01 Nov 2014
“Blue sky!” We awoke to a clear pale sky, perfect for our plans for the day: an exercise day. But first, breakfast! The Victoria Hotel’s breakfast is a modest affair, of good quality. The buffet has a simple continental offer and the hot menu has all the English favourites, including smoked kippers. Which David ordered yesterday.
After breakfast we digested in the Guest Lounge, the only room in the hotel with wifi, which is patchy and sporadic at best. I managed to upload a post this morning, which took an hour and a half! I will fall behind with my posts at this rate. No matter.
Dressed in a double layer of gym gear to brace against the wind, we set off through the village to the base of Bamburgh castle. It’s looked magnificent in the sunshine. The jackdaws were back circling around the clock tower again. We watched them more closely and noticed them climbing into the narrow slots in the tower.
“Do they live in there?” I wondered.
Down on the broad flat beach a few wisps of clouds had joined us. Our plan was to head south until we reached the next village, Seahouses before turning and jogging back. It should be about 7 miles return.
The wind had dropped and sun warmed us as we walked down the beach. The grassy dunes on our right towered above, protecting us from the wind. To the right are the Farne Islands rising from the sea.
“There’s a ruin and lighthouse out there” David said looking out to Inner Farne, the closest island. “Wouldn’t it be great to catch a boat out there.”
“Yesterday was the last day.”
“Imagine hiring a rowboat, and rowing out into the North Sea” he chuckled
Exploring the shallow rock pools, and jagged rocks jutting out into the sea, we couldn’t find any signs of life in or around the rocks, which is different from David’s childhood memories of northern beaches. Although we did find some weird looking fossils.
After the rocks we passed three young girls on horseback, they were practising jumping their horses over the a shallow stream running into the sea. It looked like fun and suddenly I longed to go riding.
As the day developed a few more people joined us on the beach, we passed people in small groups out walking, dogs sprinting happily after balls, someone flew a brightly coloured kite that snapped and flapped in the brisk wind.
At the turning point we set the gym boss alarm and jogged back to our sand castle on the rocky outcrop. It was good to run again and on the firm sand and a soft headwind, we felt good.
Back in the village we decided to explore the medieval looking church and graveyard. Many of the headstones have worn into strange undulating patterns, their epitaphs lost forever. The oldest dates we could read were from the 1700’s. Under a grand shrine was a memorial for a local heroine, Grace Darling, who together with her father rescued shipwrecked sailors at sea.
Inside the church was quiet and peaceful.