A whirlwind tour of north North Yorkshire’s beaches…

As we have struggled to find any suitable campsites open a bit further up the coast, we have decided to visit the beaches to link up with last year’s adventure, from here. We drove to Boulby, just around the headland from Skinningrove, our most southerly beach last year, but this just turned out to be a cliff top hamlet with no access to the shore (that I could see anyway).

So next on the list was Staithes…

Staithes

A pretty little jumble of cottages clustered down a steep valley and around the harbour with a fair smattering of cafes, pubs, galleries and shops.

Not the prettiest beach we’ve seen but it had a lovely atmosphere and quite busy today. I bet it’s a lovely place for a holiday and surely buzzing during the summer

After a good mooch around we moved on to Port Mulgrave only to find that access to the beach and abandoned harbour was wiped out by a land slip so we moved on.

Port Mulgrave

To Runswick Bay…

A lovely crescent shaped sandy bay with a few challenging fast flowing streams to cross as we made our way along. The village of Runswick is a pretty hillside village with more than it’s fair share of holiday cottages, a hotel and couple of cafes – a great place to holiday.

Randomly as we were walking along the beach we could here the sounds of a huntsman horn and spotted some hounds scurrying through the woodlands behind the village – I would have thought it too steep for horses and we didn’t see any so perhaps it was just the hounds out for some exercise?

The sun was just setting (it only appeared in time to set!) as we made our last stop at Sandsend, the northerly end of Whitby Bay.

Sandsend with Whitby Abbey in the far distance

We could happily have spent longer at each place and walked the miles of coastal path along the cliffs in between but the time of year is not on our side so I am happy to add this area to our ever growing list of places to return to!

A walk along Speeton Sands in the sun, the rain and ever present wind…

Another wild night with pretty torrential (and noisy) rain kept as awake until the wee hours, when it either eased up a bit or we just got used to it and finally nodded off. It was still pretty miserable as we went for our morning walk around the large section of the site which is closed until busier times, there is a sizeable dog walk on site but this area is pretty waterlogged at the moment and as Poppydog still refuses to be towelled down without a fight, I prefer her not to get too soggy in the mornings.

By lunchtime the current batch of wet stuff and wind seemed to have passed on through so we headed to Reighton Sands with it’s small carpark and clambered down what is left of the footpath, mostly now a raging muddy stream onto the beach.

Reighton Sands

This time we ventured southwards onto Speeton Sands

Speeton Sands

Both beaches are at the southern end of Filey Bay a stretch of some 5 miles of low tide sand. Speeton Sands was pretty deserted and sheltered enough by Flamborough Head and Reighton Cliffs to make ball throwing an option – so we did…

Poppydog in flight
There she goes…

At the far end of the beach, the heavens decided we were having way too much fun and shed a bucket load of tears, whipping up a nice little flurry of wind to ensure we got a proper soaking – thanks! Still this was a bit of a bonus…

Our pot of gold….

Time to head back up the beach and chase a little sunshine after the storm before it bobbed down behind the cliffs for the day.

A little sunshine and a lot of blue sky, oh yes and one damp dog!

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 Tyne. 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.

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 cold but sunny walk from Seaton Carew to Hartlepool…

Well this mornings frost can be forgiven as it preceded a beautiful sunny day, a pretty harsh coastal breeze and I think the shorts might be on borrowed time but the sun overrides all. We are too far from the coast to walk but it was only a short drive to Seaton Carew. First though we went on a detour as I saw a road sign for Seal Sands, not showing on Mr OS but hey we’ll give it a whirl!

Ah after driving through several miles of pipeline attached to vast cylinders, huge concrete buildings decorated with massive concrete chimneys and all manner of electric pylon we realise that my idea of ‘sands’ is somewhat different to this sprawl of energy making stuff!! So we about turn and reroute to Seaton Carew….

A long stretch of windblown sand backed by a smallish town of seaside shops and rows of well kept terraces. By avoiding the sea front parking we parked up for free in a small recreation park just off the front and deciding to walk into the wind, set off along the long wide promenade towards Hartlepool. As we left Seaton Carew behind, the land on the opposite side to the sea looks increasingly scrubby (maybe reclaimed industrial land?). The sea is quite rough and the tide incoming so Carr House Sands in Hartlepool Bay as we are approaching Hartlepool are pretty much a hidden treasure as the waves are pounding up to the huge rock strewn breakwater.

This rather attractive sculpture ‘Waves’ made partly from sea glass collected by the people of Hartlepool sits without any grand statement part way along the shore.

Though the sun is still shining brightly the cold wind is blasting down the shore so it was a bit of a relief to reach the rather complex system of piers and enclosed harbour / marinas of Hartlepool. Mindyou thus almost completely black beach within south pier, somehow doesn’t look too inviting!

We wandered around the inner harbours and marinas and it looks as though some money and effort has been made to brighten the place up…

The Royal Navy Museum based around an inner quay looked quite pretty in the sunshine but we couldn’t get a proper look at the old ship which was a shame (ok so I could have paid to go into the museum!).

I’m afraid the rest of the town was looking a bit neglected, plenty of new retail areas but also plenty of original shops boarded up, wide areas of untamed and litter strewn scrubland – sorry Hartlepool, hopefully you will get there.

At this point we started to make our way back along the promenade, the waves by now crashing against the defensive rocks and occasionally catching us with a fine spray and some serious rain clouds lurking out at sea.

Still plenty of sand at Seaton Carew…

And these really cheer you up….

Well if we had any cobwebs today’s blustery 9 mile walk has sent them on their way!