A wobbly Coast to Coast path - Rambling Pete's Way 2010

Day Zero: 16th June

Weather: dry on train, then sunshine later

Route: Manchester to Bamburgh.


Day  Zero - Manchester to Bamburgh

I remembered a last minute addition to my kit – my cow/mad dog prod, it’s the season for them you know, and it may also come in useful for my knees. I’ve abandoned the idea of carrying the brolly for the moment after I felt the weight of my pack, that and the fact that the weather looks set fair for at least the first four or five days of the walk. I studied the train timetables up to Alnmouth, Northumberland and picked the one that would tie in with the bus times up to my final destination of Bamburgh. My journey started at the tram and railway station – for relaxed travel I like to give myself plenty of time. Today it was 5minutes or an hour depending on how the trains run. The first leg at 12:57 leaves at 12:57, a good start, and the sun is shining – I think it’s shining everywhere today, even the old satanic mills in Lancashire looked ok as I crossed over the Pennines. I travelled up from Manchester, changing at York – I had a 10 minute window to switch platforms and trains, which got reduced to 5 minutes because the driver was admiring the views. But to my delight I stepped off one train and on to the other on the next platform. Then it was onwards and up to Alnmouth where the train arrived 5 minutes before the bus leaves for Bamburgh, So I rush off the train….but there’s a blind man struggling with his case….I have 3 minutes to get to the bus stop….so back down the steps to help out….”cheers mate, can you carry it to the bus stop for me?”….5 minutes later and late for the bus…an hour wait? No, karma lends a hand and I make it with 8 minutes to spare..ha ha. The bus takes an hour up to Bamburgh as it dawdled it’s way along the Northumberland coast, through picturesque fishing villages, on tight roads.


 Bamburgh Castle towers above the local cricket pitch


I threw a lucky seven 

At Bamburgh I arrived in good time and have a look at the castle before having some nosh. As reward for my earlier efforts there is an Italian restaurant – meatballs and penne pasta – food for walking! I suppose this is the start and I dipped the old boots in the sea, and made my way around the shoreline, the evening sun casting a wonderful light. Slightly out to sea to the east of the castle lie the Farne Islands, glinting white in the late evening sunshine, white horses riding the waves coming into the shore. A little way along the sand dunes I dropped down onto the coast and walked along a rocky foreshore. I passed by a dead seal lying in the sand, and it must have been recent as the gulls haven’t set about it yet. There were several large concrete blocks placed along the beach with a couple of them painted to resemble dice. Happily it was a lucky seven that showed up against the background of Bamburgh Castle – a good omen for my long walk. At Blackrocks Point near a lighthouse there was a white stag painted on the rocks and beyond that across the bay stood Lindisfarne – no one knows why the white stag is there, but there are a few tales around.


time to dip the toes


 Across Buddle Bay, with Lindisfarne in the distance

Beyond the lighthouse I left the beach and walked along a road to the golf club, where the path wanders across the fairways. I got to the fourth hole named the Cheviot and looked up from the tee to see The Cheviot. It was pleasantly warm and a nice start to my walk and I could gaze across Buddle  Bay to Lindisfarne, an area I am familiar with from my walk on St.Cuthberts Way last year. As I reached Heather Cottages I followed the footpath around and along a lane that took me to the main road and across to the B&B. My destination this evening is at Buddle Hall B&B, a glorious shabby chic place – huge rooms and to top it all off I was served up a beer or two in the garden while I typed up my blog - a  peaceful start and long may it continue – even the birds were quiet. What a great day zero – good transport, a good deed, good food, good walk and a good rest. I had the last laugh as well – I sat next to a ‘haha’ in the garden.


the White Stag rock

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