Moving back to the coast we found ourselves staying near Ashington, just east of Morpeth. This is colliery country, a heritage which is clear everywhere with reminders often in the form of sculptures in towns and on roundabouts.
On our first day we headed down the coast towards Tynemouth. Unfortunately the fog was relentless and would not budge all day on the coast! We could barely see anything, not even the sea when we were standing on the end of the jetty at Cullercoats!
We did try though, getting out and having a wander; up close we could see that the beach was sandy, but the resort was perhaps a little more tired than in it’s heyday when numerous artists frequented it, often to paint the fishermen and their wives.
From here we headed north to see if the fog would have lifted by the time we got to St Marys Lighthouse. It hadn’t! At which point we gave in and headed back to the van, where the sun was out… We were told that this wasn’t unusual for the area.
The next day we visited Cragside (for which I have done a separate post as it merits it).
So I’ll pick up with our last day here which saw us head to the nearest seaside resort to us and venture a little further north up the coast to Amble.
Our neighbours at the site actually came from Newbiggin on Sea, just about 5 miles from where we were staying. So this is where we started. And what a pleasant surprise it was. We ended up spending a good hour or so wandering around the bay, which was a lovely sweep of sand. Out in the bay is an offshore sculpture, ‘The Couple’, which is either loved or hated it would appear. I quite liked it! There is also a smaller version on the promenade.
There’s quite a lot of interest here, including the fact that the 1st kayak team to circumnavigate Great Britain, Land on the Left, left from here, and returned to here, in 2012.
Whilst the promenade along the bay is lovely the town itself isn’t quite so much. A little tired perhaps.
We continued along the coast to Amble, stopping on the way at Druridge Country Park. This consists of a large lake, meadows and woods as well as the star of the show, the sweeping bay of golden sand. There is, of course, a café but it’s only open at weekends outside of the school holidays. The main car-park is free and it is an easy walk down to the spectacular beach.
As the sun was still shining we continued on towards Amble, which turned out to have a certain charm (and free parking..!) We went south of the harbour first (where all the holiday parks are located) before heading back up into town.
We made our way to the harbour, where we could hear the rich dialect of the area. I often would hear someone talking, and it would take several seconds before I realised that they were actually speaking English! (I have always had trouble understanding the wonderful Geordie accent – I love it, but my brain takes it’s own sweet time to register exactly what is being said!)
We stopped at Spurreli’s Ice Cream Parlour, voted the UK’s best in 2014. And it was very nice – although unfortunately the more elaborate sundaes were very pricey! Then a wander including taking in the 2 war memorials of the town; it’s own Clock Tower and the memorial from neighbouring town of Radcliffe which was demolished in the 1970s. Read more about this lost settlement here.
All in all a lovely last day in Southern Northumberland before we moved up to stay near Holy Island, where we visited Berwick on Tweed, Ford & Etal and Bambrugh as well as making a brief foray into Scotland to visit Eyemouth 🙂