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" Northumberland - 5 - Beadnell and Craster "


Date & start time:    Wed/Thurs, 2nd/3rd May 2018. ( Map ref: NU 241 246 )

Location of Start :   Melvin Cottage Cottage, Low Newton, Northumberland, UK.

Stayed at :                 Melvin Cottage, Low Newton by the Sea Northumberland, UK.

Places visited :        Beadnell Harbour and Craster Harbour.

Walk details :           A drive to each location and a local walk in the area.

With :                         Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.

Weather :                  Sunshine and high cloud, a cool breeze.

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We've often stayed in Beadnell on our holidays here in Northumbria

but our favourite guest house has closed as the owners have retired from taking guests.

Beadnell is still a very picturesque place and so we return to the village

to reacquaint ourselves with its beauty.

Our holiday cottage at Low Newton . . . and the view of Dunstanburgh in the far distance.

On our walk today we keep the view of the castle in the view finder

but there's a harbour wall in the forefront of this photo . . . and Low Newton hasn't got a harbour !

We're at Beadnell Harbour

and park in the beach car park behind the dunes as we're not staying in the village .

These shorter walks and beaches outings are beautifully suited to Harry's mature age.

One of the dogs has wet footprints which tracks his movements over to the Beadnell lime kilns.

Behind the village is the headland of Ebb's Nook, which was always a favourite little walk.

Looking north up the coast you can just make out the Inner and Outer Farne Islands and the Longstone Lighthouse on its outer end.

Lady's Hole, Nacker Hole and Beadnell Haven.

They don't mess about with fancy names up here !

The headland of Ebb's Nook is another volcanic intrusion . . .
. . . that slopes gradually east into the North Sea.

It is a windy day but not too rough.

The waves are quite powerful due to a more gradual swell out to sea, rather than locally wind-created inshore waves.

I venture down for a photo . . . but use the biggest zoom of the standard lens so thatI don't need to get too close.

- - - o o o - - -


Ann walking back through the marram grass

that covers the sandy top of the headland.


I feel she should have been wearing a red skirt and cloak

to match the display board.


Click here to see a larger version of the poster.


- - - o o o - - -

Walking back to the harbour with the sun shining on the waves of Beadnell Bay.

The level path here was once a tram way bringing local coal and limestone for creating commercial lime in the kilns.

This was first used in farming to counter-balance acidic soils and so improve agricultural productivity.

Subsequent uses include the treatment of drinking water, adding to paints, it is used in building cement and so many more uses.

[ A tour and fuller explanation of the kilns is available on previous reports ]

The harbour is calm as it is one of the few UK east coast harbours with a west facing entrance.

It is protected from the swell by the harbour wall and the breakwater.

The harbour is still used commercially by local lobster fishermen who store their pots up at the top of the jetty.

Two of the working boats . . . the rear one a classic smaller local herring boat.

Beadnell Court . . . Unfortunately Russ and Carole were out when we called.

The room we used to stay in is the one that included the four-pane beach window and the four upper windows of the tower.

Back down on the outer breakwater . . . a majestic herring gull taking a break.

Perhaps he has one eye on the waves as they roll over the breakwater.

Every seventh wave is bigger (or is that folk law) and as a result it creates a larger splash.

Beach Bums.

The tide is turned and on the way out as we walk back across the beach to the car park.

Back at Low Newton . . . the dark skies were a precursor to the only rain shower we had all holiday.

" Staircase to the Moon " . . . Low Newton style.
The brilliantly bright moon shines on the sands of Low Newton Bay.

- - - o o o - - -

Next morning . . .  first light through the light window blinds found me awake at silly-o'clock again.

The first light of the day starts to colour the sky.

. . . the sun breaks cover and starts its ascent.

Half way through sunrise as a distant bird flies across the golden orb.

A few minutes later . . . it could do with more bird interest !
Thanks very much . . . time to get back to bed.

- - - o o o - - -

After breakfast we walked the dogs on the headland without venturing too far this time.

