Four of Footloose met up beside Outchester Ducket before driving back to Seahouses for stage 11 of The Way. Parking once again opposite the golf course, we looped behind the coastal fringe of the town before emerging close to the harbour. We made a detour into the town to buy provisions for one of our number who’d left his rucksack in the car, and then delayed further in the ‘One Coffee 1’ coffee shop. Eventually, we left Seahouses, walked a little way on the dunes to the north of the town, and then dropped down onto the beach.
There was plenty of sand to walk on without getting our feet wet, and, once again, dog walkers predominated amongst those people we met. Passing Monks House Rocks, and then Greenhill Rocks, we caught sight of small flocks of small waders, as well as the occasional cormorant and gull. The Farne Islands were in view across the turbulent waves to the east. A few Eider ducks were feeding in the shallows as we approached Islestone, where we turned inland into the dunes once more and our stop for lunch, with a super view of Bamburgh Castle in the near distance, but arrrgh, I forgot to take a group photo !!!
Our path now lead us around the front of and beneath the castle walls, alongside the cricket pitch, and then along a narrow track to emerge onto The Wynding, a narrow road leading to the golf club. We passed the small light-house near Stag Rock, before exiting the club house area, onto the cliff top path around Budle Point. There were some superb views across the mudflats of Budle Bay, though we were a little too high to observe the birdlife. We did spot some kite surfers enjoying themselves though, twisting and skimming over the wet sand below us.
We looped around the Point, keeping to the edge of the golf course, before emerging near some caravans near Newtown Farm. We climbed steadily over some rough ground before finally coming out onto the main B1342 Belford to Bamburgh road. Turning left, we were greeted by one of the best views in Northumberland – Bamburgh Castle from the north. Superb !
We quickly turned off the road, to head south west through some grassy fields and then along the edge of a caravan site with distant views over Budle Bay to a very hazy Lindisfarne. Some photos on Google Earth suggest that there was some interesting glacial activity in this area – ever heard of kames and eskers ? Apparently they are fluvioglacial landforms ! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kame http://landforms.eu/cairngorms/kame.htm
There was also an interesting lime kiln just a short distance off the main track through some very rough ground, so a quick diversion to obtain a picture was undertaken. Quickly back on track, we skirted some woodland to arrive at Spindlestone Mill on the Waren Burn. Now holiday accommodation, it nestled in the valley bottom, a rather dark and damp place when we were there, thanks to the overhanging trees.
We climbed away from the mill up a tree lined minor road back to Outchester Ducket and the end of another good day’s walking, varied in scenery, with another stage of St. Oswald’s Way under our feet. Only three stages to go now, and our destination was in view !