Saturday, 5 May 2018

Between the sea and the land
In Northumberland there's miles of sand. (May the fourth)
Adapted without permission from A E Houseman, hope he doesn't mind.
Hit by holidays again we are reduced to four gadgie Jedi; Brian, Harry, John H. and me.
We have chosen to walk from Craster to Seahouses, another two car job or do as we did and catch a bus back, but it is not a very frequent service.
To get to Craster go north on A1, turn east beyond Alnwick and follow signs on minor roads. The maps for the walk are:
OS Explorer 332 Alnwick and Amble
OS Explorer 340  Holy Island and Bamburgh, but they are not essential, keep the sea on your right.
Craster (Means camp where the crows live is a small fishing village although in years gone by there was a thriving trade in shipping stone from the quarry which is now a car park.
                  This week's car park in Craster, on the right as you come into the village, and only £2 all day! (Almost Yorkshire)
Before setting off we had breakfast in the Shoreline Cafe, popular spot, lovely ladies serving good food.
                               Shoreline cafe, Craster.
Across the road from the cafe is a good pub too, the Jolly Fisherman, usually noted in the Times when they want to include an eating place in the north. Famous for crab apparently.
And off we went on a bright sunny morning, the sun piercing the clouds like light sabres. Down the village road towards the harbour which had a few fishing boats tied against the walls.

                    The large block on the harbour wall is the remains from the days when stone was brought from the quarry by cable to the waiting boats.
From the harbour we walked past the old cottages and through a gate into fields.The footpath takes walkers to the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, quite large, you can hardly miss it. Sheep wander the fields, oblivious to the number of people walking towards the National Trust property, obviously not considering them to be nerf herders.

                           The ruined gatehouse at Dunstanburgh and the Lilburn Tower which has nothing to do with the Levellers. The castle looks like it was hit by something more powerful than a percussive cannon, but who knows the power of the dark side.
Once past the castle, and taking care watching for flying golf balls on the adjacent course, we hit the beach and strolled across a largely deserted Embleton Bay to Low Newton by the Sea, a square of whitewashed cottages which are mostly holiday lets and a pub The Ship, which also features in the Times where to go for a secluded spot in the north. The pub is usually packed, as it was today.
                    The Ship Inn, Low Newton by the Sea.
Pausing briefly to admire the golden sands of the bay, we headed off up the road a short distance before going through a gate on the right, crossing fields on the water's edge. After a while Harry and I hit the beach again and John and Brian walked the dunes, complaining they found our lack of faith disturbing in not following them.
At one point the beach is roped off as it is a sanctuary for terns, which are just beginning to return for the summer. We talked to the group of National Trust workers who were to guard the nesting site for the next three months, camping in the dunes and visiting local hostelries.
At the site it is necessary usually to go inland and cross the delightfully named Long Nanny by the footbridge.

                                Information boards at the tern site, they arrive every season!
Back on the beach having crossed the burn Harry and I headed for Beadnell where John and Brian were already Herbieing by the massive, impressive lime kilns that overlook the harbour.

                 Slim pickings today, Czech chocolate, Snickers and I'm sorry Mrs A. but I forgot what was in the delicious savouries you sent, apart from carrot. Was it Zucchini?
It was  a late lunch as we only had a couple of miles to go to Seahouses. We considered  the beach again but but decided, as there is either do or do not there is no try to walk the footpath through the dunes. Almost in Seahouses we crossed the golf course on a well marked path which eventually overlooks the harbour and headed for the Olde Ship hotel.
       The Olde Ship Hotel, full of local characters making it a bit like Mos Eisley Cantina, and it had a fine choice of good beers, among them Directors and Ruddles County.
             Seahouses harbour. Regular trips to the Farne Islands
                                 Many of the cottages in Seahouses are holiday lets. This one fascinates me as Ginnel is a grand Yorkshire word meaning passage way, usually between rows of houses and the word is not used in the North East.
Refreshed we walked up the street and caught the 16.52 bus to Craster. Service number 418, run by Travelsure and headed for Alnwick it gave us a ride like a badly serviced Millenium Falcon

Not having Dave the matrix is limited
My NAK gave a generous  33266 steps and 13.12 miles, etrex a more realistic 11.3 miles and a walking time of 3hrs 50 minutes, talking time of 1hr 26 minutes. OUTDOOR GPS said 11.3
Good walk out for May the fourth, it went well with us.

Contains OS data. Copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2018