Day 281: Craster to Druridge Bay
Distance: 19.77 miles
Ascent: 1930 feet
Weather: SUnny Spells
Accommodation: Wild camp Druridge Bay
Even though I had pitched pretty much in the dark last night, it turned out I had pitched in a good spot. It was flat, sheltered enough from the wind and most importantly, as I had thought, there were no animals in the field. When I got out of the tent there was a magnificent pink/orange hue to the sky as the sun was starting to rise.
I soon reached Craster and made use of their public conveniences. The path out of Craster was a lovely fairly flat, grassy route and it continued in the same way the other side of Boulmer as well. I came across a massive beach just south of Alnmouth and after crossing a couple of golf courses on the path I reached the town of Alnmouth itself. This was quite a quaint town and I stopped for a short break in a café before carrying on. The path up to the bridge from Alnmouth was closed for maintenance works but it made no difference as you could take the road the short stretch instead.
After crossing the River Aln the path followed the road for a little while before dropping down to Buston Links and before long it skirted the edge of Warkworth Golf Club after which it headed up to Warkworth itself. Warkworth was a beautiful little place with lovey stone buildings, a great stone arch bridge and a great ruined castle nestled around a plethora of local business.
A short walk down the river from Warkworth I reached the town of Amble, this was a fairly busy place and in comparison to most places I have been had an absolute abundance of cafes and as my phone was running out I popped in one to charge it up a bit. I used this break to also plot my routes for the next couple of days as these were changing due to now heading all the way up to the Millenium Bridge instead of using the closed Tyne Foot Tunnel in a couple of days. I stocked up in Co-op and continued on my way.
Just outside of Amble a police van pulled beside me and then wound down the window and I wondered what was going to be said. It turns out the policeman had seen my facebook page and vaguely knew about the walk, and in fact is himself walking the coast of GB in short stages.
This next stage all the way to where I finished in fact was along links/dunes and there were always 3 options for where to walk, either along the beach, through the dunes or along the path at the back of the dunes. I used a mixture of all 3 and it was a lovely stretch to walk at the end of the day. After the pitching issue yesterday, I had narrowed down a 2km stretch today along Drurridge Bay where I reckoned I could find somewhere to pitch.
The weather was still fantastic as it had been all day, and I thought I spied a good pitch spot by a lake just a few hundred meters away. I followed a little track down to the grass patch I had seen but just as I was getting there and thinking this would be perfect there was a birdhide and the sort of one that looked like it got used so I moved on. I rejoined the path and a few hundred meters later crossed into the dunes, which are not always the best pitch spots due to the sharp marram grass, but by sheer fluke there was a tiny path cleared here maybe 2m by 1m which would just about fit my small tent. It took a bit of logistics to fit my tent in here but once it was up this was quite possibly the best and most stunning pitch spot I have had so far, and the weather was just adding to it.
I had my dinner, and knew that my electricals were going to run out tonight, with the mini laptop and phone battery pack going to run out tonight and the phone and camera going to run out sometime tomorrow but I knew tomorrow evening I could get everything charged.
A lovely day, with nice scenery, nice towns, nice weather and a great pitch spot.