DATE                        13.04.17

DISTANCE                7.7 MILES




It had been a while since I had last got out for a wander so I was looking forward to this, The only problem was my real knee had been giving me some grief, all my own fault off course, what happened was I was out walking the pups when I put my foot into what looked like a dried up muddy puddle only it wasn’t and I ended up with a thick layer of black stinking mud on my trainer , not a problem as I thought that I would simply wipe it off on one of the many grassy tussocks that where dotted around the area , this worked on the outside of my foot  but the mud refused to move off the inside of my trainer , so come the next grassy tussock I really gave my leg a good swing , the only problem was a bit of a wooden post was hidden amounts it and my foot kicked it , the shock went straight up my leg to my knee (which as you know is buggerd ) and let me know that was a stupid thing to do , as there was no one about is simply sat down a whimpered to myself till the pain had passed whilst rubbing it and thinking what a stupid thing to do , ten minutes later I managed to stand up still feeling sorry for myself and take a few steps or should I say hobble a few steps , However the pups needed walking and I had to get back to the car so I had to carry on , naturally the pups didn’t care and just run and played as normal . Finally I made it back to the car and managed to drive home, feeling rather pissed off and stupid. Over the next couple of hours my knee managed to swell up a bit, but it didn’t hurt so all was well. The next morning it looked like I had a ball stuffed under my knee it had swollen up quite a bit during the night but strangely enough it still didn’t hurt so I promptly forgot about it and as the day wore on the swelling went down and all was good, but it is a reminder that I really do need to take care of it. So with this in mind I asked my long suffering walking buddy Edwina if she would like a nice easy beach walk , Naturally she jumped at the chance …. I mean who wouldn’t jump at the chance to have a day out with me? (Please don’t answer that) and that she would be bringing Rosie dog along as well.

Naturally Bob dog would be joining us for the day , I wouldn’t dare go out without him as long as I packed his treats and got his roast beef I think he would follow me to the end of the earth , anyhow times and meeting places where sorted and that was that a done deal.

As an afterthought I did check the tide tables for the area but I know from other trips up this way that even when the tides right in there is still plenty of room to walk along the beach, as it was due to some serious planning (more luck than anything) it would be low tide about lunch time so things should work out very well. I was hoping that we would get to see some old wrecks along the beach but they come and go all depending on the tides and shifting sands but most of all I was hoping that we might get to see a seal or two, on my previous trips up here I have seen the odd few either lying about on the beach or splashing around in the sea.

Anyway my planned route for the day was to park up just before the small hamlet at Ross, then wander past the few houses onto a well-used track that would take us into the dunes at Ross Back sands and onto this huge beach where we would wander (err! North) along wide open where we would cut through the dunes onto old law (mud flat) and from there head up to Guile point, where we would stop for lunch either by one of the old navigation beacons or cut up to what I believe is a twitches hut then cut back down onto the beach and head back ..Simple.

After taking a wrong turn we eventually arrived, gear was sorted and off we went, I was a bit concerned about walking the dogs in a field full of cattle but we spotted a dog walker who had just walked past them and she assured us that the cattle wasn’t bothered and were used to dogs and so rather carefully we headed off past them , the cattle did look then carried on munching away so all was good , once out of the field Bob dog was let off his lead (he doesn’t like being on his lead) and took his normal position of scouting ahead , then we entered the dunes with  lots of things of doggy like to smell and and so Bob was busy sniffing , and of course cocking his leg up at almost everything we passed , then it was onto the beach , with the tide well out (good planning on my part) the beach is huge (actually its huge when the tides in as well) and Rosie dog was let of her lead and for a short period of time run around like err well like a very happy dog .

However after a few hundred meters Rosie decided that she had done enough walking for one day and begged a lift off Edwina, as so for 6 ½ miles or so Edwina had to carry Rosie.

