Hadrian’s Wall

In the short holiday we had last week, we went to Hadrian’s Wall. We found a lovely camping site nearby and walked for miles each day. On our way back home we were talking about how many more things are to see around Hadrian’s Wall. Although, just walking along it is fab, there are amazing views.

Hadrian’s Wall was built in the 2nd century by Hadrian, the Roman Emperor. After his visit to England in 122, he ordered for the wall to be built. The plan was to make a continuous wall from coast to coast, 75 miles (120 km). Along the wall there were plans for large forts, ditches, milecastle and turrets. It was meant to be the most northern frontier.

01 Hadrians Wall
The view from the Winshields wall, the highest point on Hadrian’s Wall.

02 Hadrians Wall
I mentioned the views are stunning. We would have walked and walked along the wall, it was so beautiful and peaceful.

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Lanercost Priory

The Lanercost Priory is an 12th century church that was built with stones from Hadrian’s Wall. We got there while we were on our way to the wall. Hadrian’s Wall was the main thing we wanted to visit and considering its size, we knew it wasn’t possible to see it in a couple of days. So Lanercost Priory wasn’t on top of our list of things to see, but we had to stop when we saw how nice it is. I’m glad we’ve stopped, it’s a lovely place.

13 Lanercost Priory

The priory was founded in 1169 and suffered in the Border wars. Edward I stayed in Lanercost for 5-6 months. As he had the Privy Seal, this meant England was ruled from Lanercost. The Monastic House was closed at the dissolution in the 16th century and a part of the Priory become the parish church. In the 18th century the priory was re-roofed and glazed. The 9th Earl of Carlisle, a philanthropist, commissioned art work for the priory in the 19th century. The church still has services weekly and there are christenings and funerals too.

14 Lanercost Priory

01 Lanercost Priory

The Lanercost Priory ruins are managed by English Heritage. The entry fee is free for members and £4.10 for adults. If you plan to visit Hadrian’s Wall, I think it’s better to join in as member, as there are a lot of things to visit and the entry fee will add up. I’ve been a member of English Heritage for a couple of years (and 3+ for National Trust) and I think it’s worth it.

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Portobello Market

This week I’ve been to London and I went to Portobello Market. I saw many posts about it and it looked fab, so I was curious to see how it is. It was a weekday, so it wasn’t packed with sellers, but even so it was really interesting. The Portobello Road Markets started in the 19th century and have become London’s leading antiques market. The market attracts in millions of visitors every year.

01 Portobello Market

In the 18th and 19th century, Portobello Road was a country lane that connected the districts of Notting Hill and Kensall Green. Until the 1940s, Portobello Road market was like the other markets, selling food and essential items. In the 40s more ‘rag and bone’ men started selling their wares and antiques. In time, antiques have become what Portobello Road Market is best known for. Saturday is the main trading day. There are still stalls and shops selling fresh food.

There are 5 areas in the market, for secondhand goods, clothing and fashion, household essentials, food and the last area is with antiques.

02 Portobello Road Market

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Baking along The Great British Bake Off

Today the wait is finally over and the Great British Bake Off starts again. As last year, I will bake along each week at least one of the challenges.

the great british bake off

This is cake week and I’ve baked a Classic Victoria sponge (recipe on my food blog). The name of the cake comes from Queen Victoria, obviously. Recipes for cakes with yeast appeared in cookbooks from the 17th century, but as Queen Victoria loved this cake, it got the name from her. The traditional cake had raspberry jam filling and whipped cream. I used strawberry jam as my husband doesn’t like raspberries.

Next week will be Biscuit Week. I’m sure my husband will be delighted with biscuit week, as he likes them. I’m not sure what I’ll make, last year I baked biscotti. If you want to read more about my bakes from last year, have a look at The Great British Bake Off, bake along.

In September I’ll be away with work (and a couple of days off) and it will be difficult, but I want to bake each week regardless. Last year when I had to leave in September I was baking a Frangipane tart at 7.30 in the morning, before leaving home, so I know I can do it.

Are you watching the Bake Off? Does it inspire you to bake?

Osprey Project and Dodd Woods

I heard about the Osprey Project at Countryfile and I wanted to see the birds. The day we’ve been there it was foggy, but we both managed to see them. We parked at Dodd Wood carpark and we climbed to the first viewing point. The live CCTV coverage of the nest wasn’t available anymore, as the “little” one was bigger than her parents and ready to leave the nest.

01 Osprey and Dodd Woods

There is another viewing point, with lots of signs towards them. The board estimates the walk at 20 minutes, but it took us only 10 minutes.

02 Osprey and Dodd Woods

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Pawsome box

I was asked if I want to review a Pawsomebox, a box filled with goodies for Festus, my dog. Who can resist that?! I get so excited when it comes to doggy accessories and toys, almost as much as him. First of all, I love the name of the box: Pawsome, it’s funny. If you have cats, then Purrfectbox is for you.

The box is great, you can chose the size of the dog for which you are getting the box and that is important. As a big-dog owner, I know how hard it is to find the right toys and accessories for him. The subscription is £19.99 for 1 month and it gets cheaper if you subscribe for a longer period of time: 3 months, 6 months or 1 year.

01 Pawsome Box
He was obviously delighted he received a box full of goodies for him.

02 Pawsome Box
With a little bit of patience, he finally stood still and we had the chance to take pictures with Festus and the box.

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Shap Abbey

Only a few minutes from the campsite we’ve been to last month,  was Shap Abbey. It’s managed by the English Heritage, it has free entry and free parking nearby. The abbey looks beautiful and the views are stunning. There aren’t a lot of information boards, but they are doing restoration works, so more boards might show up after this.

The abbey was founded in the 12th century by Thomas, a local baron. Shap Abbey was one of 32 religious houses in Britain belonging to the Premonstratensian order of canons. The tower dates from the 15th century. In mid 16th century, after the dissolution, the land was granted to the Governor of Carlisle. Part of the Abbey was used as a farm, but most of it was dismantled for materials.

01 Shap Abbey
This picture is taken from a nearby field where is livestock. Festus was with us, but the sheep didn’t seem too bothered by him, anyway he was on a lead, away from them.

02 Shap Abbey

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