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?

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.