Coastal Challenge Walk 2013 - Training Walk 1
Mon 25th March 2013
A hardy group of walkers who have signed up for the Coastal Challenge Walk 2013 met at Beadnell for a 12 mile training walk. The country was covered in snow but by some weather quirk the North East coast had escaped the snow fall that caused white out conditions. However the wind was coming directly off the North Sea and made the walk a considerable challenge. The wind stripped warmth from our bodies and good clothing was essential.
The group were taken by minibus to Waren Mill on the edge of Budle Bay to walk southwards to Beadnell. And southwards we began walking glad to be going following the coastal path and St Oswald's Way signs along the lane, up through the wood and across fields. The sea and coast are not visible from this early part of the route but after about 3 miles on arise the magnificent castle at Bambrough comes into view. So far so good we were protected from the wind until we came to the exposed links course at Bambrough when turning into the wind (we had no choice) it was simply a matter of heads down and get on with it. A small cave underneath the castle provided a short rest bite but the group didn't linger and after a quick drink and sandwich to eat we set off for Seahouses.
Crossing a muddy field that threatened to suck the boots off our feet was followed by a flatter section that helped us to get up a good rhythm - this was after all a training walk.
The approach to Seahouses follows a wooded path which merely lulled us into a false sense of security because when we got to the harbour in Seahouses and the first check point on the actually Challenge Walk we had turned once again into the full force of the wind. The snow began at this point as we searched in vain to look for a sheltered spot for more to drink and eat. We huddled into a doorway in full sight of diners in a near by hotel - were they laughing at us?? No matter this group were up for the weather and to prevent us getting too cold we set off agin for the last leg to Beadnell.
The route out of Seahouses follows the coast about 3 meters from the sea for about half a mile. This was a half mile of searing cold as we were walking directly into the wind. The sea was spectacular with white topped waves curning up froth and leaving no beach to walk on even if we had wanted to. Across the links out of Seahouses the route turns abruptly by 90 degrees. This took us out of the wind and there was a group cheer at this point - we felt as if our ordeal was just about over. The walk along the road to Beadnell is not the prettiest part of the route by it was probably what we needed to finish off the most amazing day.
Well done to all the walkers. As a training walk it was great- we talked about techniques and strategies including pacing and eating on the go. We also worked out that the best way to recover is with a good pint - of milk (believe it or not).
Thanks to the group for a truly memorable day. I for one am looking forwards to meeting again at the next training walk in April.