D14: English Coastal Path


15th August 2018

Today miles:  15.4     Total miles:185.3

For various reasons my last few days of coastal walking have been reasonably short, I’m blaming Gemma and Alfie for most of that. Today should be around 16 miles which is a more reasonable length for a days walking. I’m looking forward to today’s walk because despite living only twenty minutes drive away I’ve not walked this part of the coastline before. I normally stopped when I got to the end of the Northumberland Coastal path at Cresswell. The ECP signpost indicates the route takes a newly laid black cinder path through the dunes at the rear of the power station. There’s even more fly tipped rubbish lying in the dunes. After passing the monstrous power station the scenery improved across Newbiggin golf course.

     The town of Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is a nice little place which you could easily just walk through in less then 5 minutes if you wanted. I stopped on the promenade and looked out to sea at the UK’s first off shore sculpture. The 18ft high structure is called ‘The Couple’ and is stood on a plinth out in Newbiggin Bay. There’s also a smaller replica of the artwork on the promenade.

This part of the Northumberland coastline has a bit of a rough reputation, like many of the towns around here these coastal towns grew up around the mining communities and since the decline of the industry in the 1980’s the towns have struggled to find any identity. I was pretty impressed with the area and it was tidy and nice to walk around. After the promenade there’s a gentle ascent up to the North Seaton caravan park. The park has a small shop which I visited, grabbed myself a small bottle of water and a chocolate bar. There’s an easy to follow path out of the park towards the very busy and noisy A189 over the River Wansbeck. On reaching Cambodia’s I took to the beach and got carried away with the views. Instead of heading inland to cross the River Blyth I just absently carried on towards North Blyth  until I reached a dead end. This meant turning around, retracing my steps for a further kilometre and then legging it across the small gauge railway line to East Sleekburn.

The Couple

This route took me through an industrial estate before I reached the River Blyth. The English Coastal Path then cuts across some farmland under the A189. There was a little bit of navigational confusion but I eventually managed to cross the river. At the Southern end of the river I stopped and lay on the grass for ten minutes, despite the heavy industry the area was wonderfully peaceful. After studying the map I moved on into Blyth town. Unfortunately I passed Blyth cemetery, it wasn’t that long ago since I was there to say goodbye to an old friend Kevin Reid.

I left the coast and headed on towards Blyth bus station. I had a while before the bus arrived so I just sat and people watched. A nice days walking in good conditions. I also suddenly realised that from today the entire coastline from Lynemouth to Lands End is new walking territory for me.

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