From Alnmouth to Seaton Point…..

A rough old night (mindyou we slept well after all that sea air!) and a pretty miserable morning so a shortish walk for us first thing. Still by midday the rain had cleared through and though still looking quite dodgy we set off for Almouth. Finding roadside parking down by the river Aln, we walked across the dunes to the mouth of the bay.

Here the sands stretched out in front of us, pretty much as far as the eye could see.

With even more sand on the other side of the river, though they shall have to wait another day.

The beach wasn’t as deserted as it looks but with the aid of the thrower and a couple of balls we made our way along the mile of sand (northwards) to Marden Rocks. Here Poppydog completely abandoned the balls in favour of chasing seabirds until we rounded the corner onto Seaton Sands.

This beach was much quieter as we ventured towards Seaton Point where we left off the day before yesterday. We turned about at this point and made our way back along to Alnmouth, a pretty village nestled behind the beach.

Now that it is time to make our way back the sky starts to clear!!

A short 4.5 mile, but very pleasant walk.

A boat trip around the Farne Islands….

Well the day started with beautiful sunshine and calm, making me rethink my plan to stash my summer clothes and drag out my winter wear. It also seemed like the ideal day to take a boat trip out to the Farne Islands, so we set off walking from site into Seahouses. Now last time we did this walk we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces but today…

The little strip of sand that runs opposite the site from Beadnell, maybe not a beach you would want to spend a summer’s day on, but great for walking (with or without dog) along to Seahouses. After about half a mile, the beach opens up to Annstead Links Beach (of Seahouses South Beach)….

Fortunately the tide was out far enough gor us to be able to hop over the stream that runs through the middle of the beach, though the next bit is very rocky so we followed the coastal path across the golf course into the village.

A quick look at the little beach just outside the harbour.

All the while I have to say, the day is clouding over and the wind picking up! No matter we get booked onto the 2.15 Serenity tour (catamaran hull – less choppy!) and head down to Seahouses North Beach for Poppydog to gave a goid runaround first.

And we’re off…

It was a tad cold, windy and choppy and Poppydog was not overly sure but the Skipper’s Mate got her a towel to sit on and she somewhat anxiously lay down and suffered the rest of the trip!

As became apparent most of the inhabitant birds have moved on for the Winter which is a shame as I would have loved to see the Puffins (we shall in some other place!) But here are some Shags keeping an eye on us….

Most of the islands – 28 in all at low tide, are not a lot more than large rocky outcrops with thousands of ledges and the memory of all the summer visiting birds in the form of white staining from lots of poo! Staple Island is where many of the 89 thousand Puffins summer…

They just lay their egg on the rocky ledge and it has a pointy end to prevent it from rolling off into the sea! Nature is really fascinating and the Skipper and his commentary was a great source of information – unfortunately though I can’t remember all the facts and which was which! Staple Island is inhabited by NT wardens for part of the year.

We went out to take a closer look at Longstone Lighthouse, once home to Grace Darling….

Well camouflaged amongst the lower rocks where hundreds of Grey Seals and it took awhile to get accustomed to spotting them…

Many of the resting seals are cows getting ready to pup – there was a bumper crop of 2602 pups last year! A few young pups could be seen but not close enough to be picked up on a photo.

The only sandy beach is a small little cove on Inner Farne with the little St Cuthbert’s Chapel (St Cuthbert spent his last years in retreat and died on the island) and original lighthouse (a bonfire on the flat roof of the tower) before the current lighthouse was built in 1825.

Well we are now chilled to the core and it is time to leave the islands in our wake…

Well worth the trip (£14) but would definitely be better from May – mid August when there are more seabirds around. Now a brisk 3 mile walk along the shore back a we try to warm up!

Two thoughts of the day:

Imagine have the job of counting Puffins or Seal pups?

We started the day basking in a warm summer sun and ended the day battling a blustery cold wind!

From Howick to Seaton Point….

