Bamburgh to High Newton by-the-sea

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Date: 05/09/2012
Start time: 9:30
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 14 Miles
Weather: Warm, clear, calm
Route: Bamburgh – Seahouses – Beadnell – High Newton-by-the-Sea

This walk started in Bamburgh on an a quiet but warm day in early September. My plan was to follow the coast down to Seahouses, on to Beadnell and then decide what to do next depending on how my walk progressed.

This walk started in Bamburgh on an a quiet but warm day in early September. My plan was to follow the coast down to Seahouses, on to Beadnell and then decide what to do next depending on how my walk progressed.

Bamburgh is a gorgeous and relatively unspoilt village which is dominated by the Castle stood on its rock with a view straight down the main street. The large number of visitors the village gets means there are several shops, cafes and restaurants for lunch or to buy a snack. I got off the bus in the centre of the village and started off by walking towards the massive edifice of Bamburgh Castle.

The centre of Bamburgh
Looking down Main Street towards the Castle.

After heading down the street to the castle I followed the road round to the south in front of the castle.

Links Road, Bamburgh
Walking along the main road between Bamburgh and Seahouses

The timber clad Armstrong Cottages date from the late 19th Century and sit on Links Road to the south of Bamburgh Castle. One of the options for walking between Bamburgh and Seahouses is to follow this road. Because there are plenty of less busy road options, cross field footpaths and the beach, this road should only really be chosen if you’re in a hurry.

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At the end of the cottages on Links Road I cut across the grassy car park which was empty, but did have (free) public toilets which were open. The path I was on crosses through a small gap in the dunes and onto the beach.

Entering the beach
Looking through the path between the dunes.

The footpath narrowed somewhat just before getting on to the beach. The white sand and blue sky give something of a tropical air to the above photo I think!

The beach at Bamburgh
Looking south along the beach towards Seahouses

As soon as you get through the dunes and onto the beach my next objective becomes immediately visible. I could almost walk straight there across the flat beach as it turned out I’d chosen to walk around the time of low tide. I also pretty much had the beach to myself, which for early September was a bit surprising.

View to Inner Farne
Looking across the sea towards Inner Farne

All the way between Bamburgh and Seahouses the Farne Islands can be seen out to sea. The other Farne Islands can also be seen, Longstone Lighthouse can just about be seen on the left hand edge of the photo above.

Horse and rider on the beach
A Horse and rider pass in front of Monk’s House

Two of the few other users of the beach during this stretch of my walk were the horse and rider in the above photo who passed me heading in the opposite direction in front of Monk’s House, which is one of the few made made intrusions into the dunes on the landward side of the beach. The pair had been riding in the breaking waves before cutting back onto the softer sand where they passed me.

The beach north of Seahouses
Getting closer to Seahouses

Getting closer to my next staging point at Seahouses the beach became slightly busier, perhaps because it was later in the morning, or perhaps because Seahouses is bigger than Bamburgh.

Cliff top path at Seahouses
The cliff top path at the south end of Seahouses

Just before reaching Seahouses I cut up from the beach and found this path which follows the top of the cliffs which develop in front of Seahouses. Unfortunately the grass here has the wrong combination of being well used and quite uncared for and has a problem with invasive ragwort.

Main Street, Seahouses
The Main Street in Seahouses

At the end of the beach is Seahouses. The small town, or large village depending on your view, is orientated towards tourism and marketed as “The gateway to the Farne Islands”. The centre was quite quiet when I passed through, perhaps because it was outside the height of summer.

Centre of Seahouses
The roundabout and war memorial in the centre of Seahouses

The centre of Seahouses is marked by the war memorial in the centre of the roundabout. On this occasion I dallied with the idea of an early lunch of fish and chips, but in the end I carried on with my route and didn’t stop in the village except to pay a quick visit to the harbour.

Seahouses harbour
The small harbour in Seahouses, home to day trip boats and fishing boats

Seahouses harbour is relatively small but during the summer is a little hive of activity being the base for tourist day trips to the Farne Islands. Bamburgh Castle, where I started my trip can be seen in the background along the coast.

Cliffs south of Seahouses
Cliffs to the south of Seahouses

To the south of Seahouses I walked along the cliff top which has a sea carved rock shelf at its foot.

The coast to the south of Seahouses
The coast to the south of Seahouses

To the south of Seahouses the path crosses Seahouses Golf Club and the views open up to the south across another long stretch of sand. At the end of that sand is Beadnell, my next ticking off point on my days walk.

Beadnell Harbour
Small boats in the small harbour at Beadnell

After another stretch of walking south across a quiet, flat and secluded beach south from Seahouses I arrived at Beadnell. The village is a small settlement based around its small harbour which in modern days is mainly a home port for a small flotilla of pleasure craft. The village doesn’t have much in the way of facilities aside from a post office and a single pub, so I continued on southwards.

Beach at Beadnell
Looking back towards the village of Beadnell

The beach to the south of Beadnell followed the same theme as the two stretches to the north I had already passed along and was wide, flat and empty. It also has wide sweeping views to the north and south, though from the beach itself there is virtually no view inland as it is blocked by a continuous stream of sand dunes.

Looking south across the bay
Looking south Dunstanburgh Castle is constantly in view

Whilst walking south from Beadnell the ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle looms on the headland in the distance.

A labrador on the beach
A Golden Retreiver on the golden sands

Again this stretch of beach was relatively free of pedestrians, the odd dog walker or two were all the company I had on this stretch of beach.

View inland from the beach
Looking towards the Cheviots from the beach

A gap in the sand dunes allowed a view back inland where the Cheviot Hills some miles away are prominent landmarks.

Footpath leaving the beach
Leaving the beach on the path towards High Newton by-the-sea

Eventually time was pressing so I had to head back inland to find a bus stop so I could travel back up the coast. I left the beach by a footpath which connects the coast with the road at Newton Link House. The path crossed the dunes and the bit of unkempt grassland in the photo above.

High Newton-by-the-sea bus shelter
The bus shelter in High Newton-by-the-sea

A short walk along the tarmac road brought me to the centre of the small village of High Newton-by-the-Sea which doesn’t quite have the charm of it’s near neighbour Low Newton-by-the-Sea, but it does have a bus stop which was why I was here.

Grass triangle in High Newton-by-the-sea
The triangle of grass in the centre of the village

I’d like to say my days walking ended with a nice cold drink in this busy looking village pub, but unfortunately it didn’t. I’d timed my walk so well (or badly) that I only had 5 minutes to wait before I had to catch the bus back up the coast, and with a bus only every 2 hours I couldn’t afford to hang around too long so gave the pub a miss.

 

 

 


 

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