|Gibside Christmas Fair|
We expected a few intrepid punters, but the numbers in the car park surprised us. Changing from shoes to hiking boots without overbalancing in the snowy grass was fun, and as we walked into the Fair, we found the Prudhoe Community band playing rousing tunes that carried on the cold air. Stalls were set out under the trees, and lots of people milled about. We decided to head for the Long Walk and then up through the trees to the stables. We had the woods to ourselves all the way to the Stables, and every so far along the trails we noticed items hidden in the trees. Nearby a notice declared something along the lines of: Santa had dropped a parcel from his sleigh as he was passing by - can you find it? Then there was the spot where Rupert refused to go any further until he'd had a midnight snack - but where?
By the time we'd enjoyed a coffee and a browse among the bookshelves (lots of paperbacks for sale at £1 each, including Clair Tomalin's Jane Austen) and ventured out again, people had abandoned the Fair and spread out into the estate. Children roared around screeching as they found each hidden item and parents had the fun of watching them. So did we!