Hikes: Simonside and Beyond

Hikes: Simonside and Beyond

If you love your steep climbs as a hiker, then this walk you will absolutely love. I live in Rothbury and when I visit Simonside I choose to walk from my house rather than park at Lordenshaws. From door to door, this is 10.5 miles (which is around the same if you were to park in the Riverside Car Park or on the main High Street).

For the purpose of this post, I’m reflecting on my hike taken last year, I decided to have a sunset walk and wow what a treat that was. Once we had climbed to the top we were amazed at how the clouds were fast rolling in, the views were spectacular, it felt like we were in a plane looking out amongst the clouds. We later learned that the weather conditions are referred to as cloud inversion.

Simonside cloud inversion

“A cloud inversion, or temperature inversion is when the normal temperature distribution of air – warm at the bottom, colder as you go up – becomes inverted or flipped upside down. This means you have a cold layer of air trapped at ground level, overlain by warm air.” Source: google.

Excuse the amateur video I took, but still worth sharing.

 

I’m always looking for new routes to extend my hike up Simonside, so if you are looking for something quite a bit longer then keep checking back as there are so many trails it’s difficult to list them all in one blog.

Simonside and Harwood Forest

If I’m looking for a 15 mile route, I’ll start from the main car park in Rothbury by the river, and head up towards Simonside and once I’ve climbed back down rather than turning back on myself by going right, I veer left and I continue walking along the back trail heading into Harwood Forest. You could make this longer but usually 15 miles is enough for me. This route is popular with cyclists and it’s also on the St Oswalds walking trails.

Excerpt from Foresty England:

Harwood is a large conifer forest located to the south of Simonside Hills in Rothbury. Lying within the Northumberland National Park, it provides visitors with access to a network of public footpaths, ranging from popular open paths to quiet trails through the forest.

Harwood is also one of the red squirrel reserves in the north of England, so keep your eyes peeled for this rare species!

The nearest car park is located at Simonside, which is 2km north of the forest.

Simonside, Hepple circular route

This is not for the faint hearted, around 20 – 22 miles but the scenery is stunning. I’ll post a separate blog on this walk I think! I’ll leave you with this picture taken last year, what a lovely warm day that was….was so excited when I found a spring water to fill up the water bottle lol!

I’m always trying to find the time to write up blogs on my walking, places to visit and dining out, but sometimes I find it easier to just post on my social media pages, so if your not following, then please pop over to our FB closed group (Acorn Leisure Holidays) or follow us on our instagram account @acorn_leisure. Mel x

 

Family Fun: Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Family Fun: Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Carlisle Park is situated in the center of Morpeth Town, it’s literally a 10 – 15 minute drive from Felmoor Park. If you are looking for somewhere to entertain the kids, then this park packs a punch, or rather it will tire them out!

I’ve visited this park twice, this blog post will feature images from last year’s mini walk and from today’s walk (Easter Monday 2021). The best place to park but not always the easiest to grab a space is next door to the Leisure Centre. Make sure you grab a parking disc if you don’t already have one, we usually leave a couple spare within the lodges (please pop them back after your stay). They cost £1 and can save you up to £50 in parking fines. The discs can be purchased from the local newsagents which is located just next door to the Fish and Chips Shop (Carlos) in Morpeth, many shops do sell them though.

Next door to the Park entrance there is an ice cream van and a fantastic Chinese Takeaway called Fortune Cookie. Perfect option if you are opting for an afternoon walk followed by a takeaway option.

The images of the food below are not mine but taken from their face book page.

 

 

 

 

Let’s forget about food for a minute and look at the things that the kids can do to wear themselves out. Carlisle Park is a multi award winning park, and I can see why. Set within gorgeous settings with picturesque views of the river, I could quite happily spend a couple of hours just soaking in the sun and watching people.

The park contains the William Turner Garden, formal gardens, an aviary, play areas, a paddling pool, woodland walks, picnic areas, toilet facilities, tennis courts, bowling greens, skating board and more.

The image below is taken from a previous year when the paddling pool was open, at the moment it is closed until May. To preserve the pool they keep water within it, hence why it looks green on the next photo.

For our walk, we grabbed a coffee and a tea and seeing as we don’t have kids we headed up the bank to explore the woodland walk. It’s not a big walk, just a nice circular route that brings you back into the centre of Morpeth.

And when Rob can find some little mountain to climb that’s exactly where he takes me, up and up and up. As usual I’m always 30 steps behind lol. If you read more of my blogs you’ll see a theme emerging, whilst I consider myself quite fit, I absolutely hate hills and he’s always finding a walk that has plenty of them in it!

