I stayed the night in lovely Alnmouth at the Sun Inn. I was late leaving having spent a fair amount of time confirming and re-arranging my visits to the Four Seasons Heath Care nursing homes over the coming days. Then I discovered that the path indicated on the map crossing the river Aln was in fact outdated and so I had to re-route a little way upstream to cross over the road bridge. I followed a cycle path parallel to the coast to save time and made good progress, arriving more or less on time at Dolphin View residential home and was greeted by its manager Andrew Lamb. I met all the staff and residents and really had a lovely visit. Then along the coast to Cresswell where I couldn't find anywhere to stay. I rang around and spoke to a very helpful lady at Premier Inn in Ashington who explained that they were in fact full that night. But she took my number and said she would ring round on my behalf and try and find me somewhere to stay. A few minutes later she rang me back to say that she had found me a room a few miles inland at The Swan in Choppington, run by Chris and Kirsty Stevens. I was so grateful to her for her help. I got a lift over there and spent a lovely evening chatting with the owners and their friends.
Lovely weather today and a delightful stretch of the Northumberland Coast Path, hugging the shore and providing many miles of walking on empty beaches. Through Beadnell, past Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster, Boulmer and into Alnmouth. Staying at the Sun Inn.
I left Holy Island in heavy rain and a strong breeze.I went via the local store to buy my lunch and was given a lovely donation by the shopkeeper. I walked back along the Causeway getting quite a chill from the elements as I hadn't bothered to put any extra layers on! Then along stretches of the Northumberland Coast Path and St Oswalds Way through Fenwick, Belford and Waren Mill. Then along the shore and coast to Bamburgh with its lovely castle, and along the beach to Seahouses to stay at the Olde Ship Inn.
I walked from Beal onto the Causeway leading to Holy Island and followed it round to the island itself where I found a place to stay. I deposited my rucksack and set off to explore the island. In the late afternoon I had a couple of hours sleep!
I popped in to visit the staff and residents of Berwick Lodge today run by Four Seasons Health Care and was given a warm welcome. After which I crossed the River Tweed . Whilst sitting on a bench near the mouth of the river I watched a seal diving and catching salmon. Later on I chatted to a part-time ghillie who was interested to hear that the salmon were now entering the river. He had a few very interesting stories to tell me about salmon and the River Tweed. Then along the coast via paths and lanes to Beal from where I plan to pop across to Holy Island tomorrow.
After a huge bowl of porridge at breakfast I got a lift back up to where I left off last night in Coldingham (the pub). I walked back down to 'The Mill Race' which is where www.woolfish.co.uk are based and collected my rucksack before heading on down the road to St Abb's which is a lovely little fishing village. On the way in I past the 'Ebba Centre' run by an inspirational woman called Helen Crowe who I gather has been the driving force behind getting this brilliant community centre up and running. She very kindly made me a packed lunch for free and made AND made a donation. Then on down to the little harbour where quite a few divers were returning from their dive. Apparantly the water here is very clear and is rich in a diverse range of underwater creatures! Although I was still north of the border there were plenty of northern English accents. From here it was all coast path walking from Coldingham Bay to Eyemouth and Burnmouth. Then I CROSSED THE BORDER back into England after almost two years of walking in stages, so for me it was a BIG moment. Although I wanted to tell the world (and I did Tweet at the time) I rang Philippa and various members of my family to share my excitement. They are a tolerant lot! Actually they were all genuinelly excited for me and I really feel as though progress south is being made. The border is a couple of miles north of Berwick upon Tweed and there is a sign marking the exact point on the East Coast Mainline. I celebrated in true rock'n'roll fashion with a cup of tea from my flask and some chocolate. In fact, as I looked out to sea from my vantage point I saw a pod of porpoises (or dolphins) making their way along the coast. Great! On the outskirts of Berwick I cut through a caravan park and made my way into the town to stay the night.
Today I walked along the John Muir Way and other paths and local roads. A few miles out from a village called Coldingham a car pulled over. The girl driving it asked about my walk and made a donation. Her name was Trudi and it turned out that her family ran a B&B just down the road and offered me a room for the night at no charge as a contribution to my walk! Fantastic! After I got some food in a lovely pub called The New Inn in Coldingham Trudi came to collect me. Her family run a place called www.woolfish.com which is essentially a knitting retreat! We sat in front of the fire and chatted away (I WASN'T knitting) but another guest was and told me all about Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island where I plan to visit in a few days. A lovely evening!
Today I travelled from London to Dunbar by train via Edinburgh ready to start the next leg of mywalk from Dunbar down to Bridlington.
Today I travelled from Edinburgh back to London. I will resume my walk from Dunbar later this month!