Training Walk 2 - Coastal Challenge route
Mon 14th April 2014
There were three features of the walk from Beadnell to Alnmouth that stood out on Saturday.
The first was and is the magnificence of the geology of the Northumberland coast. Taking a line, as this walk does, enables the contrast of sandy bays and rocky cliffs to be seen and to aid in understood how this geology shapes the use of the coastal areas by humans. Where there are breaks in the rocks humans have gathered and sought a living. An example of this is Craster. A natural break in the rocky shore made into a harbour saw the establishment of the village that was and remains largely based on the fishing industry.
Indeed some of todayís walkers took the opportunity to buy their famous Craster kippers.
The sandy bays and more gentle contours lend themselves to more recreational pasttimes and in particular to the game of golf. Plenty of sand for the bunkers! But the natural feature that attracted most attenion is the rock formations. The first real glimpse of this is just north of Dunstanborough around the Greymare Rock area where a fold in the strata is obvious. The natural looks man made but isnít because it is seen repeatedly if you take the time to look back as you leave Craster and after passing Cullernose Point. More photopgraphs were taken here than anywhere else during the day.
The second feature is defined by the geology: and this is Dunstanborough Castle. It is easy to see why it was built were it was as a defensive fortification. It commands all that is around it. Built upon a cliff that is so sheer and inaccessible that it is the home to a kittywake colony and with clear views across the land it was the obvious site to rule and defend a kingdom from.
The third feature of the walk was the wind. We pushed and prodded our way into the wind all day. We had a few drops of rain but for the most part the sun shone strongly and the air was clear so we had good views but the wind never gave up. We had a good walk but the energy we used was worth more than the 15 miles or so that we covered. Well done to everyone who walked so well. This was a good training walk and excellent preparation for the challenge in May. It was a relief to get into Alnmouth and turn away from the wind for the last half mile back to the car park.
We covered 15.5 miles in 6 hours and 15 minutes. The stop time was about 50 minutes which means that the overall average distance covered was 2.5 miles an hour. However the actual pace of walking was nearer 3 miles and hour.
I look forward to catching up with those of you who are doing the challenge walk and thanks to all of the walkers for their company.