DATE                                             21.03.13

DISTANCE                                    10.7 MILES

WEATHER                                     BRIGHT BUT COLD

START / FINISHED                       CAR PARK AT CRESSWELL

Druridge Bay

After a busy weekend away I still had one more dayís holiday to go, I had done all the jobs around the house so my good boy points where still quite high so I thought why not cash them in and have a dayís walking someplace.

The weather had been bad with heavy snow fall almost everywhere except where I live and along the coastline, and I really didnít fancy pushing my luck in trying to drive anywhere in the snow or dare I say it I really didnít face a struggle walking in deep soft snow , I know from past experiences itís really hard work and I am still not 100 % happy that the pain that I get in my stump had gone for good and the last thing I want is to kick it off again, so todays walk would be a beach walk. The only problem was where, after looking at a map and drinking coffee I decided that I wouldnít have to go very far and decided on a walk starting at Cresswell, this is a beach that I havenít been on for ages, I think it because itís so close to the power station where I work and the last thing I want to be reminded off is work, however today I would make an exception. Naturally Arty leg didnít care where we went as long as we got out for the day.

My plan was all dependant on the tides, which as normal I didnít bother checking the times as it didnít really matter. I would either park up in Cresswell walk along the coastal path past Druridge , carry on past Hadston through low Hauxley then get to High Hauxley where it would be time to cut down onto the beach and walk back . Or if the tides where wrong I would do the walk in reverse.

There has been a lot of work done on the coastal path along this section , nothing that really  stands out , but itís well used and all the gates ect are in good working order  lots of info boards /sign posts   plus it takes you past a lot of waterfowl nature reserves , there seems to be an lot in this area not really sure why ,its  the same as I walk past Druridge country park , I have to be honest I am not sure where one reserve starts or finishes or where the park start and finishes , not that it really matters , all in all itís all very pleasant easy walking , with zillions of bird watching hides scattered about the ponds and a few seats scattered along the path .

On arriving at Cresswell , gear was sorted , coffee made and drunk and off I went , the first job of the day was to check where tide was , on its way out , great that means I will walk up the coastal path and back along the beach (my preferred route).

One small problem as I was about to enter a field I couldnít help but notice a herd of cattle with baby calfís and they really gave me a dirty look, being the brave person that I am decided at this point to cut down onto the beach and by pass this field and link back up a bit further along.

Other than that I had no problems, it was a lovely bright sunny but windy day with the odd sleet shower that seemed to drop the temperature when they passed and sent me diving into my rucksack for my coat only for me to take it off again 5 minutes later when the shower had past and the sun came out.

The only downside of the day was walking back along the beach I couldnít help but see the power station where I work.

As normal a few photos from todayís walk.

Taken where I leave the coastal path and head down to the beach at Druridge Bay so I donít disturb the cattle and there little ones.

 

Walking along the beach, the big dune is where I spent a day having Hang gliding lessons, it must be nearly ten years ago now, and it seems like only yesterday. Of course that was when I had two legs, it one of the few things I had to give up when I lost my leg.

 

Looking back looks like I have missed a sleet shower but I am certain by the end of the day I would have been caught in one or two with the strong wind they are very fast moving.

 

Looking along the coastline towards the distant light house at Coquet Island.

 

Looking back down the beach.

 

Time for me to cut back onto the coastal path, this looks like a good spot as I donít have to climb over any dunes and I should be well past the field where the cattle are.

 

Looking across the dunes /wildlife reserve. (Not really sure where one stops and the other starts.)

 

One of the many wetland ponds thingyís, I think this is where there were a lot of opencast mines worked years ago.

 

Swan making the most of the good weather.

 

Another pond thingy

 

Looking across towards the dunes that run parallel to the path.

 

Looking across another pond, you can see the snow a few miles inland on the hill tops, I am informed itís quite bad at the moment, seems strange when there is nothing at all here.

 

Big shaggy cattle in this field , I am so pleased that there is a fence between us , but I donít think that they would be bothered by me  anyway.

 

Yet another wetland pond thingy.

 

Time to cut to the beach for a coffee and to check how far the tide is out.

 

Back on the coastal path again and you guessed it another pond.

 

This big pond has got a name: Ladyburn Lake again this was totally man made.

 

This is as far as I go today so time now to cut down onto the beach for the return leg.

 

But before I start back a couple of photos of the light house on Coquet Island.

 

Just around the corner is Amble, but this is as far as I go today.

 

Looking down the beach, the stacks of the now closed smelter still draw your eye towards them same as the power station right on the point.

 

Looking out at the sea, there is something about the light today that helps to make some really good photos ÖÖÖÖ.donít ask me what because I havenít got a clue.

 

A flight of geese.

 

Looking back.

 

Where we have been having some rough seas or big tides its washed some of the dunes away exposing a dirty peaty layer, with this fossilized bit of tree in it, I kept my eye on this section hoping to fine some dino bones or buried treasures but as luck would have it this was the most interesting thing I saw.

 

This section went on for a mile or so.

 

And didnít stop until there was a lot of rock.

 

An old storm drain with the heavy metal flap valve long gone (I found it half buried about 50 meters away)

 

A couple more photos showing where the sea has cut away the base of the dunes.

 

Looking out to the sea again, you would think that it was a summerís day other for the fact the wind was freezing and the temperature was -1.

 

I think that this is part of the overflow from Ladyburn Lake.

 

Looking down the bay.

 

Looking back up.

 

Me trying to do an arty shot, think I will just stick to point and press.

 

Time for another stop and coffee break, this is a good spot for it.

 

Back on the beach again a couple of photos.

 

I have spotted something and leave the beach to go and have a closer look.

 

Up close and I still donít know what it is or was.

 

Back on the beach again a few photos as I make my way along.

 

Arty want his photo taken.

 

A couple more photos and it time to head back into the dunes.

 

Last look around.

 

My route through the dune back to where I left the car.

 

 Day after thoughts.

Work up feeling a bit stiff, but once I started to move around things where fine, which after 10 odd miles is to be expected I suppose at my time of life. I had no problems with my stump or no sudden sharp shooting pains when out but it was easy walking.

Arty leg wants you all to know he was fine and that he wanted to carry on for the rest of the day (I think that itís time for him to go into the wardrobe for a few days)

On a serious note itís a lovely beach and I should make an effort to walk it more often as it is just up the road from me.

 

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