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I liked this ruined castle. I took 81 photos!


Dunstanburgh Castle was built by Thomas of Lancaster, a powerful baron during the reign of Edward II. After his death, the castle was taken by John of Gaunt, an influential man, the founder of the royal House of Lancaster. 


Dunstanburgh castle is built on a hill on a small peninsula. To get to it, one walks half an hour from the nearest village, through pasture land.


Main entrance.


View of an outlying tower.



You can see the extent of the fortifications. They went all the way to the left and back again above cliffs.


A "death hole." There were two over the main gateway. The photo is taken looking down. Archers would have been able to fire directly on men attacking the gate.


A photo taken in the rain. It rained heavily while we were there.


The outlying tower.





View over the cliffs by the outlying tower.

Dunstanburgh Castle must have been impressive and formidable.


karen9: (Default)

The Farne Islands attract an enormous number of a variety of birds in the breeding season. Luckily, when we went there were still a good number. We sailed around the Islands, and landed on Inner Farne.  



Tide mark on one of the small islands.

Lighthouse on one of the islands.


Inner Farne.



The old chapel on Inner Farne.



The old pele tower on Inner Farne. We couldn't go in because the warden lives there.

All the following photos were taken by my brother-in-law, with his swanky camera.


Seal pups. They do have dog-like faces! There were masses of seals on the Islands.


Puffins! Both I and my step-mother went to the Islands primarily to see puffins. I'd wanted to see them ever since I was a child, when I read Enid Blyton's Sea of Adventure. I expected them to be bigger. They are cute.


Puffin taking off from the water.


Puffins flying. They don't glide much, but constantly flap their wings.


You can just see a puffin in the middle of the grass, by its burrow.


Puffin with fish or sand eel.

karen9: (Default)

Still on the first day. The rain cleared up when we went to Preston Tower, so we went back to Alnwick to walk around the formal gardens. These are set on a slope, with several water features.

You can see children with trucks carrying water around and getting merrily wet.

There were these large hollow hedges on the sides of the main water feature.


The flower gardens.

A dovecote on the wall in the flower gardens.


There was a garden of hedges and water "sculptures." There were a lot of happy kids sloshing around!

My brother-in-law took these photos of flowers.


P.S. I can't get the LJ cut to work! Is it, e.g. <lj-cut text="More"> where you want the cut, then </lj-cut> at the end? 

karen9: (Default)

After Alnwick castle we went to Preston Tower.

Preston Tower is the remains (with some Victorian restoration of the top stones, and the addition of a clock!) of a mediaeval and later pele tower. Pele towers were fortified dwellings built on both sides of the Scottish-English border to protect people from rievers (raiders) of both nationalities. They had thick walls with tiny slit windows.



Rampart and tower stairs.


A room in the tower as it would have looked when lived in.

View from the tower.

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Alnwick castle is the ancestral home of the powerful Percy family. It was used as a set for Robin of Sherwood, and other films, including Harry Potter.

The most renowned of the Percys was Harry Hotspur, who supported Henry Bolingbroke when he usurped the throne of Richard II, then turned against Bolingbroke, was defeated and killed in battle.


The barbican is original.


An arrow slit.


We were able to walk on a small part of the battlements (left).

View from the castle.

Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photographs of the interior of the castle. The state rooms are sumptuous, with beautiful furnishings, ceilings, and silk on the walls. There was an interesting collection of ancient artifacts collected by the Percy family, including pottery, weapons and jewelry.
karen9: (Default)

Disclaimer: a lot of my holiday photos were taken by my brother-in-law, usually the better ones!

We stayed for a week in a small holiday town called Seahouses, on the north-east coast of Northumberland. It is an attractive place, but may be gloomy in the winter months. It was a fishing village, famous for kippers, now it is mostly holiday houses. The boats to the Farne Islands and the Holy Island leave from Seahouses.




The castle in the distance is Bamburgh Castle.


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May 2016

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