Thursday, 10 December 2015

Здрасте  Иван,  как  дела  ?(Northumberland)

Russians are top of the readers league this week, hence the title, hope it's correct.
 The north of England has been struck by another storm this week, Desmond, and he has caused a lot of damage in Cumbria, streets flooded, houses ruined as rivers and streams burst their banks.
 Today's walk is another mid week one off for Dave and I, a walk from Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Woodhorn in Northumberland. Easy to find from base, take the A189 north (The Coast Route) until you see the brown sign on the left pointing to the park. Parking is free. Should you decide to visit the Woodhorn Mining Museum, and it is well worth a trip, the car park is £3.50 but the entrance to the museum is free.
If you want a map  OS Explorer 325, Morpeth and Blyth covers the walk.
Once booted we watched the birds on the small lake for a while; Swans, Canada Geese, Grey Lag Geese, coots, moorhens, cormorants, tufted ducks and golden eye, plus finches in the trees.
The Lake at Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Some of the locals

We set off north east and walked round the lake until we were on the south side. having talked to a bird watcher for some time we headed to the Woodhorn Museum, a mining museum and also the county archive. Ashington, nearby, once defined as the largest village in Britain,had several deep mines and the story of Northumbrian pits is well told in the museum. 

 The winding gear at Woodhorn colliery has been left as part of the museum. The exhibition hall is behind them.
We followed the road to the museum exit, turned right, crossed the A189 and walked under a railway bridge which carries coal from Blyth Harbour to Lynemouth Power Station.
Once under the bridge we followed the tarmacked footpath south of east to Newbiggin by the Sea.
Once a grain exporting port and a colliery town Newbiggin works hard to attract visitors. The bay is very sandy, the sea facing houses attractive and standing in the bay is the odd couple.
                                                     I see no ships in the offing
                                                Smaller version on the promenade
                                                         And a sandy beach too.
Newbiggin has an information centre, small museum and cafe  near the church.  Considering it is almost mid December it was very mild and we sat on a bench in the sun for a Herbie Spot. Not the best of days for treats, Dave had almond slices, I brought nothing but sandwiches and tea, made in a plastic cup using a tea bag and hot water from a flask. Not as good as proper tea but pretty good.
  St Bartholomew's church, which was locked, traditionally has its roots with the monks of Lindisfarne. Certainly it has 13th century  style and some earlier stones but much of it is 19th century restoration. It is in a prominent position overlooking the bay.
                 St. Bartholomew's Church, Newbiggin by the Sea.
Lunch over we followed a footpath on the top of the low cliffs on the south side of the church, turning to head north by the caravan site. At one point the path has been eroded and we had to climb into the caravan site, walk through it and rejoin the path. The path follows the edge of Newbiggin Golf Course to Beacon Point where it turns and heads for the power station. Near the power station fence the exit is hidden in a corner by the road.
                  Built for the now closed Alcan Aluminium Smelter the power station now supplies the                           national grid
The path goes under the railway to the main road. We turned left and followed the road for a short distance before finding the cycle/footpath that runs parallel to the road and past the disused mill at Woodhorn.

                                Woodhorn Mill. Nearby we saw a sparrowhawk
                                       Alcan Smelter.
We turned right on the old road to Woodhorn, now closed to traffic and soon we were back at the car park.
                     Probably the only eucalyptus plantaion in England!
A different sort of walk but still interesting.

The Matrix MMXV   Z
                                                                             steps                                 miles
LIDL3D                                                               19456                                9.5
NAK                                                                     24434                               10.41
Dave's LIDL3D                                                    18458                                9.32
   "            USB                                                     18297                                9.24
   "             Nak                                                      17856                               9.01
etrex                                                                                                               9.03
Contains OS Data Copyright Crown copyright and database right 2015