Thursday 12 May 2016. After long drives to my last two walks I decided to do something a little closer to hand today. I caught the 11:05 bus from Beadnell to Craster in order to walk back, along the coast, to my caravan. The pictures may portray an idyllic sunny day but what they can’t capture is the constant 12mph+ headwind that I was walking into for over 3 hours. This may not seem like much but it was unrelenting and detracted from my enjoyment of this walk. Ideally, I would have done it the other way around but the limited bus service didn’t help.
Just over a mile of walking brought me to Dunstanburgh Castle. I’d walked past it before but I’ve never been inside. My SNT membership was valid for this EH property but frankly it wasn’t worth the £5.20 entry fee charged to the general public. I took advantage of the ruined walls to find some shelter from the wind whilst having an early lunch. It was only a few hundred yards from the Castle to Embleton Bay where I enjoyed a 2 mile walk along the beach to Low Newton which is famed for the square of fisherman’s cottages, many of which are now holiday homes. There is a pub in one corner but as I didn’t want a drink, I sought out a free bench a little distance away on which to sit while drinking a coffee. It seemed odd that this bench had a couple of cushions on it but there wasn’t a sign to suggest that I couldn’t sit on it. Soon after a woman came out of one of the cottages to tell me that it was a “private” seat but as she didn’t need it just then, I needn’t move. I pointed out that there wasn’t a “private” sign on it. I fail to see why she bothered to go to the trouble of asserting her ownership and, if I hadn’t been so polite, she could have found herself in the middle of a heated argument. In fairness, this must happen all of the time but the remedy is in her own hands.
I was half way through my walk now and the path moved away from the beach to cross the headland at Newton Point. I then had a choice of going back to the beach to walk across Beadnell Bay or to walk on the inland side of the dunes. It was blowing a gale on the beach and there was a stream to cross at some point so I opted for the inland route. This turned out to be a wise decision as a section of the beach at Long Nanny had been roped off to protect nesting terns. The walk finished passing through a large static caravan site and the second half was nowhere near as enjoyable as that across Embleton Bay. I hadn’t measured the walk in advance and was surprised to find that it was 8¼ miles with a total ascent of 500ft.