Saturday, 31 October 2015

Beach Boys.........October 30th(Northumberland coast)
   If you read this regularly you must realise we gadgies get around.  The forecast for today is poor, good chance of showers and a strong breeze so we are having an easy walk up the coast of Northumberland, admiring the long stretches of golden sands, the background of hills and maybe the world record holding field for wheat production.  It's on the mainland,  opposite Holy Island.Wouldn't it be nice to have a sunny autumn day but we'll have fun fun fun. The plan was to start from Alnmouth and walk up the Nothumberland Coast Path/St. Oswald's Way to Seahouses, a distance of about 13 miles, but flat. (St. Oswald again, last week we were on his way near Rothbury, he certainly gets around).
 As it was raining heavily when we left home it was agreed that coffee in Alnwick would be a good idea so we headed for Barter Books. This establishment is in the old Alnwick Railway station and contains thousands of books, fiction and non fiction, CDs and DVDs.                                                                  Have a look at it on, and should you be in the Duke's town pay a visit. It is difficult to leave without buying. It also has a buffet, far better than anything British Rail ever offered so after tea or coffee we worked round the book shelves before setting off again. As time had passed we decided to cut the walk short and headed for Craster on the coast. To get there from Newcastle take the A1 north and just beyond Alnwick turn off for Denwick and follow signs until you find Craster. It has an information centre and car park (Paid) just as you enter the village.
It is possible to do this walk without a map as it follows the coast and is quite well marked, but for OS fans it is covered by two maps: 
OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble
OS Explorer 340 Holy Island and Bamburgh.
The car park is at NU256197, and here it is.
               Wet day in Craster, not many folks about. (Craster means the camp where crows live)
    As predicted by the BBC, working with the meteorological office, by noon the rain had ceased, but we donned waterproofs and set off. 
From the car park we walked down to the harbour, and headed north on the footpath to Dunstanburgh Castle.
                                    Craster Harbour, nearly empty and very muddy.
  The path to the castle crosses several fields and it is a popular walk. As it was half term there were lots of family groups plodding the muddy track to the castle and back, small children quite excited, teenagers glued to their mobile phones, texting friends about the misery of being out with parents. Nothing changes.
                                Ruined Dunstanburgh. Built by the Earl of Lancaster whose family were later made Dukes, John of Gaunt being one of them. The title passed to the sovereign so rather oddly HM Elizabeth II is also Duke of Lancaster. Lancastrians are permitted to toast the Duke rather than the queen, so they say but Lancastrians say anything.
  Beyond the castle the path crosses the golf course. You have a choice, take the footpath on the dunes or go down and walk the curve of Embleton Beach, for a change we took the dunes path to avoid scrambling over boulders and to avoid dog walkers and children toughing it out on the wet sand.
Low Newton by the Sea is a square of whitewashed fishermen's cottages and a pub which is frequently recommended by The Times when their writers venture out of the Home Counties. There are a couple of bird hides along a path behind the square. A poor day for the birders, too miserable, but we saw sanderlings and ringed plovers.
  There are some benches looking back at the bay, they made an excellent Herbie Spot. Today's fattening treats were fruit cake, ginger biscuits, almond slices and flapjacks from a small but classy cake maker in Newcastle upon Tyne. See their cakes at
The local sparrows were friendly and accepted our crumbs.

                                           Spuggies at Low Newton.

Low Newton by the Sea, photo not taken today as you can probably tell. The pub is in the right corner.
 Fed and watered we walked a short way up the road, (there is only one) and through the gate on the right to rejoin St. Oswald. We descended to the beach and walked round Beadnell Bay. At one point a stream with the delightful name of Long Nanny enters the sea. At low tide it is possible to walk across the stream but not today we walked a hundred yards or so inland and crossed the stream by means of a footbridge before returning to the beach and striding on to Beadnell, another fishing village. This bay is also a popular dog and child walking place, there were a couple of surfers out too, Surfing Girl was skillful, Surfing Boy kept falling off.

                               Long Nanny is the stream on the right, the one on the left is Brunton Burn.
Beadnell has some fine Limekilns. They were used to make fertiliser by cooking limestone with coal.
                                                 Beadnell Limekilns, wonderful stone constructions
                                             Recipe book for lime.
                     Beadnell Harbour, with dunes across the bay.
We walked through the village, many of the houses seem to be holiday lets and the season is almost over. North of the village we descended to the beach again and headed for Seahouses. Usually we cross the stream and walk over Seahouses Golf Course but today because of the high tide we headed a short distance inland and finished the walk on the road.
From the centre of the village which has several tempting fish and chip shops, we caught a bus back to Craster, changed and headed for Grey's Inn in Embleton. It was packed with families enjoying a last meal before the end of the holiday week so we headed south on the A1 and went to Wetherspoons in Morpeth for a drink, Zulu Blonde in my case, strange name but a good way to celebrate another gadgie walk God only knows why we do it.

The Matrix MMXV  WW

                                                                   steps                                  miles

All new Nakosite                                     29827                                 12.58
LIDL3D went mad
Dave's LIDL3D                                      22358                                   10.28
Dave's USB                                            22010                                   10.07
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                 10.93
Ben's bragometer                                                                                 11.0

All three maps. Contain OS data Cpoyright. Crown copyright qand Database right 2015