It was time for a new day on this fabulous walk along the coast from the Tyne to the Tees. The first day was a trove of treasures and history, I was looking forward to the next leg. What would the next morning bring? Well now to head further South, out of Sunderland and back onto the clifftops fill of amazing sea views.
It doesn’t take long before you are back out of the City and onto the cliff tops. Open views both inland and out to sea. It was going to be a refreshing day for body and mind. The sea breeze was pushing me along and I found that apart from the odd dog walker I was completely alone most of the time in this gorgeous corner of Britain… bliss!
And looking back to Sunderland….
Over to the right you see yourself passing the village of Hendon and on the map you see Ryhope ahead. But in between there is just me, a pathway, and plenty of hidden coves and beaches to explore. It was so quiet, I was in my element. There is truly something special about being in the great outdoors of Britain with just you and nature in attendance. No hustle and bustle. Just a refreshing time for thoughts and wonder.
For virtually all of the Tyne to Tees walk I would recommend not just staying on the clifftop pathways. Venture down to hidden beaches that throw up some remarkable scenes. Industry has long gone from the cliffs but beauty and wildlife definitely has taken back over.
I f you are one of those that loves to get good and varying views on your walks you will not be disapointed in this area. I found myself stopping to look down and out to sea and the rocks every few minutes. The changing views are fantastic and the erosion from the power of the sea has left its mark all along the coast.
The lunch stop today was going to be at the town of Seaham, I could feel it getting slightly busier again, a few others enjoying the peace out of town. Seaham wasn’t too far away.
Time to drop down to the beach again. This time the lovely Seaham Beach itself. A big beach with a combination of sand and pebble. Great for a walk, a treasure hunt, a seaside wander.
I did notice there were a few people here on Seaham Beach doing more than wandering. They were heads down looking to the floor with little bags. These were people looking for Sea Glass!
Years and years ago in the big old industrial age the North East Coast had its fair share of glass factories. Bottles being blown and produced by the millions. Useless and spent glass at the end of the day was dumped into the sea. This was obviously a time before knowing or realising the harm it would have on the environment. The sea has churned and churned these bits of glass and over time they have become cloudy glass pebbles… sea glass, that comes up on the beaches bit by bit at high tide. Jewellery is made from it these days and is proving popular. Hence many families enjoying having a look in the stones on the beach amongst some obvious professionals. I collected a good handful in just my one walk across Seaham beach.
Seaham was getting closer, the paths were getting more used and the unmistakable sight of the lighthouse was up ahead.
As you enter the town you cannot fail to pass by a certain statue on Terrace Green. A statue of a world war one soldier with head bowed. It is bigger than I thought it was from pictures and even my photo below does not give its size and stature justice. It is 9 feet 5 inches (2.87 m) in height. The artist who created it was Ray Lonsdale and is officially called ‘1101’ (Eleven o’ one) to mark the first minute of peace after the armistice of WW1. It is very much more well known as ‘Tommy’
Seaham is perfect for a lunch stop. Coffee shops and food bars with sea views can be found at the harbour, along with a great museum of the Seaham Lifeboat Centre. There is more history and heritage than you may think.
Or if you are art orientated there is a wonderful little building across the main road from the harbour.. Art Block, a gallery to showcase local creative talents and encourage more.
Another fun packed morning on the Tyne to Walk and the Durham Heritage Coast. Yet more art, more amazing views, more history.. What will the afternoon have brought as I headed further South? Next post.