FISHING FOR HOLY ISLAND TICKS

I somehow forgot to tell you that Duncan had already been to these Northumbrian gems last month, after our meet up in the Craft Union bars of Chester-le-Street.

That time I overdid it on Doom Bar and chickened out of a joint trip up the Northumbrian coast.

I DID remember that his post took in the two new GBG entries on Holy Island. As usual, Duncan’s photos put mine to shame. His map extract is better than mine, too.

Two charming Japanese ladies (OK, possibly from Jarrow) blocked the signature view of the castle,

on a day when the North-East at least remained dry but lacked the midsummer magic of my only previous visit in June 1998.

Still, the journey over the causeway is as magical as the bridge over to Sheppey, even if it now seems to be shared with half the gentlefolk from Geordieland.

It was HEAVING, the car park at the edge of the tiny village packed by 1pm on a dull Thursday in September.

Most seemed headed for the pubs, so I rushed past them to the market place (of sorts) where my two ticks sat side by side.

If you reach the seal, you’ve gone too far.

Duncan failed to find cask in the Manor House Hotel, so technically he should have to come back, swimming here from Beal in February.

I did find cask, but it’s pretty much all I saw as I was directed to a table by the bar by a charming but overworked barman taking sandwiches out to gentlefolk in the garden.

I’ll get to you as soon as I can, Sir” he said, giving me a full 10 minutes to adjust the zoom on my camera and spot 3 beers (oh dear) from Firebrick (oh dear).

It took 12 minutes to get a half, 3 minutes to drink it. I bet you can guess the NBSS by looking at it.

As I keep saying, pub staff are the stars at the moment, even when they need to tell us off.

Like the Landlord in the Crown and Anchor did five minutes later.

Handwash – check

Facemask – check

NHS App sign in – check

Social Distancing – check

Head straight to table – doh !, I dawdled to look at the pumps*, didn’t I ?

“Can you sit down please, Sir”

We all hate being told off when it’s our fault, don’t we ?

Lovely pub, Hi-Vis mixing with high income, and great staff. Average beer from Cheviot, I’m afraid, and you’ll know my NBSS scores (2.5+ again) are always fair and nothing to do with being told off. Or the pub playing Ed Sheeran’s “Castle in the Air“.

Talking of castles, I headed off past the ruined priory to find you a view of the less ruined castle.

Yes, the one built in 1999 for the millennium episode of Cold Feet. You know the one.

This is the best I could do.

The harbour is still a bit magical, despite the crowds. I was tempted by the fish and chip van, but was prepared to wait for a better offer…

*And I’m an anti-ticker. If you can’t see the pumps, ticking is dead.

8 thoughts on “FISHING FOR HOLY ISLAND TICKS

  1. It gets monstrously busy there doesn’t it? Best in a howling gale on a dark winter morning perhaps. Totally agree with you about sight of the handpumps -integral to the pub experience and judicious assessment of wares. A more grievous loss than standing drinking at the bar.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “His map extract is better than mine, too.”

    You excel at the ones with teeny tiny fonts.

    “where my two ticks sat side by side.”

    Ticks tend to do that. Safety in numbers. Wait; are we talking the arachnid tick here?

    “If you reach the seal, you’ve gone too far.”

    Unless you’re going *cough* clubbing. 😉

    “giving me a full 10 minutes to adjust the zoom on my camera”

    That was the best after 10 minutes?

    “I bet you can guess the NBSS by looking at it.”

    Lacings indicate… a 3, for the minutes it too to drink it?

    “NHS App sign in – check”

    Is that mandatory?

    “Or the pub playing Ed Sheeran’s “Castle in the Air“.”

    Probably mandatory given the location.

    “This is the best I could do.”

    That looks like one of those boat house thingies in northern France. Oh, wait, you mean in the background.

    “If you can’t see the pumps, ticking is dead.”

    That’s going to ‘tick’ a lot of people off. 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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