In Northumberland for the wedding celebrations of my friends Shirley and Ian, a walk on the beach was the perfect recipe to clear heads and feel human again. I’d thought that Amble might have provided an option but the landlady at the farmhouse where we stayed suggested that Druridge Bay was close at hand.
Now I love Druridge Bay and have lots of memories of great times amongst the dunes there, including a spot of practical creative thinking during an Open University summer school, but I really wanted somewhere new to walk. However as we had been given directions to a different access point to the 7 mile bay we gave it a go. Good decision because with a new starting point Julie and I walked north rather than south to the more popular end of the bay.
Northumberland beaches are so extensive that it’s easy to find a little personal space but on a Sunday morning it felt like we had miles of coastline to ourselves.
I’ve missed living on the North Sea coast for the last couple of years so this was a great treat for me and my camera, a smörgåsbord of options; miles of beach, wildlife (and death), geology, driftwood, an island nature reserve, views north to Bamburgh… where to start?
My favourites were the terns. I’m not enough of an ornithologist to know if they were arctic, common or roseate terns, but the way these small sea birds hover over shallow waters before dropping vertically with a sharp plop in pursuit of the sand eels that support them and the visiting puffins on Coquet Island has entertained me since my time living at Whitburn. The way they hover reminds me of kestrels in search of mice.