A walk from Horden to Crimdon….

Another fairly sunny day for us and maybe if not exactly warmer, a little less cold! Continuing our journey northwards we found parking just above Horden Beach.

Sadly Horden Beach is still suffering the consequences of being used to dump waste from Horden Colliery, though there is quite definitely a paler sandier strip of sand above the mid tide, backed by a mix of shingle and coarse sand. As the tide is coming in we decided to continue our walk along the coastal path along the cliff tops. First passing the impressive Denemouth Viaduct nestling in amongst the woods.

This whole section along here is mostly reclaimed from the coal industry and to be fair still has a way to go to be classified as beautiful but under the National Trust management will surely get there! As we headed southwards, the next stretch of beach still catching the low afternoon sun is Blackhall Rock Beach…

Sandier and much cleaner, a fabulous stretch of wild beach. Finally we arrive at Crimdon Beach, the north end of North Sands, where we were yesterday.

This was a very popular beach in the 1950’s packed with day trippers from nearby coal mining villages but today just a few dog walkers out enjoying the weather.

A turning point for us, as the sun is going down and nightfall seems to arrive so quickly and in fact we only just complete this 9 mile walk in the last of the daylight.

A walk along the beaches of Hartlepool….

A cold mostly grey day and we’re off to explore the beaches of the northern side of Hartlepool. I must say that I didn’t have very high expectations based on our brief visit a couple of days ago, however…

The Headland area has a tidy village feel, with rows of painted terraces and a rather popular fish and chip shop (indeed they did smell good!). A small sheltered Harbour beach would no doubt be very popular in the warm weather. As we wandered along the promenade (the shore being rocky around the headland) we passed the Lighthouse.

And this rather quirky, much repaired wall…

It was being repaired as we walked past and being curious, I enquired about the reason for all the different materials used. The reason? Well as it is owned by the local rugby club, as and when repairs are required, an appeal is made to members for spare building materials and they use what they are given! How brilliant!

Around the Headland the rocks make way for a long sandy beach disappearing into the distance.The first section is Throston Sands with residential estates running all the way along the top, behind a promenade.

These continued into North Sands beyond, with higher cliffs and any properties being set well back.The beach from here on was pretty deserted so Poppydog enjoyed her freedom as we walked towards the long disused pier, a relic from local Steel Works, now a distant memory.

The pier is well photographed and you can see why….

The must keeps rolling in and out but we persevered for a couple of miles to reach the final section of the beach – Crimdon Park Sands (though we do come back tomorrow for a better look).

After the long trek back to the Headland we sought out the Andy Capp sculpture before making our way back to site.

Seaton Carew to North Gare….

Another chilly and breezy day, but the sun is shining so all is good. We are heading back to Seaton Carew again today, but after parking the car we head southwards away from the town. Here there is a large Nature Reserve running along the back of the beach of dunes giving way to marshland further inland. We stick with the dunes and beach, not wanting to disturb the bird life – well seagulls are fair game – right? Looking back at Seaton Carew….

The beach narrows as the low dunes take over and as there is no one about, Poppydog has a ball running along the beach and through the dunes.

At the end of the beach we clamber over the dunes and breakwater (protecting the river Tee) to reach North Gare Sands which lie on the Tee estuary.

It is not a very appealing beach, the shallows are a bit on the muddy side and the Power Station dominates so we don’t linger and return to enjoy the peace of Seaton Sands instead.

A cold but sunny walk from Seaton Carew to Hartlepool…

Well this mornings frost can be forgiven as it preceded a beautiful sunny day, a pretty harsh coastal breeze and I think the shorts might be on borrowed time but the sun overrides all. We are too far from the coast to walk but it was only a short drive to Seaton Carew. First though we went on a detour as I saw a road sign for Seal Sands, not showing on Mr OS but hey we’ll give it a whirl!

Ah after driving through several miles of pipeline attached to vast cylinders, huge concrete buildings decorated with massive concrete chimneys and all manner of electric pylon we realise that my idea of ‘sands’ is somewhat different to this sprawl of energy making stuff!! So we about turn and reroute to Seaton Carew….

A long stretch of windblown sand backed by a smallish town of seaside shops and rows of well kept terraces. By avoiding the sea front parking we parked up for free in a small recreation park just off the front and deciding to walk into the wind, set off along the long wide promenade towards Hartlepool. As we left Seaton Carew behind, the land on the opposite side to the sea looks increasingly scrubby (maybe reclaimed industrial land?). The sea is quite rough and the tide incoming so Carr House Sands in Hartlepool Bay as we are approaching Hartlepool are pretty much a hidden treasure as the waves are pounding up to the huge rock strewn breakwater.

This rather attractive sculpture ‘Waves’ made partly from sea glass collected by the people of Hartlepool sits without any grand statement part way along the shore.

Though the sun is still shining brightly the cold wind is blasting down the shore so it was a bit of a relief to reach the rather complex system of piers and enclosed harbour / marinas of Hartlepool. Mindyou thus almost completely black beach within south pier, somehow doesn’t look too inviting!

We wandered around the inner harbours and marinas and it looks as though some money and effort has been made to brighten the place up…

The Royal Navy Museum based around an inner quay looked quite pretty in the sunshine but we couldn’t get a proper look at the old ship which was a shame (ok so I could have paid to go into the museum!).

I’m afraid the rest of the town was looking a bit neglected, plenty of new retail areas but also plenty of original shops boarded up, wide areas of untamed and litter strewn scrubland – sorry Hartlepool, hopefully you will get there.

At this point we started to make our way back along the promenade, the waves by now crashing against the defensive rocks and occasionally catching us with a fine spray and some serious rain clouds lurking out at sea.

Still plenty of sand at Seaton Carew…

And these really cheer you up….

Well if we had any cobwebs today’s blustery 9 mile walk has sent them on their way!

Moving on to Stockton-on-Tees….

An absolute corker of a day, cold but sunny all day. An easy journey for us today, straight down the A19 for about 40 miles and 2 minutes off the road and we arrive! We are staying at White Water CAMC site, which is on the edge of the river Tees next to the White Water Park and were soon set up and ready to explore.

A short walk took as down across the Tees Barrage (a large complicated bridge / dam that protects the river from flooding in either direction by regulating the amount of water flowing into or from the tidal estuary) to the far riverside path. It us quite built up with mostly modern Durham University Campuses and small offices on this side (south) and a growing number of residential estates on the other side. Neither particularly attractive or interesting but pleasant enough for a walk along the wide path. We passed the Infinity Bridge (pedestrian) looking quite spectacular in the sunshine.

We crossed back over the river at the next bridge, walking back along the north side of the Tees taking a wander around the White Water Park in the last of the days sunshine.

It is quite clever and runs off the power of the river or tide – hopefully we shall get to see it in use whilst we are here.