Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bamburgh at New Year

At the New Year I was lucky enough to share a house with friends in the north-easterly town of North Sunderland, whose coastal area is the more famous Seahouses. This is the location of the great historic rescue by Grace Darling on the Farne Islands.

During our time there we had mostly great weather, including some windy, windy days (great for beach walks) and some fantastic sun-bathed days (also windy). I found the time to take 2 bike rides taking in the sites from this part of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. as well as being more socialable and going on 3 lovely walks. Some of the photos and clips have captured a bit of this fantastic light.

Anyway, this is the area map, with a few details. Click here to see the map bigger.

Map includes my ride in blue, NCN1 in yellow, Bamburgh Castle, Seahouses Pier, Doddington Moor walk, and St Cuthberts Cave walk

The rides provided some stunning views. I took photos along the way as well as taking screen captures from the video footage. The clips and photos are below.

The walks on Doddington Moor and to St Cuthbert's Cave also gave some stunning views. Doddington Moor has a number of ancient Cup and Ring markings with some description here. St Cuthbert's Cave also is full of history as well as good views nearby.Visit Northumberland also says that:
It is reputed that the monks of Lindisfarne brought St. Cuthbert’s body to this place to rest for a short period in AD875 following Viking raids on the Island and the subsequent abandonment of the saxon monastery.

I've put all those photos here from those two walks, along with a windy beach walk to Bamburgh Castle and here are a few highlights (Google seems to be killing embedded pictures, sigh. Click the caption links underneath if they aren't there for you!).

St Cuthberts Cave

Doddington Moor

Seahouses Beach


The rides were fun, and the latter quite windy! I did the first one anti-clockwise and used the road along the sea between Seahouses and Bamburgh. This gave some fantastic views of Bamburgh Castle as I got nearer and nearer. It was marred a touch by too many close passes by people driving, I just didn't let that get at my enjoyment. Here are the photos from that.

The beach north of Seahouses, looking north

Distant View of the Farne Islands

Bamburgh Castle from distance

Bamburgh Castle from the edge of the village

Bamburgh Castle last distant view

Bike shadow

Bamburgh Castle close up

Bamburgh Castle close up

Bamburgh Castle close up

Bamburgh Castle from the village green

And here are some of the stills from the video footage.

Sea view from North side of Seahouses

Bamburgh Castle distant from south

Bamburgh Castle close up

Bamburgh Castle close up

Then, I made my way inland, catching NCN1 for a little while, then back south along some very frosty lanes. This. This gave an added excitement of taking it very carefully on slippy-looking surfaces. I skidded only once as I was stopping by stupidly turning the front wheel slightly too much at 5mph and sliding for a foot until I stopped. Also, picking lines through ice puddles avoiding going on surface that might crack or large lumps of broken up ice.

Bike Shadow

Icy Puddle

Slushy puddle and shadow

Here's the ride in full. There's no need to watch it all, unless you wanty a nice relax, I've linked places of interest below.

Maximise for HD & turn the sound up or down, depending on your preference!

The first ride

00:29 Seahouses
00:44 Coastal View
01:15 Bamburgh Castle Distant View
02:44 Bamburgh Castle View
03:45 Bamburgh Castle Close View
04:15 Bamburgh Village
04:55 Sunny Inland Route
07:03 Turning South
08:44 Icy Puddle
09:35 Slight Skid
11:15 Turning Back onto NCN1
14:11 Credits

Later Ride

Later on I got to do the route again, this time clockwise. There was a ferocious south-westerly wind and I wanted to get that bit out of the way first. It was hard just going along at 8mph! In this first bit I also found a farmer doing their traditional winter work of hedge trimming. They were good to stop for me to pass, although I pretty sure I picked up a slow puncture here.

Here are some stills from the video footage.

Tractor trimming

Once turning north, the wind had changed to being directly across me, hindering me by blowing me across the road. However, there was some great shadow pictures!

Bike Shadow

I also found a car behind me at one point. This is a narrow road and there really isn't space to just pass. The driver seemed to get this, possibly because I was quite a long way out from the hedge, controlling the lane. I didn't want to hold them up as it spoils both our enjoyment. So I found a good place, checking the road surface ahead for a good 100 yards, and pulled over signalling the driver to come past. All went very well!

Signalling Driver to pass

Car passing close but planned

Car passed fine

Finally, turning back towards the coast and Bamburgh Castle and I got the benefit of the wind! The road gave fantastic long distance views of the castle as it was going directly towards it. I decided to go all the way into the village to get the castle close up once more.

Bamburgh Castle distant from East

Bamburgh Castle close up

Finally, I turned back through the village and headed for the NCN1 route south towards North Sunderland, simply to avoid the sea front road with it's rushing drivers. It's longer distance and time-wise, but quieter and less hassled.

Maximise for HD & turn the sound up or down, depending on your preference!

The last ride

00:24 Onto NCN1 going south-west
03:15 Passing a Hedge Trimming Tractor
04:10 Turning westwards off NCN1
06:30 Earlier Skid Corner, Easier Now
07:35 Earlier Icy Puddle, Easier Now
08:35 Car Passing
09:35 Turning Back Towards Coast
10:25 Bamburgh Castle from the West
11:00 Bamburgh Castle Slightly Closer
11:15 Bamburgh Village
11:30 Bamburgh Castle Close Up
11:42 Back into Bamburgh
12:05 NCN1 Route Back to North Sunderland
16:00 Credits

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