A little more creative inspiration from the North…

In my blog post last week I shared a little of our recent camping trip to the North of England. In this post I’ll share a little more of the creative inspirations from that trip as it wasn’t just about sea glass hunting…

We stayed 3 nights in Alnwick a lovely market town. There’s a fantastic second hand book shop there called Barter Books It’s one of the largest second hand book shops in the country, based in an old railway station.

P1200287P1200257The atmosphere and selection of books was just fabulous and I could really have spent hours there. Of course I headed straight to the arts and crafts section…

P1200260How wonderful to browse through those books, many of which will no longer be obtainable anywhere else. There were numerous knitting and sewing books and a really high number of cross-stitch books. But can you believe there were only two crochet books?20170822_182214They were real gems though… the one on the left is an American book from 1981 and the one on the right was published in cooperation with the Dutch Scheepjes yarn company in 1975!  How could I resist them…they’re great! I just love looking back through old crochet books – there are so many suggestions and ideas in them that you just wouldn’t see in a modern book and I’m so glad they’re not lost.

Here are suggestions in the book for a dining area, child’s room and even a teenager’s room! The teenage room made my own teenagers laugh!! 🙂 🙂

I wonder why there were so few crochet books available as opposed to the large amount of knitting and cross-stitch books… I’m still undecided as to whether it’s because crochet is so popular that the books get sold and fly off the shelves really quickly or because the other crafts are just more popular!! I’m really not sure…

But I do love my vintage books…

Near to Alnwick is Alnmouth and from there we caught the train across the border into Scotland to visit Edinburgh for the day and what a wonderful day it was…


I’ve never been to Edinburgh although I’ve wanted to go for a while. I’m sure many of you may have been – isn’t it the most wonderful city! Something about our day there has made me see Edinburgh as one of my very favourite cities!

Maybe it’s because you can climb a mountain from the city centre- Arthur’s Seat was well worth the climb for the fantastic views and sense of achievement when you get to the top…



Maybe it’s because there are some gorgeous yarn shops (my family are used to me having little detours to pop by local yarn shops and surprisingly don’t seem to mind! 😉 )

There was the fabulous Ginger Twist Studio -what an amazing and gorgeous shop with a delightful owner. It’s small but every corner of that shop is used and organised so incredibly well that the amount of yarns available are staggering! The owner was happy for me to take some photos and we had a great yarn related chat…


I treated myself to these gorgeous yarns…


I also managed to pop into McAree Brothers a well known more conventional yarn shop…


And of course it was great to see some Tartan colours…


Whatever it is about Edinburgh, we loved it!

Back across the border in England on our return I saw this sign for a Wool Festival being held in Alnmouth…it’s tomorrow! Such a shame I won’t be able to go…


We visited Holy Island. Inside St Mary’s church was this alter with a sea and fishing theme, an obvious tribute to the fishing communities over the centuries…


It was quite a bleak and grey day when we visited Holy Island which rather suited the exposed setting but the colours in the Gertrude Jekyll Garden which the National Trust look after were enough to lift anyone’s spirits…


Further down the coast was Bamburgh…


…and we could see the Farne Islands in the distance which gradually became clearer as the weather turned for the better before our eyes!


As always we enjoyed some time on the beach (two of my children swam in the North Sea!)…


And then we moved on for our last 3 nights to the Northumberland National Park How beautiful and vast this area is…

P1200678The colours of the heather really struck me and reminded me of Lucy from Attic 24 who often writes in her blog about the heathers and has taken inspiration from the colours for her blankets…


My own crochet seemed to match the scenery that day…


We stayed in an area designated an ‘International Dark Skies Park’ and oh my word the stars! We were so fortunate to experience a clear night and there was a star gazing pavilion next to the campsite which we sat back in and gazed upwards to see stars like I’ve never seen them before. It really was special…


Finally we felt we just had to visit Hadrian’s Wall…


…and we enjoyed a walk around the area which I won’t write anymore about- I’ll let the beautiful photos of the views speak for themselves…


It took us 10 and a half hours to drive home… it really is a very long way away from our corner on the south coast!


But oh it was worth it… 🙂 🙂


  1. It looks as if you have had a fabulous holiday – great pics, Eleonora. We camped in that area many years ago … the names are all familiar … our tent was nearly blown away at Seahouses! Edinburgh is beautiful too and you did well to find two yarn shops – always a treat. xx🌸🌸

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  2. Lovely blog post! So inspiring. I am possibly visiting soon and am hoping to explore Yorkshire area while there. Hadn’t thought about a day trip to Edinburgh on the train…..hmmmmmm.
    Loved your pics….thanks SO much for sharing 💟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa… so glad you enjoyed my post. It’s a fantastic area to visit. The train to Edinburgh was so easy. Just look up Virgin trains to see which stations the trains stop at. It was just over an hour for us from Alnmouth to Edinburgh. Enjoy! 🙂 🙂 xx


  3. It was so lovely to read this post Eleonora. I have connections to both Edinburgh (I had a Scottish Gran who took me) and the North East (we spent a year in Durham and visited Alnwick, Holy Island & the beautiful coastline up there). My interest in Crochet hadn’t been piqued when I was up there back then, but oh, I’d love to visit those yarn shops now!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it… we also stayed in Durham for 3 nights (it was from there that we visited Seaham) but I thought my post was long enough so had to leave it out! We loved Durham too! Our campsite was a walk along the river away from the city centre which made it special. The whole area is so beautiful and I loved it all! The only downside is perhaps the weather…I didn’t mind as it was mostly dry but we did miss a heated back home which lasted the whole week we were away which my eldest wasn’t too pleased about!! 😊😊❤

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  4. I find the same as you when I go looking for used crochet books. Whether it’s my local library’s used book shop or at various thrift stores, there are so many cross-stitch books, sewing and craft books but few crochet books. I always assume it’s because the crochet books get snatched up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re probably right Yolanda…I’m beginning to think the same… I certainly snapped up these two crochet books so anyone going in after me that day looking for crochet books would have been disappointed… Some of the other craft books may have been on the shelf for months! 😉😊❤

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  5. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. Today I went to the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at Motisfont (NT) near Romsey and as well as enjoying the explosion of colour in the exhibition, I found an old crochet book in the secondhand bookshop called A Complete Guide to Crochet by Pam Dawson. I guess it will keep me out of mischief. There are some lovely ideas.

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