Tuesday 26 May 2015
Beadnell Bay to Beal
The Barn at Beal campsite
The sun was shining as I made my way back to Seahouses along the beach. It was so peaceful early in the morning.
I saw 2 herons standing on rocks fishing, lots of Eider ducks (known as Cuddies after St Cuthbert) and their chicks, and there were gulls bathing in the shallows in the morning sun.
I stopped at the bakery in Seahouses again for a quick coffee and then walked the 2 miles along the beautiful beach that is watched over by Bamburgh Castle and directly faces the Farne Islands. Like all the beaches up this stretch of coast, dotted along the beach at well spaced intervals are large rock formations that are mostly covered at high tide. The rock pools the outgoing tide leaves behind look brilliant and I’ve seen plenty of people wading around in them with nets and buckets in hand.
In one area, just below the dunes, there were tadpoles in saltwater rock pools. It seems the dunes are home to a colony of toads. Bamburgh is an impressive looking castle and I have wanted to visit for a while so I braved the queues of foreign and English tourists. I have to say I was slightly disappointed and it didn’t live up to my expectations. It has wonderful commanding views but its history made it seem more like a Victorian folly to me. There’s not much history of it as a fort and most of it was built by a wealthy Victorian who wanted a castle. The artefacts on display don’t particularly relate to the castle either – there was some wonderful German armour and Italian swords. I enjoyed the views the best. I wandered into Bamburgh village, again braving hordes of tourists, and was delighted to have an excellent cream tea (with proper clotted cream) at one of the tea rooms. Refreshed, I walked a couple of miles around the headland to overlook Budle Bay, which is not crossable due to the Ross Low water channel. As I passed Harkess Rocks, a semi circle of rocks enclaving a small patch of beach, I noticed a white stag drawn on the rock. Rather than walk the roads around Budle Bay I caught the bus and got off almost a mile from my campsite at Beal.
Stunning views from my tent, perched on the side of a hill, all the way across to Holy Island, the Farnes and Bamburgh Castle.
I got chatting to my neighbours, who had just walked St Oswalds way, and they gave me a lift to the pub down the road and we had dinner together. Thanks to Mags, who has offered me accommodation in Glasgow, and to Ade and Jackie, who have offered the same N of the Lake District. It turns out Ade also used to be in the RAF so there was a bit of shop talk to be had.