From Sandy Bay all the way up to Lynemouth Power Station….

A miserable start to the day and raining lightly all morning but luckily by midday the rain had moved on leaving us with a mostly grey but dry afternoon. The wind has blown itself out, well for today at least. So we set off to pick up where we left off yesterday and parked the car at Sandy Bay Holiday Park (not sure if we should have but hey ho!) and walked down to Sandy Bay, which is the section of beach at the north end of Cambois Beach, the north side of the river Wansbeck.

Plenty of low tide sand but it looks as though there would be very little if any at high tide.

There was no way around the rocky headland so we made our way back up tthrough the caravan park to pick up the coastal path as it meandered along the cliff edge until we made our way down to Newbiggin-by-the-sea. Down onto the long crescent shaped bay of rather coarse sand.

This end was empty so we took the opportunity for Poppydog to have a good run around.

Walking along this beach was a bit heavy going (for me atleast) as it was almost like a fine shingle though becoming sandier as we continued around the bay. Half way along the beach lies this huge rock – the Hunkleton Stone a product of the Ice Age, dragged here from ‘Northern Lands’ many hundreds of years ago.

Behind it on a platform secured to the breakwater in the middle of the bay is the controversial ‘Couple’ a Sean Henry sculpture of a couple looking out to sea – I think it is quite eye catching though would have preferred it to be a bit closer to shore so that you could see it better – however there is a ‘Land Couple’ a much smaller replica a bit further around the bay, just off the Promenade.

It was apparently named as one of the six worst sculptures by London Art Critic Jonathan Jones who clearly hasn’t seen the coal and resin wall at Ayr! I liked it, finding something unexpected and appealing makes me smile!

We continued on our way, around the next headland to Newbiggin Moor Beach a delightful fairly narrow strip of soft white sand. Looking back towards Newbiggin Point…

And northwards towards Lynemouth Power Station….

As you can see the sun has come out as well so we stayed awhile enjoying our space. Time to move on as there is one more beach to find. At the end of this beach we had to rejoin the coastal path which is running along the cliff tops on the edge of Newbiggin Golf Course and soon over the dunes we find Lynemouth Beach….

A mixture of sand and sandstone slabs aand much nicer than the beach on the other side of the Power Station – still time is cracking on so we don’t hang about and make our way back to the car via a more inland route and thereby cutting a few corners as 10.5 miles is enough!

A walk along North Beach and Cambois Beach…..

A clear night and very chilly morning, but what a beautiful day. Today we made the quite significant detour around Blyth Harbour to reach the beaches to the north of Blyth, finding plenty of parking along the front in amongst the narrow strip of low dunes. Firstly we joined Cambois Beach about half way along. Looking south towards Blyth Port….

And northwards…

Not many folk around heading southwards so that is the way we went and Poppydog true to form was off!…

After about a mile we scrambled over a rocky section onto North Beach, Blyth.

The sand was gradually disappearing under the tide but still enough for us to sstretch our legs!

One Happy Pup!

After a while we made our way back along the beach to where we started and then carried on to explore the northern half of the beach. As before this was busier and Poppydog had to go back on the lead.

There was some kind of fishing competition taking place along the waters edge and dogs everywhere so at the end of the beach (where the river Wansbeck crosses the beach) we decided to return to the car along the coastal path up above.

A fab beach, great day and excellent 5.5 mile walk.

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!