Week One: The Tenderfoot (Sunday 24th June to Saturday 29th June)

My general impression of England, or at least Northumberland, and those 12 miles of Scotland through which I walked last Sunday, is that it is in bloom:


Poppies near Warkworth

Days walked: five

Distance walked: 80.5 miles, or 129 km.

Blisters created: a matched pair, one for each foot

People met through walking:

The St Cuthbert’s Way: 6

The Northumberland Coastal path: 1

The St Oswald’s Way: maybe 2; they were on a link between the St Oswald’s Way and the St Cuthbert’s Way, and I didn’t speak with them.

I should like to note that all of these were going the opposite direction, south to north, and so were the two cycle tourists I met near Howick, and so were almost all the dog walkers, ramblers, and day trippers out and about on the coast.

Castles seen: 6 1/2



Berwick — the half, as I think I may have walked over its castle, but didn’t actually notice, as it’s mostly in ruins.

Berwick-upon-Tweed's Tudor city walls

Lindisfarne on the Holy Island, visible for over a day’s walking:


Bamburgh, once seat of a kingdom:


Dunstanburgh, superbly atmospheric as the rain closed in:

Dunstanburgh Castle

Warkworth, superbly golden in the sunlight as the rain finally cleared a day later:


Alnwick, the second-largest inhabited castle in England, seat of the Dukes of Northumberland for many centuries after they left Warkworth, setting for the Harry Potter movies, and generally impress

Alnwick Castle from the Lion Gate

Hazards avoided, despite the temptations to do something stupid so  have a good story for late . . .

– Falling off a cliff, at St Abbs Head at the beginning —

St Abbs Head

— or along the shore near Craster later in the week:

Coast near Howick and Craster

– Being hit by a flying golf ball, in numerous places:

At the Alnmouth Golf Club

– or falling off looking for a golf ball, like these intrepid golfers in Scotland:

Eyemouth golf course

– Becoming stranded on a refuge crossing to Lindisfarne:


– Being chased by a bull in any of several fields near Bamburgh:

Stile near Bamburgh

– although I did do a little dance with a herd of bullocks in a field, who didn’t know whether to run at me or away from me, so did both:

Confused Bullocks

– being dive-bombed by notoriously territorial arctic terns nesting on the beach at Beadnell Bay:

Arctic Terns on Beadnell Bay

– being eaten by a dragon:

Dragon near Dunstanburgh Castle

– Being drowned or otherwise seriously invonvenienced at hte Aln Estuary,

Warning at Alnmouth

which required an hour’s diversion to cross the river and come back down the other side.

The Aln Estuary

Other highlights include the boat sheds of Lindisfarne,Lindisfarne Boat Sheds

views of the Farne Islands,

Inner Farne

St Cuthbert’s Cave,

St Cuthbert's Cave

collecting some coals to take to Newcastle,

Possibly coal; there was certainluy smaller pieces on the beach

and adding my inukshuk to the cairns on the WWII anti-tank concrete blocks on the beach near Warkworth:

Inukshuk on WWII concrete blocks

A splendid first week.  Only two days of rain, one of them a series of squalls and the other steady drizzle, the rest mostly cloudy with few gladdening moments of sun.  And now, just as my feet are starting to toughen and my shoulders to bear the pack happily, I am off to the Scottish Borders for a week on a small sheep farm.

In a green and pleasant land


4 thoughts on “Week One: The Tenderfoot (Sunday 24th June to Saturday 29th June)

  1. Truly exciting, Victoria. Loved the photos and very glad you didn’t fall of a cliff or get eaten by a dragon 🙂 There must be a song or two about Lindisfarne because that word is triggering all kinds of magical inclinations in me, though I know I’ve never been there. I hope you love the week on the sheep farm!
    Let me know how to send you a postcard 🙂


Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s