Day 1 - On a very rainy Monday morning, the Year 5 explorers set off north on an adventure in Northumberland. The marvel of Durham Cathedral impressed them in the distance as they approached; all were prepared for the Anglo Saxon encounters. Ancient stories about St Aiden, St Oswald and St Cuthbert brought the legends alive and as they sat around the great tomb itself, stories were linked to their final destination - Bamburgh. Harry, Hermoine and Ron were sought in the cloisters as the children were excited to hear that the cathedral was used for the Harry Potter films.
Excitement grew as the children approached Bamburgh and the sun began to shine. After tea, a walk stargazing on the beach concluded the day's activities and all snuggled sleepily into their beds for a good night's sleep; ready for the Sand Dune hike in the morning.
Day 2 - After a good night's sleep, everyone was ready to explore Bamburgh beach in the daylight. A quick hearty breakfast was consumed and we were ready for the day ahead - only to leave the hotel in the pouring rain! This soon stopped as quickly as it arrived as we all headed to the beach. Everyone was excited to see the beach in the daylight and compared it to the night walk the previous evening. Sea shells, seaweed and crab legs! were in abundance as the beach walk commenced. All were amused when the dolphins leapt out of the water to say hello as they swam near the water's edge.
Lunch followed by a paddle in the sea found Mr Binney confused as to how high his knees were as he led the courageous (or foolish!) children into the water. The record has officially been beaten and now stands at 14 minutes for the brave soles (including Mr Warren) who saw their toes turn blue. A hike along the sand dunes completed the day's outing as all 54 children and 7 staff explored their way along the tops of the dunes before the daring slide down the steep sand. Oxygen was needed at the top for the children who wanted a second turn.
Quiz night after tea completed the day and the children tiredly made their way to bed.
Day 3 - Half way through the week and we left the village of Bamburgh to explore Cragside. A brief stopover to see the impressive view of Hogwarts (aka Alnwick Castle) left everyone wanting their invites to the school of wizardry and magic to be in the post!
Our friendly coach driver, tour guide drove us on the winding roads towards the hills within which sits Cragside. Exploring the grounds first, Cannon found a place to relax - pretending it was summer in the deck chairs - whilst surrounded by exotic shrubbery before discovering the engineered Iron Bridge. Chatsworth meanwhile were the ones invited into the house. The drawing room with the first electric lights and home cooked scones in the Victorian kitchen, welcomed the children back in time over 150 years. Experiments with hydro-electricity entertained the children as they pumped water to make the lights shine bright. Maybe attaching the mechanisms to their phones might make them appreciate them more when they get home?
The day finished with games night and all played happily together, affirming their unbreakable bonds of Bamburgh friendship.
Day 4 - After three action-packed days, Year 5 finally made their way up to the iconic Bamburgh Castle. The children were buzzing with excitement as they approached and couldn't wait to burst through the castle doors - even the gale force winds couldn't hold them back! Once inside we listened to enthralling tales, myths and legends that have been passed down through the generations. Mrs Cliff put the tour guides to shame with her extensive knowledge - even members of the public stopped to listen to the ancient stories and legends.
It was time for the Manor Orienteering Challenge after lunch, where children had the chance to explore the incredible sights and historic landmarks of Bamburgh whilst calling in for a delicious ice cream along the way. Finally the children settled down for their evening's entertainment - the annual Manor's Got Talent - where Josie ran out to be a deserved winner against some fierce competition with her Makaton rendition of True Colours.
After a toast to celebrate the twins' birthday, children made their way up to bed - all ready to begin their journey home via Beamish.
It has been an amazing few days with countless positive comments from the public about how polite, respectful and well mannered the children have been. We are so proud of them all.