In mid-July, 43 members of Merseyside’s Maghull and Lydiate U3A experienced a five-day holiday to Newcastle and Northumberland, arranged by the group’s Short Breaks Organiser, Marj Atlay.
Marj worked with Alex Jacobs of Newcastle-based operator, Northern Secrets, to tailor-make the itinerary and, as a Blue Badge guide, he spent four days with the group as their tour guide. Marj comments, “Alex was extremely co-operative and comprehensive throughout the whole tour.”
On the first day, Alex joined the party at the iconic Angel of the North in Gateshead. Together, they continued to Newcastle for a coach tour of the city and to reach their base, the Ramanda Encore in Gateshead Quay.
The group ventured further afield over the next few days, taking in some of Northumberland’s historic properties such as English Heritage’s Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, and the National Trust’s Cragside, as well as the county’s stunning landscapes.
Marj says, “We travelled through the tranquil Northumberland National Park, which was a pleasure as the scenery was so beautiful, and had an unforgettable boat ride exploring the Farne Islands, where we spotted lots of birds and seals.”
Of the whole trip, Marj concludes, “A thoroughly good time was had by all. I would definitely book with Northern Secrets again.”