When you have lived somewhere for a long time, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that you have already seen the best of the place. That’s not to say there is nothing new to discover, but it is easy to believe that you already know the truly special places.
When planning Bank Holiday days out, it is easy to slip into the routine of going to the same places that I know I love, but I know that everyone else loves too.
This May Bank Holiday, I put Jim in charge of selecting our destination. He is not from the North East, and so has far fewer entrenched ideas about visiting Northumberland than I do. He picked at random a place from the road atlas and we set off.
Our destination was the tiny village of Colwell in Northumberland, and the nearby Hallington Reservoir.
I was a bit sceptical to be honest. I had driven through Colwell more times than I can count, and I knew that there was literally nothing there except a cluster of houses and farmland. I wasn’t sure we would even be able to walk to the Reservoir.
When we arrived, it seemed that I might be right. With no obvious signage for the public footpath to the Reservoir, we had a couple of false starts in trying to find the right public footpath.
We eventually found our way onto the correct footpath through a combination of guess work, gut instinct and trying to identify the trodden path. After a short walk, we came upon this:-
I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that I had never been there before. I could not stop taking pictures.
We could not have picked a more serene location to walk. We were virtually the only people there – the only other people enjoying the Reservoir were a handful of silent fisherman.
The surface of the water was like glass, disturbed only by the ripple of trout breaking the surface to feed. It was cloudy when we first arrived, but as the sky cleared, the pink tint to the sky was reflected on the perfect surface of the water.
Hallington Reservoir is actually 2 separate lakes separated by a dam.
We did the circuit of the first lake, walking on the well maintained path (which we had entirely to ourselves) as baby rabbits sped out of our way…
… and adorable lambs stood to attention.
This would be such a stunning place on a sunny day when the water would turn blue. The first sunny day we get, we will be back with a picnic.
This is now firmly on my list of my Northumberland gems, and has totally reaffirmed that no matter how well you think you know an area, there are still plenty of stunning new places left to find.
I could not imagine a more perfect and more relaxing way to spend a Bank Holiday. The last few weeks have been crazy busy, as shown by the fact that I managed a grand total of one post during April. Part of it was spent travelling, where we managed to pack a staggering amount in without ever being more than 2 hours from home. I then returned to the most work intense period of the year so far, which coupled with being floored by a cold has left me pretty exhausted and yearning for another break. The perfect, relaxing Bank Holiday I hope represents a return to a more even keel, and a chance to catch up on everything I want to say about our week of home based travel.