With two of our number on holiday, 60% of Footloose set out up the A1 to rendezvous at Low Newton before driving back to Boulmer Haven for the start of our walk. There was a cool north east wind blowing, bringing a heavy drizzle off the sea. Visibility was very poor as we put on our waterproofs and dropped down onto the beach to start the walk. The tide was out, so we were able to walk for quite a way between the dunes and the rocks just off shore, which sported names likes Boulmer Steel, Red Ends, and Longhoughton Steel. A lone heron was fishing in the rock pools as we walked by.
We eventually had to leave the beach and follow the correct path which kept to the top of the dunes. Visibility had not improved, though the drizzle had abated, as we passed Howdiemont and Sugar Sands and the issue of Howick Burn into the sea. There were more walkers about than we’d seen on earlier walks, just out for the day like ourselves, but disappointed with the lack of views. The path looped around Howick Haven, and as we approached the Rumbling Kern, we stopped for lunch in the shelter of a huge outcrop of rock. There were plenty of small waders about, picking away on the tideline, though identification was difficult. We did recognize the odd curlew, a few oyster catchers, and eider ducks bobbing about just offshore.
We could not tarry long over our sandwiches, because we could see the tide creeping up the sand as it turned, so we continued northwards, the track now being bordered by arable fields to our left. As we approached Cullernose Point, we spied a substantial stone house on the cliff top, and Clive’s later research revealed it to be a rather special holiday cottage ! Ideal for getting away from it all, except walkers of course ! https://www.northumbria-byways.com/the_bathing_house. We were rapidly approaching Craster now, and once past the interestingly named Black Hole Bay, decided to stop for a coffee in the Shoreline Cafe, where we shed our waterproofs, the weather having brightened somewhat.
The next stretch of the Way followed the well-trodden path over close cropped grass to that iconic headland castle of Dunstanburgh, which, due to the mist, was hidden from our view until we were quite close. A friendly walker took our picture for the record, and we then skirted the base of the castle mound and moved into the outer links of Embleton golf course. We did not expect to see many golfers about due to the foggy weather, but as we continued to hug the footpath around the fairways, we could see the hardy souls driving and putting away.
Towards the central area of Embleton Bay, we crossed the Embleton Burn, and, where it entered the sea, saw a solitary swan paddling about in the shallow water. We then climbed back to the top of the dunes and came upon an eclectic collection of beach huts (is there a collective noun for these ?) The path wandered about these seaside, holiday dwellings, which were arranged haphazardly along the cliff top, until it emerged near to the Newton Pool nature reserve, and finally to Low Newton hamlet, with its square of whitewashed cottages around the pleasant grassy green in front of the Ship Inn.
There were not many folk about due to the weather, so we did not dally, and strode back to the car and thence home. A good walk in interesting countryside, and, despite the foggy conditions, we had enjoyed the coastal scenery, limited as it was. Perhaps we shall enjoy clearer views next time – on to Seahouses with its ice cream and fish and chips !