If you head west from the city of Newcastle you will stumble upon the gorgeous little town of Corbridge. This historic town was built near the roman settlement Corstopitum, a thriving supply base and community right up to the fall of Roman Britain in the early 5th century. Walking through the streets today, you can still get a feel for its historic past. Roman stones were used to build a lot of the village buildings, and the streets have remained much the same since medieval times, giving you the sense that you have gone back to a bygone era.
On my meander to this gem nestled in the Tyne Valley, the weather was particularly lovely, being one of the sunniest days we have had this year – blue sky, sunshine – perfect exploring weather!
Having parked just outside the main town, we arrived into the charming town over the medieval bridge, giving us a chance to see Corbridge show itself slowly. One by one the layers of stone built houses emerged and we were within the winding streets of the town.
Without further ado, once into the town it was straight to the Market Place for a bite to eat and drink at Cafe No 6. This lovely quaint cafe was a perfect spot for a coffee and a slice of cake. The staff were more than happy to help, providing a friendly service with a smile, which made the cakes even sweeter. Pleasant, bright and right in the Market Place, the cafe is all you could ask for of a small town cafe and is ideal for people-watching or reading a good book with a hot drink and something sweet to nibble on.
While enjoying coffees and cake, I happily watched people mulling about the Market Place, taking in the slower pace of life that Corbridge exudes as well as the sunshine. It was lovely to enjoy the peace this little town has to offer.
Fed and rested, it was off to explore the plethora of streets that branch off the main square, all lined with quaint and quirky shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee houses. Corbridge also has plenty of little boutiques for the avid shopper, making it the perfect place to visit for a day of musing, shopping and eating!It was refreshing to see a community that still could boast of having a butcher, a baker and all the traditional little shops that too many places have lost to be replaced by bigger chains.
Once we had explored the streets and backless, if was back to the Market Place to grab some lunch at Grants Bakery, an artisan bakery on the corner of the square which sells Parisian style deserts as well as traditional comfort foods with slight twists. I quickly devoured a slice of their delicious salsa quiche, followed by a slice of their frangipane cherry tart. I have a slight weakness for anything frangipane or cherry related so for me this was a perfect treat on such a beautiful day. Delicious!
Once comfortably stuffed with tasty food, I wandered over to Forum Books situated in the Market Place, a charming independent bookshop that I had resisted venturing in until the end of our trip. Stocked with all the current books you would find in any Waterstones, as well as bookish merchandise, stylish notebooks and more local literature, it was a little bookworm heaven that I could have happily stayed in for hours! (They also have a Kids shop on Watling Street that is equally as charming and well worth a visit).
After my bookish fix, we made our way back to the car park leisurely, soaking up the rest of the sun and the beautiful buildings before heading on the road again. On our way down to the car park we quickly went into Craft Works Gallery, a craft and gift shop in the old blacksmiths filled with everything sparkly, funny and creative. The building itself is worth looking at, with the old wooded roof beams and the old fireplace echoing an older time. They also have plenty of cute little trinkets and colourful paintings of local landmarks to interest the eye as well.
Although the weather obviously painted Corbridge in a rose-tinted light, I have to say I loved visiting this charming little place. It is perfect for anyone who likes a bit of history, nice food, beautiful buildings and plenty of shops to explore. I would happily go there again to soak up all the little pleasures life offers – sun, food, and time to sit back and watch life go by.