189. Craster to Amble

No chance of a clear two days in Scotland, so I opted to continue my walk down the east coast of England  following the Northumberland Coastal Path. I set off early from Shropshire, this time continuing on up the M6 and then cutting east across country from Carlisle. I made good time and parked in the small coastal town of Amble. Here, I caught the X18 bus to Alnwick, where I got off and waited 20 minutes to catch the #418 to continue my journey to Craster.

It was a beautiful, clear, still, dry and sunny morning as I set off south along the Northumberland Coastal Path. Most of this path runs very close to the shoreline, it is well-marked and wide. From the footfall, I could see  it receives a lot of visitors and you can understand why, with the numerous castles and expansive sandy beaches. Although sunny, the slight breeze has a sharp ‘bite’. The first village I arrive at is Boulmer, a collection of houses and a pub right on the shoreline, giving its name to an old RAF airfield close by. I continue south and begin walking along the beach.

I entered the small village of Alnmouth, situated at the mouth of the River Aln where it enters the North Sea. The riverside path linking the town with the bridge across the Aln is closed for repairs. I walk through the town, cross the River Aln and continue a short distance along the A1086 before heading back towards the coastal dunes. The dunes are quite high and I get fantastic views south towards Amble and the offshore island of Coquet.

Looking back at Craster with Dunstanburgh Castle in the distance
Footbridge over the Howick Burn at Iron Scars
Looking back at Boulmer
Limestone “pavement” near Seaton Point
Looking back at Alnmouth
Looking towards Amble across Buston Links

I continue along the coast before cutting inland slightly to cross the River Coquet at Warkworth. The River Coquet forms a meandering loop around the town with the large and impressive ruins of Warkworth castle dominating the skyline. I continue along the A1068 which follows the River Coquet until it reaches the North Sea at Amble. Before I reach Amble I pass a weir on the Coquet, complete with fish ladder. The weir was probably constructed to keep a steady water level around Warkworth, as the river has a large tidal range. I spot a grey seal in the river, almost a mile inland! I head into Amble following the shoreline and out along the South Jetty, which is a large wooden structure running along the river and out into the sea. There is a lighthouse at the end of the jetty.

I locate my car and drive south to the small coastal town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and book myself into my B&B for the night at The Old Ship Inn.

The gatehouse to the Old Bridge across the River Coquet at Warkworth
Looking down towards the Market Cross at Warkworth
Warkworth Castle
Warkworth Castle
Looking back along the River Coquet to Warkworth
Weir with fish ladder on the River Coquet
Heading into Amble along the River Coquet
Late afternoon on the South Jetty at Amble

 

Distance today = 15 miles
Total distance = 3,322 miles

 

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