Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Alnmouth and The Huffy House

Saturdau night we went to bed at the ridiculously early hour of 8.30pm so on Sunday morning we got up early and were on the beach before ten. The minor road heading to the sand was so rocky that we thought we'd got the wrong road, but we saw other cars, and continued at a speed of something like ten miles an hour. Once we got to the beach  that runs south from Alnmouth to Warkworth, we decided it was worth it as the beach looked magnificent. We walked as far as Birling Carrs where the rocks run out to meet the waves of an in-coming tide. I wore my trainers and dh wore his wellies, which meant he could wade through the shallows while I stuck to the dry sand. In turn, that meant that Tim ran from one to the other and no doubt trebled his mileage!

Then it was off to the supermarket in Alnwick to stock up on necessaries for the next few days. After that it was back to the Huffy House for lunch and a well earned rest before venturing out again to the beach north of Alnmouth. More sand and more waves but somehow subtly different from this morning. Tim is tired tonight, and sleeping quietly. My knees ache with all this walking, but as soon as I move around, they loosen up. I took photographs, but because I couldn't upload them from my camera to my iPad, I was stuck. If I'd taken them on my phone I could have done so, but the picture quality would not have been so good. Dilemma. (But now sorted as I am back home and using all the correct equipment!)

The Huffy House was once Rosie's pig sty and the old netty. It began its transformation in 2006 and finally opened for guests in 2013  - utterly transformed, I might add..  It is not far from Alnmouth, the oldest port in Northumberland founded in 1150 by William de Vesci, Lord of Alnwick. A charter from King Johnis dated 1207.  The town was almost destroyed by Scots in 1336 and by the Black Death twelve years later, so severe a disease that a third of the population died.

On Christmas Eve 1806 a storm hit the county, The river Aln flooded to such an extent that it created a new, shorter route to the sea which meant Church Hill was cut off from the town. The change was a death blow to the port as the new route was difficult for shipping, being much shallower than the old route. Railways dealt the final blow as goods travelled via rail instead of ship, The railways also brought tourists in growing numbers and Alnmouth became a Victorian favourite destination. There is a story that Charles Dickens  visited regularly, presumably to visit his cousin since he proposed to her. Unfortunately she was actually pregnant by a seafarer. Rejected, Dickens left Alnmouth. That same night the ship carrying the seafarer went down with all hands.  How true that story is, I don't know.


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