Let’s move to Rothbury, Northumberland: ‘It’s pretty near perfect’

Fortified farmhouses, wild countryside, model country pubs and shopkeepers who know their customers: what’s not to like? What’s going for it? Oh Cragside ! If you haven’t been, drop what you’re doing right now. Stop reading this. Put down your Shreddies. And the smartphone. To the train station with you. What a place: Cragside was built on the outskirts of remote Rothbury by William Armstrong, a Victorian multimillionaire arms manufacturer, scientist and ship-builder, using the most famous architect, Richard Norman Shaw , and the highest technology of the day. He built his own power station on site, to generate electricity for his dishwashers, washing machines, security systems and telephones – all in the 1880s! He hauled 7m trees into the gardens, dug out five artificial lakes and spread his largesse into town, which owes its restored architecture to the baron. The case against The delightfully named Coquetdale is remote and wild, with Northumbria’s forests on the doorstep, so maybe it’s not for the metropolitan. Watch out for trolls in the Simonside Hills , rumoured to attack walkers and dampen house prices. Them apart, it’s pretty near perfect. Continue reading...

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