Last weekend I spent a couple of days backpacking the Northumberland Coast Path, and it was such a delightful and peaceful walk that I’m simply going to let the photos sum it up. I highly recommend this as a gentle few days coastal walking, spending the nights sleeping under the stars to the rhythmic sound of the tide.I’d in fact only just come back from a weeks holiday with my wife in Northumberland, but was so struck by the peace and quiet of the beaches that the following weekend I got a train back up to Newcastle and a bus out to Creswell to walk the coastal path north to Berwick on Tweed.
The Northumberland Coast Path runs 64 miles from Creswell to Berwick, though you can continue for another twenty or so miles north on the Berwickshire Coast Path. I had three days spare so decided to stick to the Northumberland section.
I started from Creswell at midday on the Friday after an easy journey up, and was in Berwick 64 miles later by 10:00 am on the Sunday. So it took me a little less than two days actual walking. Even so, it never felt rushed as the days were long and sunny, and the walking a constant visual delight. Numerous small coastal villages, long stretches of sand where you can just stroll barefoot if you catch the tides right, and plenty of pubs to wet your whistle with a good ale. And don’t forget the ice creams, kippers, and sea food. It would make an excellent four day leisurely backpack, with plenty of time to explore or just sit, relax and stare out to sea.
I camped out for the two nights, the first simply sleeping under the stars in the sand dunes at Embleton Bay with a glorious bedside view overlooking Dunstonburgh Castle, and the second night under cover in my Trekkertent Stealth overlooking Lindisfarne at Goswick Sands.
A school boy error on the first night resulted in a very wet sleeping bag. A very warm and humid day, followed by an incoming tide and an onshore breeze resulted in rather a lot of moisture condensing on the cold exterior of my sleeping bag as the night temperature plummeted, and being a complete numpty a hadn’t bothered to use a sleeping bag cover. I woke at 3 am rather damp, and rather cold. Thirty five years of backpacking experience has taught me nothing it seems.
Luckily a glorious morning soon dried the bag as I sat watching the sunrise and brewing a morning cuppa on the beach. Backpacking moments don’t come much better than that.