Friday, 23 April 2010

Northumbrian Miscellany – New and Old

Kielder Water – a ‘new’ beauty spot

DSCF8504The largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom, the reservoir was built in the 1970s to provide water for industry in the North East of England. That industry has long gone but it has now come into its own as it has underground springs which keep it topped up whatever the rainfall levels. They say there is enough water in the lake to give 1 cold shower to every person in the UK – I do wonder at the mindset of whoever came up with that illustration.

The lake is surrounded by Kielder Forest, which is the largest human-made forest in Europe. It is a beautiful area and well used by walkers, sailors and fishermen.  We spent some time by the lake and also travelling to various viewpoints. There are more pictures on Picasa and Alan has written a little from a Tourism Management perspective.

Black Midden Bastle - a complete contrast


A ‘Bastle’ is a fortified house and this one was built in the 16th Century on a hill in the wilds of Northumbria. Within the strong walls, farmers found security for their livestock on the ground floor and for their family above. It is a reminder that this was once border country, wild and lawless, and there are more castles and fortified houses in Northumberland than any other English county.


We drove down a narrow country lane seeing no signs of life. Although a signpost said 1 mile, it was very much a country mile! Apart from the sheep, we had the place to ourselves on a glorious day - perfect.

If you look at the top photo closely, you can see where the original narrow door in the gable end has been blocked and the two ground floor doors are later additions.

We spent some time just enjoying the stream at the foot of the hill while Mac investigated the exciting smells.


As ever, there are more pictures on Picasa.

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