Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Bride and Groom: Our Alternative Wedding Reading

Not much about planning our wedding got me flustered and I found the whole experience very enjoyable, with one exception!

Finding a reading for our wedding was a nightmare!

The Bride and Groom: Our Alternative Wedding Reading

Having been to a lot of weddings over the years I feel like I've heard every wedding reading there is. I only have to hear an opening line to know exactly what's to come and it's all getting a bit predictable.

It's no surprise really as when you google "funny wedding reading" or "alternative reading" the same small handful of readings appear.

Our Alternative Wedding Reading

So I spent many evenings in tears (yes, it seems silly now but in that moment I had started to drive myself mad!) as I desperately tried to find a reading that was perfect for us.

So in the end I decided to write a little something myself. Using a well known wedding reading I changed some of the words to suit our relationship and it ended up being the perfect addition to our ceremony.

Beautifully read by our friend Sam, it raised a few giggles and definitely helped to calm my nerves!

Alternative Wedding Reading

I love it so much that I thought I'd share it with you, I hope you enjoy!

The Bride and Groom

He's always on his Xbox,
leaves wet towels on the floor,
eats giant bags of Haribo,
and never shuts the door.

He calls her his little diva,
as she needs a lot of fuss,
she watches all their pennies,
so insists they take the bus.

He's forced to eat his dinner cold,
is often asked to move,
so she can get the perfect shot,
and blog about their food.

She drags him on adventures,
to play out in the sun,
he'd rather hide away indoors,
and play on Xbox One.

They like to go out running,
to make them feel awake,
then sabotage their diets,
with massive slabs of cake.

She's thoughtful when he looks at her,
a smile upon his face,
will he look that good in 50 years,
when his dentures aren't in place?

He says he loves her figure,
and her sense of humour too,
but when gravity takes over,
will she charm with her IQ?

She says she loves his kindness,
and his patience is a must,
and of course she thinks he's handsome,
which in her eyes is a plus.

They're both not wholly perfect,
but who are we to care,
that he can be hot headed,
and she's got ginger hair.

All that said and done,
they are perfect for each other,
so we celebrate today,
a love to last forever.

He'll be more than just her husband,
he'll also be her friend,
and she'll be more than just his wife,
she'll be his soul mate till the end.

Alternative Wedding Reading - Parlour at Blagdon

All photographs in this post were taken by our wedding photographer Katie ByramPlease do not use any of these images without her permission. 

For more wedding inspiration read about our wedding at The Parlour at Blagdon, meet our North East Wedding Suppliers or discover some of the Northumberland Wedding venues we loved

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - a Boutique Hotel in the City Centre

Whenever I'm planning a city break I always try and hunt out the most beautiful boutique hotel right in the centre of town so today I thought I'd share my favourite boutique hotel in the centre of Newcastle, welcome to the Grey Street Hotel.

Housed in a stunning Grade II listed Georgian building on Newcastle's Grey Street, often described as the most beautiful street in England, the Grey Street Hotel is perfect for your city break in Newcastle. Recently refurbished, the hotel boasts 49 ensuite Georgian bedrooms and beautiful spa All About You (that has fast become my favourite place for treatments in Newcastle).

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - a Boutique Hotel in the City Centre

I decided to book into the Grey Street Hotel for a mid-week overnight stay. I love the indulgence of booking a hotel in my own city - it can be such a welcome treat when you can't be bothered to make the bus journey home after an evening out.

Check in was at 2:00 pm and, being one of those slightly annoying guests, I turned up 45 minutes early to try my luck. I was greeted by the lovely friendly staff who told me my room was ready and I was welcome to go straight up.  It's good to know that if your room isn't ready the hotel will happily take your bags while you head out for an explore.

The Bedrooms at the Grey Street Hotel

There are several types of room to choose from at the Grey Street Hotel; the Standard Rooms, slightly larger Deluxe Rooms or, if you're feeling extra fancy, a choice of five Unique Suites with additional luxury and comfort.

All rooms come with the all important flat screen TVs, free wifi, air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, iron,  safe, bottled water and organic toiletries - everything you need for a comfortable stay.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - Lord Armstrong Suite

My home for the night was the Lord Armstrong Suite, named after the famous inventor who built Newcastle's Swing Bridge.  All of the suites at the Grey Street Hotel are named after influential people from the city and, if you're a bit of a history buff, there are some great little facts about them in the information book left in each bedroom.

