Saturday, 13 May 2017

Kippers, Castles and Kilns (Northumberland)  May 12th
 Five gadgies on an old favourite walk from Craster on the Northumberland coast to Seahouses some 10 miles north. Harry, Ben, Brian, Dave and I, squeezed into one car and driving up the A1 to Alnwick before turning east and finding the village whose name means"the camp where the crows live".
There is a large car park as you drive into the village, by the information centre, and at a mere £2 a day it is almost a Yorkshire car park. From the car park we walked to the Shorline Café for tea/coffee/bacon. A friendly little restaurant with seats outside for fine days but  today was coolish and overcast, as promised by the local TV station weather girl so we old gadgies sat inside.
Brian is considering starting a bacon butty blog but in case he doesn't here is a photo of today's fine example.
                                                   The Shoreline Café, Craster
                            The bacon sandwich
                                 Quality contents
                            And the car park in the old quarry
You can follow this walk without a map, keeping the sea on your right, but should you wish to follow the trail on paper it is covered by
OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble and OS Explorer 340 Holy Island and Bamburgh.
Breakfast over we started the walk, passing the village pub The Jolly Fisherman, famous for its crab sandwiches, and the kipper smoking establishment, Craster being famous for its smoked herring.

                     When my girls were small we sang We're having kippers for Tea to the tune of "Save all your kisses for me" although we never did have them.
Beyond the smoke house we passed the small harbour, the tide was out and it was very quiet.

                           harbour, boats and lobster pots.
The walk goes in front of the row of houses in the picture above and through a gate into fields next to the sea. From here the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle are plainly visible.

The ruined gatehouse at Dunstanburgh. Built in the 14th century by the House of Lancaster, the people who produced John of Gaunt.    
The Lilburne Tower on the west side of the castle, high above the footpath.
And beyond the castle is the now famous anticline;
The now famous anticline.

Taking care to avoid flying golf balls  we walked along the dunes before taking the path down to the beach on the curving and sandy Embleton Bay, just another of Northumberland's seaside gems.

Just before Low Newton by the Sea we headed for the Newton Pond Nature reserve and called a Herbie Spot in the relatively comfortable bird hide. Sharing Cadbury Caramel Cake, Czech chocolate, ginger biscuits by Ben and lemon cake from Mrs A, we watched the birds on the pond; swans, cormorant, herons, grey lag geese, a reed bunting and a variety of ducks.
                      The common cormorant......................
Lunch and ornithology over we continued heading north. Low Newton by the Sea has a square of cottages and a pub with a micro brewery. It has a reputation for good food and is often featured in newspaper articles about the fifty best pubs to eat in in Britain. Deservedly too.
           The Ship Hotel, Low Newton by the Sea.
A few yards up the road from the square a signpost on the right directs walkers back to the Northumberland Coastal Path. We walked across several fields by the sea before reaching Beadnell Bay. Usually we walk the beach but on this occasion stuck to the sand dunes until we came to the wonderfully named Long Nanny, crossed the footbridge and walked down to the sandy shore to get a good look at the Tern Colony on the south side of the stream. The colony is roped off and watched over by volunteers although it is difficult to keep the night time foxes out. There are two types of tern nesting there, Little and Arctic, and they are noisy.
Approaching Beadnell we cut through the car park instead of heading for the small harbour and its magnificent Limekiln.
             Limekilns at Beadnell, now used as storage by the local fishermen, there not being the demand for lime as a fertiliser.
Once out of the village, most of the houses seem to be holiday lets, we stayed on the sand dunes to Seahouses. Once across the stream as we approached the small resort and fish and chip capital of Northumberland, we took the footpath across the golf course, again carefully avoiding flying golf balls. We reached the harbour and headed for refreshment in the Olde Ship, a popular pub offering 10 different hand pulled beers, including Farne Island, Black Sheep and Directors.
                                  Seahouses harbour. Sail around the Farnes from here, see the birds and seals.
                           The quiet little back room in the Olde Ship. The bar was packed
Another good gadgy walk along the coast. From Seahouses we caught a bus back to Craster, making this a true gadgy walk as we saw herons and used bus passes.

                                                                       steps      miles
NAK                                                              29696        11.24
Dave's 3D                                                     23907         10.52
  "" USB                                                       23509          11.13
""    NAK                                                     23304          11.03
IPhone                                                          24801          11.2
OUTDOOR GPS                                                             10.4
Brian ran out of battery.
Contains OS data Copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2017