Fenwick to Berwick (North Sea Trail)
Wed 10th October 2012
YES Well! What a day to finish the new Northumberland long distance footpath Alston to Berwick. Sundance had finally got his act together his soft shoe shuffle did the trick, wall to wall sunshine. The fact that he had another brand new pair of boots that needed to be tested out to see if they were waterproof may have had some influence over the weather.
To leave home to get to Berwick the car windscreen had to be de-iced for the first time this autumn. After a very pleasant and quiet drive up we arrived at Berwick to find half the group had all ready arrived and well before the departure time we were all on the mini bus heading back south to Fenwick.
After getting off the mini bus we had only walked 20m before Mike had the (new, a bright orange colour for when he leaves it behind) camera out and wanted the obligatory ‘group photo’. Then we followed a road for a short while before climbing up a lane where we had fantastic views over Buddle Bay to Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle (this was the highest point on the walk 131ft ). After crossing a minor road and a gentle descent through a field we arrived at the main North East railway line Before you cross the line you have to use the phone to call the signal man up to get permission to cross and when you have crossed you then have to use the phone on the other side to tell him that you have crossed! Having crossed another field the path winds its way through some tank blocks before arriving at the Holy Island road crossing. From here we followed the high water mark around Beal Point (fortunately it was low tide) and continued towards a sluice across South Low but just before arriving at the sluice a bird hide has just recently been built and this provided us with an ideal excuse for our lunch stop.
After lunch we crossed the sluice walk eastwards leaving the landward path until we reached the beach. A whole four miles of yellow sands and totally flat not a hill or rise to be climbed a rather novel experience. On the down side we could see Berwick about 7miles away in the distance as the seagull flies. Between Goswick and Cheswick the sand dunes fall away and you have a fantastic view of The Cheviot and the surrounding northern hills above Wooler.
Just after a coffee break at Cheswick Black Rocks we climbed the sand dunes above Far Skerr and joined the path cycleway that would take us to Spittal but more importantly an ice cream van. Unfortunately there were lots of rocks and this gave Mike the opportunity to bore us by him telling us all about how they were formed. It was on this section we climbed our second ‘peak’ of the day 95ft.
On arrival at Spital we walk along the sea front and started to follow the Lowery trail which led us to Tweedmouth and eventually the old road bridge across the Tweed and into Berwick.
Congratulations to Chris, Peter, Peter and Judy who have completed all the sections over the last two years. Route length 115 miles, height ascended 16,768ft. (This does not include all the walks in and out to get on to the route that has been done). National trails used Pennine Way, Hadrian’s Wall Path, St. Cuthbert’s Way, Northumberland North Sea Trail and lastly Lowery’s Picture Trail.
What’s next? back to our starting point, Alston this time using the North Sea Trail, St. Oswald’s Way, Hadrian’s Wall Path and Isaac’s Tea Trail.