I loved the design of the Lord Armstrong Suite, it had a really cool and modern vibe to it yet the colourful cushions and faux fur throw made it feel super cosy. The bed was so huge I got completely lost in it and I had the most comfortable night's sleep.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle

The room was split across two levels with the bathroom up a flight of stairs. I had plenty of fresh fluffy towels and toiletries to use and I was very happy in the morning to find that the shower was hot and powerful.

Being someone who is shamefully addicted to social media I was so impressed with the speed of the free wifi at the Grey Street Hotel, it was far superior to our internet at home and I spent quite a lot of my evening snuggled up in the cosy bed watching YouTube.

Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - Lord Armstrong Suite

Relax at the Grey Street Hotel

Sometimes when I'm staying in a hotel I love to have a cosy night in my hotel room and the extensive Room Service menu at the Grey Street Hotel makes it easy to plan your night in.  Room Service is available from the Living Room Bar and Restaurant next door to the hotel and you can place an order via the hotel reception between 12:00 pm and 10:30 pm. The Room Service Menu includes Sharing Plates, Deli Sandwiches, Burgers and classic favourites.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - Reception

If you fancy a change of scenery from your hotel room then the reception area at the Grey Street Hotel is a lovely little spot to relax with a cuppa. With colourful comfy sofas and chairs it's a peaceful place to spend an afternoon and come evening if you can't be bothered to venture out you can order yourself a beverage to enjoy.

If it's a sunny day then Grey Street becomes a bit of a sun trap and the hotel has some beautiful marble tables set up outside, the perfect place for a spot of people watching (you really haven't experienced Newcastle until you've seen someone trying to walk up the hill in skyscraper heels!)

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - Reception

All About You

The All About You Spa is a recent addition to the Grey Street Hotel and I'm a huge fan! I've already been for a pedicure and a wax and I love it!

Hidden in the basement of the hotel it's a beautiful space, luxuriously furnished in white and grey with pops of mustard yellow. Each time I've visited I've found it hard to leave! Each bedroom has a treatment menu for you to look through and guests of the hotel get a discount card to use in the spa.

With a full range of treatments available including manicures, facials, massages and makeup counter, you can read all about my experience here.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - All About You Spa

Bars and Restaurants

The Grey Street Hotel is ideally joined to the Living Room Bar and Restaurant where Reception will be happy to book you a table for dinner.

If you fancy adventuring out then some of our favourite places to eat in Newcastle are a short stroll from the Grey Street Hotel including Las Iguanas, Fat Hippo Underground (who serve the best burgers in Newcastle!) and The Botanist.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle - Fat Hippo

If you're looking for somewhere close by for some drinks then just across the road you'll find the beautiful cobbled street High Bridge, home to Pleased to Meet You (great if you love gin!) and Yolo Townhouse (great cocktails!)

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle -  Pleased to Meet You
Coffee and Breakfast

Of course, every hotel stay ends with a perfectly prepared breakfast. The Grey Street Hotel offer an in-room breakfast service where you can order from the room service card which you hang outside your door. An express breakfast for those in a rush costs £5.95 per person or, if you prefer to be a little more indulgent a cooked breakfast is £10.00 per person.

The Living Room Bar and Restaurant next door also offer hotel guests cooked and continental breakfasts served betweeen 7:00 am and 10:00 am on week days and 7:30 am and 10:30 am on weekends.

If you'd prefer a bit of a leg stretch then there are plenty of great breakfast spots on the doorstep of the hotel including Tyneside Bar Cafe round the corner and Cafe Royal a short stroll away. For even more breakfast inspiration check out my Guide to the Best Breakfasts in Newcastle.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle -  Cafe Royal

The Surrounding Area

Of course, if you're staying in Newcastle you'll be wanting to make the most of your stay and the Grey Street hotel is a very handy spot.

A short stroll down the hill you'll find the picturesque Quayside with the world famous Tyne Bridge and an ever increasing collection of restaurants and bars.

The Grey Street Hotel , Newcastle -  Cafe Royal

The city centre shops are a short stroll up the hill and must visits are Eldon Square shopping mall, Fenwick's flagship store on Northumberland Street and Grainger Market where you'll find loads of local traders selling the most delicious local produce.  Theatre fans will find Newcastle's Theatre Royal less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel with the largest touring productions put on shows.

If you fancy an adventure a little further afield then Monument Metro Station is a stones throw away from the Grey Street Hotel and is a gateway to adventure! If you have extra time to explore I highly recommend paying a visit to the suburb of Jesmond or the coastal towns of South Shields or Tynemouth.

