Warkworth to Alnmouth 10 miles. Weather fine but very windy. No hills to speak of.
Start at entrance to Warkworth Castle. Toilet stop. Westward towards Heather Leazes through fields of buttercups. Northwards down steep lane to join, then follow, river-bank path downstream to Warkworth Bridge. Scenic view of castle ramparts and wealth of wild flowers. Coffee break, then joined a 'confluence of walking groups' all crossing Warkworth Bridge together.
Eastward, off to the seaside. Coquet island looking splendid in fine weather. A walk northwards through the dunes past wild purple geraniums and white roses. Tide was low so able to walk on beach. Wide sand stretches, reminiscent of west coast of Jutland, (as one walker observed - guess who ?). Bits of bedrock, fragments of coal and concrete blocks (tank defences ?).
Turning inland near Birling Carrs found the marshy ground (implied in the name) that contained a splendid display of golden iris. Stayed on the dry sandy path and after lunch in a sheltered spot of the dunes turned westwards inland to the A1068. A track beside the main road took us north to access the westward road over the railway level-crossing at Wooden Gate. Turning northwards at Wooden Farm we passed through fields of flowering crops that were identified by our gardening experts as broad beans.
Under the railway to arrive in Lesbury for a drinks stop in a riverside picnic area. Ducks ('manky mallards' ?) zoomed from the far side of the river to surround us, hoping to be caught on Peter's camera and have their images preserved for posterity. Peter, however, was overcome with the attention and managed to get a splinter in his hand. In full view of the group he performed open-hand surgery with a Swiss Army knife.
A riverside path took us downstream for a while, then a rise through more bean fields led us to a road with a sign for Alnmouth Golf Club/ Foxton Hall. Our architecture expert identified pseudo art-deco houses on the way down to the club house. And this was where our glorious leader earned himself lots of brownie points by inviting us all inside for coffee. It could have been more if he had offered to pay for the coffee but since it only cost £1.50 a cup we were well pleased.
The walk southwards into Alnmouth kept to the inland side of the municipal golf course and dropped us steeply to The Wynd and a bit of a backtrack to the bus parking place. The allocated pub in Alnmouth was the Hope and Anchor. Very pleasant and welcoming but quite expensive (Pint £4.50, Large wine £5.75).
Great walk with excellent navigation, good company and no mishaps.[Report Kate Jones - Map courtesy of Gordon Jones - Photos Peter Craig]