Dry overnight for a change and a lovely sunny morning, though more cloudy in the afternoon, it is still very chilly as the wind is cold but we can live with that. Today we parked up in the same lay-by as yesterday and took the path down to Iron Scar.

Today we are heading south and crossed the little bridge over the stream.

Over the dunes to this beauty….

Sugar Sands a stunning sandy bay….

There were a few people set up with camera or telescopic tripods on the beach, so I figured a wired up Springer could possibly have a catastrophic effect and we moved on.

Just around the corner is the delightful Howdiemont Sands…

Not quite as pretty but at least here Poppydog could have some freedom and was gone!

After a while we continued along the top, as the beach was mostly rocky outcrops, until we arrived at Boulmer a small fishing village running along a narrow strip of sand and plenty of exposed rock.

Walking to the far end of this beach we clambered over the rocks of Seaton Point onto Seaton Sands, another wide expanse of sand, a bit weedy in places but pretty all the same.

A collection of Chalets and old caravans sit along the top of this beach (very English) – I think it is a real shame that these joyful little huts, in their varying states of repair are no longer welcome on our beaches.

Time to head back and as the tide is rapidly coming in and the waves pretty fiesty we stuck to the coastal path to complete this rather amazing 8 mile walk. Look at the waves breaking over Sugar Sands – fantastic….

Oh yes and some rather cute calves, especially cute as they are on the other side of a fence!

From Howick down to Iron Scar and onto Craster….

The weather is being quite kind at the moment, raining at night and dry albeit rather windy and cool during the day, today at least was mostly sunny. Today we drove to Howick, finding a rather handy lay-by and followed a footpath down to the shore and lovely little strip of sand at Iron Scar.There are a number of sandy bays, between the rocky outcrops, heading southwards which we shall enjoy another day, as today our destination is again Craster, but this time we are approaching from the south. As the tide is still a way out we scrambled along the rocky shore until we arrived at Howick Haven.From this point the shore became a bit trickier to negotiate so we joined the coastal path running along the top and enjoyed the sight and sounds of the waves crashing beneath us.

After a while we came across this little gem…

A lovely sandy little bay, Seahouses Bay, almost completely surrounded by rock, an absolute gem especially on a day like today – almost totally sheltered from the wind – here we shall stop and play for a while.

We went back up on the footpath and from here it was a mile or so until we arrived on the outskirts of Craster.

Looking even nicer today in the sunshine – yep we could holiday here.

Back up through the village and along the lanes to the car to complete this 7.5 mile round walk.

From Embleton to Craster…

Another wet night though the rain had passed on by the morning and gave us a lovely sunny morning, though a rather grey afternoon, quite windy out too! To pick up where we left off yesterday we found parking in the village of Embleton and set off to walk the mile or so down to Embleton Bay.

We walked along to the end of the sandy part of the beach (south),

where we had to clamber up into the dunes (not very high) to continue our journey with a lovely view back down along the beach….

It would have been nice to see these beaches in the sunshine, perhaps we will get the chance to come back? Onward we went towards Dunstanburgh Castle, whose dramatic profile we have been following for some days.

We decided to go into the castle as it was free (NT) and sits on such a prominent headland.

As you can see it is mostly ruins, though they have built steps up the inside of the right hand tower – we only got up to the second (out of three) landings as Poppydog is really frightened of any kind of walkway that you can see through and this sprial staircase, though concrete had gaps between the steps which she did not like at all! Still we got a good look out of the window on the second landing.

Leaving the castle behind we carried on along the footpath to Craster.

A very pretty little fishing village, nestling around it’s harbour.

With a little bit of sandy beach within the harbour walls.

After a wander around the village, a pub, a lifeboat station, a smokehouse selling smoked kippers and rather a lot of holiday lets, we left the village to follow Cycle Route 1 back to Embleton.

Another nice holiday destination to add to my rather long list! 8.5 mile round trip.