SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors visit the Kingdom of Northumbria

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Get your coffee senior friends we’re going to northern England this morning to the Kingdom of Northumbria. This medieval Anglian kingdom in what is now northern England and south-east Scotland,  subsequently became an earldom in a unified English kingdom. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a 64-mile (103 km) long distance path.

The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom’s territory, the Humber estuary. Northumbria during its “golden age” was the most important center of religious learning and arts in the British Isles.

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Initially the kingdom was evangelized by Irish monks from the Celtic Church, based at Iona in modern Scotland, which led to a flowering of monastic life. The land north of the Tweed was finally ceded to Scotland in 1018 as a result of the battle of Carham.

 Seniors Visit A Land Of Castles

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Apart from standard English, Northumbria has a series of closely related but distinctive dialects, descended from the early Germanic languages of the Angles, of which 80% of its vocabulary is derived, and Vikings with a few Celtic and Latin loanwords.

The Northumbria landscape is dominated by castles, rolling hills, wildlife, mansions, and of course beautiful sunsets. Alchetron notes that the area once formed part of the Roman Empire; later, as Northumberland, it witnessed much conflict between England and Scotland.

Northumberland is often called the “cradle of Christianity” in England. Bamburgh is the historic capital of Northumberland, an area abounding in history.

Seniors Enjoy Northumbria’s Traditions

northumberlandNorthumberland has traditions senior visitors will not find elsewhere in England, like the rapper sword dance, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Clog dance and the Northumbrian smallpipe, a sweet chamber instrument, quite unlike the Scottish bagpipe.

Northumberland also has its own tartan or check, sometimes referred to in Scotland as the Shepherds Tartan. Traditional Northumberland music sounds similar to Lowland Scottish music, reflecting the strong historical links between Northumbria and the Lowlands of Scotland.

Senior visitors will find the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, with over 27,000 students. Wikitravel relates that Northumbria contains one of the most picturesque and untouched stretches of coastline in the United Kingdom; with rolling hills and low mountains in the sparsely populated interior.

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Northumberland feels a world away from London and the south of England in terms of its ruggedness, sense of remoteness, its culture and its geography. It has a distinctly more Scottish feel to it than English and at its closest point is a mere one hour from the Scottish capital.

As per usual, TripAdvisor can easily overload your planned itinerary with 217 things to see and do in the area. Senior travelers, grab a map of England, find Northumbria and visit with your travel agent.   -jeb

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