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 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 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 big it is good to see an area coming back to life and made for a pleasant Sunday afternoon 7 mile walk.

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.

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.