D7: English Coastal Path


Wednesday 4th July 2018

Today miles:  9.91             Total miles:  108.7


More recently whilst walking I’ve taken a break from the coastal path and focused on a bit of Munro bagging, only another 49 of 282 to finish. Like the previous two days of coastal walking today’s route is one I’ve completed several times previously. I’d decided a few weeks ago to take Alfie our pet golden retriever with me today and at the very last minute Gemma decided to come along. I think this had a lot to do with the nice weather and the promise of a glass of wine at the finish. Alfie’s not had a good long walk since he damaged the ligament in his left leg in November last year. It’s about 10 miles today and he should be OK with that. We took both our cars and parked one in the Holy Island causeway car park, driving the second car to the start in Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

The initial walking was through Berwick town centre and it was extremely busy with both tourists and locals enjoying the summer sun. We crossed the old Berwick road bridge towards Scremeston and then onto Spittal passing the RNLI station. We temporarily diverted off the Northumberland Coastal path instead taking to Spittal beach to allow to Alfie the chance to dip himself into the cooling sea water. Leaving the beach there’s a short ascent up to Toppye Knowe with a good path alongside the train tracks. We encountered lots of other walkers and even more cyclists, after all the path is shared with the National Cycle route No 1. Having somebody for company today was really nice and it’s amazing how much quicker the time and the miles go by. It’s a hot day and as we approach Cocklawburn beach Gemma suggested finding somewhere in shade for a short break, that’s easier said then done as there’s no significant structures or trees around to provide any shade. Eventually we gave up on finding any shade and just plonked ourselves down on the side of the path. We ate our sandwiches and took in plenty of water. I had Alfie’s water bowl in my pack and we made sure he took had a good drink before we continued. As we approached Goswick golf club the path became overgrown, it also ran close to a field full of cows. Now these particular creatures don’t bother me, I’ve learnt through experience how to read them and then react to their behaviour. Gemma however detests cows and as soon as she saw them I looked across and could see the fear in her eyes. To make matters worse they stood up and made there way towards us as we got closer. Despite the substantial wood and wire fence between us I suggested we least the path and walked across the golf course instead. The golf course was busy and I can only imagine what the golfers were thinking as we walked on the edge of the fairway. I’d much rather face up to a few angry golfer then a herd of inquisitive cows.

It was only a short detour and we soon stopped again outside of the golfers clubhouse, I even managed to sneak into the club and fill up my water bottles. The excellent path continued to Longridge End sluice and then towards the twitchers hut overlooking Goswick Sands and further to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. After another short break inside the birdwatchers cabin we continued but Gemma mentioned that she had developed a blister on her right foot. We only had about a mile before reaching the causeway car park and it was uneventful. Less then 4 hours after leaving the car we were back. I had considered carrying on but the long term forecast predicts sunny days for the next few weeks so I’ll be back fairly soon.

Alfie seems to have enjoyed himself and no obvious implications for his poorly leg,


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