A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lucy decided to set up a Knitter's Brunch on a Sunday; just an informal opportunity to meet up with some other knitters, have some nice food, and then a quick pop over to a local yarn shop. Sounded great - only it was taking place on the other side of the country.
I wasn't the only one lamenting the distance. No problem. Lucy knew of a hostel nearby with beds that only cost £25 a night and she could pick us up at the train station. Would we like to make a weekend of it and spend an evening in our jammies knitting? Oh, yes, we would!
And so on Saturday, I was up early and on a train bound for Morpeth in Northumberland while Kelly was heading in the same direction from Birmingham, Deb from Bolton and Sarah from near Leeds. Lucy picked us all up at the station and we first headed for a legendary secondhand bookstore in nearby Alnwick. Barter Books is housed in an old railway station and was the place where the Keep Calm and Carry On poster first got its second wave of popularity. It is a delightful treasure trove of a place to explore.
I found a lovely volume of short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell. I love the title - it just seemed to set the tone for the whole weekend.
Then it was off to our accommodation. I was expecting a bare bones hostel but couldn't have been more delighted to find our digs were previously a quilting shop.
How beautiful is this self-catering kitchen? On the other side were comfy couches and a log burning fire. Bliss.
And it was only five minutes from the beach! This is Druridge Bay which was definitely worth getting up early for. I caught the most beautiful sunrise on Sunday morning.
Later on we went back for a short walk. The beach stretches for miles and is relatively deserted, Just sand, sky and water.
Following the tide line, I was mesmerized by all the gorgeous colours of the pebbles and sea glass that washes up.
I saw colour palettes for future knitting projects everywhere.
I could have stayed on that beach all morning, but brunch was calling. Lucy drove us to the village of Felton where we met up with other local knitters at the Running Fox Bakery.
If you want to sit outside, they will even provide hot water bottles for you.
Brunch was delicious - I had organic sausages from the local butcher on French Toast.
It was a wonderful weekend mini-break with lots of knitting time on the train too. Northumberland is definitely an area of the country that I'd like to return to. I didn't even have time to explore a castle! Thanks so much Lucy for making this weekend a reality. And do keep an eye out on her website - she has plans afoot to offer budget knitting retreats using the same venue that we stayed in.