The Grey Street Hotel is the perfect city centre hotel, ideally located to enjoy a weekend break in Newcastle and I can't wait to enjoy another stay!

For more inspiration on what to see and do in Newcastle check out New Girl in Toon on Facebook and Instagram.

We enjoyed a complimentary stay at the Grey Street Hotel for review purposes.  All opinions are our own.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Exploring Path Head Water Mill and Birkheads Secret Gardens

Frantic days in the office, mountains of housework and a coffee table full of paperwork - it's no wonder that so many of us feel slightly frazzled. Although Simon and I try our hardest to relax at the weekends we quite often find ourselves lost in a blur as we try and juggle having a social life with the need to get things done. Last weekend we decided enough was enough and spent a relaxing and indulgent Sunday in the countryside discovering Gateshead's Great Outdoors.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors

If you know Gateshead like we know Gateshead you might be feeling slightly puzzled at this idea! Gateshead is just a town right? Somewhere you go shopping at the weekend!

You may be surprised to hear that over 50% of Gateshead is made up of countryside! There are endless beautiful walks, peaceful woodlands, farmshops, tea rooms and cosy pubs to discover yet, despite living in Gateshead for a number of years, Simon and I have never really explored all that Gateshead has to offer. I think we're all perhaps a little guilty of taking for granted what's right on our doorstep.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Path Head Water Mill

We spent an afternoon opening our eyes to the beautiful countryside of rural Gateshead and had an idyllic Sunday exploring Gateshead's Great Outdoors!

We started our adventure at Path Head Watermill. Hidden away just outside of Blaydon the 18th century mill is located in the most beautiful tranquil valley close to meadows and wooded walks.

Crazy to think this beautiful place is only 10 minutes away from the Metrocentre!

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Path Head Water Mill Blaydon

For many years water power was the main source of energy in the UK with watermills used for, amongst other things, the wool, cotton and timber industry as well as generating electricity. So it's so sad that many of these water mills have been lost in time and left to decay.

We're very lucky in the North East to have Path Head Watermill which has been lovingly restored and renovated bringing the history of the mill to life for future generations.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Path Head Water Mill, Blaydon

A visit to Path Head Watermill costs £3.50 for adults and £2.00 for children, giving you access to the site via a self guided tour.  There are also staff on hand to answer any questions you may have, which we took full advantage of and spent ages chatting away learning more about the history and workings of the watermill.

I particularly loved hearing all about this little fella but if you want to hear how he ended up living in the Mill you'll have to go and meet him for yourselves!

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Exploring Path Head Water Mill

The sun was out and we had a lovely morning strolling round the dell discovering all of the hidden features. There was a surprise round every corner and it's a beautiful outdoor space for a stroll.

Surprises like Fred, a 7 metre long sea monster made and painted by volunteers at Path Head Water Mill.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Exploring Path Head Water Mill - Fred the Sea Monster

The impressive Wind Pump can be seen from all corners of the Path Head Water Mill site, as with a lot of features at the Mill it's been substantially resorted.

Other parts of the Mil that we loved were the giant map of the UK made entirely from brick and grass (we loved testing out our geography knowledge which shamefully isn't that great!) and a Sun Clock that gives a surprisingly accurate time.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Path Head Water Mill

The perfect place to start our afternoon of relaxation, Path Head Watermill is an idyllic spot to embrace your artistic side, I love the idea of setting up an easel and spending hours sitting in the sunshine painting the beautiful mill.  Unfortunately neither of us can draw so we indulged in a spot of photography instead.

I could relax for hours listening to the soothing sound of the water and doing some wildlife spotting. We had a fantastic "blink and you'll miss it a moment" when I saw a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye and we realised that we'd just seen a Kingfisher. Having never seen one before it was pretty special!

Gatesheads Great Outdoors - Path Head Water Mill
Our afternoon exploring Gateshead's Great Outdoors was off to a great start but it was time to see where else we could discover so we hopped back in the car and continued on our little road trip.  We couldn't believe how much pretty countryside we were passing - winding roads lined with trees, farmyards full of animals and we were also extremely lucky to see a fox scurrying across the road just in front of our car.

Our journey took us to to Birkheads Secret Gardens just outside Sunniside, a family run business in the beautiful Gateshead countryside.

