A walk along the riverside towards Middlesbrough….

Our last day before travelling inland and gradually making our way home for Christmas – where has this year gone? The sun is shining as we make our way past the White Water Park.

We stop for awhile to watch the canoeists tackling these artificial rapids – it all looks good fun but I’m guessing still rather cold (also the water doesn’t look a very attractive colour!), so perhaps we’ll give it a miss.

We continue our walk heading eastwards this time towards the sea. It is not a particularly attractive walk as mostly the river is backed by industrial units of some kind or other and as seems to be the way with internal waterways, litter strewn, badly overgrown footpaths. Still the sun is shining and the city noise is reduced to a distant hum and we can hear birdsong as we walk. After a couple of miles we reach the rather ornate transporter bridge where the middle section raises up to allow tall boats to pass through. One of the 7 or 8 different bridges the city is famous for.

We walked back along the opposite side of the river for a bit of a change, this is a little more attractive as it is mostly backed by Nature Reserve, though at this time of year lacking any colour. A pleasant enough 7 mile walk – now back to tidy and pack.

Skinningrove and it’s secret beach….

Wet overnight and into the morning but drying up by late morning leaving us with a grey and threatening sky, which fortunately again held off until we were safely back in the car. Today we drove to Skinningrove, a smallish village tucked into a valley. Lots of small terraced houses hemmed in by the steep valley walls leading down to a stony sea front and river outlet protected by break waters.

The tide was quite high though you can see that the bay would be quite sandy when the tide is out and a restored fisherman’s cobble sits on the front with it’s two carved fishermen looking out to sea.

It is very grey but it does feel that even in the height of summer this little place will be less than cheery! On the north side of the village there was a large gap in what was formerly a raised track for transporting ironstone down to the harbour.

And beyond this gap? Well Skinningrove’s secret beach of course – Cattersby Sands.

A surprisingly long sandy bay backed by crumbling cliffs, very evident of recent land slip.

Probably not the most attractive beach but a nice stretch of sandy nonetheless.

After a good runaround for Poppydog we walked back through the gap to see that there is a smallish sandy beach appearing within the harbour walls, though looking a little muddy due to the presence of a fast flowing stream.

The village looked a bit run down but maybe in the sunshine a nice little place to holiday?

A walk along Saltburn-by-the-sea and up Huntscliff to the ‘Charm Bracelet’ sculpture….

Again a rainy night, but a dry and grey day, so all is good. Today we are bound for Saltburn-by-the-Sea and what a delightful Victorian seaside resort it turned out to be. At the far end of the 8 mile sandy beach we have been following for the last couple of days, starting at the South Gare Breakwater at Tees Mouth. The town is set up on the cliff tops looking down on the few houses that make up Old Saltburn and the towering Huntscliff to the south…

And the long beach towards Marske-by-the-Sea and beyond to the north…

Unluckily for us the funicular cliff tramway (the oldest of it’s kind) was not operational today so it was the steps lots of them (both ways!).

We wandered along the beach for awhile (a few too many around for Poppydog ‘off road’) Poppydog happy chasing stones and posing in front of the row of brightly coloured beach huts sitting on the lower Promenade.

Intrigued I decided we would take a walk up and along Huntscliff, a vertical sea cliff of some 365ft at the southern end of Saltburn-by-the-sea Beach.

So up the steps (lots of) we went, pausing to catch our breath and take in the view…

The footpath was pretty muddy and slippery but fortunately quite wide and not too close to the edge of the cliff! Even on this dull day the views out to sea were pretty spectacular….

Intermittently along the cliff edge where a couple of slates, one warning of the danger of crumbling edges and sheer drops and the other a positive ‘We love you’ message – sadly an indicator that not all visitors are walking the cliffs for the view. I met the chap who was responsible for these slates, a retired Coastguard who walks the cliffs every day, checking his signs and generally looking out for vulnerable people, what an amazing man and a simple but lovely idea.

On our way again as so soon the light begins to fade and we arrived at our destination, this delightful steel ‘Saltburn Charm Bracelet’, each charm symobilising a feature of Saltburn’s heritage.

We did in fact venture on a bit further, I do often find that the coastal path is so intriguing that you just have to look arouand the next headland!

And there it was Skinningrove’s secret beach – Cattersby Sands. A place to explore another day, for now though it is time for us to head back for a quick play on the beach and a walk along the pier.

And as we clamber back up the many steps up to the car, a look down onto the beach as day gives way to dusk.

A lot of climbing but a charming resort and a rewarding 7 mile jaunt.

From Redcar to the delightful Marske-by-the-Sea….

A very wet night and still quite miserable for our morning walk but the rain kindly stayed in the sky until we were safely on our way back in the car after our main walk and on the way home. Today we parked up along the seafront at Redcar, the town itself is sprinkled with amusement arcades but probably best known for its racecourse (which we didn’t see). The beach a long sandy section of the same beach we walked yesterday, though here it is sectioned by wooden groynes. Looking southwards towards Huntscliffs.

And northwards towards the windfarm off Coatham Sands.

We walked along the Promenade until we could join the beach just at the end of the groynes where the dunes began, this section of the beach is called The Stray, Redcar.

The beach here was pretty deserted so Poppydog could run free.

Another stretch along this wonderful beach and we arrived at this lovely little village – Marske-by-the-sea.

How pretty? With it’s line of small tractors, presumably to tow craft out to the sea?

Though why they can’t share one – I can only guess?

A bit further along the beach was our turning point as in the distance lies Saltburn-by-the-sea and we shall explore there another day. The sun that has only latterly appeared is fast dropping as we head back with this fab view of Marske Sands.

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.