Posted by: natsevs | November 11, 2010

Dunstan to Seaton Carew

I woke to a seriously cold morning and almost froze as I walked to the toilet block. After a tea cake breakfast I made my way back towards the coast at Craster. It was another very windy day but the coast path actually stuck to the coast for a change which was a bonus. There were a few dips to go up and down before going through a private caravan park and onto the beach for a short stint. The path took me up to a golf course after a short while and I walked through there towards Alnmouth. The coast path heads inland looping round to get to Alnmouth but there was a footpath straight over to the town so I took that. I met up with my friend Kathy there who lives nearby in Durham. We nipped to a shop for some food then had the challenge of finding our way out of Alnmouth. We found the bridge over the river eventually and made our way down the other side along path at first but that disappeared to be replaced by mud then a cow field. Once we had arrived at farm there was a path down to the beach. We got onto the beach and made our way along there until another river forced us in and onto the road. The road took us to Warkworth then onwards towards Amble.

I had seen a car a few times with a pig on it, saying “go on ask about the pig”. The car pulled up in front of us so I got Kathy to ask and was very disappointed with the answer. It was some money saving company and not something fun at all. We stopped a minute later for a beer before carrying on into the town. Here Kathy left me to wait for a bus back up to Amble to get her return train. My granddad had rung on the road in to say he would be coming out to pick me up. They live south of Middlesbrough so it was quite a way to drive out. As I walked on I was on the phone to Grandma and Grandad trying to direct them to where I would be. I stopped at half 4 before I ended up away from the road and my grandparents found their way to me. The drive home took 1.5 hours then I had tea at grans before being run to my auntie Lisa’s where I was going to be sleeping thanks to my cousin Rosie giving up her room.

I was up early and dropped off at grandma’s for a cooked breakfast before being taken back to Druridge Bay. We got up there at around half 10 and I set off along the track above the beach. It was a seriously cold morning as I made my way along to the end of the track then down onto the beach. The tide was right in but there was enough beach to get along all the way top Creswell. I had to come up onto the road there to go round a power station to Lynemouth. It meant I had to go back on myself a little bit but then found a path out from there to Newbiggin where a Jack Russell was running around the streets and almost getting run over. I managed to get hold of him but there was no number on his collar and no-one seemed to know where he’d come from so I had to just let him go and hope his owner came back. I had to go onto a busy A road to get over a couple of rivers around Camais which wasn’t very fun. When I got to Blyth I walked down through there along the river to get back to the coast. Once back to the front I was able to walk a mixture of path and beach all the way to Whitley Bay. Getting into Whitley bay I came up to the promenade to walk into town where I stopped to be picked up by my Grandparents again.

The journey to Whitley Bay in the morning was a bit shorter than the previous one but I still wasn’t getting started until gone 10. I carried on through Whitley Bay on another clear and therefore slightly cold day. The promenade and roads took me all the way through Cullercoats to Tynemouth. Once I had got to the river I followed a cycle path along roads and paths inland keeping me by the riverside. Fish quay was full of sea food restaurants all along the front then I got onwards to North Shields. Carrying on through I ended up on the main road heading towards the Tyne Tunnel. I hadn’t known there was a pedestrian tunnel but signs started turning up for it so I followed then hoping it was still there. It turns out it was real and I made my way down the steps to go through. Its quite a weird experience to walk through a tunnel but quite cool though. On the other side the escalators were actually working so up I went to now be in Jarrow.

I had said I would meet a friend by the bridge thinking I would be walking down that far so ended up looking for the nearest metro station to get into Gateshead. Once there I had to deal with the carnage of the Great North Run weekend. The proper run wasn’t until the following day but all the junior races were happening as well as the city games on mobile tracks and stuff. You could barely move around the bridge and it didn’t help that it was really hot. It was a bit of a shock to the system to be surrounded by so many people after quite a solitary life for months on end. After lunch I got back through the throng to the metro station and back to Jarrow. I walked through Tynedock and other lovely places to get out to South Shields which is actually quite nice. I walked along the promenade to get to a path through a reserve with some really nice beaches and cliffs with arches and stacks sticking out to the sea. I carried on along the path to Salter lighthouse and onwards to Whitburn. I came in to the road as Lisa was coming up that way. When I got to South Bents they drove up with everyone bar grandma in the car, the kids had all been doing various sports all day.

It had rained a lot during the night and was still quite showery in the morning when I was dropped back off at South Bents. I set off along the front to Sunderland but had to come in to get the bridge over the Wear. I followed the road to the harbour then more roads southward through a lot of obviously quite new estates. Finally the road took me into Seaham past a massive boot sale. I walked the front through there before getting on to a path as the road turns inland. The path goes along between the cliff top and the railway and was quite popular with dog walkers. It was quite a good path at first but the further I got from the car park the less maintained it became. I was soon going along right by the rail side then the path started going in and out quite a lot. There was a point where my only option seemed to be to get onto the rail tracks to go over a bridge. I wasn’t keen on getting flattened by a train but didn’t seem to have an option so got my leg over the broken fence and went over the bridge VERY quickly. Once on the other side I could see that the path did actually come under the bridge and round to the side I was now on. Oh well.

Once down and up a dip I was blocked off by some building work so had to get along another path around the edge of that. After more ins and outs I got to the point where I was completely blocked off by thick vegetation. I tried to find a few ways through unsuccessfully and going inland wasn’t an option because the town there was completely blocked off by big fences and private land warnings. Finally I found a hole in the vegetation right by the cliff side and made my way down the dip and back up again. After that I decided I would go down onto the beach for a bit. It was an interesting experience, the sand and mud was dark grey and the stones were bright orange as a result of years of industry down the coast. There were a load of fishermen that had somehow driven down there and parked up on the sludge. I don’t think I’d eat a fish I had caught on that bridge.

There was a little river to get round and then along further before I had to come back up onto the cliffs. I stayed on the path until it came to a drop with no other option but down. I went down a very rough and slippy path back up then down and up once more to come up to a caravan park. Out of there was a track to a golf course that I made my way through with some guy hitting a ball that went past about a meter from me which was nice of him. On the other side there was path again and that took me through a load of old industry then in onto road at Hartlepool. My impression of Hartlepool can be summed up by walking past a completely melted down bin after about 5 minutes. I walked on out to Seaton Carew and Simon and Lisa picked me up there and took me back to Grandma’s for tea. Then I went back over to theirs and watched TV and chilled for the night.

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