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NORTHUMBERLAND COAST PATH

Low Newton-by-the-Sea to Seahouses [8.2 miles]

The Maps

The Route

The Walk

Our second day on the Northumberland Coast Path looked a lot more promising as far as the weather was concerned. Today our journey was much easier as we drove to Seahouses then walked across the road from the car park to catch the bus south to Low Newton.


Low Newton-by-the-Sea


St Mary's or Newton Haven
and a fine view back to Dunstanburgh Castle

We walked along the road to the coast path, turned left and away we went across Newton Point. As yesterday we left the actual coast path to walk along the sands wherever it was possible.


Newton Point
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Beadnell Bay
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We approached Beadnell in bright sunshine. We could hear sea birds in the distance but couldn't quite make out what was going on. We came across a fenced off area which I ought to have picked up from the OS map as it was clearly marked as a bird sanctuary. This turned out to be the largest mainland breeding colony of Arctic Terns.


Arctic Terns near to the warden's hut

We followed a fenced off track to the warden's hut where a friendy warden explained about the colony and the habits of the 3 breeds they were protecting: Arctic, Little and Roseate Terns. There were hundreds of Arctic Terms, about 3 pairs of Little Terns which I spotted through their powerful telscope and one pair of Roseate Terns.


Beadnell tern colony

Reluctantly we took our leave and went on our way, crossed the suspension bridge over the brook and headed across the sands to Beadnell harbour. This harbour is quite distinctive as it has an inland facing entrance and is dominated by limekilns built in the 18th century. We had only been there a few minutes when the bright sunshine suddenly went and a hail stom set in. Fortunately the limekilns offered us shelter and a seat where we stopped and took our coffee break.


Near Beadnell harbour


Beadnell Harbour


The limekilns at Beadnell


Hail as we sheltered in the limekilns

Soon it was time to continue towards Seahouses. Once again we favoured walking on the sands rather than alongside the busy B1340 road. As we approached Seahouses we came to another deep brook adjacent to the golf course. We struck lucky as a well trodden path followed the brook inland back to Annstead Bridge on the main road which we regained without too much difficulty. The path then diverted off the road and onto the golf course before we arrived at the harbour.


Approaching Seahouses, more kittiwakes nesting

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The harbour at Seahouses
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Alnmouth to Low Newton-by-the-Sea [11.3 miles]

The Maps

The Route

The Walk

Our very first trip to the Northumberland Coast Path and we were expecting something completely different - we were not disappointed.

The day started with an early breakfast at our luxurious b&b before we headed off to a car part near the coast at Low Newton (en route being surprised to see a barn owl flying along hedgerow beside us). The problem with this first walk was that we had to catch 2 buses: one to Alnwick (where we had just left) and the other from Alnwick to Alnmouth with a 5 minute window to change buses. In the event this went smoothly enough thanks to the second bus being a tad late at Alnwick bus station.

We were soon at Amble and ready to start our walk north. The weather forecast didn't look very promising no matter which source we chose to view.


Alnmouth


Alnmouth Bay looking south


Alnmouth Bay looking north

The coast path here is quiet flat and almost benign to walk on. We quickly discovered that it was a good idea to use a spot of common sense and walk along the sands where pssible as a lot of the coast path is alongside the tall sand dunes, but inland, and so the view of the sea is completely hidden.

As would be expected, we made quite good progress, stopping occasionally to hurridly don a waterproof when the drizzle set in - albeit only briefly when we looked back on the day. We passed through and round Alnmouth Golf Club and back onto the path. We came across a spot of 'Farm Art' attached to a wall which entertained us as we walked towards Boulmer.


Farm Art

Just south of Boulmer we came across two navigation markers to assist boats entering the rock guarded Boulmer Haven.


The navigation markers at Boulmer Haven


Sugar Sands
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The footbridge at Iron Scars
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We came in sight of Cullernose Point, a renowned cliff with hndreds of kittiwakes nesting precariously one minute ledges. We stopped for lunch on a convenient bench and took in the view.


Fulmars nesting south of Cullernose point


Fulmar - keeping quiet


Nesting kittiwakes


Cullernose Point


The gorse on Cullernose Point

Soon we were off again, the skies brightening all the while as we approached Craster. The sun made a brief but welcomed appearance and the temperature started to rise. We passed through Craster and headed for the imposing Dunstanburgh Castle which dominated the area.


Then the sun came out


Craster Harbour


Dunstanburgh Castle

We passed by the castle, stopping to admire a heron peacefully waiting for his tea and headed for Newton-by-the-Sea.



More kittiwakes as we pass Rumble Churn on Castle Point


Looking back at Dunstanburgh Castle

The sun was out and I estimated we still had a couple of miles to walk, but Geri was having problems and so we parted company at Dunstanburgh Golf Club whenre Geri had a coffe and teacake whilst I finished the last mile and a bit.

A great day's walking and at 11.7 miles, a tad longer than the 10½ miles I'd worked out on my map.


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