It wasn’t until the clocks went back in Autumn and it became dark when I left work that I realised just how brightly lit Newcastle was. Usually when it gets to Winter I don’t tend to enjoy the darker nights but this year I’ve been taking advantage of them. One good thing about less hours of daylight is that I can photograph light trails earlier!
Set in the heart of Newcastle’s city centre, the grade 1 listed building is home to 111 small independent businesses. From handcrafted goods to locally sourced produce, the Grainger market boasts a wide range of shops that make for a unique shopping experience.
A few weeks ago I went on another of Neil Atkinson’s photography courses, this time photographing birds of prey!
I met up with the rest of the group at the Rising Sun Country Park where I discovered that the birds stayed there, I’d thought the birds were being brought to the park just for the course. DLS falconry is based in the Rising Sun and is actually open to the public and is free to enter with donation boxes at the entrance to show your appreciation.
Last Wednesday night I was invited along to the launch of Hadrian’s Tipi , a festive roman inspired tipi tent pitched just outside of Newcastle’s Central Station. Erected on the paved square between the glazed portico and taxi rank, the tipi has sparked a lot of excitement and certainly stands out against the contrasting and newly renovated station exterior.
The festive pop up is a creation of leisure entrepreneurs, Danieli Holdings and already looks to be a very welcome addition to Newcastle over the Christmas period. With a well stocked bar, wooden seating areas, fur throws, fairy lights and a log fire it certainly is the perfect place to escape the cold and warm up, be it day or night.
Located on St Jame’s Boulevard in Newcastle, Lane 7 brings a whole new experience to bowling. The boutique bowling alley is unlike any other in the area, with trendy decor, fantastic food and brilliant atmosphere, it really is the place to be.
This year I’ve became really interested in photography. Despite having a DSLR for 3 years, I’d never actually ventured out of automatic as I was clueless about the other settings! It dawned on me that it was pointless having such a good camera if I wasn’t going to use it to it’s full potential so I began looking into photography courses around Newcastle.
A few months ago I heard lots of good things about Body Worlds Vital at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle. Being squeamish, the exhibition of Real Human Bodies didn’t really appeal to me as I tend not to think about the weird but wonderful things that go on inside us! I later found out that an animal version of the exhibition was going to open on 28th May, Animal Inside Out and this I could handle! Although we’re very similar to animals, I thought I’d find this less disturbing as I couldn’t relate to it as well.
I was invited to review the exhibition along with other North East Bloggers. Arriving at the Life Science Centre we headed for the Body Worlds Inside out exhibition. At the entrance it explained the ethics and process behind conserving the bodies that I found rather reassuring.
Waking up to find that it’s gloomy outside is always disappointing but to wake up, realise you’re no longer in New York and to find that it’s miserable outside is pretty depressing! We had such a fantastic and jam packed time in Toronto & New York that waking up with no exciting plans for the day ahead left me feeling rather deflated.
Trying to think how we could spend the day, Ronnie and I decided to play mini golf at Parklands Golf course in Gosforth Park. The 17 hole course is scenic and well kept with putting greens, obstacles and water features. Open 7 days a week from 9am til 8pm and at only £4 a game, it’s a great way to make the most of the warmer days and lighter evenings.
When we arrived everyone seemed to be towards the end of the course which meant we could go at our own pace, it was just as well as we didn’t start off too well. We made up for it though as we managed to get some hole in ones, flukes obviously!
We last visited Kielder in Autumn when it was quite a bleak day. Although the weather wasn’t brilliant, we knew we only had a timeframe of a few weeks to see the forest as a mass of different colours!
The drive to Kielder is always interesting, the steep country roads are full of blind summits; you literally can’t see the road ahead until the car is over the hill. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve drove along those roads, my stomach still drops on the decent and my immediate reaction is to grab on to the door handle, as if it will help!
Like most people, I welcome the weekend with open arms, it’s a chance to relax and not have to rush around as much. Although I could do with the extra sleep, I hate sleeping in too late as I feel like I’ve wasted the day! Throughout the week after reading everyone’s blogs I’m full of ideas of places I’d like to visit but ask me on the spot on the weekend and my mind goes blank. Thankfully, Ronnie came up with the idea of spending the day in Durham. The last time I visited I was just little so I had no memories whatsoever.
Heading to Central Station to catch the train to Durham I imagined having to wait nearly an hour but was really surprised when I realised just how frequent the Virgin East Coast trains were. They came every 15-20 minutes and only cost £7.30 for an off-peak (all weekend) return. Usually Ronnie and I only use Newcastle Central Station when we’re catching more long distance trains so when it arrived and we took our seats, it was quite exciting!
Whenever we’re staying in Northumberland we like to start Sunday off with a walk along one of it’s beautiful beaches. We always seem to hit on lucky with the weather, it can be torrential rain the night before and then absolutely glorious the following morning.
Sunday tends to be the only day I don’t have to set an alarm but Chip, my cousin’s German Shepard always manages to wake us up bright and early, usually by repeatedly scratching her ears and stotting her heels off the wood flooring at the same time! She then sits in the passage crying until we’re all ready to go and continues to cry with excitement the entire drive to the beach going round in circles on the back seat and inhaling the sea air through the vents like a wild thing. You might have guessed by now she loves the beach – even the mention of the word will have her stood at the front door waiting.
Instead of spending Sunday’s doing nothing and feeling like we’ve wasted one of our two days off a week, we’ve recently started going out for long drives and walks. A few weeks ago, I suggested going to Bolam Lake Country Park in Northumberland as we hadn’t been here since I was little.
The park is 9 miles west of Morpeth and is surrounded by stunning views of the Northumberland countryside. With woodland, picnic areas, a lakeside walkway and cafe, it’s the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy some fresh air.
I couldn’t remember what Bolam lake itself looked like but remembered the excitement of having tomato soup from a flask whilst sat in the car watching the birds feed on the wall in front. So guess what? We wrapped up warm, filled a flask, had a walk and sipped soup whilst watching the birds.