Friday, 4 November 2016

Loaves and Fishes..........November 4th (Northumberland)
Occasionally, in jesting mood, some of my walking friends call me the vicar. I put this down to my fine head of silvery hair, my aura of serenity and my ability to quote chunks of the Book of Common Prayer (original version of course Archbishop Cranmer's)). I put this down to six years in a Church of England primary School with our daily dose of Anglicanism and an extra day's holiday for Ascension Day. Playing out as the Catholics and non conformists did their sums or PE in straight lines in the playground, passing a bean bag over your head, and no special kit either.
 As usual this has nothing to do with today's walk which is another old favourite from Belford to Seahouses. It also involves a bus, so qualifies as a real gadgie walk.
A good turn out too, John x3, Harry, Dave, Ben , Brian and me. A two car job, we met at the coastal village of Seahouses, had breakfast and caught the Travelsure 418 bus at 11.26 am to Belford. Check the bus is running first, the timetable changes with the seasons.
The walk is covered by OS Explorer 340, Holy Island and Bamburgh but the path is so well marked with "St. Oswald's Way or Northumberland Coastal Path" signs and finger posts it is possible to walk it without a map.
We got off the bus at the golf course, crossed the road and started down the footpath between the greens and the driving range. It follows a small stream.
                                                                 Golf club house, Belford
                                          Footpath between course and range
                                       Follow the signs, there are plenty.

After crossing a few fields the footpath comes to the A1, main road from London to Edinburgh and needing to be duelled. A busy road, crossed with care. Directly opposite the footpath continues along side Coastal Grains, a collection of very large grain silos and some very small rat traps.
Grain silos. Not many realise Northumberland is an agricultural area.
Beyond the silos we came to the main East Coast railway line. Next to the small stile is a phone and walkers are asked to ring the signalman who will give permission to cross. Once over the lines walkers are asked to ring back and say "mission accomplished" A sensible procedure, there are several tracks and Richard Branson's trains come at high speed.
We also crossed the overgrown single track that leads to the closed quarry at Easington and then followed the footpath across fields and up the only small hill of the day until we reached a minor road.
Turning right we walked down the road and up to the Outchester Ducket

                   There is no evidence that this was built as a windmill. It supposedly was a dove cot and the lower floors were used for storage. Dave thinks it is a folly. What is certain is that it is n ow a holiday cottage with a view.
We followed the road down to Spindlestone Mill, now a block of luxury apartments.
 It was a sunny day, not a cloud was in the sky. Spindlestone Mill
Turning left (the marker is difficult to spot) we continued on the road for a short distance before turning right and following the footpath through the woods in Spindlestone Heughs. The footpath passes close to a lime kiln.

                  and a row of bee hives.
The footpath goes through a caravan site and emerges on a road. We turned left then right and crossed fields to yet another road. Turn left and after a few hundred yards the footpath enters and crosses Bamburgh Golf course. The course looks out over the wide Budle Bay which, as the tide was out, is a stretch of golden sand. Across the bay is a naturist beach apparently, bit cold today I would have thought, but sunny. And in the distance is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne where St. Cuthbert lived in the monastery.
Looking out across Budle Bay. I took this photograph from inside a WW2 concrete gun emplacement.
Just beyond the gun emplacement we came across a picnic spot, two benches looking out across the bay. An ideal Herbie Spot. Quite a feast today: ginger biscuits from Ben, Scones from Mrs A., flapjacks from the and healthy bars, ginger cremes and more flapjacks. Who needs a sandwich? Well we walk it all off.
Lunch over we staggered along the footpath past the light at Blackrocks point and then down on to the beach, but not for long. Back on the footpath we crossed the cricket ground beneath the walls of Bamburgh Castle, walked along the road for a while before spotting the sign post on the right that leads to Seahouses.
                        Blackrock point light
                          Bamburgh Castle, once the capital of Northumbria. Now a film star
               From the cricket field
The footpath doesn't go to close to Greenhill but it does cross many fields, some showing signs of next years crop, along several farms roads until finally it arrives at Seahouses. Turn right on the road, past the small industrial estate and turn left down the old railway to the car park.
Changed we went to the Olde Ship inn which had eight beers on hand pumps, among them Bombardier, Ruddles County, Theakstons, Speckled Hen and Lindisfarne. No wonder this pub is always busy and it was only 4pm.
                                      Ye olde pub, the Olde Ship. Great choices

 Fishing boats in the harbour at Seahouses. A small holiday town it has several fish and chip restaurants.
The jolly jock had promised a fine but chilly day. He was spot on. A lovely walk through fields, woods and seashore. A little too much road walking but at least they are quiet.

                                                                                     steps                       miles
NAK                                                                          23363                         9.58
Dave's 3D                                                                  22246                         10.45
  ""      USB                                                               21767                         10.64
  "" NAK                                                                   21574                          10.55
etrex                                                                                                               10.7
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                                           10.5
iPhone                                                                       24436                          10.7

Contains OS data, copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2016