Thursday, 30th July 2015
I set off from home just before 6.00am and DS1 rode with me to the bus station as I wasn’t too sure I would be allowed on the bus with 2 large bags. It was cool but not showery and the X10 bus pulled in on time and I asked the driver if she would let me on with the 2 big bags -affirmative. So at 30p and my OAP bus pass I travelled from Teesside to Newcastle upon Tyne.
It rained on the way up but fortunately had stopped by the time we pulled in to Eldon square , where I unfolded the packages and then walked across to the Haymarket – a couple of hundred yards. At 8.00am M&S had opened and this is the only place with toilets – the metro and the bus station don’t have any, and I had to go. I locked up and asked a girl to keep an eye on my stuff and she did, waiting until I returned before leaving with her friend.
The Northumberland buses don’t only charge 30p before 9.30 am , so I had to cough up £5 .10 but the driver only charged me to Morpeth and then gave me a free ticket from there so he was very good.
A Dutch lady was going up to Alnwick castle and so we were able to pass the time chatting about various things. She is a keen walker and had come over to walk Hadrian’s wall but the weather has been too rainy and cold so she was going out to see other places. We were able to discuss some nice places to try.
I got off in Amble, unfolded my bike and got the trailer hitched, and rode down to the harbour and found NCN1.
The section of route from Warkworth to Alnmouth has a nice track but I only discovered it when I saw a chap cycling on the opposite side and soon found an access to it. There was a Dutch family with 2 sons who were on the route too. The mother was riding a Haze Pino with the younger boy on the front. We kept leap frogging each other. I had forgotten there were some hills but managed most of them but did stop as these poppies were so lovely to see.
I avoided the off road coastal route because of pulling the trailer but did go down to Boulmer where I stopped for lunch having bought a sandwich and a couple of cakes in Amble before setting off. It was quite cool but lovely sitting on a bench near the sea. It smells lovely – salty and fresh. I had forgotten too how much I love it up here.
From Boulmer I turned and followed the road route up to Longhoughton and then towards Craster but I didn’t go into the village but turned and climbed to Dunstan. I passed the camping and caravanning club site there and was tempted to stop as there was a fresh northerly wind blowing. However, I pressed on to Embleton. I discovered I had lost the top of my flag !! Drat. A little while later 3 lads passed me and they were riding the coast and castles route and had found my map that I didn’t know I had lost !! thank you lads.
I turned up to Christon bank and through Preston only to be stopped at the level crossing at Chathill when an intercity train hurtled through. Still from there it was nearly all downhill through North Sunderland and in to bustling Seahouses. The lads were at a café and waved but I went off for an ice-cream cornet before riding the road to Beadnall.
The site has changed a lot since I was last here but I got pitched and showered and then rode to Beadnall harbour to see the old limekilns that are still used as storage space by the fisher men. I also bought a club pennant for my remaining flag pole which we managed to get on