Distance: 11 miles (approx)
Time Taken: 7 hours
Another day for firsts today:
My first coastal walk
My first linear walk
My first walk with Mick
and....it was the 1st July!
What an exciting year this is proving to be :-)
Another early start today - setting off from home at about 7.30am. First stop was the local petrol station to fill up the fuel tank. Well, that was the idea but, once the dial read £30.00 and the flow of petrol still hadn't cut out, I decided that was enough. If the price of petrol doesn't stop going up soon, I'll be doomed to walking the streets of the local housing estate until I save up enough pennies to be able to drive anywhere! :-(
Well, enough of my moans and on with the journey.
Headed up the A1 with the weather looking very promising for the day ahead. Received a text from Mick on the way, confirming that the weather was looking OK further up north too but warning me to bring a raincoat. He obviously hadn't heard that I used to be a girl guide and always go prepared! :-)
Enjoyed the drive, although I must admit I was sorely tempted to turn off at the A697 junction and head for a quick reunion with the Cheviots - my stomping ground in 2009 and 2010 - just to make sure they were still there lol :-) However, I resisted the temptation and reminded myself that 2011 was my year for new adventures and explorations and with thoughts of the 'firsts' I was going to accomplish today foremost in my mind, I reined myself in and concentrated on finding the correct junction to join the road to Boulmer. This task was quite a simple one and I arrived at the car park at about 8.45am, coincidentally, at the same time as Mick. Now, how was that for timing :-)
We introduced ourselves as we transferred my gear to the boot of Mick's car and then followed the Coastal Route road further north to find Beadnell. Again, it didn't prove difficult to find and, once parked, we got 'geared up' and headed for the beach at about 9.30am with the weather set fair, sunny and warm.
It is at this point that I should warn you that I seem to have had a 'bad camera day' and that most of the photos I am about to post do not do justice to the wonderful weather we had! :-(
However, I will post them anyway as they do at least remind me of the day and the fact that I've had about an hours worth of giggling at them when I think of the bright, sunny conditions they were taken in!
Anyway, back to the beach at Beadnell - remember, you have been warned!
I did warn you lol :-)
Luckily, the tide was out, so I didn't have to test the waterproofness of my boots!
Looking back to Beadnell as we ascended from the beach
and again but a bit brighter this time :-)
We could now see Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance....
....and were heading towards Low Newton.
where we decided to stop for light refreshments.
Continuing on our way, we followed the Coastal Path to our lunch spot passing an interesting rock formation on our way.
Having 'navigated' our route through the crowds, we arrived at our lunch spot in good time and I managed to take some 'ahem'... wonderfully artistic and atmospheric shots of Dunstanburgh Castle...
...and a view or two of the coastline from the northern side of the castle.
Lunch break over, we continued past the Castle and headed south towards Craster taking a few more photos as we left.
On reaching Craster, we battled our way through the crowds and managed to find a seat in the beer garden of the local hostelry. We enjoyed a refreshing drink here looking back towards the Castle.
Back on the move again, we continued along the coastal path (hoping to leave the 'motorway traffic' [aka crowds] behind us).
At this point, we climbed up to a wonderful viewpoint...
...for a short break, before continuing on our way.
My excellent guide for the day [aka Mick], decided that we should introduce a little bit of culture to the day's itinerary and explained that soon, we would take a little detour from the coastal path to take a look at something of historical interest. Well this spurred me on and sparked my curiosity and we made good headway towards the Howick part of the coastline.
It was at this point that we followed a path up to the right of the coastal path to lead us towards the cultural point of the day. Now having an expert guide is all well and good but, when that guide has a very poor pupil [aka me], you can only expect that all is not going to go quite according to plan. In my defence, I can only say that I must have been so in awe at the sight of the said 'cultural item' - a mud hut painstakingly constructed by a group of students - that I totally forgot to get the camera out and record the moment for future reference! Oh no, the failed pupil will have to do a resit now!! :-) Mind you, having seen the quality of my photos today - I'm sure I they wouldn't have done the structure the justice it deserved lol ;-)
OK so, moving on, we departed the 'cultural site' and continued on our way, rejoining the coastal path and heading out on the final leg of our walk and, this time, I did remember that I had a camera with me - or was I prompted by my expert guide?....hmm, that's a distinct possibility :-) Anyway, a few photos of the 'constructed' birds.
And, all too soon it seemed, we arrived at our destination...
....and collected my car.
An interesting drive ensued for me as, I had forgotten that I would be wearing my walking boots when I returned to my car and, my training shoes were now safely ensconced in Mick's car in Beadnell. Have you ever tried driving in walking boots? I don't recommend it - I couldn't feel the pedals at all and I'm sure Mick was wishing he'd called a taxi!! Luckily, I'm an expert driver though [not] and we made it back to Mick's car at Beadnell, safe and sound. :-)
In conclusion, I had a glorious day out and thoroughly enjoyed my first coastal walk and my first linear walk and the company was first class - thanks for a brilliant day Mick :-) Sorry I didn't quite make the grade as your star pupil! I promise I'll try harder next time - and I sincerely hope there is a next time. Hope you've enjoyed the report and my wonderful photos - haha :-) Hopefully, we'll recover from the sunburn soon!
In true 'expert guide' style, Mick has saved the day (or the report! lol) and has provided the photo I missed.
Are you ready for this?.......
Now, hopefully, you can fully appreciate how I was so impressed that I forgot to capture the moment! :-) However, from the following selection you will see that the Mud Hut was well worth a visit on a previous occasion - Mick's occasion, not mine I should add!
And you can read all about it too!
And you could even get inside!
Thanks again Mick - you're a hero - the report is now complete! :-)