Birkheads Secret Gardens is a treasure trove of beautiful gardens, a perfect little coffee shop, nursery and gift shop stocking greeting cards and crafts by local artists.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens

Access to the coffee shop, nursery and shop is free and there's also the beautiful Cottage Garden to wander about post coffee if you fancy it. We were really excited to spot the working bee hive hidden behind the newt pond and the views of the Gateshead countryside from the garden is pretty spectacular.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens - Beehive

The larger gardens cost £5.00 per adult and £2.50 per child (which includes a garden trail sheet and a key - more on that later!) and are well worth an explore. The three acre site is a gem of hidden gardens and floral displays with so much to discover.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens
We kept spotting loads of little ornaments and features that we missed on first glance which makes me think that no trip to Birkheads could ever be the same as the last.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Nursery and Coffee Shop

We were given a map with our admission that guided us round the grounds but if you prefer to just wander it's a nice circular route that's easy to navigate and there are plenty of little signs at each garden or display to give you more information.

A few minutes into our visit and we stumbled across Nev, Birkhead's famous garden gnome, make sure you give him a like on Facebook to see what he gets up to and if you happen to stumble across him in the gardens be sure to get a selfie!

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Nev the Gnome

Different parts of the garden come to life at certain times of the year and we've already made a note in the diary to revisit during Snowdrop weekend and to also see the daffodils in the Spring. Our visit, in the height of Summer, meant that we got to enjoy the Slate Circle, a Bee and Butterfly Garden.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Slate Circle

With plenty of benches scattered around it is the perfect place to sit in the sunshine appreciating the beautiful colours and wonderful smells. The garden is surrounded by Lilacs, Roses, Buddlieas and Lavender that attracts a huge variety of butterflies.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Bee and Butterfly Garden
During our stroll we were very lucky and saw the beautiful Red Admiral and Peacock as well as loads of bees. With so many flowers attracting the insects it was a great spot to have a go at some amateur photography.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Bee and Butterfly
As we made our way round the garden we saw a lot of families with very excited children dashing about following the trail. With little fairy houses to spot and loads of cute ornaments it's a fantastic spot for families and their enthusiasm was infectious!

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Fairy House

Even adults can't resist the charm of the Treasure Island Garden, and for a moment we almost lost ourselves creeping round the garden trying to spot the treasure and escape before we encountered a pirate!

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Garden

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Garden Pirate

The charm of Birkheads was really captured for us when we found the Wishing Tree at the bottom of the garden. Covered in keys tied with the most beautiful ribbons and charms, visiting children are given a key to add to the collection and encouraged to make a wish as they tie their key to the branches.

Gateshead's Great Outdoors - Birkheads Secret Gardens Wishing Tree
Once we'd explored the gardens we realised we were getting a little hungry so made our way to Birkheads Secret Gardens coffee shop which has a great range of sandwiches, scones and cakes perfect for a lunchtime treat.

We both opted for Pie of the Day which was Corned Beef and Onion (my absolute favourite!), I had it with a lovely fresh salad and Simon couldn't help but embrace his inner child and have his with some baked beans on the side. There are plenty of beautiful outdoor seating areas to enjoy food at Birkheads that we will definitly enjoy on another day but with the rain clouds threatening we decided to eat indoors.

We left Birkheads with huge smiles and a pot of Orange Curd that Simon has been obsessed with ever since (I've caught his hands in the jar a fair few times!)

Our Gateshead Great Outdoors adventure was over for the weekend but with plenty more places in the area to explore we can't wait to head out again and see what else we can find on our doorstep.

For more inspiration to plan your perfect adventure in rural Gateshead, check out Gateshead's Great Outdoors and make sure you share your adventures using #GatesheadsGreatOutdoors

This post has been written in collaboration with NGI - thank you for helping us to discover what was right under our noses!

Monday, 14 August 2017

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea

Happy Afternoon Tea Week everyone! Yes, you read that right, this week is Afternoon Tea Week! As the self confessed Queen of Afternoon Tea (seriously, why hasn't anyone made me a crown yet?) I'm more than ready to celebrate all things Afternoon Tea and so I thought I'd share with you 10 reasons why I love Afternoon Tea!

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea

Looking Fancy

I don't know about you but I don't often get to wear a nice dress and stick on some heels so I quite enjoy making Afternoon Tea into a full on fancy affair. A beautiful dress with a huge skirt is my favourite way to enjoy an Afternoon Tea, it hides a cake belly wonderfully and there's something so grand about indulging in a spot of tea dressed in your posh threads.

The Perfect Gift

I am rubbish at choosing a gift and can spend days fretting about finding someone the perfect present. Treating someone to an Afternoon Tea voucher is ideal, who doesn't love Afternoon Tea? BuyAGift Afternoon Tea Vouchers have a great selection of experiences to choose from across the country including luxury Afternoon Tea in beautiful hotels, Champagne Afternoon Tea in country houses and, for the more adventurous, quirky Afternoon Tea (anyone fancy a Burger Afternoon Tea?!)

