We spent the New Year with Friends in Northumberland during which time it rained - a lot!
To be fair, it was clear for New Year and threw in an amazing view of the Northern Lights, but we were asleep and missed it all....
When we were awake we spent our time exploring the coast between Dunstanburgh and Tynemouth, mostly seeing the North Sea in a wild turmoil.
New Years day was calm, with peaceful views on the harbour at Amble as we enjoyed some excellent sea food at the Old Boathouse.
Then the weather turned ugly and huge waves were surging unto the beach as Seahouses.
To thaw out we sampled some crab soup with soda bread at Craster, washed down with a very acceptable pint of Black Sheep.
Duly fortified we ventured down onto the beach at Dunstanburgh where the wind howled and the spray mixed with the rain which made for a very uncomfortable walk. Helen was determined to see the castle which is one of her favourite spots, but thankfully settled for a distant view and we soon beat a hasty retreat to the warmth of the car.
To round off our coastal experience we had breakfast at Tynemouth, a seaside town next to Whitley Bay (minus the Spanish City). The restaurant on the beach is open every day except Christmas and is based on a bakery and therefore serves notable bread and cakes. Outside the storm continued unabated but even this was not enough to deter the hardy natives.
As we sat in the warm, safe behind the double glazed windows, outside there were dog walkers, keep fit groups, football teams training, kayakers and even an insane swimmer! Me, I like to take my storms sitting down in the warm!