Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset
Chesil Beach & the Fleet, Dorset

Monday, 30 July 2012

Back from my hols.

Just had a fantastic trip 'Oop North'. 1600 miles on ten days, touring mostly Tyneside and North Yorkshire with a little foray into Scotland and Cumbria.
The pages on Scotland and North Yorkshire have thus been updated, and there are updates on Newcastle and Beamish

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Newcastle surprised me. I'd always had the impression that, being in such an economically depressed area of the country, it would be a little shabby and run-down.
It's not. It's a gorgeous city with lots to see and do, and some of the grandest buildings in the country.
Over the past couple of decades or so, it has been massively regenerated and restored, none more so than the Quayside, down by the river. They have even installed a fake sandy beach, complete with deckchairs! And all over town, there are statues and points of interest.
And bridges - Newcastle has many, all different, and each attractive in its' own right.
This statue was just there, in the street, almost as if it had just strode out of the subway behind him.
St. James' Park football stadium lies in the heart of the city. This is the statue of Sir Bobby Robson outside the main entrance

The Chinese Gate - which appears to be in the heart of the Irish Quarter!

One of the most iconic Art Deco buildings in the country, this is the marvellous former Co-Op Building

The renowned Tyne Bridge, currently sporting Olympic rings, as St. James' Park is to be used for Olympic football matches. The building behind is the Sage, which lies across the River Tyne, in the twin town of Gateshead. The Sage is an amazing music and theatre venue, known throughout the world.

The complete (almost) collection of bridges over the Tyne

The curved Millenium Bridge, known locally as the 'Winking Eye', which links the Quayside, Newcastle to the Sage, Gateshead

The Art Deco former Baltic Mills, now a vibrant art gallery and venue, showing the curve of the Millenium Bridge


I love open-air working museums, and Beamish has to be one of the best. Beamish is in County Durham, UK, some 12 miles North West of historic Durham City and 8 miles south west of Newcastle upon Tyne.
The site is so huge, it would take all day to walk around and see everything. Luckily you can hop on and off the vintage trams and buses which run around the site, from the farm, to the hall, to the pit vallage, and to the jewel of the site, the town.
The buildings and displays represent life during Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian times, and everywhere there are people in period costume demonstrating life in the apropriate times of the buildings.
I could write a book on the experiences to be had, but you really need to visit it yourself. So, for now, I'll just post a few pictures:

 This is Flash - a little pit pony from the colliery village. These tiny ponies could pull many times their own weight, and were the only way to transport coal to the surface in the days before mechanisation.
This is the park and the bandstand in the town. There's also a railway station, a steam-driven funfair, restaurant and shops where you can but traditional goods and handmade sweets.

One of the trams just leaving the town to go up to the Old Hall
The replica of Locomotion No.1 which takes passengers on a short ride
The colliery
Miners' houses in the pit village, complete with vegetable gardens