This is not quite a random photo of me on my travels. It was taken outside what used to be The King's Head in the beautiful market town of Barnard Castle in County Durham. My beautiful wife, Nicola, and I love to travel and we spent a few days touring through Teesdale and Tyneside. Little did we know that just a few months later this pretty Teesdale town would hit the news for all the wrong reasons.
Anyway, we were there before all that tomfoolery took off. It's got a great medieval castle which was built by the brilliantly named Bernard Balliol way back in the 12th century. Charles Dickens and his trusty illustrator Hablot Browne (another truly great name) spent a few days there in the 1830s doing research for novel number three, Nicholas Nickleby.
So that takes care of the history, the literature and the travel. What about the beer? Why not try a pint of Deliberation' (aka Barney Bitter)? A great session beer lovingly brewed at the nearby Quaker Yard.