We had been very impressed with our first visit to Northumberland 2 years ago. We had shown our friends the phots we had taken and had inspired our very good friends Sue and Stu to join us for a 3 day walk on the coast path.
We stayed at a pleasant b&b in Alnmouth and after the usual car shuffle set off on a brilliantly sunny morning from Alnmouth heading for Craster.
The first thing that became apparent were the huge corrugated concrete blocks that were scattered, apparently at random along the length of the dunes - these were anti-tank cubes which were constructed during the second World War together with a number of other defences against invasion.
Anti tank cubes at Alnmouth
The tide was going out as we set off along the sands, walking close to the water's edge to find the firmest of the sand. There was a chilly north easterly wind which kept us comfortably cool in the bright sunlight as we headed to our first minor diversion and headed inland at the golf course.
Geri & Stu at Alnmouth Golf Club
We were soon back on the sands and rounded Seaton Point. Beside a large field adjacent to Marmouth Scars we were intrigued to spot a number of pheasant feeders scattered around a couple of fields. We were having a good look over the fence when Geri and Sue spotted a hare loping slowly across the field. Then we saw a lapwing flying nearby, presumably trying to distract the hare from her nest. A handful of shelduck completed the picture as we continued our walk.
Flushed with success at our bird spotting we then spotted two male and one female eider ducks resting on some nearby rocks.
We were heading now for the village of Boulmer, and passed a pair of navigation markers at Boulmer Haven.
Navigation markers at Boulmer Haven
As we approached the village our thoughts turned to a coffee break, and we began to look for a suitable location out of the cold wind.
The former lifeboat station now manned by volunteers
As we passed the spanking new village hall we spied some benches and so took our break sheltered by the Boulmer Memorial Hall. We thought the hall looked brand new, but it had been refurbished in 2015 after the required £55,000 needed was raised in eight months and another £6,000 was donated to provide a new kitchen, as volunteers came forward to cater for the increased number of visitors.
The splendid Boulmer Memrial Hall
As we started off, passing a large enclosed field, Geri's eagle eye spotted a duck in the undergrowth. As she moved away from our noisy presence, her brood of at least 6 ducklings followed her.
Mother and baby ducklings beating a hasty retreat
Having left Boulmer village we were soon right back on the coast path and we were soon passing the 'Farm Art' we spotted 2 years ago. The pieces now looking distinctly weather worn.
Sue admires one of the pieces of Farm Art ...
... while Geri checks out another
We passed the strangely named Longhoughton Steel
followed by the equally puzzling Howdiemont Sands and Sugar Sands
Howdiemont Sands & Sugar Sands
We crossed the mouth of Howick Burn at Iron Scars. From an old newspaper it was interesting to read that Iron Scars was a place where the stone was taken to make paving stones.
The mouth of Howick Burn at Iron Scars
We stopped to inspect Rumbling Kern - so called due to the noisy ebbing and flowing of the tide through a set of sea stacks and rocky inlets.
Shortly after this we passed by The Bathing House, built by the 2nd Earl Grey of nearby Howick Hall for his family's seaside outings, and since the Earl had 16 children, these were serious outings!
Lunch was now a pressing need, and I promised Sue and Stu a fine view of Cullernose Point and a bench seat! A little further on from the Bathing House near Howick, fulmars hovered close to the cliff edge, displaying their aerobatic skills.
The view near Cullernose Point was as promised, but since our visit 2 years ago, the seat had been removed. After our break we went up onto the cliffs to admire the fulmars and kittiwakes who constantly launched themselves off Cullernose Point making a racket all the while.
We were now on the final stretch into Craster, passing a number of holiday lets with fine views out to sea as we entered the village.