Our route took us along the beach then round the back off the dunes and onto the side of the mud flats (old law) then up to Guile point where we had a lunch stop by the twitcher hut , one thing I noticed that the whole dune area had a barbed wire fence around it , I believe that they intend to introduce cattle to restore it back to whatever it used to be (I’m certain that whoever thinks of these things knows what they are on about but sand dunes are sand dunes but what do I know) naturally there was a gate with yet another sign on it saying that this wasn’t a public footpath etc. etc. , someone really loves making signs and posting them up here & the small hamlet at Ross had more than its fair share of signs and barriers most of which are totally useless but hey if it keeps them happy who am I to comment.

After lunch, yes Bob dog had his roast beef and treats we cut back to the beach and started our return leg, then we spotted a couple of seals just chilling out laying on the sand, naturally we both got our cameras out and started our approach being extra careful not to disturb them, then as we slowly made our way up the small rise (sand bank) we met up with a large group of about 50 or so seal just lazing around , all sizes and colours and so for the next five minutes or so (it could have been longer ) we just stood and took photo after photo , not wanting to disturb them I quietly called Bob dog to my side and much to my surprise he came and stood next to me not really showing much interest in them , it was at this point I noticed what I thought was a large rocky section of the beach start to move and shimmer , it turned out what I thought was a rocky section was loads of seals ,all colours and sizes they must of stretched for about ½ a mile along the beach , as I watched I saw loads more swimming in the sea and resting up on one of the exposed sandbanks , I reckon that there must have been at least 500 plus , Edwina reckoned closer to 1000 (but she is a women and we all know that they tend to exaggerate) but the number really didn’t matter as it was simply lovely to see them , we of course carried on taking photos taking care not to get to close and disturb them and slowly made our way back along the beach , on a personal note I was thrilled to see so many , I had hoped that we might see a couple , I would have been happy to even see a few swimming in the sea but to get to see this many up close and personal reminds me just how lucky we are living in Northumberland , slowly we went past the seals but not before Bob dog decided to roll in seal pooh which left him smelling rather fishy to say the least ( bath for bob dog when we get home I think) then I was time to head back , we didn’t see any of the wrecks that I was hoping to see but we did get to see a really old beat up wreck that had been washed up so far onto the dunes it had almost been smashed to kindling but somehow after seeing the seal it didn’t matter, and we slowly made our way back , Rosie Dog decided that she didn’t need to be carried once we got in sight of the car so out of the 7.7 miles we walk Rosie did about 1 but she seemed happy with that distance , I’m not too sure that Edwina was impressed.

As normal a few photos

Moo Cow’s on our route (they wasn’t bothered by us)

Edwina with the two pooches heading into the dunes


The path makes it way towards the beach


First sight of the beach

Looking south towards Bamburgh with its castle


Looking up (north) the beach and our route (we had the beach to ourselves at this point)


At the mud flats


On a track heading towards Guile point

One of the navigation points and the twitches hut


Looking back towards a distant Bamburgh


Looking across towards Holy Island


Miles of empty sand


On our way back and we spot these two seals


Then a small group


With an odd seal sticking his head above the sand bank


Then before we know it we see hundreds of them, stretching along the beach


A few photos as we make our way along


Bob dog is now allowed to lead us back once we got past all the seals


Last look back at the seals, I’m feeling very happy that we didn’t disturb them


Bob dog find an old wreck


About to enter the dunes looking down towards Bamburgh Castle


Looking back up where we was earlier


Heading into the dunes


Now heading back towards the car


Sheep with their lambs  


Day after thoughts

Today was great …..seeing so many seals really made my day ,  I couldn’t have planned it better with the weather and the tide times but (why is there always a but ) walking on the sand which was mostly soft was hard work and by the time I got off the beach I was feeling tired . the inside of my leg (very close to my private parts ) was starting to get very red and hot but fortunately the skin didn’t break so no harm done , but it is something that I will have to keep an eye on , pre haps I need to add a bit of packing inside my socket , only time will tell.