A walk on the seaside

Minding Northumberland Guide‘s admonition not to attempt to walk across the mouth of the bay, with its wide expanse of sand, we’ll carefully skirt the edges, possibly venturing out to the water as long as we can safely keep ahead of the returning tide, and enjoy ourselves, rain or shine today.

Sometimes a short break is as good as a long rest, and we’ll have to hope that homily works for us this time, because ‘That’s shallots,’ as the onion seller remarked. It’s hard though, to believe that we’re holidaying in the same county in which we live; the seaside is so different to the upland North Pennines, after all.

Still, if curlews can move inland in the summer months to raise their brood (the pair in the field around us have successfully brought on three chicks this season to flying adolescence), we can avail ourselves of the reciprocal opportunity to visit their winter territory as well.

Our son snapped one of the curlew parents in mid-flight during a family walk up here a few weeks ago — no doubt it was sounding its plangent cry to warn the little group away from the fledglings, as it soared across their field of view. Like a family visit from urban Edinburgh to the deep country, we’ll feel a bit like tourists in our own county on Budle Bay, and yet, having visited Northumberland’s coast many times over the past years, it will be familiar too.

1 Comment

  1. My family used to spend a lot of time at Heather Cottages on the edge of Budle Bay when they were very basic with coal fires and no hot water. I have a photo of my kids playing in an old wreck that was eventually swamped by the sands of the dunes. My great uncle was an engineer with the first Lord Armstrong and bought Bamburgh golf course, farm and quarry presumably because his boss owned the castle. It all eventually came to my Mum’s unmarried sister who passed the course back to the golf club and sold the quarry. The rest was eventually sold by my siblings, my brother having modernised Heather cottages. We have no regrets about not owning it all and still feel a strong attachment to the area. I wonder if there is still smuggling going on. My daughter witnessed a small power boat coming into Budle Bay late at night and offloading something.
    I remember, as a child, crossing to Holy Island before the road was built. Seawater came in through the cracks in the taxi windows but the driver knew the safe way ahead thank goodness.

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