For over forty years Paul's parents had a caravan in the beautiful Durham Dales in the village of Stanhope. It's surrounded by stunning moorland and the village has it's own heated outdoor swimming pool. When Paul was a boy he loved crossing the stepping stones to the other side of the river Wear and playing in the nearby park. The Weardale Railway stops at Stanhope station and you can travel along a restored stretch of the line towards Wolsingham. In the other direction ,travel along the A689 to Upper Weardale and pay a visit to KIllhope Lead Mining Museum where you can learn all about the history of lead mining in Weardale.Alnmouth
From the country to the coast we go and up into Northumberland to the village of Alnmouth. With its colourful cottages and gorgeous sandy beach it stands out as one of the real gems of the Northumberland coast. In the summer it hosts its own arts festival with venues all over the village.and it's not hard to see how the magnificent scenery around you is an inspiration for many of the artists. One of the many joys of Alnmouth is although it isn't an island you feel a million miles from the rest of the world.Romaldkirk
Located in the gorgeous Teesdale countryside the village of Romaldkirk. It really does look like a picture postcard with its village green and stone cottages. There are some wonderful walks in this part of the region, especially in early summer when you can enjoy the Hay Meadow walks. And after that visit the Rose and Crown and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in the most beautiful of surroundings.Whitburn
Just north of Sunderland is the tree lined village of Whitburn. It is said that author Lewis Carroll wrote part of his famous poem Jabberwocky whilst staying in the village. Whitburn is well known for its windmill that was built in the eighteenth century and and now listed on the National Heritage list for England.Bardon Mill
We love taking the train along the gorgeous Tyne Valley. This stretch of railway is blessed with so many lovely villages to stop off at and explore. One such is Bardon MIll where its Village Store and Tea Room is a must for walkers and cyclists. This part of the North East is steeped in history and you are only a stone's throw away from Hadrian's Wall.