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea - Jesmond Dene House

Celebrate any occasion

Anniversary? Baby Shower? Hen Party? No matter the occasion celebrating with Afternoon Tea is the best way to impress with minimal effort. Forget the stress of party planning, just book an Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings and the guest of honour will have a great time. I happily celebrate every great occasion in my life with an Afternoon Tea!

Pass the Sugar Cecil!

Maybe Simon and I are just a bit daft but when we go out for Afternoon Tea we love to give each other alternative Afternoon Tea names as we dine. "Pass the sugar Cecil" is my favourite game to play and we do it with such straight faces the people around us must think we're slightly bonkers.

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea - Scones

Chill Time

When in life do you ever get the chance to fully relax and switch off? I love that Afternoon Tea allows you to be completely indulgent for a few hours. Take your time, have a natter, lean back in your chair - Afternoon Tea should not be rushed and is one of life's greatest joys.

Instagram Goals

Any Instagram addict knows that Afternoon Tea is a beautiful addition to your grid and a guaranteed way to get plenty of likes! Taking photographs of Afternoon Tea is one of my favourite things to do and I love sharing them on Social Media - now if only we could get a cuppa tea emoji life would be perfect!

Tea and Prosecco

If I was stranded on an island and could only take two drinks with me, I'd definitely choose tea and Prosecco so Afternoon Tea is the ideal situation for me as I can indulge in both! I love to sip on some fizz whilst enjoying my sandwiches and then eat my cakes with plenty of cups of hot tea - bliss!

Who ate all the Cake?

The chance to eat loads and loads of cake all in one go? Yes please! I love that when you're munching your way through an Afternoon Tea there's no need to eat your greens or finish your main meal first - you can eat cake, followed by more cake, with some more cake.

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea - Gilpin Lakehouse

Nosy Neighbours

Fancy snooping round a mega fancy hotel but can't afford to spend the night? Booking yourself an Afternoon Tea in a posh country house or luxury hotel is a great way to indulge in a little bit of snooping! I've found myself in some of the most beautiful hotels in the country whilst enjoying an Afternoon Tea.

Nap Time

When Afternoon Tea is over and all your left with is a pile of crumbs and a bulging belly it is more than OK to get yourself home and stick your PJs on ready for an afternoon nap. Eating all that cake is exhausting and a post Afternoon Tea nap is an essential  part of the experience.

10 Reasons Why I LOVE Afternoon Tea - Scones

Let's talk Afternoon Tea! Let me know what you love about Afternoon Tea and your favourite places to go!  Is anyone celebrating Afternoon Tea Week?

This post has been written in collaboration with BuyAGift

Friday, 11 August 2017

Healthy Lunch at Eldon Square - Salads at PizzaStorm, Newcastle

Most Saturdays we find ourselves in Eldon Square. Even if we don't have much cash to spare we love to spend the day pottering around Newcastle window shopping. This usually results in us spending much longer than we anticipated in town and frantically trying to decide where to go for lunch. Although it certainly seems from my Instagram that we spend most of our lives eating ice cream I promise you that on an average day we try very hard to make healthier choices which isn't always easy when you're in the middle of a shopping centre.

So we were very pleased to discover that PizzaStorm in Eldon Square have recently launched a brand new salad bar where you can create your own healthy lunch, perfect for a mid morning shopping break.

We popped down to the Eldon Square restaurant after a busy morning in town to put the salads to the test (and, most importantly, to see if we could resist ordering one of their pizzas instead!)

Healthy Lunch at Eldon Square - Salads at PizzaStorm, Newcastle

As someone who eats homemade salad every day for lunch I know that it can be pretty hard to get excited about salad, I mean who wants to eat a pile of leaves when there's pizza on offer? But the salads at PizzaStorm are actually really fun to make with unlimited toppings to choose from.

Choose from a Large or Small Salad, select your lettuce base, choose your cheese, add some healthy veg, pick your toppings (be as good or as naughty as you like!) and finish with some dressing to make yourself a tasty lunch.

PizzaStorm, Newcastle

When creating our salads my biggest problem was choosing what to have. With pots upon pots of salad toppings on offer I was stuck in the line for quite a while trying to create my perfect lunch. I felt sorry for the people behind me as I tried to make a decision on what lettuce to pick and what type of cheese I wanted - give an indecisive person too much choice and they tend to struggle!

