Just the essence of the place …

Posted on February 20, 2012


Imagine walking past a bakery, smelling freshly baked bread, but not having time to stop and get some.  Imagine that great scent of a roast dinner, but it’s not for your table; the excitement of a holiday, but you’re not able to go; or the anticipation of a sell-out concert, and you don’t have a ticket.

The excitement, the essence of it, but then having to walk away from it.  That’s a bit like my relationship with Northumberland.

I have been working on a project in Northumberland since last year, I have visited 6 or 7 times, and I have enjoyed the sights of the airport, the A1 and various meeting rooms – many of them in some pretty spectacular hotels.  I have enjoyed listening about the tourism offer, the events, the accommodation, the attractions, the food and drink – but have only had time to look at a leaflet or grab a sandwich on the way home. I have followed tweets from the great North East tweeters, extolling the virtues, enjoying the walks, the countryside, the Northern lights, and hungrily opened the images they have shared of log fires, beautiful beaches, blue skies and rolling hills.

These fleeting visits have certainly whet my appetite, and I can’t wait for the time and space to actually visit Northumberland and experience so much more than just the essence of the place.

So what’s on my wish list?  Here are just a few of the places I’ve glimpsed, talked about or hankered for, but there’s so much more …

Alnwick Castle – the back drop for many films, including Harry Potter and Blackadder, but also a glorious medieval castle with a history of ‘drama and intrigue’, and Bamburg Castle, home to the kings of Northumbria, and the perfect place ‘to experience 2000 years of exhilarating history’

Kielder Water  … where better to explore the great outdoors than in England’s biggest working forest? or Northumberland National Park  which I am sure is simply wonderful – their website says it all ‘England’s most tranquil place, whose dramatic hills and sheltered valleys stretch from Hadrian’s Wall to the Scottish Border’ … one day soon, I will be there, rather than just watching the video clip.

Hadrian’s Wall  Britain’s greatest Roman Monument, with (I hear on very good authority) the very best bits in Northumberland; Berwick, the most northerly part of Northumberland, an ancient town, as important to the tourism product now as it was as an international port in the 12th century; and of course, Holy Island, Lindisfarne, described simply as ‘the jewel in the crown of Northumbria’

Now, I know that you too are experiencing that ‘essence’ of Northumberland – so you can understand how I feel. 

Perhaps I will see you there!