Friday 22 May 2015
Whitley Bay to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea
The Captain’s Lodge Guest House
Walking along Whitley Bay’s promenade I passed the Panama Swimming Club hut; a feature since the 1950s. It didn’t look like anyone used it much. At the end of Whitley Sands is St Mary’s Island and lighthouse, which is joined to the mainland at Curry’s Point by a short tidal causeway. I could have crossed and gone up the lighthouse, but the skies were grey and visibility not good enough to be worth it for the views. Curry’s Point is rather joyfully named after the last man to have been hanged in the town and his body strung up in a gibbet on that cliff.
Looking back at Whitley Bay the town’s version of the Taj Mahal (a dirty old white building with a dome) stood out. I walked past what looked like the most boring links golf course in the world; essentially a small, flat field where the longest hole was 98 yards.
Next up was Seaton Sluice, which was definitely the most picturesque sluice I’ve seen so far and from here there were great views along South Beach to the ugly town of Blyth.
Here one has the option of walking along the main road, through the small dunes or along the beach to Blyth. It’s a nondescript town with a power station and a few wind turbines. The only option to get past it is to walk inland and across The Blyth on the main road, then continue on the roads to Newbiggin. I decided to get the bus. This required a trip into Ashington and then another bus out to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea; another uninspiring place.
Trust me to take an afternoon off in a place I wouldn’t bother visiting with accommodation that I can’t access until later. It took me 10 minutes to walk round Newbiggin. The only thing I found interesting was the ‘Couple’ artwork by Sean Henry built on the sea defence breakwater.
I sat in a cafe waiting for my expensive guest house to open and had a truly awful cream tea. I am hoping for better things from the rest of Northumberland!