So in the end I decided to follow Simon along the line, more or less muttering "the same" after every item that he picked. Romaine Lettuce, some Mozzarella, Red Onion, sun dried tomatoes and a drizzle of caesar dressing, I think the only choices I made myself were when we got to the meats.  He started throwing all kinds of meat into his salad whereas I opted for a nice simple tuna.

PizzaStorm, Newcastle - Salad

The biggest surprise for me was the quality of the salad. I've often found in similar restaurants that the lettuce can look very brown and withered but at PizzaStorm every leaf was full and green and all of the veg was looking delicious. Such a relief as there's nothing worse than a wilting salad!

With our salads created we found ourselves a seat and our salads arrived at our tables a few moments later. I wasn't sure what to expect but was suitably impressed by our plastic pots. The salads had been mixed to perfection and were nicely packaged ready to go or easily enjoyed in the restaurant.

PizzaStorm, Eldon Square Newcastle - Salad

One mouthful and I was impressed, although annoyingly had to inflate Simon's ego by agreeing with him that the he really had picked out amazing toppings and that the caesar dressing really did pull the whole salad together quite nicely (nothing worse than a smug husband!)

As soon as we started tucking in I actually forgot we were in a pizza restaurant, I had no cravings at all and was thoroughly enjoying my lunch. Who knew a salad could be this good!

Simon has actually been banging on about the salads ever since we visited so something tells me we'll be now be in PizzaStorm every Saturday lunchtime tucking into a salad - I guess we'll see you there!

PizzaStorm, Eldon Square Newcastle - Salads

We received complementary salads for review purposes, all opinions are our own.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

A Great Adventure at High Force Waterfall

I'm very happy to say that this Summer we're doing a pretty good job of ticking things off our North East adventure list. Admittedly it's mostly involved trying all the ice cream parlours but when we're not sat on the seafront at Whitley Bay indulging in yet another Di Meos cone, we are making a definite effort to get ourselves to the places I've been wanting to visit for ages. Our latest great adventure?  A trip to High Force Waterfall, somewhere that's been on my list to visit since before I moved to Newcastle.

High Force Waterfall lies deep in the County Durham countryside and is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, no surprises it's been on my North East lust list all this time.

A bit of a drive from our home in Newcastle, the 75 minute trip was made better by the most stunning views. The North Pennines is an area of the North East I've not heard anyone mention yet it is absolutely stunning. Winding roads surrounded by wild moors, huge hills and plenty of wandering sheep. Simon was cursing me a little as our tiny car struggled to make it up the hills but I barely heard him as my nose was eagerly pressed to the windows, desperate to take in all of the beautiful views.

Before we'd even made it to High Force I knew I wanted to return!

Having survived the drive without knocking down any sheep (quite an achievement believe me!) we pulled up at the official High Force Waterfall Carpark, paid our £6.00 admission (£3.00 to park the car and £1.50 each to access the waterfall) and made our way down to the waterfall.

With some rather angry looking storm clouds closing in we kept things simple, crossed the road and took the shortest path to the waterfall. Easy to follow and a very short stroll it promised to take us directly to the foot of the waterfall.

After a walk through some woodland Simon was the first to spot the waterfall in the distance in what had turned into a "I can see the sea!" type game that I didn't even realise we were playing. He was very smug at having spotted it first and I sought my revenge by taking an extra long time taking lots of photographs. From a distance the waterfall looked pretty impressive and it was so hard to capture it in its glory on my camera.

It wasn't long before we'd reached our destination and climbing down a few steps we were near the foot of High Force Waterfall.

With the spray of water on our faces (although that could have been rain, I'm still not sure) and the roar of the force in our ears it was a beautiful little spot and would have been quite romantic if it hadn't been for the huge crowds of people all clambering over the rocks to get the perfect views.

High Force Waterfall definitely isn't the place to go if you want some peace and quiet with your love or fancy perfecting your waterfall photography skills. There were people everywhere! Great for people watching, not so good for appreciating a waterfall.

Although it was absolutely beautiful and I was happy to finally see it for myself I'd definitely recommend taking one of the longer walks in the area to get a view of the Waterfall from above where there were fewer people.

There are several walks that you can do around the area of High Force that include some truly breathtaking views. I left feeling we needed to return and maybe do it a little differently!

Another North East adventure ticked off our list at last!

I'd love to know if you've been to High Force Waterfall and if you found it a little crowded or if we were just unlucky? If you have any beautiful walk recommendations we'd also love to hear them.