DATE                                28.03.13

DISTANCE                      10.2 MILES

WEATHER                      GREY , COLD AND WINDY



Once again the weather was playing a huge part on where I would be walking again today, I had managed to avoid the snow so far, at the cost of not disappearing into the hills, but I have to be honest and say, I was starting to struggle where I was going to walk , after all I have been doing beach walks to death, however there is one small section that I have missed for one reason or another and that was the small stretch of coastline from Anlmouth to Boulmer , a quick look at the map and it didnít take much to work out a route of about ten miles , so that was it sorted , I would be wearing my new all singing and dancing  SORBOTHANE DOUBLE STRIKE INSOLES and really wanted to give them a good test run or walk as it happens  , not so much as how they performed on the actual walk as I never have problems with my feet (err foot) on the walk , its afterwards when I have relaxed them a bit or the following morning when I get out of bed , to say that itís been painful is an understatement , the strange thing is once I had the weight on the foot and things stretched out the pain went away , me being me (a wimp) didnít want any pain full stop. So ten miles should give things a good test.

Gear was sorted and thrown into the car and off I went, I decided to start at the small fishing hamlet of Boulmer, where I know that the car park is free (I like free) and there are toilets if you need them. There is of course the pub the FBI or fishing boat inn which is well worth a visit after any days walking and on a hot summers day the balcony at the back is an must place to sit down and relax watching the waves gently hitting the beach .

But with the cold strong winds coming straight off the North Sea I wouldnít be sitting there today. But I would be taking my jet boil with me today so coffee could be had any place out of the wind.

But as normal first thing first and thatís coffee on gear sorted, Arty leg was his normal impatient self-wanting to get off straight away but today I was firmly in charge, whilst drinking coffee I couldnít help but notice that he tide was well out, that meant that I would start my walk down the coastline walking towards Alnmouth (see map for details) again I couldnít help but notice how much the coastline had been eroded , in fact one section of the coastal path had been closed and the path had just disappeared , not a problem today but if the tide was in it would mean either getting wet feet or walking along the edge of the golf course , and looking at the amount of ďprivateĒ keep out signs that were scattered along the golf course I get the impression that they certainly donít welcome walkers on their course , I am not sure what is going to happen to this section of the coastal path , I have the feeling that it will be forgotten about over the years, I canít see the golf course giving up any of their land , but this being Northumberland even the most important path takes years and years before anything gets done . I certainly wonít be holding my breath for a result.

On arriving back at the car, I could help but notice that I had only done 8 miles so I decided to extend the walk by another couple of miles heading up the coastline to Howdiemont Sands, this was more to make the most of the day and give the insoles a good try out, like I have said I have no problems with my feet ÖÖ..err! Foot when walking but as soon as I take the weight off it for a while it really starts to hurt, so I wanted to really work the foot just to see if the insoles made a difference.

By the time I got back to the car again the weather was really doing its best to drive me home, cold strong winds with sleety showers again. Still 10.2 miles is not to be sniffed at even though it was mostly easy level walking, yep a good day I think ÖÖÖÖÖÖ normal a few photos enjoy:-

Taken from the car park looking towards Boulmer.


Looking towards the bay, the tide is right out so I will start off heading down the coastline to Alnmouth.


I donít go far on the beach as it turns into a very rock slippery section, time for me to get off the beach.


Yep time for me to leave the beach before I start slipping , even though I have practised walking on sea weed and rocks ect why chance it if I donít have to.


Now on the coastal path looking down to where the sand ends and the rocks start.


The path takes you right through this old caravan site, there are a few sign dotted around asking you (the walker) to respect the ownerís privacy but other than that there is a maze of paths heading through it.


But it would seem that itís not only caravans on this site there is a right old miss match of old buildings and sheds.


Looking down onto the bay, I think that I will cut down soon.


But first I must snap a photo of this, I wonder if it has a history and what it was used for before, unfortunately there was no one around to ask.


Back down on the beach heading to Alnmouth.


Good job I did cut down, the erosion has washed the path clean away.


A belt of rock to get across, not a problem today as there is plenty of space to walk around them.


Looking back.


This section is what I believe is Marden Rocks.


Now in Alnmouth Bay and its miles of sandy beach.


Just for a short time I am back on the costal path.


The river Aln as it flow across the sand to the sea. I intend to follow this upstream for a mile or so if I can before I head back to the coast.


Looking across at the cross at church point.


Following the river Aln.


Boats parked up or should that be moored up.


I have to be a bit carful where I walk now as the sand suddenly turns to stinking sucky mud.


Looking back to Church point and the cross.


Time to get back on a path.


The bridge, I will cross over here it means a short walk along a road but ÖÖÖÖ..what the hell.


The river Aln, I will follow it downstream for a bit now.


Time for me to leave the river now and start to cut back to the coastline.


My path takes me through a lambing field, not a problem they are all big and strong this area has missed all of the bad weather.


One of the locals, who came to see me. He / she seemed very interested in my Arty leg; arty naturally wasnít bothered and muttered something about mint sauce.


Mum and no 3 lamb again they wasnít bothered in the slightest by me, itís nice to see the young lambs out it must be a sign of spring has finally arrived, of course the farmers up in the hills are having a rough time of it with all the snow, but down here even the ground is well dried out.


Starting to climb up a small hill looking down at the flood plain below.


Looking across a huge white golf ball Ö.. Part of RAF Boulmer early warning system (I think).


Last look down.


Now looking towards the coastline.


Back on the beach , I was planning on walking back along the coastal path but its closed , so I have to walk over these lose stones , not a problem for normal people but they can cause me problems at times , Arty of course just takes it in his stride and lets me do the worrying.


There is a set of steps up to where the shacks are, so itís not much further and I am back on sand again so all is well.


Looking at where the path used to be.


A couple more of the huts.


Now leaving the caravan site, there is even a small tourer, I donít think that it could be moved even if they wanted to now.


Now heading towards Boulmer.


Time for another coffee break.


Boulmer, the tides right in now and itís starting to get a bit windy again.


The old and new tractors that the fishermen use for launching their boats.


The coastline.


Looking back.


Very easy walking along this section.


One thing that I havenít mentioned is how popular this area is with the bird watchers some of the locals:-


Taken at max zoom looking at Dunstanburgh Castle.


And this is as far as I go today Howdiemont Sands, time to head back.


Last photo as I sort my gear out.


Day after thoughts.

10.2 miles mostly easy walking , I noticed that even after the short drive home that my foot wasnít hurting so much , normally once the weight is off it lets me know that its pissed with me .

First thing in the morning, you know that dreaded first step wasnít nowhere near as bad as what itís been, so even though it very early day I do think that the new insoles help, I will get a another set for when I am wearing normal day to day footwear and see if I can improve thing even more, but itís still very early days.