Moody Mondays are made for coffee and books. I simply love these cosy days where it is the beginning of autumn but the temperature is still warm. This weather called for a trip to my favourite village on the Northumberland – Durham borders, Blanchland. Those who have been following my adventures will know I visit here regularly as it is close to Derwent Reservoir and Edmundbyers.
The clouds hung low over the forests as the car wound it’s way through the country lanes. The heather on the moors appeared deep violet, rather than the bright purple I enjoyed on my last visit. Unfortunately, the rain started as I headed across the bridge into the village. There wouldn’t be any hiking adventures today.
Parking in the car park, I dashed across the village to take shelter in my favourite haunted building. The old school house, which is now the White Monk Tearoom. I love this place and cannot recommend it enough. The entire building has a calming effect; a simple menu and classical menu floating around. I took wrinkly human who has started getting really stressed and panicky in restaurants and cafes. Wrinkly human loved the setting and really enjoyed the home made pie. It is a dementia friendly place (I’m thinking of doing a post on Dementia friendly locations if anyone would be interested, let me know in the comments). I spent 2 hours here in a state of dinosaur bliss. The roasted vegetable and garlic panini was heavenly. It was also the perfect predecessor of a slice of lemon cake and cafetière of coffee. The walls are covered in pages of many different books, I was sat next to the Roald Dahl corner.
The rain looked as though it was easing, I decided it was time to try and walk off some of my lunch. Happily choosing a 2 mile walk (I’m not sure it was even that far). I headed along the dirt track towards Baybridge and my all time favourite spot for a photo. You can stand in between County Durham and Northumberland. Though you have to be careful here because it is a busy road.
The rain was beginning to make an appearance, so I chose to return towards Blanchland via the riverside. Both my photographer and I have walked this path 100 times. But, this was the first time I have ever seen wild raspberries growing. It was lovely to see the honey bees snoozing on the thistle flowers. As much as I would have loved to stay by the river, throwing stones in the water and eating raspberries. The rain was really starting to come down, so I headed further along the path to shelter under an ancient tree. Luckily, the rain didn’t last too long.
I headed closer to Blanchland, but not before a quick visit to the play park! There were no humans there so my photographer and I made the most of the zip line and assault course. I don’t know why full sized humans don’t utilise these areas more, they are so much fun.
I had successfully worn out my photographer. So I decided to have a leisurely stroll through the village and visit some of the gardens. There are a couple (I won’t specify where) who grow the most beautiful dinner plate sized dahlias. What I would give to be able to grow them in my garden. I bet they taste delicious!
Whilst on our way back to the car park, I finally found the route for the All saints trail and also a few other hikes. I have been searching for the start point for a while and couldn’t believe it was under my nose. Sadly I had to run back to the car because the rain had set in again. So I headed off across the moody moorland, hoping I would be able to go out on a hike someday soon.
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