Cragside, Northumberland

Are you sick of airports? I am!

This time last year we packed up the car and drove north. I had been obsessed with visiting Northumberland and Scotland but couldn’t face the lack of sun and warmth. Last year I bit the bullet and went. And it was FABULOUS!!! Wet and cold but fabulous!!

Our first stop was Cragside, a faux tudor mansion built between 1869-1884. The owner was one of the greatest industrialists of his day and designed this house to be hydroelectrically powered. It was the first to have a dishwasher, vacuum cleaner and washing machine!

The interior was designed by William Morris.


William Morris founded the arts and crafts movement. In an era of industrialisation, there was a growing fear that traditional workmanship and skills would be lost. The ACM aimed to promote these artists.

I can imagine an Agatha Christie novel being set here. Or Florence Welch lounging about looking ‘Pre-Raphaelite’.

Speaking of which there was a lot of art from the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood (PRB) but sadly I didn’t photograph it.

The PRB doctrines early included studying nature attentively and sympathising with all that is direct, serious and heartfelt. To me this incorporates honesty in art, and the promoting the beauty in imperfection. But I could be wrong – so don’t quote me :).

The stained glass windows were designed by William Morris Glass. These beauties represent the seasons.


So, England isn’t exactly the med. We all know that – but when the weather is like this and you have full waterproofs – it is genuinely fantastic!! Sloshing around the house gardens was seriously invigorating and FUN!


The rain poured out of the heavens and the clouds and mist rolled in.

Cragside-Walks-MistThere are lovely, easy walks around the grounds. They take you through paths in the hillside and around the lakes and reservoirs that feed the hydro-electric system which is still in use and provide 10% of the houses electrical requirements.


Just to confuse you completely and divert from our walk – below is a photo of one of the bedrooms. The bamboo dresser really confuses me in this house – but I kind of love it in this room. It reminds me of the bamboo decor in the Brighton Pavilion.


And now, back to the imposing exterior!!


What a day!! Hang around for more of this UK holiday! Up next: Lindisfarne.



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