May Day in Warkworth

Dramatic Dunes Warkworth Beach

It was a bit of a miserable day for the first of May 2014, but if you let the British weather stop you from doing things here in the UK, you could easily turn into a root vegetable or a pot plant, so you simply must summon that ‘get up and have a go’ mentality we British used to be famed for and get out and about. Ergo, after a glorious breakfast of home made Heuvos Rancheros and blueberry pancakes (not on the same plate ) at the The Wild Trapeze in Heaton my Canadian chum Anne Kostalas of  Dear England Love Canada blog fame – (ex pat) and I headed off to Warkworth beach for a determined coastal walk. Warkworth village, North of Morpeth on the A1, is famous for its imposing castle perched on a strategic mound just outside the village. Northumberland boasts the most castles of any county in England and we tend to take them a bit for granted here, but they are all impressive in their own way and all quite unique.The picturesque river Coquet runs through the village and you can hire a rowing boat to take out, which is also a very pleasant thing to do when the thermostat rises above today’s heady 7 degrees centigrade brrrr! We headed for the beautiful wild Northumberland beach next to the golf course with its impressive sand dunes and seaside flora.

Spring weather – lovely!

Whatever the time of year or weather conditions, our Northumberland coastline is spectacular, wild, beautiful and rarely crowded. Granted, you can count on the fingers of one hand the days when you can take your jumper off, but it’s grand all the same.We did a bit of beach combing and found copious amounts of Bladder wrack seaweed strewn like piles of knitting along the shoreline. Bladder wrack is apparently delicious eaten raw or cooked and can be used in soups. It can also have a laxative effect if you eat to much of it. I have no plans to test this claim.

I love seaweed

We also found razor shells, crab claws and lots of limpets and cockles. The beach is also peppered with sea coal, a legacy of the days a when the North East coast line was ruined by tipping the left over slag from the coal mines into the sea. Two generations after the pits closed, the beaches have cleaned themselves, but there is still quite a lot of coal to be had which you could burn on your open fire, if you dried it out first. Now it just looks like smooth black stones which blend in with the colours of all the other pebbles on the beach. The give away is its weight, as its much lighter than the volcanic stone Obsidian which it resembles. Another clue that it is not Obsidian is that there are no volcanoes around here that I know of.

Beach Art

We walked against the wind well wrapped in a various layers of clothing and jumped the inlets as the high tide approached. The sea was advancing rapidly and so we didn’t continue to the end of the beach where the river meets the sea and you can wade across it to the next village when conditions are right. You can then walk back through the fields (which will soon be full of spring flowers) and trespass back across the golf course to your starting point.

Jumping the tide

The life saver belts at regular intervals along the shore hint at how rough the sea can get and the waves were pretty frisky. After your walk you can mosey back into the village and partake of a gift shop or two  and perhaps a cup of tea but we headed home for a three cake combo previously purchased from the Wild Trapeze. Espresso cake, lemon drizzle and Vanilla butter cream. I would have had a picture of them but they were consumed at high speed upon returning from our walk, thus totally cancelling out our calorie burning efforts..

Moody beach shot
Just in case..

 

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