We discover that the Coastguard Lookout here is a National Trust Holiday Cottage available to rent.  More details available here

On the bank facing Low Newton Bay . . .
. . . there are more large patches of Scurvy Grass.

The ever present sentinel of Dunstanburgh Castle.

A shelduck flies in . . .
. . . and starts searching the rock pools.

Turnstones again, searching the tide line for invertebrates and anything else edible.

Count them yourself.

There were sandlings, turnstones and redshank in amongst the seaweed . . . I counted in excess of 40 on the full size photo.

A rare dragonfly flying over the beach . . .
. . . kites available at your local beach shop if you have one.

Morning constitutional over . . . time for a drive to Craster for lunch.

- - - o o o - - -

Well this was to be a picture of Craster . . . but because we thought we knew the area we missed the turn

and ended up on the coast almost on Howick, at Cullernose Point.

Rather than double back we realised that this was a great place to walk the dogs.

We parked the car in a convenient layby and joined the coast path.

The cliffs below were almost vertical, consequentially inaccessible, and so a great home for the birds.

A shorter, narrow beak with no nose appendages but often identified by their call . . . "Kitty-wake".

Great fliers as they ride the air currents close to the cliff.

The horizontal strata makes great nesting platforms.
Sadly the beach has gathered a line of water-borne plastics.
On the cliff above . . . primroses
. . . violets
. . . and thrift.

The farmer has planted a field of rape which has bloomed with characteristic bold, yellow flowers.

Rape seed is the source of rape seed oil, important in the catering trade, commercial and domestic.

Ann takes time out on a conveniently shaped branch of a gorse bush.

Fortunately it is an old branch with few if any prickles.

Cullernose Point before we turn to retrace our steps.

Tucked at the back of the beach is a lovely example of curved rock strata

formed at the time of the volcanic intrusion of the Whin Sill series of rocks.

Howick Bathing House.

The isolated and rather out of character house was a shoreline property of Earl Grey of the local Howick Estate.

The farmer has made tracks through the crop . . .
. . . we make tracks back passing a lovely blackthorn hedge.

This was the turn to Craster that we missed earlier.

I know it is big and you can't miss it . . . but I thought it was an entrance to the estate not the village.

We parked at the convenient car park at the entrance of the village . . . it was just a short walk down to the harbour.

The car park now occupies the site of the quarry that was famous for exporting Whin Sill road stone via Craster inlet.

The harbour improvements wree done in the early 20th century in memory of the son of a local family, who died in military service in Tibet in 1904.

Craster is home to the famous Robsons Smoke House and the smoked herring they produce.

Herring are no longer caught commercially at Craster but the kippers produced here are world renowned.

The village used a large number of Scottish ladies to gut the herring and they slept in very basic accommodation, know as Kip Houses.

From this comes the modern day term of "having a kip".    The Craster History website.

Opposite the smoke house is the Jolly Fisherman pub . . . renowned in its own way as the home of the Craster crab sandwich.

When in Rome (Craster) do as the Romans (Crasterians) do . . . order a crab sandwich for two at the bar

. . . delightful, especially when washed down with pint of the local ale.

Afterwards we wander down to the harbour to stretch our legs.

The black and white boat moored up opposite has just returned after a private fishing excursion.

The iconic concrete structure at the end of the pier was the base of a much larger tower that supported the end of an aerial ropeway

which brought stone down from the quarries, thus enabling the boats to be loaded more easily.

Through the arch we have a southern view of Dunstanburgh Castle for a change.

After lunch we walked slowly back  to the car . . . at Harry's pace.

. . . leaving the boats and the village for others to enjoy.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix Tz60 Compact, or my Panasonic Gx8 mid-range System Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a classic crab salad sandwich at the home of crab sandwiches.

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5. Beadnell & Craster

Previous walk -  1st May 2018 - Cragside House

A previous time in the area - 13th - 18th October 2014 - A walk around the fields of Craster

Next walk4th May - Dunstanburgh Castle