Warkworth walk

warkworth
 A cross with a view

Warkworth beach

Warkworth, in Northumberland, has a most fantastic beach. Myself and my expat chum Anne, from Canada set off somewhat overdressed for a perfect sandy walk along the beautiful, almost deserted, beach.

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Deserted dunes

There is an inlet which separates Warkworth from the neighburing village of Alnmouth. You can see it across the deceptive shallow looking water.  At the top of the hill is an old wooden Celtic cross which makes for an ideal vantage point to look out across the bay.

You then cross a marshy area and pass a deserted ruin of a small chapel.  Heading back up to the beach banks is one option or you can take the low road down along a farm track and past the golf course.  You will see seabirds,  pheasants and rabbits if you’re lucky.  There are cowslips growing along the top of the beach banks. These once common seaside wildflowers are now an endangered species, but they are flourishing here.

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Country Cowslip

The Warkworth way

Along the beach way we met Ethel and Mick a mature couple who asked to be referred to as the ‘Wandering Cumbrians.’ They were looking for stones on the beach , pieces of flint, agate and fossils and having a lovely time doing it.

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Ethel gets stoned
Beach combing is free and fun. As we passed the bright yellow gorse bushes blooming everywhere, Anne said that her husband Peter declared that he remembered gorse smelt like Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion. I sniffed carefully – it’s very prickly – and guess what, it does! Quite extraordinary.
Ooh it smells of holidays

WarkWorth village is a pretty spot to stop for tea and tiffin, or in our case, coffee and crab sandwiches. Fresh Northumberland crab sandwiches are hard to beat and those served at the Topsy Turvey café were indeed delicious.

Crab sandwiches, no salad..

We were sharing a large round of sandwiches which were advertised on the menu as coming with either crisps or salad. I asked if we could perhaps have a bit of both as we were sharing them but this proved to be a request too far. ‘Margaret’s on sandwiches today’ came the reply ‘so it’s non negotiable.’ There were also some helpful  lifestyle hints displayed for our consideration.

A tall order

The Castle and river

Warkworth Castle owned by English Heritage, sits atop a mound, or motte.  It really do ‘hath a pleasant seat’ (Macbeth)  Northumberland is the county with the most castles in England, and this is one of many medieval fortified structures.
Warkworth itself is next to a beautiful river , the Coquet. When the weather is good you can hire a rowing boat. It is pleasant to zig zag down the winding river under its leafy green canopy.
The amount of zig zagging you do is entirely dependent upon your proficiency at rowing in a straight line. I have a tendency to lose control of my rollocks, which results in substantial zig zagging, but it’s great fun all the same.
Who’s the king of the castle?

Along the river you can pay the ferry lady to cross the river and see the secret Hermitage. This was home to the Hermit of Warkworth made famous in the poem of the same name, by Thomas Percy. Robson Green explored the Hermitage in his TV series Tales from Northumberland 

Sea side installation

Warkworth village – Northumberland charm

If you like walks, or beaches, or crab sandwiches, or rivers, or tea and cakes, or sniffing gorse, or all of these things, then I can highly recommend a spin along the Northumberland Coastal Route for a day out at Warkworth.

Verses from the (very very long) poem about the old Hermit of Warkworth.
And now attended by their host, The Hermitage they viewed

Deep hewn within a craggy cliff and overhung with wood

And near a flight of shapeless steps All cut with nicest skill

And piercing through a stony arch Ran winding up the hill

Scooped within the solid rock Three sacred vaults he shows

The chief a chapel neatly arch’d On branching columns rose

A day at Warkworth,  is the best sort of seaside day out in Northumberland.

Check out Roxbro House – where to stay in Warkworth