A UK Break

Greystoke Cottage

Sometimes spontaneous breaks in the UK are the best!  On this trip I headed north to the small village of Greystoke to stay in the grounds of a castle, saw some cycling in Durham and carried out family tree research in the mining village of Shildon.  Here is what happened!

Road Trip

Me and mum set off on our road trip on bank holiday Sunday.  The drive was only a couple of hours before we arrived at the village of Greystoke.  This was a proper English village.  It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, the village was surrounded by lots of fields!

British Summertime

Blue Sky and Green Fields!

Fields of Greystoke

The prefect view

Greystoke Castle

Our family were staying in a fabulous cottage in the grounds of Greystoke Castle.  We drove through the castle entrance and turned to our base for the next few nights.  The cottage itself was very old English.  It had plenty of character and lots of antiques that belonged to the family who own both the castle and the cottage.

Greystoke Cottage

Greystoke Cottage

Greystoke Cottage

An idyllic setting

After lots of catching up we headed to a traditional British pub.  There were only 2 in the area! As it was Sunday we had a proper Sunday dinner which was lovely.  We then went back to the cottage and sat around the log fire.  Even though it was summer it was still chilly!

The next morning our family had some friends visiting and we all went on a walk up to the castle gates.  It was very impressive!

Greystoke Castle

The castle!

Greystoke Castle

Greystoke Castle

Greystoke Castle

No entry past the gate!

We then walked through the village and went for a snack at Greystoke Cyclists cafe.  This was a lovely little cafe which is cyclist friendly.  As the sun was shining we were able to sit outside in the garden.

Greystoke Village Sign

Red squirrels were all over!

Greystoke Cycle Cafe

A great cycle stop off!

Another family member arrived and we all back to the pub for dinner.  It was nice to spend time with everyone.

The City of Durham

The next day after a relaxing start we drove to Durham.  I have never been here before.  My first visit really impressed me.  We walked up to the Cathedral and had a good look around before stopping for cake.  Durham has lots of cobbled streets and reminded me of York.  I would love to go back again.

Durham City Centre

A knight in shining armour?!

Durham City Centre

Durham City Centre

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

durham castle

The gates to Durham Castle

Durham Cathedral Door Knocker

Durham Cathedral Door Knocker

Durham Cathedral Miners Memorial

Durham Cathedral Miners Memorial

Originally me and mum were going to head back but we decided to stay an extra night in the Radisson hotel.  We found out there was the Durham Tour Series bike race happening that night too.  We walked to watch it and shared our pictures on Pennine Cycles blog.

Durham Tour Series

Allez, Allez!

Once the race was over we headed back to the Radission for dinner with the family.  The food was delicious.  After a glass of wine in the bar we headed to bed.

Relaxing at the Durham Raddison

Chillin’ at the Radisson!

Family Tree Time

The next morning we had breakfast in the hotel before heading on to do some family tree exploration!  For the last few years I have been researching my family history and my mums side of the family are all from County Durham.

We stopped in Shildon, the village where my nana and all her brothers and sisters were born.  It was raining but that didn’t stop us from looking around.  Our first stop was the church to see if we could find the grave of my great-grandfather.  After a good look in the graveyard we couldn’t find it, many of the stones had already been removed.  Thankfully the vicar let us in the church and we had a look around.  We couldn’t find any records in the church so I will have to another visit back to Durham where the records are kept!

Shildon Sign

Welcome to Shildon

On the Main Street we found the house where my great-grandmother lived in 1901.  After that it was time for a pit stop and a warm drink.  We then went and found the house where my nana was born in 1911.  It is funny to think of her and her family all living there.

Shildon House

1901 Family House!

Shildon House

1911 Family House!

We then said our goodbyes and headed home as the rest of the family went back to Greystoke.  We had a great few days catching up, exploring the English sites and tracing our ancestors steps!



  • Oooh, looks like you had a lovely weekend away. I love discovering different parts of the UK, but yet to visit Durham. Will have to put it on my to-do lis!

    • caroline

      Reply Reply July 2, 2014

      Yes do, it was beautiful! 🙂

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