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Holiday visit to the North East Coast of England, Northumbria, Uk.

Date & Time: 24th to 29th September 2006.

Location : Accommodation at the Beach Court Beadnell, Northumbria.

Places visited : Beadnell, Seahouses, Lindisfarne ( Holy Island) and Craster ( where the kippers come from!)

With : Ann and the dogs.

Weather : Sea mist, known locally as sea fret, giving way to some wonderful sunny days.

Beach Court Bed and Breakfast, Beadnell, (Thanks to Carole and Russell Field)


Our accommodation was in the wonderful house of the back of the beach, next to the harbour and lime kilns of Beadnell village.

We woke first morning to a thick sea fret which reduced visibility considerably, but gave a great atmosphere to the place.

The sea was calm, the wind very light, and the buildings just grew out of the mist as you approached.

Gradually the sea mist cleared to reveal an ever expanding view of Beadnell Bay, the harbour, beach and sand dunes

stretching as far as the eye could see.

A first walk and play on the beach for the dogs.
Calm seas and clearing skies, from the harbour.

Beach Court.

We stayed in the room with the open window, and our accommodation incorporated both the middle and top floor rooms of the round tower.

Day one - exploring locally - Seahouses further north along the coast.

They were still labouring under the blanket of sea mist we experienced earlier. Here the boat owners had kiosks

where you could purchase tickets for boat rides to the Farne Islands, to see the scenery, the birds and in season, the seals.

We chose not to take a boat trip but to stay on shore and visited the Lifeboat House at the back of the harbour.

The Farne Islands were home at one time to the Darling Family who manned the lighthouse. Grace Darling famously rowed her boat in stormy seas to save many a shipwrecked mariner.

Her actions were the inspiration for what has turned into the modern day Lifeboat Service, the RNLI.

This lifeboat is named after her, and a museum in Bambugh along the coast commemorates her life.

The Mersey Class boat on it's launching trailer . . .
and the semi-submersible tractor unit to tow it out to the sea.

While we were in Seahouses I noticed a Chinese gentleman walking through the village. I though nothing more of it until discussions over breakfast next morning when fellow guest said they had seen him walking along the beach carrying a large stone on his shoulder.

Apparently this gentleman was walking a short circumnavigation of Britain carrying a rock off the beach near Rock, in Northumbria, and hoping to return it to its rightful place back on the same beach at the end of his walk.

Modern art I think they call it.

We venture on to Bambugh to see the famous castle at the back of the beach !

As the sea fret clears . . .
the castle is revealed.

From the land Bamburgh Castle is even more impressive.

Day two - the sunshine returns - we travel up the coast again

but we walked locally on to the top of the lime kilns first.

Beach Court in the sunshine

and a view from our window.

The harbour was repaired after a storm destroyed the outer wall in 1999

and is now available for the local fishing boats again.

Iris May returns to the harbour.
Distant Dunstanburgh Castle further south.

On the way up the coast we stopped off to see Bamburgh Castle, in the sunshine this time.

The Causeway and Refuge on the way out to Holy Island - Lindisfarne.

The causeway is open for six hours and if you drive follow the tarmac.

If you walk, follow the posts . . .

till you get to the other side.

Lindisfarne Castle from the village.

A closer shot from the beach, framed by old wooden posts of a jetty.

The castle had been renovated by the Armstrong Family in the last century, and is now open to the public.

It is still fully furnished, and had been lived in until a few decades ago. It is now under the protection of the National Trust.

A view of the harbour from the castle.

Old upturned boats have been turned into harbour sheds

In the background is the island Priory.

Re-birth ? From the old boat, a new one emerges.

The Priory from the west.

High arches of the ruined building.
The statue of St Aiden, the founder of Lindisfarne Priory.

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Dog Owners : Words of advice - while on the island Ann walked the dunes and the dogs got covered in burrs from the Pirri Pirri plants.

Theses are like teasles with attitude!! It took a while to clean them from the dogs fur and so avoid spreading the seed pods to our next walk.

Fortunately a good comb was all it took in our case.

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Day three - a walk to Dunstanburgh Castle to the south,

a dramatic ruin built on the headland north of Craster.

Dramatic rock scenery near the castle.

The headland is formed from the hard rock of the Whin Sill, the same rock strata that is seen in the Penines at High Cup Nick.

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The Lilburn Tower

Click here for a fuller historical perspective

courtesy of Wikipedia.


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The building of the Castle commenced in 1313, but it was eventually destroyed in the Wars of the Roses in 1538.

The remains have been preserved but not restored, and the headland site is quite a dramatic place to visit.

Crossing back across the golf course I found this unusual view of the castle.

I think the architectural standard of the coastal defences was better in the old days !

Day four - a culinary day

We drove a short distance south of Dunstanburgh today to visit Craster, home of oak smoked herrings . . . "kippers" to you and I.

This is the substantial harbour and it's iconic concrete silo tower footings.

The archway had a large stone hopper above fed by an aerial cable way system, and loaded quarried stone into the waiting ships.

The harbour and inshore lifeboat house from the pier end.

Hidden behind the white building (the pub) was the smokery, still producing kippers in the traditional way.

The village had a a general air of seaside and oak smoke, a delightful mouth watering combination.

A beach walk in the afternoon found us at Low Newton, the northern half of the beach we walked yesterday.

The village centred around a three sided square of houses down by the beach, and like Craster, it had a very convenient car park just before the houses where you could park for a reasonable fee (£2 all day) and walk to the beach. It certainly avoided indiscriminate parking on the back of the beach.

In the corner of the square, the excellent Ship Inn

Local specialty on the menu tonight - Craster Kippers - and they were excellent too :o)

Evening light on our beach back at Beadnell . . .

but we were denied a final red glow by a bank of approaching cloud.

Day five - The cloud had gone and it was blue skies all the way.

This was me giving the dogs some pre-breakfast exercise.

As this was our last morning we took a walk along the local beach.

This is Beach Court, with the harbour and limekilns.

This time from further around the bay.

Blue skies and fast moving clouds which temporarily shaded the village had gone, but so had our holiday time.

A last look down the wide open beach with the sand dunes stretching all the way it seemed to Dunstanburgh in the distance.

Northumbria will be remembered for those wide open skies, the sandy beaches, the good food and the welcoming hospitality.


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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . big skies and bags of sunshine.

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