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.

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 Cresswell Pool to Lynemouth Power Station….

Beautiful sunshine greeted us this morning but unfortunately it was fairly short lived as the clouds rolled in, however for us it stayed dry (and that is all that matters, if we’re honest!) though it had clearly rained on site at some point during the afternoon. We made the journey south again this time to Cresswell, a small village strung along the roadside behind the last if the dunes of Druridge Country Park. As the tide is fully in we followed the coastal path along the cliff tops away from Cresswell heading southwards. The ground was becoming increasingly scrublike with only the distant Power Station at Lynemouth to look at, oh yes and a couple of traveller ponies nibbling away at the grass! Still we persevered and eventually made our way down a little used path to Lynemouth Beach…

Certainly not the most attractive beach, more like coarse builders sand, in fact it did look as though the back of the beach had been excavated and of course an excellent view of the Power Station…

Still Poppydog was not bothered and as we had the beach to ourselves, I was happy to let her career about yelping as much as she liked! After a while we made our way back into Cresswell, once you have seen one Power Station and we have seen a few on our travels, you have no real need or wish to see another! And there tucked away beneath the dunes and the little village of Cresswell a proper sandy beach….

The tide is almost fully in but we clambered down anyways for a little play.

We also attempted to clamber over the rocky headland of Stank Letch Rocks (who?) to get to the Cresswell Links end of Druridge Bay but had to give up part way and rejoin the pathway running through the dunes until…

We made it! This is more like it.

Only 5 miles but plenty of play time and those clouds are looking a bit iffy!