Posted: Friday 24 September 2010
North East Associates
go to the coast
- Thursday 23rd September -
On a warm and sunny morning, the weather having been arranged by walk organiser and leader Lindsay Perks, over thirty of us met up close to the sea-front in
Whitley Bay - "the coast" in north-east parlance - for a not-too-strenuous walk taking in clifftops and countryside.
Despite a gloomy weather forecast we set off along "The Links" towards St. Mary's Lighthouse and then continued above the cliffs for the first 1½ miles north to Seaton Sluice where one group then turned their backs to the sea.
Tide's out - that doesn't sound right
Soon we were in Hollywell Dene. This wooded valley follows the Seaton Burn on its last three miles to the sea at Seaton Sluice harbour, the longer walkers having continued up the coast to join the dene here.
Progressing upstream both parties negotiated many paths and stiles until they reached the trackbed of a 'dismantled railway' to turn south.
This old railway is part of a well-maintained network of public tracks, grouped as "Waggonways", which are used by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
Oops, another obstacle!
This is one of many of these ex-national and colliery railway tracks that criss-cross North Tyneside. They link with many in south-east Northumberland - and also there are more across the river in the north-east corner of Co. Durham.
With distances of 7 or 5½ miles in total the remainder of our walk took us through fields, was then sandwiched between the local cemetery and a golf-course, before picking up another small wooded valley along the Brierdene Burn.
Along the route there were many signs of autumn, with rose-hip, bramble and elderberry in abundance. Lo and behold our walk ended in the 'back garden' of our base, the Briar Dene pub. Here we had a choice from about eight real-ales and a comprehensive food menu which made for an extended lunchtime with lots of chat. Several more Associates joined the lunch party.
On our return it was still warm and sunny, but the clouds had built up a little.
The day before the walk about ten had pulled out - but not because of the weather we're told!
The forecast held good - that meant bad! When starting to say our farewells the heavens opened so departures were delayed until the storm abated, with many flooded roads on our various routes home.
pictures: ph & rmh
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