" 1. Our Beadnell Holiday ~ Days 5 and 6 "


Date & Time: Friday 17th / Saturday 18th October 2014.

Locations : The Northumberland Coast north of Alnwick.

Places visited : Lindisfarne / Holy Island and Beadnell on the last morning.

Accommodation : Accommodation at the Beach Court Beadnell, Northumbria.

With : Ann and myself and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Two lovely days to end the holiday, but misty as we awoke this morning.

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


Click here or on the map for bigger version.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. License number PU 100034184.


There's a sea mist about this morning, they know it here as a sea fret,

but don't "fret" about a page of grey photos as the sun came out, the mist evaporated

and by the time we reached our planned destination, all was well.

A seagull perches on the bollard at the end of Beadnell Harbour wall as a wave splash over the breakwater.

I took the dogs out for a quick morning stroll before breakfast . . . the sea fret was cold and the visibility poor today.

Breakfast over and the sun came roaring through . . . as did the Virgin East Coast train at Belford Junction level crossing.

We're on the way up the coast to Holy Island and will have to wait for another train on the next crossing up the line too.

At the car park on the mainland side of the causeway to Holy Island

there's chance to get out and read the information boards and 'turn the handle' (left) to get an audio commentary on the scenery.

There's a mile long crossing to the island which is covered by the sea for three or four hours every tide.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger Loweswatercam panorama of the view before we set across.

The tides are timed well today and give us eight hours free time, starting just before midday.

[ Notices and leaflets clearly advertise the times you can cross safely.]

Should you misread the times and get caught out, there's a mid-point refuge.

People occasionally chance their luck and when their cars get engulfed by the water the occupants could seek safety in the raised shelter.

Looking south across the salt marshes of Fenham Flats to the waters of Lindisfarne Harbour.

In the distance, rising out of the remains of the sea fret, the spectre of Bamburgh Castle.

We parked in the well organised island car park, paid a very reasonable fee for all day parking

and set off on a walk around the island on one of the advertised nature trails.

We chose to walk in a clockwise direction so as to allow the newly arrived crowds to visit the castle first.

Our walk would be the quieter option.

No cars, no trick motorbikes on the track ahead.

We set off up the "Straight Lonnen" heading to the northern side of the island.

Plenty of berries in the lane.
A robin perches on a branch between snacks.
If you are a bird chose black or red.

Dylan and Harry as we near the top of the lane.

Hidden in a small woodland there were several bird watchers looking for rare arrivals from the continent

but adverse winds have apparently delayed their migration.

From the top of the lane we headed out over the sand dunes.

The leaflet mentions the grazing by cattle and the maintenance of habitat suitable for moths, butterflies, frogs and other amphibians.

Towards the north east corner of the island we cross a raised bank that has a definite engineered curve.

This was the old trackway that linked limestone quarries up here with the limekilns near the castle.

The footpath continues on to a white triangular structure on the edge of the sea.

This is a large navigation mark for shipping in order to identify the top corner of the island.

The walk continues as we turn south and heads down the coastal path on the east of the island past Sheldrake Pool.

On our right is a large freshwater pond and an important site for birds.

Believed to have been dug out by the monks, the pool may have supplied water and even fish for the monastic islanders of old.

We march on in the searing heat of the day . . .

the sunshine (and the language) exaggerated by the camera having to take pictures directly into the sun.

Ann making her way along the grassy path towards Lindisfarne Castle.

We've met up with the wagon-way again and enjoy lovely views out to sea now the mist has cleared.

There are several navigation marks out in the bay, highlighting the surf and the dangerous reef to passing sailors.

Ann takes a break to enjoy the view and the seabirds on the beach below.

A curlew makes its careful way through the edge of the water in search of food.

An Oyster Catcher (top) and redshank (?) search in one of the rock pools down below us.

Is it a bird, is it Superman . . .  no it's a plane.

The gentle hum of a light aircraft as it flies above us . . . much quieter than the jets we are used to in the hills.

For those whose interest is in flying light aircraft . . . this is a Evektor-Aerotechnik EV-97 Eurostar

belonging to the Purple Aviation Flying School based near Newcastle . . . gain your Pilot's Licence here from only £3475 !

[ Impressed . . . that's the wonder of advertising on the tail plane backed up by a search of the internet ]

The gentle hum recedes as we walk on towards the castle.

Full marks to this guy and his family for making it out this far, including a grassy descent down from the wagon way.

Numerous visitors have built small cairns all along the raised beach that fronts the island.

