Gallery: an ode to beautiful Northumberland (shhh!)
Are there places you know and love which you hesitate to tell others about, because you are tempted to keep them to yourself? Places relatively unknown that you fear might become spoiled if discovered by too many? And yet, they are so lovely you can’t resist singing their praises!
The great fort of Bebbanburg
One of the grandest sights on the Northumbrian coastline is that of Bamburgh Castle. It is a view that I never tire of. The castle stands on a massive outcrop of rock and towers over the sands below. Unlike many castles on this coast, it is still a family home, and thus far more complete than the ruins elsewhere. It is truly an impressive sight.
A misty morning visit to Stokesay Castle
When I first saw Stokesay Castle I thought that a house had been built on to an older stone castle, but in fact it is an exceptional example of a crenelated manor house from the late 13th century. This is how the better-off lived in the later Middle Ages.
Kippers and castles: a walk from Craster to Dunstanburgh
One of the most memorable and striking sights along the Northumberland coast is Dunstanburgh Castle. Its ruins stand on a remote headland, reached by a beautiful coastal walk from the nearby village of Craster. It is this distance from any other building, any other sign of human habitation, that makes Dunstanburgh seem rather magical.
Once upon a time in Syria: part one
I went to Syria in 1996, when it was a very different country. Today I can’t help wondering about the fate of the people I met there.