New New Year’s Eve

For the last 15 years we have met up with friends for New Year’s Eve. Usually a lovely meal, plenty of nice wine, maybe a game or two then off to bed shortly after watching the fireworks on the telly.

This year things were different. Divorces and new partners meant our usual pals weren’t available to join us so we had to entertain ourselves. Various options were considered but in the end we decided to ‘go somewhere’ and sleep in the van. But where?

We thought about Allendale, watching the Health and Safety nightmare Tar Bar’ls. But we’d done that before and couldn’t easily think of somewhere to park for the night without causing problems.

The plan was to go to Simonside; arriving in time to walk up to the top for midnight, then sleep in the van and go for a walk next day. The timing was perfect as we crested the summit at 11.55pm, into the teeth of a gale. I thought we might see some fireworks but I wasn’t prepared for the panoramic display of flashes and explosions as people all over Northumberland celebrated the start of 2015. Fantastic.


After a remarkably comfortable night in the van we had another windswept stroll round the tops then a rather lovely lunch in Tomlinson’s Cafe in Rothbury. Highly recommended.



Happy New Year!


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