A life less complicated

Having reached a crossroads in my life I am choosing to step off the treadmill that is my busy life and take time out to travel.  On October 5th 2017 I set off with my Springer Poppy in our motorhome (subsequently swapped for a caravan) ‘freedombird’ initially to explore the remote beauty of the UK coastline and then – well let’s see……

We are compiling a beach guide on our way round: Freedombird UK Beach Guide

To catch up with our earlier adventures in:

  1. Cornwall from 5th October 17 to 11th February 18 –   Freedombird in Cornwall
  2. Devon from 11th February to 19th March 18 – Freedombird in North Devon
  3. Somerset from 19th March – 29th April 18 – Freedombird in Somerset
  4. South Wales from 29th April – 14th August 18 – Freedombird in South Wales
  5. West and North Wales from 14th August – 21st October 18 –

 

Workington and Harrington – two for the price of one…..

Another grey and mizzog day again today. Today we are bound for Workington, not your typical seaside town, or in anyway pretty but as it sits on the coast we need to check out the beaches. Firstly we drove to Derwent Howe and took a walk along the stony beach, heading south from there.

This was completely deserted, though quite a few dog walkers were out on The Howe (the grassy cliffs above us) so we ambled along the beach for a while.

To the north of the town, the other side of the port, a further stretch of stony beach meanders off past the wind farm towards Maryport.

We returned to the car and popped a couple of miles south to Harrington a small coastal village, similar to many others we have seen that are drab pebbledash terraces aplenty, with not a whitewashed cottage (fisherman’s or otherwise) to be seen! The southernmost beach offered a glimmer of hope in a rather large patch of sand.

The northern shore was mostly pebbles and weed strewn rocks, but empty so we took a walk along to see what was around the corner.

In the distance we could see Moss Bay leading back to the southern beach of Workington.

So some rather grey beaches to match the day but a good walk nonetheless.

Two thoughts of the day:

Even though these beaches aren’t what you would call naturally beautiful, there is still beauty in the colours, contours and textures don’t you think?

The traffic in Workington was pretty hideous – shan’t be adding it to my ‘must come back’ list!

Flimby to Maryport in some fine mizzle…..

Wet overnight and the wet mizzle stayed with us all day. We ventured out anyway and parked up just north of Flimby and headed straight down to the beach. To the south of us the stony beach (with course sand exposed at low tide) is backed by the railway line as far as Workington and all looks rather bleak, especially on such a grey and miserable day as today.

To the north, the stony beach is backed by open land (sort of not very sandy dunes), until the harbour wall with one of Maryport’s two lighthouses, perched at the end.

The Harbour Wall opens out to a series of dry docks, with some clear attempts at regeneration.

On a nicer day, I’m sure it would be very pleasant wandering around the dry docks, but there was no sign of any activity today and it all just looked rather grim and grey! With the single exception of the second Lighthouse, looking more like a giant street lamp!

A couple of attempts to bring cheer in the way of sculpture, the Aluana Auro, depicting the history of the town but to be honest really didn’t do anything for me..

And ‘A Fishy Tale’, which at least was crafted locally, albeit in my humble opinion not located in the best position to maximise impact!

We continued on and enjoyed a runaround (Poppydog!) and play on the beach to the North of the town which had much more sand as well as big slabs of exposed sandstone and stony patches.

Still further north, this beach leads into Allonby Bay, where we visited yesterday.

A damp but pleasant 5 mile circular walk as we ventured back across the Common to the car.

Two thoughts of the day:

Would I feel differently about Maryport if the sun was shining?

Actually where is the sunshine?

Allonby Bay all to ourselves…

The wind appears to have moved on for the time being leaving us with a grey day, a bit damp at times but not enough to put us off. Today we headed off for Allonby Bay, 5.5 miles of mostly sandy beach with big scars of stones in places.

The coastal road runs behind the beach with little parking spaces intermittently along the way. We parked up at the southern end (Crosscanonby) and wandered along towards Allonby. As the beach was deserted we happily meandered our way along with the aid of a couple of tennis balls and thrower.

At Allonby, a small village with a couple of cafes and beach shops, the beach just kept on going into the distance but we slowly made our way back to the car.

Two thoughts of the day:

Bearing in mind how busy The Lakes get, I wander how busy these fabulous long beaches ever get?

One of us is wiped!

Our first glimpse of Scotland from Bowness-on- Solway….

Dare or need I say it? Another wet and wild night with a couple of light showers during the day and some sunshine. Today for reasons I can’t explain we decided to head to our northernmost beach in England or should I say northwestern most Bowness-on-Solway.

On the way there the Sat Nav took us the scenic route across a fair chunk of the North West Lakes and though very pretty, took us forever! Needless to say I ignored the Sat Nav for the most part in the way back! We parked up just outside the small village and walked along the coastal road for a couple of miles, mainly looking for direct access to the beach rather than over rather wet looking marshland, to no avail. This is mostly RSPB marshland (where Poppydog is usually not too welcome!) with warnings of sinking sand and fast incoming tides, so we just enjoyed the views across to Scotland instead.

Now Bowness-on-Solway is also the starting point of Hadrian’s Wall, a fairly well kept secret in the village itself as it took me two walk throughs with several false starts, including a sign for Wallsend B&B and this rather vague sign, to find it! This sign actually says ‘Hadrian’s Wall Path to finish at The Banks 130yds’! Self explanatory – not!

We did however persevere and sure enough down a little alley – the official end of the Wall!

Spectacular views across the Firth of Solway to Scotland – ah and access to the sands!

There are no actual remains of the wall at this end (some of it was used to build the parish church) but the start of a grassy path which covers the 73 miles to Wallsend on the Northeast Coast. We shall endeavour to find the wall later in our travels.

Two thoughts of the day:

Isn’t it funny how some times you happen upon things that you didn’t know existed and other times you struggle to find what you are looking for!

Scotland looked very vibrant across the water – I am looking forward to discovering if it is indeed!

An afternoon walking to Drigg Point….

Another wet and wild night – are we done yet? It carried on raining until lunchtime and then appeared to dry up for a bit so we popped down to Drigg to make the most of it.

The wind was pretty fierce again but this time blowing in from the sea rather than down the beach and unsurprisingly not another soul in sight. Today we walked south with the Drigg Dune Nature Reserve to our leftist a couple of miles to Drigg Point. This is the dune spur that lies in front of Ravenglass, separating it from the sea.

With the tide quite low, there is just miles of sand, the wind just taking your breath away if you stop to look out to sea for too long and fabulous patterns created by the wind and tide, stretching as far as the eye can see.

It really was most exhilarating and a bit of a bonus as the forecast had been for wind and rain all day – ‘living the dream’ indeed takes on many guises.

Two thoughts of the day:

Rain in the morning is really quite irritating as you pop in and out to walk the dog, shower, fetch water etc – whereas when you are out walking you get wet, get home, get dry!

I think there is quite a fabulous sunset going on out there judging by the colours of the sky, but I don’t feel inclined to leave my warm little nest to head down to the seafront to find out!