During our weekend visit to Northumberland we really wanted to visit Cragside, the Victorian home of Lord Armstrong, an industrialist, inventor, engineer and all round clever chap. Set in spectacular grounds, the house was the first in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity and promised to be a wonderful day out.
Due to our last minute booking, our Travelodge was a bit of a trek from Cragside, but we still expected to get there in plenty of time to enjoy all that the house has to offer. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side and we had no longer pulled onto the slip road of the motorway than we found ourselves sat in stationary traffic. We continued to sit there for a further half an hour as we waited for what must have been a nasty accident to be cleared away and the motorway reopened. The delay then meant that we had to stop on the way for lunch and to feed Alex. By the time we got to Cragside we were just too late to be able to see the house. What a disappointment!
It wasn't a wasted trip by any stretch though as the grounds are nothing short of spectacular and they are open until dusk. It soon became clear that you could easily spend more than a day here just enjoying the wonderful gardens and woodland. We drove to the adventure playground and the Podlings had a wonderful time playing whilst the adults enjoyed tea (from our trusty Thermos!) and biscuits. We left pretty late, and then mainly because the gnats were starting to snack on us.
We intend to come back to Cragside later in the year and hope to do it full justice this time. It really left an impression on us and I can't wait to see inside the house.
One of the holiday cottages on the estate. So pretty!
The Podlings enjoying the adventure playground
All of us! Mark set up this picture with his tripod and the timer on my camera. Alex is looking behind to see who has just run into the shot!