A lovely Autumnal walk along Coatham Sands….

A wet night and a snivelly rain accompanied us on our morning walk which was pleasant! To really seal the mornings fate, Poppydog decided that she didn’t want to get her bed damp so she would snuggle up on mine instead – how kind? Still it dried up during the morning and by midday we were on our way to Coatham our first beach south of the Tees. Parking along the front was free (from October to April – quite sensible really) and we walked along the Promenade southwards to take a sneak preview of Redcar Sands…

A lovely long stretch of sand as far as the eye can see – we will be back to take a proper look, but today we are walking northwards towards the Tyne and here again sand as far as the eye can see!

Let’s ignore the steel plant at the back if the dunes and enjoy this fabulous almost empty beach.

Poppydog as free as a bird, though quite a bit noisier…

The sun made a fleeting appearance every now and then as we made our way along the beach. Towards the far end of the beach we ventured into the low dunes searching for a footpath across to Bran Sands a beach tucked behind this one on the river. We found a little Marina and could see the rather muddy looking beach beyond but with no obvious access.

We returned through the dunes to Coatham Sands.

Walking to where the beach ended at South Gare Breakwater (protecting the river entrance) before making our way back along the beach as the sun was gradually setting, tingeing the clouds above the Windfarm with pink…

As there seems to be very little dry sand, I imagine this beach more or less disappears at high tide as with the half moon rising over the dunes we made our way back to the car.

A great dog walking beach and lovely 8 mile walk.

From Nose Point to Seaham and it’s beaches…..

A wet night and morning, but we slept in till it stopped – good plan! Don’t get too excited we were up and out by 9. Later we drove to Nose Point, looking down onto Blast Beach, where we were yesterday….

As I have already mentioned this stretch of coastline was pretty abused by the coal industry up until the early 90’s (can you believe that?) and nature is doing its damndest to recover, time will tell but even now it has a kind of rugged charm.

As we walked on down into Seaham, there is quite a bit of industry on the south side (which I guess is a good thing) and evidence of activity in the port – big piles of coal? and scrap metal? Ugly but again a good thing if it means employment.

The outskirts were pretty grim with scrubby litter strewn areas but once you got into town you could see that areas were being regenerated and in some places looking sucessfully thriving. Down by the marina, aside from this sculpture dedicated to the lifeboat crews….

There were a number of little shops and cafes and a nice atmosphere with this harbour beach a bit of a bonus…

Just beyond the harbour wall is The Slope (Featherbed Rocks) beach a small stone and shingly sand crescent shaped beach…

Around the headland (Featherbed Rocks) at the start of the Promenade was probably the nicest memorial garden I have seen….

Shortly we were looking down onto Seaham Beach a long beach with a mix of stone, sand and shingle….

We wandered along the lower promenade which judging by all the stones strewn across it is frequently battered by the waves and joined the beach a little further on, out of the reach of the incoming tide.

Too busy with Sunday afternoon walkers and sea glass hunters – from 1850 to 1921, Seaham was home to the largest bottle making plant in the UK, with all the waste glass ending up in the sea and now much sought after (pity the same can’t be said for the coal waste dumped along this coastline too!).

Poppydog and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the beach before returning the way we came. The sun coming out and just catching the waves though too low to catch the beach.

The sun also glinting off this sculpture ‘The 3 Pits’ (took a bit of figuring out but essentially the profile of the 3 pits that previously stood along this coastline).

It has a way to go but it is good to see an area coming back to life and made for a pleasant Sunday afternoon 7 mile walk.

Easington Colliery to Nose Point…

A fairly grey day and in fact as it turned out a fairly grey walk! Picking up where we left off a couple of days ago we found parking just beyond the rather depressing village of Easington Colliery. Formerly home to several Coal Pits, this stretch of the coastline is gradually being nurtured back to health and preserved as natural parkland. At this time of year everything looks a bit depressing and grey but maybe during the spring and summer with wildflowers at their best, it is a different story? It is only 30 years since these pits were closed and no more waste was being dumped on this coastline and its beaches. The first beach is Easington Beach, a mostly shingle beach, which was accessible but we didn’t venture down.

We have a few miles to cover today so we continued along the coastal path, northwards. Passing only the occasional walker sort of adds to the greyness in a way though this doesn’t really make sense as I normally enjoy the solitude of our walks! Next through the arches of Beacon Point Viaduct is Shippersea Bay.

A bit more sand here but a rather unappealing sludge covering the back of the beach put us off venturing far – there are frequent notices along this coast stating that you shouldn’t go in any water sitting on the beaches for fear of contamination – we take heed!

The last beach on this walk is ‘The Blast’ which looked a bit more inviting than the others had and as it is our turning point, we ventured down.

Here to Poppydog could have the freedom of a good runaround – oh yes and chase some stones!

Rather than return the same way, we planned a circular route back a bit further inland. However this soon turned out to be a bit of a disaster as the ground was very wet underfoot and in fact the light is beginning to fade on us which could prove problematic in finding the right footpaths! By this point we are already a mile or so inland so I decided that we would follow the roads back. At this point I also remembered that the car park gates were locked at 5.30 and as it is already 5 and we have at least 3 miles to cover!

We did complete this 9 mile trek and arrived back at the car park at 6, fortunately just as the gates were being locked, said attendant not having even noticed in the dark that my car was still in there! How lucky were we? Not a place I would have chosen to spend the night (even in the caravan)!

A riverside walk for us today…

A wet night and pretty miserable start to the day though fortunately the rain moved on by lunchtime. Not wishing to get caught up in the Friday afternoon traffic (no matter where we go we have to use the busy A19 or A66) we decided to just take a walk along the river. We took the riverside walk along the south side of the river heading towards Stockton-on-Tees. It isn’t particularly an interesting walk as the riverside properties are either new housing, modern University Campus or modern office units, all very boxy in style and even the area built around a sort of mini Venice lacks any charm…

Bridges are in my opinion the only eye catching features….

Never mind a pleasant enough 6 mile walk ending back at the Tees Barrage.

Bearing in mind that we walk along the river every morning and thus is our second extended walk along the river we have only seen the odd canoe using the river – what a shame where are all the other boats?