Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Keilder Water Northumberland

We were all up early, its amazing how quickly you realise how noisy living in a city, albeit the very outskirts, is when you spend a night in the middle of a national park. I kept waking up to just listen to the silence and the occasional owl. Keilder Water is the largest man made lake in the UK and it really is massive! Dotted around the lake are various sculptures of all different designs by lots of different artists. The first one we had a chance to experience was the Minotaur Maze by Keilder Castle, its by artists Nick Coombe and Shona Kitchen.

The children thought it was brilliant and ran round for a good ten minutes finding ways in and out of the maze which is made up from lots of rocks in mesh metal squares-real life Minecrafting! The centre of the maze is made up from green, glass looking rocks.

Then it was time to start the walk we had planned a 9 mile round walk, I'd love to say the kids were excited by this but it'd be a lie. They really enjoy being outdoors but I think the miles factor distracts them from the enjoyment. Never the mind...

Keilder Viaduct, a bridge that was built using mathematical design because of the angle of the track and the flow of the river. When the valley was flooded to create the dam the bridge was saved thankfully.

The view of the lake on our first part of the walk, the weather has been so lovely.

In the shade though we did spot some huge sheets of ice, the children couldn't resist throwing in some stones to see if they could crack the ice.

Successful ice cracking experiment!

Enjoying the view:

Look at all the frog spawn we found:

The lake was so still it looked just like a mirror, Cordelia took this photo-she has developed a desire for photography

The second sculpture we arrived at was Silvas Capitalis by Simparch. I'd seen this on the leaflet back at the cabin and was dying to see it in person. It was really big with stairs inside so you could climb up to the top and stick your head out of the eyes!

The children had a lot of fun playing in here pretending to be eyeballs, brains, tears etc...I thought we'd never get them back down!

Back to our walk and Cordelia spotted a brown tail moth caterpillar, we didn't touch it as I am pretty sure they advise not to but she took a photo:

Finally we reached our destination after 4 1/2 miles of walking-Janus Chairs by Ryder Architecture. A perfect stop for lunch and quite possibly the nicest place I have ever stopped for a cup of tea (out of a flask anyway!). The sunshine was glorious and none of us moved for a good twenty minutes, except when we realised Hubby had left our sandwiches in the fridge back at the cabin!!! Thankfully we had lots of other snack foods to keep our tummies from grumbling. It was such a wonderful place for a picnic and you can move each chair around individually-they are epic chairs.

Ruben even made a slide down on his-he and Bailey got the biggest chair

A stunning setting for the chairs

I'd like to say the 4 and a half miles back were just as much fun but we were all a little bit worn out, too much winter eating and not enough exercise! I love that feeling of being totally exhausted from a good walk though and the children can't have been that tired as they had another go in the maze on the way back to the car!