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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Northumberland Coast Path - day 2

Ellingham to Warkworth

Sunday 18th September 2016

A mile and a half of Tarmac took me to Cresswell, the proper start of the NCP. Numerous Sunday morning dog walkers with pleasant greetings, and the most glorious cloudless blue sky with just a nip in the air made up for what might have been a boring link to the start.

I had a real spring in my step. When I emerged onto the vast expanse of golden beach I was even more elated. Beach walking goes between two extremes: dragging feet through soft sand making for the second most difficult kind of walking, and firm sand with a very slight give that provides the most perfect of walking surfaces; today was the latter all the way. The definitive most difficult terrain is old pine forest and felled forest.

After about four kilometres of that delight the route hopped up some dunes onto a roughly surfaced track leading to the Druridge Bay Country Park with a pleasant visitor centre and café set on the side of a lake. The weather was warmer now, the sky still total blue along with the lake and the sea. Excellent coffee and a cheese and onion pasty made for enjoyable elevenses. There were many folks about, nearly all with a dog and often with several.

Another section of cul-de-sac Tarmac alongside the sands and blue sea had attracted picnicking motorists. I stopped and had quite a long chat with a couple in a traditional, but only ten years old VW campavan - I felt quite envious, but he was a garage mechanic with the ability to tend to it properly.

Just through Low Hauxley, a pretty little village, I was back on superb beach walking again then reasonable dune paths into Amble. A strange wooden pier-like walkway led to the harbour and town centre. There was a funfair blaring away, and a very busy Sunday market - people eating and queuing for ice creams everywhere. I found the Harbour Tearoom, where thirst was quenched with tea.

After a bit of footpath the NCP follows the busy main road into Warkworth. There is a good walkway and the tedium of the busy road is relieved by the interesting river Coquet on the right with Warkworth Castle standing stoutly above.

I am at the Hermitage Inn centre of town. It took me ages to get across the road; the latter half of this walk has been surprisingly busy with people snd traffic but it has been thorough enjoyment all the way ( except for the funfair).

I think I will post this and do a follow up later after I have eaten. Being a Sunday they stop serving at 7:30 and it is now 6:00 so off I go.

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