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Expat Goes North for Castle Scouting

Britain is known for its stupendous castles, the world over. From Windsor to Warwick Castle, such fortresses are still home to modern day royals, their kinsfolks and the likes. Thankfully, however, they make certain areas available to the rest of us at different times of the year.

Reflecting back to the late 90s when I first came to live in England, I made castle hopping, including a few palaces, a pastime of sorts. Not only was it great fun but also it was a rich historical expedition, if you will.

In those days, even if we did dine at Amberley Castle in Sussex quite often, I still couldn’t help wonder what it would be like to live in a castle, at least for a day or two. Fast forward to this past weekend and Paul and I flew to Northumberland to find out just that. Planning well in advance for a festive event in 2016, we made Langley Castle our home for the weekend. Well, sort of anyhow.

It so happens that we stayed in a more modern castle view room on the grounds of Langley with a view to reconnoitre the facility for our upcoming event. Not a problem at all because many castles have become seasoned hoteliers.

Langley is one of several of Britain’s castles that has done so, and like it, many castles have rooms available within the castle and extension rooms on the grounds, too.

So off to the grounds we went, admiring two extraordinary peacocks with coats fit for a king, and three or more attractive peahens. From this vantage point, we got a pretty good impression of the castle, even dinning there and admiring its 14th century décor, but when the manager gave us a guided tour, we were more than impressed, as we viewed the well appointment rooms in the castle, including those where events are held.

Has the scouting ended? Who is to say? Also, we did check out nearby Otterburn Castle. In meantime, we made a stop at Hadrian’s Wall, where we would surely do more than stop if we do celebrate in this area. And before returning to the airport in Newcastle on Sunday, we visited Alnwick Castle and Gardens.Splendid but it does not offer boarding. In fact, it wasn’t offering anything when we were there but the tourist season kicks off soon, if it already hasn’t.

And I am jolly glad it has with this inclement weather lingering around. Castle hopping might just be the thing to do.