Weekend stroll along the Northumberland Coast Path

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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.

Northumberland-Map

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.

14 thoughts on “Weekend stroll along the Northumberland Coast Path

  1. The Northumberland beaches are just superb – never crowded even on the hottest summer day. Lovely area. You did well covering the distance in the time.

    • Perhaps a tad too fast. But with the long days you can take your time and the miles just slip by. I got the tides just right, out most of the day, so I was able to walk at least half of the 64 miles along the sand.

    • I had a early start the second day and as I came down through Fenwick in the afternoon there was a brief rain shower breaking the hot weather. A fantastic rainbow formed over Holy Island and as the tide was fully out it was too tempting just to walk past. I walked across the sand to the car park for an ice cream and bought some strawberries at one of the first houses. Didn’t venture as far as the Priory though as I’d been there the week before on holiday.

    • I remember you doing St Cuthberts Way earlier this year, a very hot couple of days if I remember. I like the look of that after doing the last section down to Holy Island. May have to stealth camp on that.

    • Never backpacked it but know it quite well. Stunning big expanses of sky, sea and sand. Usually very windy. You did well with the mileage seeing that you walked mainly on the sand. My legs would be dropping off.
      Great images.

      • Yes, sometimes sand can be very tiring. But walk on the right bit not long after the tide has exposed it and the sand is flat and firm. I seemed to get the tides just right this time. The tiring parts were the dunes.

  2. We love Northumberland and regularly go up there for the hills as well as the coast. We’ve actually cycled quite a bit of the coastal path, too. Lovely cycling – and cafes for cake stops!

    • It’s a great area which we used to go up to quite a bit as a family when we used to live just outside Teesside. Been going back over recent years and rediscovered it’s peace and quiet. Decided that the more we keep quiet about it the better. It’s a wonderful area.

      • I actually come from Hartlepool originally so have lots of memories of the area from being quite young. It’s peace and quietness is definitely one of it’s attractions, isn’t it? BTW – I’m also related to Grace Darling – twice……

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