere we should put on our wish list for a future braek, dont worry I will be bringing my camera next week x

Thanks Sewingkiller pleased it brought back happy memories for you;0)

Thanks Stickie for your lovely comments, the pictures are great and I have certainly lots of inspiration for more painting, [more to follow to in part 2 when we visit [magical Lindisfarne and Craster] ;0))

17 Apr, 2013


cant wait to see the paintings and very much looking forward to the lindisfarne photos ~ i loved it there

17 Apr, 2013


Thank you for sharing and the stroll down memory lane. My OH used to drop the kids and I near the beach on his way to visit clients and then come back to enjoy the rest of the day out with us. We visited Bamburgh Castle and my lasting memory is of delicate looking furniture that my daughter aged 5 thought was made for princesses. I can still smell the sea which seemed more salty than the seaside of my childhood in Morayshire. Happy days. Many an hour spent in the Grace Darling museum too. I'm looking forward to Part two.

18 Apr, 2013


A lovely Blog ,What a fantastic gift Carole , it was so well thought out by your Simon and Clare ,they know how to please you,it was all the more exciting when it came as a complete surprise , it looks a beautiful area with so many interesting places to visit it will have to go on my wish list of places to visit :o))

18 Apr, 2013


Thanks Sticky Lindisfarne is my most loved place, and hope when I do get round to painting I can capture the atmosphere of this very special place!

Thanks Scots pleased you enjoyed your trip down memory lane, your daughter must have tought she was in a very magical place in the Castle surrounded with all the riches and beautiful treasures;0)

Thanks Amy you and Tony must pay Bamburgh a visit you will love it and dont forget Lindisfarne too if you do get there and do try the Lord Crewe Hotel Im sure you will love it [ I sound like a travel agent dont I lol]

18 Apr, 2013


Im sure you will PP!

18 Apr, 2013


what a fab present carole, lovely lovely place to go and so scenic, so enjoyed seeing your photos, looks like you had pretty good weather to, blue skies makes things look so much nicer, look forward to next part :o)) x

18 Apr, 2013


You lucky couple - fabulous surprise gift for you from Simon and Clare - that's a part of the country I have never had the pleasure to visit - perhaps I'll get there one day! Looking forward to the next episode ... :o)

18 Apr, 2013


Thanks Sandra and Shirley pleased you enjoyed;0))

18 Apr, 2013


Oh Wow!!!!! Thats was a fabulous present Pansy and they even arranged blue skies, I've never visited that part of the country, the castle looks grand, our historical places are always top of my list when visiting new places. I'm pleased you had a good time and cannot wait to see part two ...
Great blog, really appreciate you adding the historical facts and your photo's are lovely, I really enjoyed it, thankyou for sharing your special gift......

22 Apr, 2013

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