 

The views at the top are gorgeous, Morpeth Castle is pretty impressive. It’s really just a 30 minute walk if that.

Once we were heading back down you end up at the other entrance, this is where the William Turner Garden is located along with the Emily Davison statue and the Aviary.

 

It’s a lovely walk and the fact that you can grab a chinese (check opening times) after a late afternoon stroll is definitely a bonus! I should say the park is dog friendly, just keep them on the leads at all times.

Chinese Takeaway: Fortune Cookie, open from Tuesday – Sunday, 12:30pm – 8:30pm

Here’s the menu, but feel free to check out their FB Page too: Fortune Cookie

More information on Carlisle Park, can be found here, click the link: Carlisle Park information

Thanks, Mel x

 

Takeaway Night: Lal Khazana, Shillbottle

Takeaway Night: Lal Khazana, Shillbottle

What day do you class as a “Takeaway Night”, for me it’s a Thursday and a Saturday night! A takeaway, movie or in my case watching “Altogether Now”, hot tub and a bottle of wine. Perfect weekend. I am quite often asked for recommendations on where to eat or collect a takeaway, this blog is all about curries.

I had the pleasure of returning to my favourite Indian Restaurant with Tracey from Northumberland Eats a couple of weeks ago. Lal Khazana is located in Shilbottle, it’s literally a 10 minute drive from our lodges on Felmoor Holiday Park. Unfortunately at the moment they do not do deliveries but you can collect. We often dine in about twice a month – and often get takeaways, it’s that good!

I always get popadoms with extra helpings of mint sauce. I know that’s not the correct name, but everyone know’s what I mean. I also ask for extra onions, but I’m not a fan of the mango chutney and the spicy one, I’ve tried it but I just prefer the onion and mint. Simple lass. For starters, we had the Khazana mixed platter for two which consisted of a selection of special chicken kebab, chicken tikka, sheek kebab, onion bhaji and king prawn butterfly – great value at £8.50.

lal khazana popadomsLal Khazana Mixed Platter

I practically starved myself all day as I was so looking forward to feasting here, good job because the portion sizes are very generous. Next up for mains, Tracey opted for the Chinghri Sagwala which is prawns and fresh spinach cooked with garlic, ginger and a mixture of spices, garnished with fresh coriander. I had a sample of this as it’s not normally what I would go for, it’s very tasty but I prefer the massala and balti dishes. I opted for the chicken balti, cooked in special sauce with garlic, onions, peppers and tomatoes. Spiced in a bend of aromatic spices. Oh my, I love this dish. I usually opt for a chiken tikka masala – I did ask for a small pot of that sauce though, so I could dip the nan bread in 🙂

Lal Khazan King PrawnLal Khazana Chicken Balti

We complimented our meal with garlic (again) and plain nan bread, pilau rice and Tracey got a side dish of dhal to try.

Lal Khazana RiceLal Khazana Dhal

My mum always get’s the bengali sizzler. She highly recommends this dish, an image taken from Lal Khazana’s website below.You can view their online take away and dine in menu here, and the contact details for ease are: Tel: 01665 575 880 | Mob: 07800 635 340

Address is: Deanmoor Road, West End, Shilbottle, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 2YP

They are open 6 days a week, closed on Tuesdays, from 5:30pm – 11pm

Lal Khazana Bengali Sizzler

If you decide to visit when stopping with Acorn Leisure Holidays, let us know what you thought, we’d love to see some pics too. Maybe I’ll try something else next time. Have a great evening, Mel x

 

 

 

 

Surfing in Amble with Northside Surf School

Surfing in Amble with Northside Surf School

Northside Surf School located in Amble is the perfect place for you to sign up and experience the surf on the Northumberland coast line. Jon an experienced instructor runs the company and can cater for groups, birthday parties and individual lessons. As we approach the summer holidays, Jon is also offering kids lessons from just £25 including the hire of the equipment. Perfect for those families that want to keep the kids entertained whilst the adults indulge in some far more relaxing activities.

Woodys Lodge and the Retreat are located just 15 minutes away from Amble, providing you with the perfect base in which to explore the neighbouring country side and coastal villages. Our properties can accommodate families and groups from 4 – 8 people and we are pet friendly, so don’t forget to bring your four legged friend(s) with you on holiday.

For more information, or to enquire on our availability simply drop us a line or email by visiting the Contact Us page.

If you want to find out more information on Jon and his surfing lessons, visit his website or his trip advisor reviews

Enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for visiting us.

Mel x