Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Saddle Rock & Dunstanburgh

Day Four's walking, mostly along the beach, was from Seahouses via Beadnell to Craster, an attractive little fishing village with another small harbour. (Craster is famous for its smoked fish - kippers and salmon.) These beaches are some of the best - long stretches of golden sand with outcrops of rock that give lovely rockpools. The rock formation above is known as Saddle Rock - a folded limestone outcrop, buckled by the intrusion of molten dolerite (locally called whinstone). It was at about this point that I nearly got felled by a flying golfball. The cry of "Fore!" made me reconsider the shot I was about to bag, of an orange flag against the outline of Dunstanburgh Castle! Northumberland must be heaven for golfers (those prepared to put up with a bit of wind, anyway.)

And here is Dunstanburgh Castle - an impressive ruin that from a distance looks a bit like teeth! Built in 1313 by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, it was a status symbol rather than a strategic castle, to demonstrate the Earl's opposition to King Edward II. The Earl's rebellion was defeated and he was executed in 1322. The castle was strengthened and improved by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster in the late 1300s and during the Wars of the Roses it was captured twice by the Yorkists. After that, the castle fell to ruin - but what remains has survived for nearly 700 years! It's now in the care of English Heritage.

9 comments:

  1. It is good to be reminded of the beauty of this coast. Burnt deep into the imagination is the belief that the sands are coal black and pit workings litter the landscape : which quite clearly isn't the case.

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  2. Glad you avoided that golf ball. As Alan has already said, there is clear evidence in your photography that this is a beautiful stretch of coastline.

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  3. This time, I'm definitively jealous!I would like to be there, along this shore, discovering this impressive castel..Did you meet any ghost?Ü

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  4. Nice bit of the country, love the rock formations. Agree with Alan's comment.

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  5. What an amazing place. Great pictures, has inspired me to want to visit.

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  6. This walking tour of yours is making me quite envious -- I'd love to follow in your footsteps -- though I could never keep your pace of 13 miles in a day. I'm more of a saunterer.

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  7. No ghosts Malyss, though you'd think there might be some. An old man I met told me one of the pubs in Alnmouth had a ghost, but I didn't see it! This whole area was the scene of many historic skirmishes (as it's near the border between Scotland and England) and also was a great smugglers' haunt.

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  9. Stunning coastlines and amazing ruins! ~Lili

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