Monday, 1 August 2016
When I left you last time, we were leaving Holy Island and heading over to nearby Bamburgh. Originally we'd planned to visit the castle but it would clearly take much more time than we had available. Still, we could enjoy the stunning views of the outside and there was also the pretty village to explore.
Bamburgh is also the location of the Grace Darling museum which is free to enter. For those unfamiliar with the story of Grace, this introduction is taken from the Grace Darling website.
"In the early hours of the 7th September 1838, Grace, looking out from an upstairs window of the Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a low rocky outcrop. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half; one of the halves had sunk in the night. Amidst tempestuous waves and gale force winds, there followed an amazing rescue of the survivors."
Grace and her father set out alone to mount a rescue. After rowing for over a mile and, on reaching the wreck, she had to hold the boat steady and away from the rocks while her father helped the nine survivors aboard.
The museum tells the story of Grace from her early years to the fame that resulted from the rescue. There's a short video, lots of personal items and the original boat, or coble. I thought it was all really well done and would recommend a visit.
Afterwards, we decided to follow the village trail showing some of the important places from her life - it was also a good way to have a look around the village.
Grace is buried at St Aidan's church across the road from the museum.
A memorial was erected in 1844 though this is a later replacement as the original sandstone crumbled over the years.
Grace herself is buried with her immediate family in a much simpler grave nearby.
She was born in 1815 in this cottage, the home of her grandparents, the seventh of nine children.
At the end of a row of cottages, in what is now a shop, Grace died of tuberculosis in 1842, only four years after the rescue and at just 26 years old.
This was one of the information boards along the way. We particularly enjoyed the tale of the Laidley Worm!
The Wynding House was home to the Darling family after her father, William, retired in 1860.
But this is the reason I wanted to come to Bamburgh: this view of the castle.
One of my favourite TV shows as a teenager was Robin of Sherwood and I've always remembered the scenes where Robin, played by Michael Praed, ran along the beach towards the castle. It looked a lot more moody and threatening than on our visit! One ticked off the bucket list :) Well, maybe a half of one as I still want to have a look inside.
Other people find it as inspiring as me. A family had clearly spent a lovely afternoon on the beach making their own version. Written in the sand were the words 'Darcey and Daddy'.
Further on, we watched in amusement as a lady tried to get all of her dogs to sit and pose in front of another sandcastle. It took a lot of attempts!
On the horizon were the red and white stripes of Longstone Lighthouse from where Grace and her father set out on their rescue mission. I love lighthouses and would love to visit it one day. The only problem is that I also hate being in a boat so someone needs to build a big bridge!
There was another lighthouse at the other end of the beach. This one was built in 1910 and is apparently the most northerly land-based lighthouse in England. Something else to visit next time.
As we took one last look at the sea before heading for home, we could see, in the distance, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where we started our day.
Looking back at these photos, I can't wait to go back there: Northumberland is such an amazing place. Still one more instalment of our holiday to go too.
Hope you had a good weekend. I'm enjoying an extended one as it's my birthday tomorrow :) Back soon. x