There's Bamburgh Castle again . . . that sea mist has not completely cleared close to shore.

The wagon-way which leads on towards the castle but was built to bring raw materials to the limekilns

which is the square structure to the left of the photo.

From the top of the high ground in the middle of the last picture we gain a lovely view of the sea all round.

Rather than walk on to the castle we double back slightly to investigate the famous limekilns.

The massive structure houses six large kilns in a honeycomb labyrinth of brick arches and dates from the 1860's.

The kilns used coal to heat the limestone from the quarries to produce lime which was then shipped out by sea for use up and down the coast.

[ Click here or on the photo for a larger version if you wish to read the detail.]

From the beach the structure makes more sense . . . we go inside to explore.

Arches out to sea allow the light in . . .
. . . to the base of the kilns where the lime was produced.

The large kilns are open to the sky and unusually not filled in as they are in Beadnell and most other places.

You'll be pleased to hear the area is well fenced to prevent folk from approaching too closely.

Back to the beach and time to head back up to the Castle.

The indistinct wooden stakes on the second headland

are all that remain of the old jetty that used to import the coal and export lime from the island.

Looking across from the high ground once again

and we can see the old enclosed walled garden that used to supply food to the castle.

On the green outside the walls are the iconic upturned boats

that now house the ticket office, information displays, shop and equipment stores used by the National Trust.

We pass on a visit to the inside of the castle having been in before

and as the day is progressing fast, the sun is losing its heat . . . time to be heading back to the village.

Consequently we have a little time to explore other things on the way back.

These are the wooden stanchions that once formed the basis of the coal jetty . . . nature reclaims the seashore for itself.

Two towers on the headland opposite are more way-markers for the boats that use the harbour area.

Behind the beach is the old Priory of St Aidan founded in AD 635.

In front are more upturned herring boats now used as fishermen's huts and boat stores

. . . a legacy of the days of large scale fishing in the area.

These old sheds were made from old, upturned boats and many are still in use.

This one is in remarkably good state

but many are showing signs of terminal decay and need a lot of conservation if they are to stand any chance of survival.

Modern sailing boats join the many and varied small fishing boats at the back of the beach.

- - - o o o - - -

Back at the car park we meet up, totally unplanned, with David and Josie who were also visiting the island today.

As we sat next to the cars we were entertained by the starlings that flew all around.

Large clouds of starlings are known as a "murmurings" . . . we'll just have to be content with perhaps a "whispering" of starlings today.

When they were all in flight they were quite impressive

but many remained sat on the wires of the local electricity poles, perhaps waiting for their continental cousins to arrive.

 - - - o o o - - -

On the way back to Beadnell the coast road passes the coastal village of Seahouses.

Seahouses is the main harbour used by the tourist boats that take visitors out to the Farne Islands.

In the twilight of the early evening the main light on the outer Farne starts it's nightly vigil.

- - - o o o - -

After another nice evening meal at the Craster Arms in Beadnell we awake to a sun-filled final morning,

Time for a stroll along the beach for one more time before we have to leave.

The beach is relatively full of people considering it is not yet mid morning. 

Harry and Dylan (here) have a great time playing with the other dogs. Most folk seem to have at least one.

There's a young child (behind Mum) flying a small kite . . .
. . . and someone rather older with a slightly larger one.

There's sport to be had in the strong breeze . . .

Hopefully he's concentrating on the conditions not staring at the camera !

Connected to the sail by the centre cord,

he controls the angle of the sail and consequently his speed and direction by controlling the bar with his hands.

Running out of space, he does a neat jump turn and heads back across the bay.

Safely away from the harbour wall.

He's not alone out on the water today . . . others are 'board sailing' further out.

Another group of enthusiasts . . . but what are they doing ?

They wander into the water and perform some ancient fertility right (?) dunking one of their members in the surf !

Ahh . . . those are dry suits and the local dive-boat arrives to take them out, presumably diving off the Farne Islands.

Time to be heading back and heading home . . . we retrace our steps to the harbour . . .

. . . leaving others to enjoy the beach this sunny Saturday morning.

- - - o o o - - -

Our five night holiday draws to an end and it is time to say goodbye and thanks to Russ and Carole at the Beach Court.

No photos . . . no pack drill as we leave . . .

but we did take one last portrait and say goodbye to their lovely dog, Ben.

Thanks for a great week.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR Camera.

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

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Previous walk - 13th October 2014 Beadnell 4 - Berwick on Tweed

A previous time here - 24th to 29th September 2006 Beadnell and the Northumbrian Coast