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Berwick to Alston - part one

Berwick to Alston - part one

Fri 8th March 2013

Berwick to Holy Island Causeway

The return journey

After a long rest Sundance built up enough enthusiasm to find the soft shoes, wracked his brain cell and eventually membered the steps to the old soft shoe shuffle.  He obviously was a little rusty as we did not get the sunshine of the previous day.  But and a big but it did not rain.

The group of happy wanderers met at the carpark on the mainland at the start of the Holy Island crossing to be greeted by the every happy, smiling, cheerful Mike!!  We quickly piled on to the mini bus and set off to Berwick.  The walk back to Alston was once again going to be done in stages and other than today’s walk we would be not walking on the footpaths we used on the northward journey.

After a quick comfort stop and a photo, we set of down a steep path through a small park to the river Tweed and views of three of the four bridges spanning the river.  After a short walk down river we crossed the Tweed by its oldest bridge to reach Tweedmouth.  From here we continued to follow the river downstream towards the Tweeds Mouth.  Unfortunately for us this also was part of the Lowery Trail which Mike with great pleasure kept pointing out the various information boards.  Turning south we strolled along Spital prom before climbing steeply up a path to reach the top of the cliffs and the high point of the day 47m.

This path is part of the North Sea Trail.  Now here is a thought how about  us doing  all the Trail  Starting in Northern Norway walking south to Denmark and then along the near continental coast line before hopping across The Channel and walking north, up to the end of the trail in Northern Scotland.

After a pleasant walk along the cliff top, although visibility was somewhat limited due to it being a rather misty haze.  Towards the end of the cliffs the route continues along a minor road with various places to park and have a walk on Cocklawburn Beach.  It was towards the end of the road section that Mike became somewhat distressed as the usual ice cream van was not there.  A short time later we came to the end of the road and Mike lead us to some scruffy sand dunes for lunch and a sort of limited view out to sea.

The route continued to run parallel to the main railway line but after a couple of kilometres Mike led us through the sand dunes on to the beach, Cheswick Sands,  this was so Mike did not have to do any map reading as all he had to do was keep the sea on his left, which he did with great skill and fortitude.  After a short walk along the beach several of the group got really excited and walked even further than they had to just because a seal was sunbathing (remember it was dull) on the foreshore.  In places we found the sand hard, making the walking easy but the majority of the time it was soft and was quite strenuous.

The other obstacle we had to overcome (splash through) was a stream  The North Low running across the beach to the sea.

We now had reached Goswick Sand just before we reached Beal point we had to head back over the dunes to pick up the footpath so we could cross the sluice over South Low this time without getting wet.  A short walk along some mud flats brought us back to the cars and the Holy Island Causeway.

Posted By: Julie Barnett and Martin Ainscow | Tue 19th March 2013

We all met at Holy Island crossing point and while waiting for a latecomer we got a chance to chat to Mike and Andrea about this walk and other walks coming up . We were bussed up to the start of the walk at Berwick where Mike explained where we'd be going and our instructions on how to not get lost. Basically keep the sea on the left! Even I could follow these complex instructions. I would like to say the picture of me and Martin on the website doesn't show that we enjoyed this walk. Worryingly this was less than 1 mile in. Obviously Mike waited until we'd stopped smiling and looked serious, usually a difficult feat. This was a relatively easy walk for us as it was flat, it wasn't a great looking day but we didn't get wet (apart from our feet when we plodged through the stream). As always Mike was full of useful and interesting information as well as the boring stuff he's interested in but we just pretend to be interested in, ha ha! Great walk and looking at the website to check out next walks. Julie Barnett & Martin Ainscow

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