Day 285: Jarrow to Horden

Distance: 27.66 miles

Ascent: 2927 feet

Weather: Rain Sometimes Heavy Morning, Dry But STrong Winds Afternoon

Accommodation: Wild camp Near Horden


I had a good rest in Jarrow, due to Tom’s kindness and I would like to say I was raring to go this morning but unfortunately the weather forecast for today was for rain sometimes heavy for most of the day with winds strengthening during the day which was not very appetizing. It was already raining outside and I had fully waterproofed up. Due to the extension into Newcastle before the rest day, I now had over 50 miles to do before getting to Middlesbrough in 2 days.

The first 3 miles or so to where the Shields Ferry docks were on pavements alongside roads sometimes busy and with the rain made for not very nice walking, After turning the corner, essentially leaving the Tyne River and joining the coast, I soon joined a footpath. This path followed the low cliffs and by now as well as the rain a mist had also descended and made for slightly miserable walking, but I was surprisingly chirpy considering.

About 4 hours after having set off without stopping at all due to the rain I reached the outskirts of Sunderland and it was still raining. I saw a Morrisons and decided to use my penultimate voucher in here to have an earlyish lunch. The full english and tea whilst I was steadily dripping onto the floor was just amazing!

I decided not to stock up on supplies here as I would pass another shop in about 3 hours in Seaham. To my surprise when I left Morrisons though it was still raining it was far gentler and it appeared to be brightening up. I headed through Sunderland and crossed the river on the impressive Wearmouth Bridge.

As I headed out of Sunderland, the path crossed the railway line and rejoined the low cliffs. The rain had stopped by now but the wind was significantly strengthening which would at least start drying everything out. I followed the path being blown around till Seaham where I popped into Asda to stock up on food for this evening and tomorrow.

From Seaham the path rejoined the low cliffs and it was actually a nice path, and it took a quirky route across a stream and then under the railway viaduct before it neared the coastline in front of Easington Colliery. I had guessed it may be hard to find a pitch spot today due to the vicinity of the coastline to lots of villages and towns. My original hope was that I could pitch near Fox Holes in front of Easington Colliery, but due to the fact they had tarmacked the path it was too busy so I had to move on and expected my next option may be in the Horden Nature Reserve a few miles further on.

When I reached the reserve I knew the path stuck to the cliffs and would have to climb up and down several steep gullies. But I wondered if could take the beach instead, this was answered very quickly when I saw a 4x4 on the beach with a fishermen in front. He had to have come down somewhere, so I could drop down to the beach. Looking at my map the only route I think the jeep could have come down was about 3 miles further on then driven along the beach. In fact looking along beach there were a dozen or so fisheremen.

It was very windy now and the wind was parallel to the beach, so I was getting battered. All I had to do now was find a well sheltered spot, with grass that I could pitch on. It took a while but eventually I found a grassy patch with a small mound next to it which should shelter me enough. I put up the tent and got in quickly as it looked like it might start raining again.

Considering I thought it would rain all day, not too bad a day as most stuff had dried out by the end. A quite scenic day considering my proximity to houses for almost the whole day.

NB - Due to the rain not many photos taken or even good ones (all 10 included below.) I can’t remember exactly where each cliff path photo was taken so just named them cliff X

charles compton