Greystead Institute

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I’m not saying that I was hung over this morning, but I don’t think my blinding headache was wholly down to having eaten unwisely yesterday. Whatever, I’m happy to say that a very good breakfast at Flat White Cafe and a brisk walk around Durham saw off the grogginess, and by the time we made it to Bellingham I was feeling quite chirpy. And then we arrived at the Greystead Institute and a good day became even better.

This property is gorgeous – the kind of place that makes you wish you owned it. Quite newly converted and very generously equipped, it sits at the bottom of the owners’ garden, so they’re on hand if you need to ask anything that’s not covered in the extensive folder of notes, instructions and recommendations they’ve provided. They also allow visitors to use their tennis court, which to be honest isn’t something I’m likely to do, and their star-gazing platform, which I will definitely do if there are any clear nights over the coming week.

Once we’d unpacked, we drove a few miles further on to take a look at Kielder Water, which promises to provide R with some decent paths on which to walk, and me (if I’m lucky) with some wildlife.