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George Stephenson's Birthplace (Wylam, Northumberland)

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Address: Wylam / Northumberland / NE41 8BP

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      11.07.2012 00:13
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      George Stephenson's birthplace

      George Stephensons birthplace A couple of Sundays ago and armed with my National Trust card we decided to visit this attraction, as we wanted some fresh air and it was too wet to go too far. LOCATION... George Stephenson's birthplace is situated 8 miles West of Newcastle in Wylam. It is accessible by bus car and bicycle, and although there are no designated National Trust car park areas, there are plenty of places to park close by. Once the car was parked then we had a half mile walk along what proved to be a very muddy walkway which was one the track along which the coal was transported. Wellingtons and waterproofs are recommended unless its sunny and dry! THE ATTRACTION... The birthplace of George Stephenson is a rather charming white washed cottage set amongst fields and with a small front and back garden. It overlooks the River Tyne and looks very romantic and idyllic. A sign on the door told us to go the the tea rooms at the back of the cottage which are open until 4pm. As well as the tea rooms there is a lovely little garden with tables and chairs so if the weathers nice it wold be good to sit outside. Inside the cottage we were immediately inside a very small room with a recessed double bed, table and chairs, large fire and that's about it. Contrary to my initial thought that George Stephenson's family lived in the cottage, actually all seven of them lived ate and slept in this one small room. The costumed guide told the story of how challenging life was for mining families, in 1781, the year of George's birth, and with amusing anecdotes and plentiful knowledge, gave us the story of his life. She was very good at making it interesting for all seven of the visitors, and included Little Miss in the talk. Un like some guided tours, this was one place where people felt they could ask questions and we did learn a lot about a man born only 5 miles from where we live. Inside the room was the chair on which George Stephenson used to sit and whilst it was too delicate to sit on, we could take photos of this and the rest of the room as long as the flash was disabled. OPENING TIMES... The cottage is open Thursday to Sunday 11am until 5pm. It's worth checking the National Trust website for more detailed information on opening hours. PRICES... We got in free as we are National Trust members but it's not expensive, costing £1.80 for adults and 90p for children. OTHER INFORMATION... Also on site are: * Children's trails * Special events including Geordie food days * Café serving drinks and light snacks * Toilets * Free guided tour * Braille guide available VERDICT... We had a thoroughly enjoyable and very interesting afternoon at this attraction. The walk to the cottage is not too long and being next to the river is very pretty and rural. The talk was informative and amusing for all of us, and was just long enough to keep us interested. Not somewhere you would visit for the day but had it been less wet we would have enjoyed walking further along the river. Thanks for reading Daniela xx

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