For the first time for many weeks, there were all five Footloose fellas for the walk. We met up in the small car park opposite Seahouses golf club, and then drove down to Low Newton for the start of stage 10. There were lots of cars parked up, a little different from two weeks previously, but then again the weather was much better for this leg of the walk, hazy sunshine with a stiff south westerly breeze.
We had a good view of Dunstanburgh Castle in the far distance, looking back over Embleton Bay, and with the tide out, there were several people exercising their dogs on the sand. We diverted from the official route by walking along the sand, between the dunes and the sea, which gave us the opportunity to carry out a bit of bird watching. We had already seen our first buzzard, and we were to see herons (at least three), eider or Cuddy ducks, curlew, and several other types of waders whose names still remain a mystery.
After a short stop for coffee in the lee of the dunes, we were able to follow the shoreline adjacent to Newton Links until the watery inlet of the Brunton and Tughall Burns and Long Nanny forced us back to the correct route over a substantial footbridge. A sharp rain shower forced us to don waterproof coats for a time. We headed back to the shore, and with Beadnell Bay stretched out before us, made for the village and a suitable location for lunch.
The imposing lime kilns, built in 1798, adjacent to the harbour provided dry seating to eat our sandwiches, and another walker was prevailed upon to take the group photo. We found it astonishing that we could still see Dunstanburgh Castle away to the south. Visibility was remarkably different to what we’d experienced two weeks earlier.
After lunch, we picked up the official route again as it left Beadnell, and skirted a caravan site before crossing a couple of grass fields, before crossing the road back into the dunes near Annstead Rocks. This narrow track switchbacked through Annstead Dunes, an area of scrubby vegetation, before emerging at the road bridge over the Swinhoe Burn as it entered the sea. From here, it was only a matter of yards before the golf club and the car parked over the road. We decided to walk a little further into Seahouses itself, to savour Coxon’s ice cream from the little kiosk near the roundabout.
Sitting on the wooden benches, overlooking the harbour, we were entertained by juvenile starlings who were trying to persuade us to feed them by perching (and singing) on the bench backs. It was lovely here, sitting in the sunshine, watching the world at work and play, but home (and a certain football match !) beckoned, so we retraced our steps back to the car and headed south. What a good day it had been, blessed once more with dry weather and interesting company, in wonderful scenery. Not long to go now before we finish St. Oswald’s Way, and then, who knows what in the future ?